Friday, November 23, 2012

Week 4 of recovery: Thanksgiving and other tragedies

After last week's cry for help, I got a really good response, and I'm really thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life. I may have said this already, but it means a lot for so many people to be reaching out in support.

To that end, this week was a lot better than expected, and about 30 times better than last week. I almost didn't fast/restrict at all, I even ate breakfast several days this past week, (it was pie...), and mostly stuck to my lunch dates with myself, with the exception of Wednesday. 

Wednesday was different because I was up at 6:30 (eating pie at sunrise is kinda nice...) because I was going to a thing I'm going to choose to be cryptic about for the moment. I ate lunch at 11:30, then, and the circumstances of the day ended up with me having dinner after 7. However, we went to my favorite restaurant, and I had some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G food. It was so good, so made by someone's Mexican grandma, and I had just enough liquor in me that my attention to my meal completely blocked out the usual tapes, and I was totally satisfied with my normal-person-with-normal-eating-habits portion. I felt zero need to continue to eat until my stomach hurt, I didn't feel like I had lost control and compulsively cleared my plate (I even left some food on my plate); I didn't feel hungry or unsatisfied in any way, and I felt no guilt. 

I realize that this is all probably kind of confusing for the people reading this who don't have eating disorders. "You're supposed to feel like that when you eat food made by someone's Mexican grandma," you're saying. I know, I hear you, and I get it, I just have pretty much never felt that way (or at least the times that I have felt that way are few and far between). Usually when I have any kind of gourmet meal, I feel somehow unsatisfied because I've not given myself permission to enjoy myself enough, or I feel guilty because I somehow enjoyed myself too much. I'll go "oh wow, this is so good" over lots of things, but rarely will I have a completely peaceful and satisfying eating experience with myself (this is often why I don't usually eat around people I don't know, and really dislike eating alone in public). 

Whisk! Whisk! Whisk! Whisk! Whisk the 
turkey gravyyyyy! 
I rolled a 17 on my Make Gravy check, but
but only a 12 on my Make Turkey check.
Anyway, that bit of peace, (which was helped along by overwhelm and exhaustion in other areas of my life - cryptic again, sorry), rolled over into Thanksgiving so while I did restrict/fast early in the day, I gave myself permission to enjoy as much Thanksgiving food as I wanted. I even made gravy (without makeup on! - I even kinda like this picture). And, for the first time, I was able to help my mother-in-sin with some of the cooking - I don't often get an opportunity to spend quality woman-stuff time with my MIS, and it was nice to kind of kvetch with her about stuff.

I feel like I'm starting to be able to mimic how a normal, non-dieting person eats. I'm trying not to weigh myself or care about it, and while I'm kind of consumed by other thoughts, I'm still a little obsessed over food and weight and all that non-sense. It's a process, and I'm getting better.

Some of the reading I've been doing still makes me feel pretty broken, but I guess it's better than not reading it at all. It's so weird to be reading clinical stories of other people with eating disorders and think "wow, go her". No, that's not weird. It's horrible. She was really sick, I want to tell myself, not heroic. This is some serious shit. The women whose cases have been more severe than mine lost their minds to this, they didn't have better control of themselves or whatever. If anything, my body just really wanted me to continue surviving, so when I tried to force weight off by starving myself, purging, or over-exercising, it refused because my body knew better than my compulsions did. Good for me and my body. Maybe it didn't help the compulsions go away, (or maybe a lack of success did help my symptoms disappear for several years), and it definitely didn't make me less depressed, but at least I never got as sick as some of the people I've been reading about. 

One more note, while I'm thinking about this book:
Daughters who cling to the belief that they are "tragic victims" who can only control their living through food deny themselves the joys and pains of growth and the opportunity to develop competence, self-reliance, and independence. In blaming their mothers, they absolve themselves from personal responsibility and remain locked in the past, paralyzed in the present, and fearful of the future. They do not see their mothers as victims too and fail to understand and appreciate the pain and conflict that molded them.
Emphasis mine.

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