So, I’ve been incredibly slack on the blogging front lately, oops. I have a fairly reasonable excuse though – I was backpacking around Southeast Asia, and absolutely loving life.
I predicted before leaving that this trip was coming at a good time, and I think I was right. That month away from normal life – therapy, appointments, work, stress – and (mostly) away from my thoughts was an all-too-welcome break. At home, being in my head, and being the uptight, worrying, control freak that I am is exhausting. In Asia, there’s not a whole lot that I can control; nothing is going to go perfectly according to plan, so I’m forced to give up the idea of having everything my way, and just go with it. And I think that was a really good thing to have to adjust to. If only I could bring that kind of go-with-the-flow attitude to normal life, I’d have it all figured out.
Food-wise and anxiety-wise, I’m pleased with how I handled the trip. As I know from experience, it’s easy to let Ed take control and ruin a holiday. This time around, I didn’t let him rule the roost. He still yelled at me occasionally for a “bad” choice, but I made the food choices, not Ed.
At some point, the wonderful shift from “this has a lot of fat in it” to “this is just lunch – eat it” happened in my brain. I guess it’s a darn good thing it did, or I’d have spent my entire vacation beating myself up over my last meal. With everything fried or in sauce or unrecognizable, and in huge portions, there really weren’t many (or any?) menu options that Ed would deem okay. Since not eating obviously wasn’t an option, I just had to suck it up, and eat what was available, regardless of how Ed felt about that. And it got easier! For the first time in a long time, food was just food, and there wasn’t an ongoing tally of fat grams and calories consumed! Definitely a nice change, and a welcome vacation from the crazy part of my mind.
It’s harder at home, with nutrition labels on everything, but I’m trying to maintain the “food is just food” mindset. Seriously – what I eat at one meal is not going to shift the entire universe, so why stress myself out about it? I’m really starting to see the irrationality in my eating disorder.
With this change comes even more changes. I’ve been considering it for a while, but I’ve decided to hold off on my therapy and treatment at Hope. By no means does that mean taking a break from recovery – I’m feeling more than ever that recovery and a “normal” life is possible. On holiday I felt like I was doing a pretty good job of being a normal person, and I want to try and continue that. When I returned to Hope for the first time after coming home, I didn’t feel right being there. Everyone there seemed so wrapped up in eating disorder/recovery world, and I want to step away from that. I don’t want my world to revolve around being the girl in therapy.
So, on a trial basis, I’m taking a step away from the program for a bit, and seeing how well I can manage life on my own. I still want to challenge myself with fear foods, and gaining weight, and squashing the Ed thoughts. I just don’t want to spend my entire Wednesday every week talking about eating disorders anymore.
I feel good about my decision. Even if it’s out of stubbornness (I can’t mess up and let Ed take over as soon as I stop going to therapy), I’m going to fight this, and no matter how long it takes, I’m going to beat this stupid illness. I got this.