Maybe it’s my 30th birthday looming, maybe it’s my second anniversary from being discharged from residential treatment, or maybe it was the kind note that I received from an old friend. Whatever the reason, I have been preoccupied with the progress I have made in the past two years.
I’m bragging. But as I was eating a block of cheese for lunch (don’t worry, I had more than just a block of cheese) I was struck by the thought “I LOVE CHEESE!” which led me to “I just proclaimed love for a food and meant it” which evolved into “I love a fatty, high calorie food”. Ah, progress.
I can’t tell you how long it took me to understand and accept that fat is not bad. A few years ago, I had managed to cut all fat out of my diet (unless in the presence of others, but food pressure is another topic for another day). My fear of fat was so great (and my gut was SO mad at me for my antics) that upon eating fat, or what I considered to be “fatty”, my face would redden, stomach cramp, heart race, and head pound. No lies. Not hard to see why I chose to just eliminate it.
It’s taken a while to get to this point. Not until recently was I comfortable talking about the fat content of food without freaking out. It’s not logical. I know the science, but the eating disorder voice in my head does care about science. It has its own rules: the rules repeated to me in a voice I work hard to ignore.
I’m not looking for pity; pity is the last thing I ever wanted. It’s reaffirming to write about my struggles, because it reminds me where I am, and where I’ve been. I used to think I would be trapped in my personal hell forever. That was so, so, untrue. I was and am so lucky to have people in my life encouraging me all the way. Making up for what I lacked in confidence with their kind words and sometimes silent support. I hope that everyone who suffers from similar issues, or their own version of difficulties has people in their life encouraging them not to accept defeat.
We’ve all had low, difficult times in our lives. I think it’s an important part of life; otherwise, how would we know what we are capable of?