How do I stop attaching a moral value to food?
How do people just eat?
I stared at my nutrition shake for what felt like forever. I couldn’t do it. I felt that if I just pour it into a coffee mug then it would be easier to drink. Simple right? An expensive nutrition shake cannot be wasted that easily. What was easy just three weeks ago is now a mountain I cannot climb. I put it back in the fridge and walked back to my desk completely defeated and empty. I had nothing left in me and I mean nothing. I left work early because I just didn’t have anything left to give. I drove home in a flood of tears. What happened? How did it become so severe again? Where did I go wrong?
Today is a new day and I am going to fight like hell to give my body the energy and nutrition it so desperately needs. I did it! I ate my morning bowl of cereal. I am current fixated on Frosted Shredded Wheat. I poured that into the bowl and added the almond milk. Though it took time I was able to finish the whole bowl. Success for me. I did it. I fought back!! However, I start to feel that draining of my energy so I pop in both of my headphones and fall into Hillsong United’s 100 billion times, Know You Will, and Another In The Fire. As I fill my ears and heart with worship music and feeling the chills that these songs bring gave me the energy to keep pushing forward.
I let my guard down. I felt like I had a positive grip on fighting for recovery today. I took a walk on the treadmill at lunch. I had brought my computer to work so I could work on this blog. Needless to say that’s when I lost my grip. I added up every single calorie. I calculated the in and out. Since my FitBit took a crap I’m back to handwritten math. By the time I came back from the gym I knew I had to fight again. I have to keep fighting because I am worth so much more than this. I deserve to live a life that doesn’t revolve around numbers, food, exercise, and so forth. Yet, I caved. I forced myself after what felt like an hour to drink my nutrition shake, which had been in my line of sight this whole time. So I didn’t listen to her. I got a coffee mug and poured my chocolate Orgain shake into the cup. I took the first two sips. I did it! I am winning again.
Unfortunately, my brain had other things already set in motion. After successfully fighting her and drinking my shake a bit I put it to the side so I could keep working. That was all it took. As they say, out of sight out of mind. Though I could still clearly see it, I was immersed in my work that it became an after thought. I checked the clock as I was nearing the end of the day only to my horror that I still had a mug full. I broke. I tried to hold it in. I tried. But the first tear fell and a wave of anger and panic hit me. How could something so damn easy as drinking something I have been drinking for the last two years, albeit, begrudgingly for a solid eight months? Why am I different in that three weeks ago I would just open the cardboard like material box and drink the shake as if it were nothing? Fully acknowledging the nutrition I was getting through the shake that I wasn’t getting elsewhere. I lost that victory that I thought I had gained.
As I sit here I want to know how it feels to not have a voice, your very own voice, dictate a nonsensical moral value in regards to what you eat and how your existence in this world is meant for you to be tiny. I want to know what it is like to look at food as fuel and not a death sentence. If I continue to let her win I will die. Ana is literally the deadliest mental illness. It beats out Bipolar and Schizophrenia. An eating disorder, anorexia, is the deadliest mental illness.
I need to take my power back. Linda’s power, not Ana’s. Something so simple caused me so much paralysing fear that almost drove me to ask someone else to open the shake and to pour it into the mug henceforth not being able to back out of drinking it. You get 4 shakes for $9-10 dollars. That’s a lot to just pour down the drain. But I did it. I ended the day with the mug completely empty. I won.
Now as I close, can we leave some ways to combat the panic and fear surround meals or snacks? Let us know what has helped you. I want to be able to build a solid toolbox that me or you can reach into that can guide us in our recovery. Our ED thrives in secrets and hopefully with these honest posts we can each reach out to each other as we work to put ED behind us. I don’t believe in a full recovery in the matter that this will go away forever and that I won’t fall again into old behaviours that can lead me to where I am today. I do believe that as long as I choose to be transparent with my struggle and I ask for support that I can be I can reach a recovery where I will be without behaviours and without these chains that are holding me today.
Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow will be a successful day. Let’s do this!!