Sunday, November 30, 2008

I am, at times, so sensitive and raw and open to the subtlest things. I am laying on the couch after a day of writing a final, sitting inside a Starbucks while the rain poured down the windows. I emailed a professor to ask if it was okay that my final was 1 page over the 8 page limit. Given that I am a good student and that it was a page over and not a page under, I felt safe in the assumption that It was fine.
I got an email back saying that I would be allowed to turn it in that way, but If the rest of the class stuck to the page requirements, then I would be marked down.

I cried.

Moral of the story? I dont know... that crying is a great coping mechanism? That chosing to take care of yourself makes many of us sensitive?

Moving on..

Thanksgiving is generally a difficult holiday for anybody with food problems or in recovery, but this year was a bit insane for me. I had my almost 40 year old cousin staying with me. My roomate and I had decided to cook a whole Thanksgiving dinner and so, eventhough I hadnt seen her in 6 years, as the only other member of my small family on the east coast, I invited my cousin up to NYC.
I knew she cared about her figure, but I didnt realize just HOW disordered her eating was. If I had, I probably wouldnt have invited her.
From our first meal where she picked at a bagel, to our Thanksgiving dinner where she spoke about alcohol calories and carbohydrate calories and how they werent worth it, to the quick 1 mile power walk after thanksgiving dinner, to deciding to eat pie, only after I agreed to go to the gym the next morning, to then not eating until 4:30 the next day. I mentioned I was hungry and she said "Didnt you have that protein bar?" .... Well yes, I had one before we worked out at 11:30...
To then not eating dinner that night (I did....she didnt... I ate leftovers in bed... while she spoke about how annoying it was to hear people eat...)
To saying that the candy we ate ruined our workout and our walking.
To last night where she asked me what "that lump of sugar and butter" I was eating was (It was a crossiont, which I ate because I wasnt eating enough during the day.
She was also insanely judgemental of other people.

SO it was a hard weekend, but mostly it was just plain annoying!
At first, I had a complete body image breakdown, wanted to avoid Thanksgiving dinner and go to the gym, but I stayed and I ate and I made a conscious decision to pay attention to my own needs and followthrough. Ultimately, I could have run from them, but in the past, that has only led me down a road to miserable land and my body doesnt change much anyway.
I stayed with myself, I payed attention to my own needs and love for myself and focused on, not her body, but her self loathing and inability to love herself and care for her body and spirit and it got me through with more self love and strength than I had before.
Not to say it wasnt hard. I have some anatomical issues that are made worse by stress and anxiety that were flaring up a bit, making it really difficult to eat and digest food without it coming back up. There were two occasions where the food wasnt going to go down. While in the past, I have let this turn into purging or kind of binging and purging, I let it happen, then when I could, I ate more. I didnt want to feel like I was starting an ED cycle again.

So today, after she left... I am feeling a little raw.. a little sensitive... but cared for, loved and tender


Tiptoe said...

I've had times when my papers went over the page limit as well, and profs marked off. It makes you feel like quantity versus quality matters sometimes. Glad you didn't let it get you down too much. Crying is okay.

As for Thanksgiving, first, I'm glad you got through it. It is tough when you are trying to recover and have someone else who is very disordered sharing a meal with you. There is such an awkward/annoying feeling.

The best thing from this is that you took care of yourself and did not allow it to turn into a bad Ed scenario. Be proud of yourself for that. All moments like these count.

Catherine said...

It sounds like your guest has quite a few problems of her own, but that doesn't give her an excuse to be rude; she had no right to comment on what you, or anyone else, ate.
That said, it seems like you handled it well by not letting her affect you to much. It's understandable to be a bit jarred, but I'm glad you're moving through it.
P.S: I'm sorry about that weird text in response to your very friendly one. I was feeling kind of lonely that day.

Catherine said...

*too...I hate typos

Kim said...

Wow, that's a rough holiday. The fact that you got through it (brilliantly, I'd say) speaks to your recovery :) I still feel so angry being around people with disordered eating. It's so hard to just focus on my own needs and ignore everyone else, but I think doing so is a HUGE part of getting better.

Kaz said...

Wow...I would say that yes, that would be hard to deal with. You rock my dear for making it through.

I want to thank you...for last night. Especially since things for you weren't exactly grand. You are wonderful and I love you!