A Glimpse of the Past and a Nod to the Future
We're working hard here to pull our house together (cleaning, painting, fixing, plumbing, dusting, vacuuming, etc); today the plumber came to fix the hot water running to one of our showers. In order for the necessary pipes to be accessible mum took everything out of my closet and heaped it on my bed while I was at work. As I was neatly putting things back in the closet earlier I found my first "food journal." I opened it and read through meal plan after meal plan that called for so many snacks each day I nearly lost count; many of the early plans were no even in my hand writing - each night Super Mum and I would sit down and map out the coming day, she'd even write it down for me if that lessened my fear. What really struck me about this little glimpse back into the darkness of the past few years was not the volume of food I was asked to consume or the dorky comments I scribbled down between ED and myself, it was instead the remarkable distance that separates me from that notebook. I have some very rough days, but a meal plan no longer has the power to determine my value as a human being. ED still yammers constantly, but I don't have to listen or even respond, I'm able to ignore the demon on occasion. I don't look for ways to avoid or delay each meal. After all, look where a failure to eat regularly got me - sentenced to chronic stomach problems and an inability to digest some of the kitchen's greatest treasures (bread for example). Just thinking about how far I've come makes me want to end each of these sentences with an exclamation point.
Of course, my enthusiasm is somewhat guarded. Could I fall prey to ED again? Sure, if I found myself with precisely the right set of stressors, I may fall back onto these destructive habits. But it is equally important to note that I have spent the better part of two years now developing and concretizing new, healthier and more functional habits.