I spoke about you for the very first time in an Overeaters Anonymous meeting this morning. It was nerve-wracking (you like to keep our relationship a dirty little secret), but I felt ready to stretch that comfort zone. This was my third meeting. Before today, I had just listened in, and today, I made the choice to share. I was the last one to talk, and it to be honest, I barely remember what I said. Mostly just some ramblings about the holidays and how I am trying to take this recovery day-by-day and avoid dwelling (and becoming extremely anxious) over future events.
Either way, it was liberating to share. I received an overwhelming wave of support (which I know you hate), and i did not realize how much this positive outpour would affect me. I have been in high spirits all day!
Promptly afterwards, I ate pancakes. Yep. Hypocritical? Nope.
We cooked pancakes as part of a contribution for a work event. I wanted to join. Since I was a child, pancakes have been one of my favorite foods. Unfortunately, Bee, with your conniving ways, you made them a fear food for me. Oh, you’re eating THOSE for breakfast? Great, that gives you logical reasoning to consume an entire sleeve of cookies later!! And after that, we can enjoy pizza, crackers, brownies, whatever you want. All because you ate pancakes. But don’t worry…I promise to leave you alone tomorrow.
Anyway, today, I ate pancakes with real butter and real syrup, and you were NOT there to interrupt it. Did I physically need pancakes? No. Did I overeat? No. Did I enjoy quality time with coworkers and staff? Definitely. I ate my food, threw away my plate, and enjoyed the conversation. I did not think about my eating disorder once (I know that sounds inconceivable, but it is the absolute truth!).
Seriously, I have lost so many potential conversations, enjoyment, and festivities due to my OBSESSION with you! It feels so good to enter back into the world I turned my back against.
I also had my therapy session today, which has been an essential component in my healing process. I am in graduate school to become a therapist, so personal psychotherapy is mandatory. Still, being “on the other side” of the couch has been strangely challenging for me. Bee, you like to keep me secretive and you like to put a fake smile on my face. I struggle with truly expressing my pain and raw, authentic feelings. I fear being judged. I fear disappointing others and not holding up to my “perfectionist” standard. My therapist knows this and understands. We often discuss the importance of “letting go” of control (in everything in life) and my terrible sense of shame regarding my eating disorder. Shame kept me isolated and afraid to open up to others. Shame made me believe I was a bad and weak-minded person. Shame kept us best friends.
I am grateful for her guidance and nurture. Every week, it becomes easier to express myself and to slowly take down my walls brick-by-brick and reveal my true colors, whatever they may be that week. Being candid and so honest with others is hard; the rigidity and control surrounding eating disorders diminish that spontaneity.
This evening ended with another yoga class, baking for a work holiday party (This was not even triggering. Bee, are you hiding or WHAT?! I am in a house FULL of candy, cookies, and brownies, and I have barely touched any of it), and a movie night with some friends.
Stop holding on to what hurts and make room for what feels good.
Well, you hurt me. So, don’t forget to close the door on your way out of my life! 🙂