Thursday 13 October 2016

When Fasting Isn't Holy

The holiest day of the year for the Jewish people is Yom Kippur. A day of atonement. A day to confess our sins to the almighty. A day to really think about where you hope to be next year. A day that is supposed to be a 25 hour fast. 
That's right. No food or water from sunset to sunset. Which for most people is pretty hard. But not for me. Not for a lot of people with eating disorders. Fasting for me is not a holy act of refusing physicality. Fasting is an act of betrayal to my body and love for my brain. My stomach might hurt and I might feel faint but by the end, my mind is euphoric. It's like an internal high. 
For me, fasting isn't holy. It's practically sacrilegious. 
Every year I've had the same conversation with my therapist. She asks if I'm going to fast, I say yes, she tries to tell me not to, I do it anyway. And then somewhere down the line I realize that I never really stop fasting. 
This year, I decided to get rabbis involved and see what they think. After all, most rabbis say if you can fast then you should. And believe me, I CAN FAST. I can fast and run a marathon. So, after much online research, I called Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser. A prominent Rabbi that deals with a lot of people with eating disorders. 
News flash: he told not to fast. 
This totally threw off my plan. Because I figured that he would tell me to fast and then my treatment team would have to leave me alone. 
But no. 
And because he told me I'm not allowed to fast... it was as good as Jewish law that I couldn't fast. 
Yom Kippur was today. And only the second time since I can remember, I didn't fast. The other time I was in treatment. So, it was weird. And felt like something was wrong. 
I didn't fast. But I also didn't eat what I should have. So I'm not sure exactly where that leaves me. 
But it leaves me somewhere pretty great mentally. And I didn't fast so I can't keep fasting. 
Maybe that was what needed to happen to make this year different. 

A bad day doesn't mean a bad life. 
Stay Strong
xo Aria

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