I got really distracted by chocolate cake today.
It was someone’s birthday at work and it took so much effort to not burst into tears in the middle of my meeting because I knew there was no way I was ever going to let myself have any. I just sat there and stared and tried not to stare and then got paranoid that everyone knew I was staring. I couldn’t concentrate or pay attention on the actual agenda. All I could think about was all the reasons why I couldn’t.
“You don’t need it.”
“It will make you gain weight.”
“Something terrible will happen.”
“The world will stop spinning.”
“Everyone will judge you.”
That’s a lot of pressure to put on cake, isn’t it? As far as I’m aware (which I can now understand that I’m not in the same room) chocolate cake has never caused anyone to self implode. It has not been the catalyst of disaster or destruction. It’s just bloody cake and people eat it all the time.
I don’t even remember the last time I had cake.
Usually it doesn’t bother me but for some reason it rattled me this afternoon. I’m trying to figure out why. I don’t think it was the actual cake though but rather what it symbolised. To have been able to eat the cake, to have done so because I wanted to and for no other reason is still such a strange concept. It reminds me how much control I don’t have but at the same time feel that I need to have. I worry that it is always going to be that way. It was just another example of me seeing no because I didn’t feel like I had the right to say yes. Thinking about it now it makes me so angry but also sad. I did this or Anorexia did this and maybe they’re the same thing but either way the outcome is still the same. I’m still trying to suppress and deny something.
However I also think that the fact that it had such an impact on me is probably a good thing. It could mean that as I fight against the Anorexia something inside of me is beginning to waken up. For such a long time I would not even allow my brain to go that place in which it even registered that there were foods that existed beyond what I felt safe. I stopped craving or wanting anything a long time ago and although that started to lift a little in treatment I didn’t let it in fully. I didn’t want to want. So I didn’t. Now as I start to consider recovery seriously as something I want whole heartedly and not because that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, the wants are starting to come back.
So it’s not that I want the cake as such, it’s that I want the choice to have the cake if it is what I wanted. Does that make sense?
It’s unsettling and terrifying and exactly what needs to happen.
Food though has been generally better this week though.
Mentally it’s screwing with me a lot but I’m trying not to let that alter my actions. It’s hard to push through when your mind is screaming at you not to. I did my second challenge on Sunday night which was far more of a challenge then it was supposed to be. My sister had invited the family round for dinner and my Mum of course had accepted on behalf of me too and told me that’s what we were doing. I didn’t particularly want to go. My anxiety was driving me crazy and all I wanted was to create this little quiet cocoon in which I could process all the emotions that had been bouncing round inside of me. That clearly was not going to happen but I consoled myself with the fact that my Sister only made one dish when we went round and it had become something that I could handle. Except she wasn’t making that dish. She called an hour before I was due to go round and told me she was making something else and Mum had known and would I be ok?
What I could say? “No!”
“Make me what you were supposed to be making”
“I don’t want to come”
OF course I told her I’d be fine but there were compromises…so I had an altered dish which was still terrifying but minus certain ingredients that I couldn’t quite cope with. So I had sort of a variation on the original challenge I had planned and even though I wasn’t expecting it I did get through it. I am proud of it but at the same time I’m getting side tracked by the frustration that I’m feeling with other people’s input into my diet and them making my dinner arrangements. I think I need to have another conversation with my Mother about how much I need structure right now so this changing things up (which is currently happening every other day) is not doing me any good.
As you can see I’m getting tired of this battle now. I want it to be over. I want to not give a shit about what I eat or when I eat. Right now I’m trying to hold on to all the little changes that I’ve made because when I think about the big picture then it makes me kind of miserable and wants to say screw it to it all. Maybe that’s how I need to rebuild myself…in pieces and little changes.
I hope you are being good to yourselves.