Things are proving to remain difficult, anxiety inducing, and extremely tough. I am depressed, scared, anxious, sometimes hopeless, and am most definitely frustrated, angry, but also determined and stubborn. Now that it’s summer time, there’s a lot that I feel I’m missing out on. Going to the beach, drinking beer, going for ice cream, partying, Barbeques, being around people. It’s all controlled and restricted by schedules, eating regimens, and fear. I know it sounds silly, but I would probably give my left arm to be able to be all like “hey, let’s go grab an ice cream after supper!”. I mean, many of you are probably like “Yo, Heather, you eat like a horse and work out a whole bunch. I eat ice cream all the time, fucking go for it, bro!” This is all well and good, and to be honest, I could probably force the ice cream down my throat. However, the guilt, shame, and fear that would follow because of taking that action would make the whole experience not worth it, and probably trigger a relapse. This is why relinquishing my constant meal planning, meal prep, and the painstaking hours it takes to plan every morsel that passes my lips is so important. Not having to count, not having to plan, not having to measure, it will open up a whole new world for me that is going to be a big step in reclaiming myself, and being a “normal” 22 year old who can go to a BBQ with friends and choose what she wants to eat without guilt! I know I mention often that ED isn’t all about food, but about underlying issues and control within the person suffering. Because so often celebration and fun revolves around food and drink, it would be nice to be able to participate in that shit like I used to (without the fear of becoming a gelatinous blob overnight, or being unable to control myself. By giving into what I WANT I am relinquishing ED. ED doesn’t like that, so he’s trying to keep a strangle hold on me).
This is all a work in progress. It is very slow and deliberate and is going to take some time, but with the help of my support team, and my psychologist, we have developed a plan that will eventually allow me to not have to plan my meals and snacks, so I can eat what I want, when I want, without giving two sweet fucks whether or not it’s “allowed” or “safe” food. We are taking the controlling, OCD parts of this disorder and using to my benefit, letting go of control while still having control. We started by taking one food item in my day (of my choosing) and NOT measuring it. No weighing just put the portion on your plate and eat it. It can be really scary, but because the meal has been planned, and I’m measuring every other aspect of the meal I still feel as if I am in control, and that shuts ED up. This week (starting today) we’ve moved on to not measuring two items in my day. While I was doing my food prep last night I chose a part of my lunch and a part of my dinner that would not be weighed or measured. It’s all portioned out in the fridge, and I know that I don’t know how much is there. But hey, this is a step forward. It causes anxiety for sure, but by doing this eventually I won’t have to measure entire meals. Someday that will allow me to be able to eat at say, a restaurant, or at a family dinner where I will be able to choose how much I want to eat because that’s how much I want to eat. It’s going to take a while, and it’s a fuck tonne of work, but I’m ready. Last night I didn’t measure the fish that I ate!! This is a big deal. I don’t know what the anxieties are surrounding the weighing of meat, but it was one of the food items in my day I had been avoiding going under the chopping block. Last night, I did it. I think I took a little bit more than I normally would, but hey, I’ll never know. And I’m no bigger or smaller than I was yesterday. Not measuring the fish didn’t kill me (surprise surprise). My long term goal is to be able to be well enough by Thanksgiving to have a REAL thanksgiving dinner with my family, with all of the trimmings (including dessert)! I hope I can do it… I’m working so hard at this, and I want it to pay off. I want to feel free, and enjoying celebrations with my family is a big part of that.
In other news, I have been doing a lot of art work lately. I think I own art again. I only get a little nervous when I sit down in front of the canvas or take charcoal in my hands. ED is losing that battle. My next step is clay, and then I want to take music back. I miss the fuck out of my guitar. When I pick it up, it doesn’t feel like my baby anymore, and that hurts. So that’s next up.
I’m doing a lot of running. The Road Race is next month, and I recently ran my best time on July first. I ran 3 miles, or 5 kilometers in 27 minutes and 30 seconds! I felt like a million bucks!! In May I was running a 36 minute outdoor 5 kilometers, so I have come a very long way. As I’ve said before, exercise is really important to me, as it encourages me to nourish my body so that I have the proper fuel to do all of the activity I do as well as make my body strong and restore my weight at the same time (which is happening slowly, but surely).
This past weekend I went to my cabin in Margaree for the evening. I’ve been avoiding it, I will admit. The reason behind this is that throughout my entire life, Maragree has been a safe haven, a place where I grew up, a fun, happy place…The only place that hasn’t been touched by my eating disorder. I was scared that by going there I would ruin it for myself. Well, after meticulous planning, endless food prep (I’m not travel friendly, and should probably buy shares in Tupperware companies because of this) I took the plunge. It’s nerve wracking. The cabin is a place where people just drop in – not being able to eat in front of those I don’t feel safe eating in front of becomes an issue here. It’s also a high traffic zone and a very small space, so I feel as if there is no real “safe” zone there. After a gigantic meltdown on Sunday when I arrived, things ended up turning out pretty well. I ran my best time the following morning (and discovered that running in the country is the best things since sliced fucking bread), visited with family members (even prepared a meal while my cousin and his kids were visiting) and (get this) had a fucking Barbeque dinner with the Mama and Harv which included eating corn on the cob for the first time in two years. I even cooked the frigger in the same pot as everyone else’s food (which is a big deal), didn’t weigh the piece of corn I chose and even used fucking butter (as opposed to regular butter) while eating the damned thing! BUTTER! And it was awesome.
After that whole ordeal I have decided Margaree is pretty OK. It will have its challenges, and is going to be a high anxiety spot for a while, but it’ll get me used to exposure to people and food again and allows me to go off the grid for a few days (there is no cell service or internet at my cabin). I’m going back this weekend, Saturday night until Monday night. Harv and I even planned a Hiking trip for Sunday afternoon!! We’re going to pack a picnic lunch and go to Egypt Falls. I’ll take pictures, it’s fucking beautiful there.
Now, everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows let me remind you. I have a lot of bad days. In fact, most of my days are difficult to get through, involve tears, yelling, and a lot of self-loathing. I’m dreading Thursday, as the Mama and I are going shopping for some summer clothes and a bathing suit. I’m finding myself spending a lot of time longing for normalcy, for a fun summer that I know I’m not going to have completely, and just… Happiness. It’ll come, yeah, but as the running theme states:
It’s a work in progress.
Keep being Awesome, and as always, thank you for reading, following on Twitter, commenting and for the continual and unwavering support.