I’ve been living with an eating disorder for a good 18+ years now.
I would consider my recovery in its infancy – this doesn’t give me much expertise but after 5 complete months without my drugs of choice (flour in any of its forms and refined sugar), I’m getting to the point where I’m learning a little bit about how people live who have no compulsion to puke up their In N’ Out. (Though I am having nightmares about accidentally eating a sandwich.)
Here’s some of what I’ve learned so far:
1. Perhaps I am, actually, hungry. When was the last time I ate – and I don’t mean 3 grapes – if it was more than 4 hours ago, it’s possible that I actually need food – and I don’t mean 3 more grapes.
2. Perhaps I am not hungry. When was the last time I ate? If it was less than 3 hours ago and I am annoyed, bored, anxious or trying desperately to numb out some dreaded emotion, it’s possible that I’m not hungry.
3. It’s time to stop noticing public bathrooms that are soundproof and/or single occupancy.
4. Starving actually makes me cranky and unbearable to be around.
5. Binging makes me even more cranky and unbearable to be around.
6. Puking gives me a headache, makes my breath smell and my teeth rot, which makes me, if not unbearable, then definitely unpleasant to be around.
7. "They" are right, breakfast is really the most important meal of the day.
8. Just because I’m home alone does not mean that I have to throw up. I know it feels that way but actually, being home alone means that I can do things that I don’t usually do when Michael’s home – like watch CSI on the big TV or craft all over the living room.
9. Throwing up sometimes does make me feel better – however, other things may make me feel better too – like knitting or skimming the pages of Martha Stewart Living.
10. Eating a real meal is, in fact, going to impair my ability for future binging, and that’s a good thing
11. Obsessing over pictures of 16 year olds in couture in Vogue is far less satisfying as punishment for my failures/motivation than it used to be.
12. In fact, all forms of punishment are less satisfying than they used to be.
13. A sore throat might be the flu, or a cold, or a sore throat.
14. Being in traffic is not the same thing as being starving.
15. Eventually I’m going to have to go back to the dentist. Turn around, face it like someone in recovery and make the damn appointment. Then don’t cancel it.
16. Passing out due to lack of nutrition isn’t proof of my willpower it’s causing my brain to be deprived of oxygen.
17. Cut the damn size tag out and forget about it.
18. Hating what I am doesn’t actually get me any closer to changing what I am.
19. Dreaming that I ate a sandwich is not the same thing as actually eating one. Therefore, no reason to be so angry at myself when I wake up in the morning.
20. Keeping secrets stresses me out and my first impulse when I’m stressed out is…well, you know.
If you’ve never had an eating disorder – feel free to post how you eat as a normal human being.
If you’re eating disordered, please feel free to add your own tricks of the recovery trade – so to speak.
Labels: Body Electric