On this blog, I try to be a mixture of hopeful and honest. Every post attempts to touch others and bring light into the world. At the same time, the writing serves as a coping skill for dealing with my own life. And I desire to have live hopeful but honest about my conditions, dreams, and identity.
The past few days, knowing what to write has been a bit of a struggle. Nagging thoughts that quieted for a short time have overtaken nearly every moment.
“Your stomach is fat. Just pinch it and see,” they shriek every time I attempt to eat. “Just give up. You have no future. What a waste of space!”
It is as if my eating disorder is back with just as much power and spite as two summers ago. I don’t know if I am more disappointed that I feel myself spiraling downward or that I improved so much.
Yet, this lapse does not need to become a collapse. Despite my current agony and the constant battle, hope remains for pulling myself out of this before I leave for Oxford. All of the coping skill that I learned and support around me has not changed. I am in a much better place than even the beginning of this school year. As much as my eating disorder wants me to give up on myself, many people are helping me to succeed and I have more tools to use than previously. Anorexia’s cruel voice and clammy hand will not entrap me without a long fight.
However, that reassurance is difficult to believe in the moment. Perhaps the fact that I will be at home with plenty of food and support from my family after this finals week is a good thing. My eating disorder is furious and thinking of ways to escape, but my rational brain is relieved to be with my parents. Lately, eating outside of my home has grown more difficult. Memories of the beginning of my restriction pop into my head.
Still, I have been blessed rather ironically the past few days. All of my restriction plans keep being foiled unexpectedly. I truly believe that God is taking care of me. Despite my annoyance, this protection has been a bit of a relief.
Yesterday, I worked for 8 1/2 hours straight. This might not sound like a big deal, but I have only worked for 5-hour shifts (at the very most) at the restaurant. For my mother, I ate a small breakfast but secretly looked forward to restricting the rest of the day. Instead, my boss demanded that I order something off of the menu and paid for my meal. Score one against the eating disorder.
Today was even crazier. I met this morning with a wonderful woman to talk about my story. To my surprise, she bought me some salad, a scone, and tea. There went my idea of not eating. After this, my friend met with me to eat that food for dinner (yes I waited to eat it, but I did consume most of it at least even the scary nuts on my salad which I have not done in years!). Rachel, who is an absolute gem, treated me to ice cream. Part of me screamed no, but another part longed to enjoy a treat with a friend.
“Are you sure this is not too much?” I hemmed and hawed.
“This is something to enjoy and that is good! We are having fun together, and that makes this wonderful.” Her simple but sweet reasoning touched me. Pushing aside the beckoning fingers of ED, I agreed to have some ice cream. Score two and three against the eating disorder.
Then, of course, the newspaper staff decided to go to Cold Stone Creamery. You have to be kidding me! How often did I receive free food three times in one day? All of these events were almost impossible to decline. Yet, I would have done so in a heartbeat even a few months ago. Instead, I combated my eating disorder by engaging with others even when that included food. There is the fourth score against my eating disorder in the past two days.
So I am still really struggling and certainly in a worse place than I have been for a while. But it is funny how blessed I have been by foiled plans. How irritating, ironic, and amazing that is.