View Full Version : An Excuse vs. A Reason

05-05-2003, 11:14 AM
The topic of choices has brought a new subject to the table...

What is the difference between a valid reason and an excuse?

One way to look at it:
A reason is an explanation. An excuse makes it sound like it was okay.

Another way:
An excuse is a reason justified by dishonesty.

Excuses are a justification for giving up or giving in. You didn't explore all your options, or ignored or denied your options, you didn't plan ahead, you didn't ask for help, you didn't accept help offered. Excuses are reasons that rely on you being dishonest with others and yourself.

The ability to make an excuse relies on choice.
A valid reason restricts your choices.

I was late because my watch didn't work.
Excuse. There are CHOICES you had to figure out what time it was. Ask someone. Call a time service. Keep a clock in the house or car too. You didn't plan ahead properly because for some reason it wasn't important to you to be on time.

I was late because of a horrible accident on the highway. They closed the road and we were stuck with no way to get off for two hours.
Reason. You didn't have a choice. You were surrounded by other cars equally stuck and had no choice but to wait until the cops could figure out how to get everyone safely detoured. No amount of pre-planning would have changed it.

Obviously it isn't black and white. There are "excuses" that do little harm to anyone. There are reasons that produce great harm. But it's important to recognize how YOU might be making excuses and trying to justify them as a valid reason. For example: "I didn't have time to eat" may SEEM like a valid reason, but it's just an excuse. Unless your mouth is sewn closed you CAN eat, and can make time to do it -- or are you just justifying it with a bit of dishonesty?

Take care of YOU

05-05-2003, 11:36 AM
For me, an excuse is a what I use to justify doing or not doing something. A reason is accepting responsibility for it.
example : I didn't pay the rent on time because the office was closed when I tried to pay it. Now I have to pay a #$% late fee.(excuse)
I didn't pay the rent on time, because I waited until the last minute. When I tried to take it over the office was closed. Now I have to pay a late fee, but it's really on me, because I procrastinated. Next time I'm going to pay earlier.

05-05-2003, 11:40 AM
Excuse - is evasion or avoidance of responsibility.

Reason - is claiming responsibility.

There is a reason I have an eating disorder, but claiming that I can't recover because of x or y, is an excuse.

There is a reason I can't see therapist x, but avoiding seeking out any other therapist on the pretext of cost, is an excuse...

05-05-2003, 12:58 PM
Oh no, now I'm confused. I mean really confused. I was finally starting to have hope because I THOUGHT that I had finally been validated.
I have been working very hard lately to take responsibility for the things that I can change and I have made great progress. However, I still can't help feeling that something else, something out of my control is wrong. It is in my control to see my psych. (which I'm doing) and discuss different meds. but I feel without some kind of help from meds. or something of the sort, that my depression, despair, etc. is not in my control. Is that a true statement or is that considered an excuse? I really need help on this one becasue the frustration of everyone telling me its my choice and in time with therapy it will get better is making me feel hopeless. I agree I need therapy and it's going very well, but there's something else wrong with me, does that make sense? I'm so confused now. Please help.

05-05-2003, 01:04 PM

You and your therapist need to work on that one. Certain types of depression are definitely not within your control, but a chemical disturbance in the brain -- that may be very true for you, but it will be your choice to take your meds regularly and keep talking to your therapist about it. It's not an excuse to say "I need help with this by taking medicine right now" -- if you had a virus would you not take medication?

With that said, it's important to make sure you don't use having depression as an excuse. It's easy to fall into this trap. Example... "I can't recover because I'm too depressed". You may need help, you may need meds and therapy, your depression may be very real, but that isn't a REASON you can't recover. It's a reason to get help so you CAN.

Take care of YOU

05-05-2003, 01:29 PM
Thank you for clarifying. Yes, I agree, I can't use it as an excuse for not recovering. Right now I'm ready to do, take, whatever I need to to move forward. I've always felt it was somehow acceptable to be eating disordered. But to admit I have a I am mentally ill (i.e. depression, bi-polar,etc.) has been difficult. I've virtually lied about the internal hell I live with so as to avoid being diagnosed. But now the ed is very under control as are many other bad coping mechanisms and I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Yet I'm left with this undenyable fact that something else is wrong. I've come too far and it won't be an excuse to go back. Looking back I can see very clearly how I have let it be an excuse. Thanks again. :love

05-05-2003, 01:53 PM
:shy Hi peeps, hope you don't mind a COE :fishy butting in here, but this caught my eye, and I find this topic very interesting. Largely cos I make sooo many excuses in my own life. :ohboy

Amy I think your definitions pretty much hit the nail on the head. For me, a reason is an explanation based on something you had no control over. An excuse is an explanation which you use to fit the end result, to avoid taking responsibility for it.

Taking responsibility is damn scary, especially if in the process you have to admit that you've been making excuses for years. The thought that I have pretty much brought years of misery on myself is too much to bear most of the time. I know, I should look forward and not back, but I have these rather annoying rear-view mirrors which are hard to avoid...

Anyway, I was particularly interested in the talk about depression here. Before I go on, *I am only talking about myself here* so please nobody read anything else into this. I was first diagnosed with depression about seven years ago, and started getting treatment (meds) for it. It's only in the last few months that I've considered, or been offered, any therapy. That's led me to totally reassess my relationship with depression. I've come/am coming to realise that I use it as an excuse. There is *NO DOUBT* (of course) that depression is a very real, very serious disease, and that I have definitely suffered from it in the past. But personally, I can now recognise that I've also used depression as an excuse in itself for not making any effort to get better, to make positive moves in my life in any way. I have no idea where the line was/is between the real effects of the disease and my manipulation of them. But I know I've done it, and I know the time has definitely come to stop.

Part of this realisation has come from a more considered and professional diagnosis. After years of doctors basically saying "oh, depression, give him some pills".... I've actually talked through my illness with somebody who could be bothered to listen, and we've concluded that my depression is almost entirely psychological, as opposed to biological. In other words, it's about my thoughts patterns, rather than a chemical imbalance, although it probably started way back with a slight imbalance.

Anyway, I'm rambling a bit, but just wanted to chip in my thoughts.

As far as excuses in general go, I might be too hard on myself but sometimes I do just think most of problems are based on me making excuses for myself, and not actually just getting out there and DOING SOMETHING about it. There are very few reasons why I can't do what I want to do in my life. It's just that believing that there are is so much easier than recognising the truth. That takes an enormous amount of bravery I think, and I'm not a very brave person. :ummm

Interesting topic anyway, thanks. :happy

05-06-2003, 03:44 AM
:trigger goes into abuse issues and PTSD talk.

Ok I'll red flag this. and u can delete it if u want, or can email me a reply or something. I just wanted to ask u about it coz this is something I am really struggling with (as i think everyone knows by now! :sarcasm)

The reason I have an eating disorder is quite blatantly the fact I was a*d and have PTSD.

Is that an excuse as to why i cant recover? I was talking to my real time therapist about this and she says no.

Knowing all the ins and outs of it she said its a valid reason (for now)

a) I cannot do anything to change my living situation. (but will soon be changing in seven weeks)
b) I cannot recover while im still traumatised to this extent. (ie my legs shake etc) its not that I dont want to recover its that I really honestly CANT. (being as the food is so associated etc)

I just really wanna know how I am making excuses for myself??? Really??? PLEASE tell me. I want to understand where ur coming from. it might help me to see this as an excuse. All i can see for now its a reason.

Ok let me try and identify some choices I have?
I can choose to change my thoughts -- but I cannot control my thoughts... soo???
I can choose to do all the PTSD therapy --- but that wont work until I move out.
I can choose to move out -- but I cant its complicated. and the psych researcher Zimbardo etc would partly explain why...

05-06-2003, 07:25 AM
Being abused isn't an excuse. Having PTSD, just like clinical depression, isn't an excuse.

But you can start to USE THEM as excuses.

Have you made excuses in a lot of your posts andysangel? Yes, you have. I'm not going to dredge up all your past points one by one, but a number of people here have tried to point them out to you in a variety of different ways.

You also seem to think that your reasons for developing an ED along the way in your life are more valid than others and that could not be further from the truth. You hold onto it and compare yourself to non-abused people and that makes it's easier to justify why YOU do what you do. Did anyone say recovery was easy? Of course not. Did anyone say it wasn't going to hurt? Not at all. There is a difference between recognizing your struggles and knowing what you need to work on and using your struggles as an excuse NOT to do the work you need to. It isn't fair for you to reply to this post and present one aspect of your story as if THAT is what has been pointed out to you as an excuse. There are a LOT of things in your story overall, over many posts, that lead readers to the advice they give you, not just one fact.

We're not going to turn this post into being about you. If you want to explore you own situation individually in relation to your story, start a new post. Be honest with all of us and yourself. Abuse isn't a reason you CAN'T recover. It may be making things difficult right at this moment because the trauma is still present, but you can remove yourself from that situation. You say you are changing your living situation in seven weeks. That is less than two months. In the meantime you CAN do things to keep yourself safer, as you already admit you recognize what you are doing. No one is saying you are going to recover in two weeks... be real! But each and every day you make choices in your life, about things that ARE within your control.

Please THINK about this question... do not reply here about it. In seven weeks, when you do move out, you will have no reason or excuse to say "I can't"... or will you?

Take care of YOU

05-06-2003, 03:37 PM
hi, i know u said not to reply here, but just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write back to me. I will start my own post on this sometime and get back to u on ur challenge. My excuse is im snowed under with college work, my real reason is im still sooo confused about everythingi cant formulate a sentence bout it!

btw i dont want this to become a *me* post either.

Really want to encourage others to reply to this as Id be really interested in everyones responses to :sfishys original Post.

05-06-2003, 04:05 PM
*holds up fin*

Can I just ask.....?

An excuse is a reason justified by dishonesty.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this... any chance of clarification before I take it the wrong way and get horribly offended for no reason ? :winky

05-06-2003, 04:11 PM
When you make excuses you are essentially coming up with reasons that are based on some kind of dishonesty.

I'm not sure why you would get offended. Like I said, there are a variety of types of excuses we could get into, and some of them are quite harmless, some of them really detrimental -- but overall, in trying to recover from an ED it's important to ask "am I making excuses?" Recognizing them doesn't mean beating yourself up over them -- it means acknowledging them so you can work on real change.

Take care of YOU

05-06-2003, 04:18 PM
Ok. Thankies for that. I think I understand now.

That's one I really need to look at. Thanks :sfishy

05-07-2003, 01:15 AM
I am not sure I understand the whole Reason/Excuse/Choice/Responsibility.

Since life and the foundations of science are based on reasons, isn't it natural to seek explainations for behavior whether it be reason or excuse? If someone uses excuses to justify why they can't eat aren't they simply just saying I can't eat? Whether it is a reason or excuse it is still the same underlying fact...they can't eat. I know it is said that can't equals won't and choice comes into question, because people say one Chooses not to eat, but I have a hard time buying the fact that a person purposely CHOOSES to starve themselves. By simply taking responsibility, I don't think it is always as easy as it sounds to make the right choice. It is almost as if there comes a point in the illness where it chooses the person and person can't control the choice, so excuses and reasons are sought out of frustration because nothing else can explain it. Take OCD for example, both OCD and eating disorders are pathologies where obsessions and compulsions are present. A person's reason or excuse for engaging in the compulsion or behavior is equally frustrating to the outside supporter regardless of the disorder, but yet it is less of a social stigma if someone with OCD engages in a compulsion than it is if someone with an eating disorder engages in an act of starvation. Reasons are accepted with OCD by the mere nature of the disorder, but if someone with anorexia uses the same reason, it is seen as an excuse, something that they are doing on purpose, and an irresponsible choice that was made. Yet an eating disorder is just as much a pathology. So I guess my point to all of this is if you take excuse, reason, choice, and responsibility out of the equation the fact that someone is starving themselves is still a fact. I don't know if i made sense here, but this has baffled me for a long time now. Even if someone knows what they are doing is abnormal, when everything else has been tried and nothing works, can't reasons and excuses be a means of coming to terms with why choice beyond one's control are made?


05-07-2003, 01:49 AM
thanks for clearing that up.

i have a nother one..

PRivacy vs. Secrecy
hm.... future post??

05-07-2003, 07:45 AM
Privacy vs. Secrecy could be a good topic :winky


You assume that someone with OCD has no choices. That couldn't be further from the truth. The method of successfully treating OCD long-term RELIES on the choices the sufferer makes. That is what cognitive behavioral therapy is all about. It's about learning to say "I do not have to give into the obsession (thinking) -- I do not have to act on it (the compulsion)."

And when you are talking about OCD you are also talking apples to oranges. OCD is considered a psycho-neurological disorder -- a neurologist typically diagnoses a child with OCD -- because it is a chemical disturbance in the brain that can actually be seem through a PET scan. That brain chemistry has to be changed, either through medication or through behavioral therapy (or both).

So, by shear fact of biology, your choices are limited.

Eating Disorders are not something diagnosable in a child (and I realize that's open for debate by some people, but typically you do not recognize an Eating Disorder in a young child -- I'm trying not to get off track too much here)... an Eating Disorder is a series of behaviors and coping skills that come up as a result to a series of life events.

Biology MAY play a role for some -- but it doesn't HAVE to develop into an ED. Someone with OCD or clinical depression could just as easily choose (subconsciously or not) the route of alcohol or drug abuse. The point is that addressing ALL the underlying causes for acting on ED behaviors is going to be key to recovery -- if one of those is a biological disorder like OCD, the OCD HAS to be addressed.

Recognizing excuse versus reason is absolutely important. You said "If someone uses excuses to justify why they can't eat aren't they simply just saying I can't eat? Whether it is a reason or excuse it is still the same underlying fact...they can't eat" -- I couldn't disagree more. It's not simply the same underlying fact. Everyone CAN eat... and if for some physical medical REASON they couldn't, they CAN make a choice to still get appropriate substance (ie. feeding tube). Everyone CAN eat. Can't and won't are incredibly important distinctions for the mindset of the sufferer to think about. Accepting responsibility for your life is incredibly important to where your recovery is going to go long-term. An ED isn't an outside force that "just happens" -- it IS something we have control over. Do we make excuses to keep it in place? Do we make excuses to justify the behaviors? And how does that translate into other areas of our lives where we might be making excuses?

I can't point out enough that determining whether you are making an excuse is NOT a reason to beat yourself up. This isn't about self-blame -- it's about self-responsibility. If you make an excuse not to eat, or in your life you make a series of excuses that lead you to binging and purging, how else can you take real control back without asking "how can I change this? How can things be different next time I feel _____?" If we recognize the choices we have (and we ALL have them), we have to recognize that we are often making excuses -- and this isn't self-defeating, it's self-empowering!

It's not about saying "oh, I'm just making excuses"...
It's about saying "oh! I see where I make some excuses, so now I can work on changing them!"

And of course, like I said, that doesn't mean it's just going to come easily. Recovery is hard! This question is hard! But even though an ED may be a fact IN your life, it's not a fact OF your life -- it's not just there. There are REASONS that lead up to having an ED and there are EXCUSES that have facilitated the ED and it's behaviors. It's going to be important to distinguish the two for long-term recovery. But that doesn't mean it "just happens" and you snap out of it. Of course it's hard, and it takes a work and time.

can't reasons and excuses be a means of coming to terms with why choice beyond one's control are made

There are not choices beyond one's control when it comes to ED behaviors (I'm not talking about end-stage where someone has starved themselves to such a malnourished state that they can't think straight... that would obvious be the exception, but in that case, they need nothing short of a hospital). Life happens, and there are EVENTS that happen beyond our control -- how we DEAL with them is within our control. That's what recovery is all about! Thinking about Reasons and Excuses is a way of coming to terms with why you make the choices you do right this moment -- and how you can change those to HEALTHIER choices in the future.

Take care of YOU

05-07-2003, 08:34 AM
Want to offer my opinion on this one.

:wand I CHOOSE recovery
:wand I CHOOSE treatment

:wand I have an eating disorder. I did not choose to have it. I developed it becasue of events in my life and the examples given to me by my parents.

However I do not use my parents inability to communicate as an excuse. I simple choose to fix my own thoughts and emotions, and move on. We all give excuses about why we cannot enter therapy etc. Some of them are genuine. money, insurance etc. but excuses such as i cannot face it and it wont help me this time are excuses. We should all make choices to get help and CHOOSE to get over this.

smf xx

05-07-2003, 10:14 AM
Having read this, yesterday I thought a lot about it...a lot...and started to think about reasons and excuses, it was at the forefront of my mind each time the can't issue came up.

I just wrote this in another post but thought I'd share part of the post here:

THE posts on EXCUSE vs. REASON struck a chord. I hold a wealth of excuses in my vocabulary/most used phrases. Today without even thinking about it, I stopped in my tracks and said to myself "don't give me that crap, don't blame it on x,y,z...long and short of it is that you can't be bothered." I go on and on about how I can't do x,y,z BECAUSE of a,b,c...and spend my life saying that. I guess this really pointed out to me there's differences....changing from "I can't do this because I don't understand it" TO --> "I can do this, I'm just choosing not to understand it by not reading the relevant material and if I tell myself I can't do it, it's an EXCUSE to procrastinate and not face it. I actually sat down and got quite a bit of an important essay done today, and every lil thought of "I can't do this...I should go and do blah blah blah instead" got smacked in the face with "stop making excuses, sit here, do it, and if you don't understand it, you're surrounded by a big enough library of books that something will explain it, there are no excuses, and when you're done, then you can go do blah blah blah!" When I usually would have gone and given up then made some lame excuse, to others but mainly to myself, about why I couldn't do it

I now have a bit more work done than I would have, and that bit more insight into excuses and the realisation of how much I use them. Now I have noticed, I can start to disect my own excuses to make myself more productive, and hopefully, start giving other people less excuses for x,y,z!


Jo x

05-07-2003, 10:27 AM
setmefree said: We all give excuses about why we cannot enter therapy etc. Some of them are genuine. money, insurance etc. but excuses such as i cannot face it and it wont help me this time are excuses.

I just wanted to address this a bit.
Money can be a valid REASON but it's important to make sure you aren't USING it as an excuse.

For example, I could say I can't afford therapy right now. But in reality, there are other areas of my life I could give up in order to be able to afford it, if I choose to make it a priority. I could spend less money on X, or I could move to a cheaper house/apartment, or I could find a cheaper therapist, or I could borrow money from a friend or family member, or I could I could I could. It's important to ask "did I make therapy a priority and explore all my options before I just said 'I don't have the money'".

Not to say at all that people don't have financial situations that prevent them from therapy, but often we MAY use that as an excuse when, with a little more determination to get to therapy, we COULD find the money to get there (or even find a therapist that will work free!)

It makes me think of Tony and the fact he wants a new car. I've said to him "if you quit smoking, we'd have the money for the payment each month right there". He HAS a choice. It may be difficult to quit smoking, but he CAN if he really wants a car bad enough. A lot of times we may use money as an excuse because it's easier and it seems valid. It's just important to really make sure you're not just making excuses.

ShootingStars said: Now I have noticed, I can start to disect my own excuses to make myself more productive, and hopefully, start giving other people less excuses for x,y,z!

Congrats to you!

Remember, I'm not asking you to beat yourself up for making excuses. I'm asking you to do what Jo just did -- think about how it's relevant, and how you might be making excuses -- and how that can impact your own recovery in positive ways!

Take care of YOU

05-07-2003, 11:45 AM
thanks for the clarification. I was interested in this because last night in one of my grad classes we addressed OCD and the comparisons to anorexia and looked at SPECT scans of the brain, which are more amazing than PET scans, to see the areas of non function brain tissue in an array of patients, from heroine addicts, to those with OCD to the effects of malnourishment. Maybe, as you stated, there is more to some people's anorexia than just the anorexia, be it depression or OCD or whatever, that drives the obsessions that lead to the compulsions, or perhaps the modality(ies) of therapy that were tried are not working for that person to combat excuses and needing reasons. Cognitive behavioral therapy has only been shown to reach a limited number of patients with eating disorders and those are the cases that resolve fairly quickly according to the solid research that is published in peer reviewed journals. I wasn't implying that eating disorders are beyond anyones control or that they are just something that happens, I was saying that facts of life are beyond ones control sometimes Thinking about Reasons and Excuses is a way of coming to terms with why you make the choices you do right this moment -- and how you can change those to HEALTHIER choices in the future. I couldn't agree more on this statement, so thank you for putting it in a way that makes sense. According to Adlerian Counseling, the why's behind a behavior are useless to try to determine because the person will not be able to tell you why, so the focus of how to amend the behavior, voids the need for excuses and reasons.

05-08-2003, 11:42 AM

05-10-2003, 01:13 PM

05-11-2003, 05:29 AM
:hugon Amy :hugoff

Thanks for this... has made me think.

I think that understanding the excuse vs reason thing, is so important for us to understand.

Aside from the sufferers, and the therapists, ive found, especially amongst friends, that is it okay to engage in behaviours, if something traumatic has happened.

This, of course, is NOT okay. Ive found myself correcting people, and putting myself in a position where i look like a total bitch.

There was this one situation, where this girl i know got pregnant. She had the babies (twins) aborted because she is still very young, and the doctors said they wouldnt survive. She then confessed to another friend that she had been making herself sick.

That friend said to me ''Well, its hardly surprising thats shes doing that, i mean, shes had such a shitty past.''

True, she has, but i said that her situation wasnt a reason for her hurting herself. Its a responce to the situation, but she could have chosen to call someone, to talk to her counsellor...

Not a lot of people really like me saying things like that. But honesty is often something you dont want to hear.

I think a lot of people seek permission from others to be able to engage in behaviours. I know i have. Because i speak about my past openly to people i trust, they then find it hard to try and stop me ''dealing'' with it, by using the ed. Thats the unhealthy part of me, i know. But i think its very important for us to realise the excuse v reason thing, so we can all learn to take responcibility for *ourselves* and realise that our actions are something we choose to engage in.

Great post, thankyou :love

05-11-2003, 06:55 PM
Mhhhh...I think I just realized that I've been using my lack of insurence and can't pay for therapy as an excuse. In actuality, there are thing that I can do to seek rt help...thanks for the post Sfishy!

04-16-2007, 08:59 AM

OMG I love this post because it is so very true. I find myself saying things that are totally excuses for my behaviors in order to not face the real problem at hand. I think this is a wonderful post for me to read so that I can remind my self of the difference in an excuse and a reason.


03-30-2009, 09:13 PM
March/April bump

06-28-2009, 11:27 PM
i can not use my fear whether it is valid, ptsd, trauma related to stop my recovery. if i do this i perpetuate the abuse that started a long, long time ago. that feels so f'ing harsh but i think it's true.
i don't want excuses, i want full recovery.


07-06-2009, 01:10 PM
Bump for Tigrrr

07-06-2009, 02:00 PM
I can't eat eggs because if I carry them home on the bus they will break.

Peanut butter has sugar in it, and the natural kind is too messy.

I can't cut my bread in half because it makes too many crumbs.

Canned fish smells, and my sink smells afterward.

I can't afford Ensure.

07-11-2009, 10:53 PM
I hope no one minds me putting in my two cents here about "dishonesty":

I think there are times when we genuinely BELIEVE things that are simply not true. For example- "I cannot eat because of X reason (non-medically related; eg, diabetes, intolerance, etc)." In the moment, when say, someone is totally malnourished and just overwhelmed by the ED, one may honestly believe that they "cannot eat." What is important to point out in this situation, however, is that, even if YOU may seriously believe (read: you are not trying to be dishonest with your statement) that it's impossible to eat, you have to LISTEN and TRUST others who have years of training who say you should be eating certain foods for your own health and well-being (as well as growth/progress in recovery). So, to clarify what I'm saying- you might not be actively trying to deceive people by being "dishonest" or "make excuses," but if you do not challenge the disordered thoughts, and refuse to listen to professionals (as well as observe others who are in strong recovery...and in that, GASP, eating!), you are giving in to dishonesty, lies, deception, and excuses.

07-11-2009, 11:11 PM
I can't eat eggs because if I carry them home on the bus they will break.

Peanut butter has sugar in it, and the natural kind is too messy.

I can't cut my bread in half because it makes too many crumbs.

Canned fish smells, and my sink smells afterward.

I can't afford Ensure.

:challenge I hope you won't mind me challenging these conscious or unconscious beliefs/excuses:

+Eggs: I have not been able to use my car before, and walked home with a cardboard carton of eggs in my backpack. It was a very long walk, and they all made it home safely. (I won't mention the distance, for fear of triggering anyone. :gimmehug) Also, you could purchase a carton of Egg Beaters, which are essentially the same thing in a sealed container.

+Peanut Butter: Please ask yourself- why is sugar in peanut butter a problem? If it's GENUINELY a MEDICAL issue, where your doctor has flat-out told you not to consume peanut butter that contains sugar, they have low-sugar peanut butters available. Also, some smaller markets (like Trader Joes and Whole Foods) have actual peanut butter grinders. You say natural PB is "messy"- what makes it messy to you? Is it because of the separation between the two nutrients in the jar? That is easily solved by giving the PB a few good stirs; it's basically like what you have to do with salad dressing (shake it up, whisk it, etc).

+Cutting Bread/Leaving Crumbs: Like the "messy" PB, I am wondering how a little bit of a "mess" harms you? Nothing we do on this planet doesn't ever leave some sort of mark, no matter how hard we try to clean everything up. But when it comes to a little food on the counter or a few crumbs, is there a REAL and VALID reason (outside of anxiety or ED behaviours) why a few crumbs or a "messy" PB will harm you?

+Canned Fish: They now offer tuna fish in packages (not just cans), or you could even buy fresh fish from your market. Also, if fresh fish is too expensive, you could try frozen- that's what I typically buy (frozen shrimp/tilapia) and my husband says it tastes just the same as fresh. (Just to clarify: I have tried fish, to make sure it wasn't just an "ED aversion," and found that I still do not like the taste of seafood.)

+Ensure: They sell generic versions of Ensure at most places you'll find nutritional supplements. Also, if you do a Google search, I'm pretty sure that you can find other foods/drinks/supplements that are nutritionally equivalent or similar to Ensure. Lastly, on the Ensure website (http://www.ensure.com), they are currently doing a promotion (until the thirty-first of December of this year) for both three dollars off a six-pack of Ensure, as well as a full-cost rebate (up to ten dollars) for another six-pack. Check it out!

07-13-2009, 10:55 PM
Moi, I did not mean that seriously. I was giving examples of excuses. Sorry to have confused you.

07-14-2009, 03:02 PM
Ohhhhhhh. Okay. Well, wow... I feel like an idiot now. Blah, I totally wasted an hour of my time. :\

07-21-2009, 07:19 AM
This is such an abstract concept to me. Sometimes an "excuse" is also a reason.

Q: Why didn't you write me?
A: I didn't have time.

Is that an excuse or a reason? It is true, I didn't have time but I could have MADE time. I could have put off doing something else and then my excuse for not doing that would be I didn't have time. My priorities were in such an order that I did not get to writing you. I didn't have time for everything and work, seeing the Dr. and getting my sink and toilet fixed came first in my list of priorities. So is this an excuse or a reason?

Q: Why aren't you putting more into our friendship?
A: I don't know what to say or how to respond to your comments.

Is that an excuse or a reason? I could have responded anyway. I could have sucked up my feelings and just kept trying to communicate in an acceptable way until I discovered what was wanted from the other person. But I chose to let go and soothe my own feelings. Is that an excuse or a reason?

Q: Why did you exercise so much?
A: I was stressed out and it helped to relieve my stress.

Is that an excuse or a reason? I could have tried to find another outlet even though none relieve stress for me the way exercise does. It is true and not a lie. Is it an excuse or a reason?


07-27-2009, 01:00 AM
The examples you give could be both.

I will give you an example my T used regarding excuses and explanations. My mother was abusive and says she was raised by an emotionally abusive mother. That help explains why she bahaved as she did but it does not excuse what she did. She chose not to find another way.

My husband had an affair because he was feeling unneeded in our relationship. That explains why he did what he did but does not excuse the choice he made.

So with your examples: You did not have time to write. That might be a valid explanation, perhaps making time to write meant staying up too late, getting to work late, etc. There could be valid explanations of why someone did not have time to sit down and write, but that person also has to be honest did they choose not to make time, did they choose to browse the Web instead, did they choose to watch tv instead. In this case I would ask what is the honest answer, did the person not have the time or was is simply not a priority?

The relationship thing seems like a bit of a cop out to me, which then would be an excuse. If you are not sure how to respond then the thing to do is have a conversation with this person about how you are feeling, talk about the problem then if you feel it is best to step away from the friendship be honest about that and tell them.

I recently had to do this with a friend and while it is not an easy thing to do it was the right thing to do. Our friendship ended with both of us knowing why.

Why do you exercise so much? If you have an ed and over exercise is part of your problem then the reason you gave is an excuse to remain in behaviors. Yes, it relieves stress but there are other ways to relieve stress. It takes time to learn to use them effectively, it takes a lot of work and willingness not to take the easy way out and exercise, but in the end exercising(or using any ed behavior) is a choice and one could choose another method of coping if one wanted to.

10-15-2009, 10:02 PM
Excuses is something I am a professional at making! Everytime I attempted to gain recovery from my ED I always had excuses in my mind, like what is the point? No one knows, its my own little secret and if someone does know I'll just act like a "normal" person around them and they wont suspect a thing. Or I would justify it as its not really affecting me, since I've been battling this for ******** years its a part of my life and its going to stay that way forever, so I mine as well just accept it. Or I would think to myself if I gained weight no one would want to be with me and people would think I am disgusting. Writing these excuses down and reading them makes it all so absurd in my warped way of thinking. You can make excuses for everything such as its too cold outside to go running or I had a stressful day so that entitles me to binge and purge, its a vicious cycle. I have to remind myself every morning when I wake up what it is I am going to do to day to battle this ED and motivate myself to not make excuses because in all reality excuses is the only way I got myself into this mess anyway, and the disease has affected my life tremendously in more ways then I care to note, therefor the excuses are just voices in your head its the ED speaking to me and its my job to shut them out and keep moving forward.

10-22-2009, 01:30 PM
I need to look at this in order to get the fighting me back.

I can and will fight against anything standing in the way of healthiness and happiness.

11-05-2009, 02:19 PM
I like very much this post.

I always have known, in some way or other, that I werenīt fighting with all my forces against my eating disorder: I simply neglect myself, I get used to eating disorder as a way of avoiding to face the reality ...All problems, all conflicts, I resolved with eating disorder and promising myself: tomorrow I will begin a new life, tomorrow I will resolve this problem and make this decision, tomorrow I will make all in the perfect way...but tomorrow never arrives, because tomorrow is a lie...only now counts and exist...there are not such a miracle of a tomorrow that will bring us the force, the courage, the cleverness, to make all the things good...nor a future of perfect peace...

Now is when we always live...Now I canīt because of...is an excuse...
Tomorrow (I will resolve this tomorrow) is an excuse...
Yesterday is an excuse too (the habit of e.d...).

Now I rather prefer to search and find reasons to fight my eating disorder, than to give in to excuses...
This is a thought I want to remember...

Thank you very much!

11-15-2009, 09:54 PM
bumping this. :winky

11-21-2009, 01:45 PM
Sounds like this has a little to do w/ the whole Free Will vs. Determinism argument. Personally I'm a determinist, but try to live under, what I consider to be, the false assumption that free will exists in order to make moral decisions. Can you tell I haven't fully thought it through? Yeah I need more time lol. But that's the conclusion I've come to do far after months and months of reading and contemplation. I never really connected it with ED thinking, though. This will give me something to think about for the next few hours. Good topic. You can spend a lifetime learning about things like this, and still there is more to learn, so overwhelming haha

11-27-2009, 12:34 PM
:gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug

07-26-2010, 12:10 PM
Well in my experience....modern reasons are always excuses...I have never found anyone telling one sensible reason and not telling ten excuses before it...

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