Food in the Vaults at Oxford which is a little cafe in the vaults of the university church.
Having an eating disorder can make enjoying food challenging. However, my illness does not totally eliminate my ability to experience and judge tastes. As I grow in recovery, one of the challenges has been eating things that I enjoy and knowing how to manage the desire to consume more of them.
Slowly, my taste buds have been telling me what they prefer and what is not as good. This process is a bit exciting but frightening too. Here are some of the foods whose taste I am thankful for but a bit frightened of consuming.
Women can quickly begin to talk about weight even beautiful ones. My classmates in Oxford were a great exception for the most part which is part of what made the trip great.
As a teenager, I never engaged in “fat talk.” My friends complained about their weight and claimed to be the largest in the room. Meanwhile, I sat slumped in the corner, wishing to disappear. What were they thinking, these girls who were at least three times tinier than me? They thought they were fat? What did that make me?
Now that I have lost weight, you would think that this type of talk would be less triggering. At least it would make sense for me to not engage with it just like I did previously. Instead, I find myself struggling not to complain about my body or vent the deep shame for taking up space.
“Eat more often.” “Don’t have anything with sugar.” “Put on some makeup.” “Stop caring about what you look like.”
Sometimes, the voices of everyone and everything around me are so overwhelming. Listening to them all and obeying them becomes a constant chore. Like a puppet, I move my arms and walk through life attached to the strings of others. If only the scissors that I tried to use to free myself were healthier coping mechanisms.
Some days are just great. Mario seems to be yelling that.
Activities crammed into this day, but I am left feeling very blessed and refreshed. Sure, exhaustion has crept in by now. However, my overall mood has risen throughout the day instead of sunken.
First of all, I had three doctor appointments. All were uneventful although a bit nerve-wracking. Most difficult mentally and emotionally, my bone scan to look for osteoporosis happened. It ended up being far less frightening or overwhelming than I had expected. The result still seems momentous. That will simply need to be addressed when I have the information.
Here is a poem that I wrote one day. It is not polished but came straight from my heart. Hopefully it will touch you and move you to think. The themes are a bit morbid, I know. However, that is not always a bad thing. There is great suffering in our world, and we should admit that. Then we can strive to bring about healing.
Soft cats are another touch that I am thankful is in the world.
Biology lab has certain taught me this semester that I am not a kinesthetic learner. All of the information in my head refuses to come out and interact with my experiments. Luckily, our professor lets us work in groups, so others help guide me along throughout the projects.
This turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise. When I mentioned this last minute to my therapist, she correlated it to both my Aspergers and eating disorder. “How does this affect visualizing how much food to have,” she questioned. Eagerly, I told her of my troubles figuring out portion sizes and other tasks because spatial reasoning is so hard for me. After listening carefully, she stated that she would look into different methods to help me with this problem. Having someone from my eating disorder treatment facility work so much to aid me with the struggles Aspergers brings up in my life is amazing. In the past, they have mostly not believed me. This is a great step in the right direction toward recovery.
Anyway, all of that is to say that touch is probably the hardest sense for me. It is frightening and a bit haunting. When people touch me, I tend to pull away although part of me yearns for contact. Certain clothing is difficult to wear, but other fabrics make me so calm. Thus, I am going to discuss those touches that I like despite how overwhelming this sense can be.
The hot air balloon ride that I went on back in September at my church’s festival.
Last June, I blogged my bucket list. For a while, one of my writing ideas was updating this list. So much has happened in the past year. Realizing what I have accomplished and what dreams have been added to my goals is important for me.
Looking back actually made me very inspired and hopeful. I accomplished more than I ever dreamed that I would in the past year and several months. Riding a hot air balloon, going to Oxford, a (short) relationship, returning to theater – it has been a huge year. I look forward to thinking back in 2015 and seeing my progress once again.
Sometimes I feel like this little chinchilla – in need of friendship.
“I love you, Anna Rose.”
Someone said that to me today, and memories flooded back to me. For years, people in theater or other places said this. Although the words were kind, something about that phrase always troubled me. Finally I realized. No one said that to other people. It was a way of stating, “You are different and strange. We are not sure what to do about you, but that is not exactly a bad thing.”
Love was something that set me apart from my peers. Everyone else went to haunted houses, but I was too sensitive to be invited. Others joked crudely with others before biting their tongues when I entered the room. Even some of my dearest friends still treat me differently.