Say NO to Occupation
Have you ever lived under occupation where everything is controlled by certain forces? What you do, when you do and how you do it all is a subject to scrutiny and mistrust? Do you know how it feels to live under occupation? Of course, you will never know what a word occupation means if you have never experienced it in reality.
Dear Readers, if you have an Eating Disorder, then you are living under the occupation of your ED forces. Whether it’s Bulimia, Anorexia, Binge Eating Disorder, your life is under the invasion and occupation of evil ED forces.
I spent my post-grad life under the invasion and occupation of ED forces. I was confined to a single room, a single bed and no contact with outside world for almost 3-4 years of my life. ED was a foreign visitor who came for a brief visit promising opportunities, prosperity and happiness. As the life went on, this foreign visitor illegally settled into my house into my life refusing to leave. ED fed on my vulnerabilities and over the time became triumphant in controlling and occupying every part of my life. Every single action was dictated and controlled by ED forces. So, I somehow luckily managed to break free from this occupation two years ago, but the threat of ED invasion and occupation of my life will remain in the back of my mind for as long as I live.
After years and years of living with this disorder, I still struggle to understand what Eating Disorder is caused by. Some say it is caused by bad parenting or personal weakness; and some argue that it is a biological brain disorder. In fact the cause of this illness is not known, there seems to be a combination of problems, some factors could be due to heredity and other factors seem to occur during a person’s development or even during prenatal development in the womb. Some brain research shows changes in brain structure and chemistry and some of these changes may be present early in life. I do know that this disorder interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others. The toil on the family is enormous and the ongoing struggles of a person with Eating Disorder involves everyone in the family and in their social circle.
So how does a recovering anorexic, research analyst, and an amateur Journalist deals with all this political fiasco, and seeing Israeli project of apartheid in occupied Palestine?
In my travels as a curious researcher and learner, I have been to several countries where the political situation was unstable, even dangerous. But I have never seen such absurdity of discrimination as the one I saw in Israel. Considering the recent events in the Middle East, perhaps it was not a very good time to be in Palestine, but for me the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I consider myself not just fortunate but extremely blessed to be given this opportunity to embark on such a spiritual quest to holy land. I was in Jordan, Israel and Palestine.
I did very well in Jordan as a recovering anorexic. Of course, I don’t look anorexic and people don’t know that I’m still in recovery. I hate eating in Restaurants and in large group settings, but in Jordan, I ate with the group I was traveling with. I don’t like extensive buffet systems, but this time, I liked the system and for the choices it offered. After spending several days touring Jordan, we crossed over to Israel.
Jordan Early Morning Day 1 view from Sadeen Hotel
What Jordan is famed for its ancient heritage
Jordan Day 1 Lunch at Twhaeen Al Hawa-
You all eat together and share the wonderful Lebanese Mezze
with a wonderful dessert of Melon and Watermelon to mark an end to your meal.
My First Day in Israel and I fully caved into my disorder.
On the Third Day of our visit, I was nearly emaciated and on a verge of getting chronically dehydrated, but my ED was too busy telling me how Fat I was.
Focusing on how fat I was took away the sting from a very special treatment bestowed on us at the Allenby border by Israeli forces. The wait game where you are held for hours and hours is simply there to show you who is in power.Israeli forces love playing this game, it passes time.
It made the reality of Young soldiers walking around with guns pointing at odd angles less cruel.
It sounds very cold, but with ED whispers the actuality of the numerous checkpoints, forced settlements ominously present throughout the city started to seem less real.
I tried to accept and overlook the fact that in occupied territories there are no civilians, only Muslims labelled under the category of potential threat and terrorists.
Even after seeing how the lives of many Palestinians are completely controlled and monitored by Israeli authorities and how the wall in the occupied territories has resulted in separation of many families I could not break away from the ED thoughts. ED devoids you of all emotions and leaves you numb with a cold heart.
The comments by the guide in Hebron that they hate Arabs and dislike Muslims lost its austerity, as I focused more and more on my ED and how I could lose weight and more weight.
But my disorder was not very strong and not very dominating in al-Aqsa mosque. I knew my time was limited and I just wanted to make most of my time in Al-Aqsa Mosque. So I tried to engage in prayers with a disordered heart as best as I could have.
So did I fully relapse? No I did not. There was still some sanity left in my disordered mind. On fourth day, after a very emotional visit to West Bank, I ran out to local store and bought water, nuts, bread, cheese, milk, juice, and dried fruit and that night through tears and tears I forced myself to gorge on those densely highly calorific foods, Why? Because I just never wanted to face a humiliation of ending up in Israeli hospital. Also it would have shattered my parents heart. It was difficult for them to send me away to a place which was embroiled in ongoing conflict. Me falling ill would have broken that fragile trust between my parents and me.
City of Hebron- the toughest area to live in
Nablus-largest city in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
That’s why I went to Israel to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque. The blessings of being here. Alhamdulilah. All Thanks to Allah. All the hardship was worth it.
So I cried over situation in Palestine, Egypt, Iraq and Syria. Tears never solve anything. I came back home and Yes I could have fully given into the need to lose weight and more weight and I know that my treatment team could have justified it under the label of PTSD, but I didn’t. It did pain me to eat food that had lost all its flavour and taste, but I still ate day after day not once counting and recounting calories.
After spending several days in bed in a melancholy state, I pulled myself together, courtesy of a positive and uplifting message by our beautiful blogger Eudoxia. Thank you so much for your kind and generous offer of help, advice, understanding and Love. But mostly I want to thank you from depths of my heart for giving me the courage to move on and not to give into my disordered thoughts. Please visit her fabulous blog at: www.http://lifeonstrangertides.wordpress.com
Dear Friends, If you or your loved ones are living under the occupation, then stand up and defeat this demon. Life under occupation is indescribable. Free yourself from your Eating Disorder and Live a Life of Compassion, Love and Freedom. We are Unique and We were not created to spend our lives under the shadow of Eating Disorder. Under occupation you have no face, no rights, nearly every facet of your life is controlled by these forces. Say No to Occupation.
Too many things to report and not enough room or time to report them, especially as past years spent in slavery of ED come to mind. I’ll be posting more on my travels in Middle East in foreseeable future:
- Eating Disorder visits Jordan
- ED and Love in Israel
- ED and Jerusalem, Blessings of Holy Land, al-Aqsa
- Me My disorder and West Bank
- Life after Middle East Travels
On the last note, Please no hate E-mails and weird comments. I am not glorifying Eating Disorder and I am not giving the religion of Islam bad name by posting some of the real ED testimonies on this blog. I broke my silence on ED and explained my reality of living a life of disordered eating. And if it wasn’t for this attention seeking, rubbish incoherent blog, a 13 year old child would not be getting the help she deserves and she could have been anywhere in the country with some loser promising her love and respect. It helped her and it helped her Parents. So Please just Stop. It’s a very humble request from me. Yes the freedom of expression exists and I respect that, but I am sorry, I won’t be posting your comments on hell fire, on ED being a fashion choice on this blog.