Yesterday, I wrote about how one of the nanny’s of the girl I tutor made me a really yummy yet heavy and very “not safe” food that I love, and I wrote about having to choose between eating it to make her happy and putting myself in an uncomfortable spot with Ed or saying no to her and letting her down.
Through your comments and e-mails (thank you for both), I have seen that while it was a big step in recovery to put Ed aside to make the nanny happy, I also didn’t have to do that if it meant making me uncomfortable.
Listening to what was comfortable with me at the time also could have worked, and I also could have made the nanny happy by maybe asking to take the food home with me (thank you Sasha for such great advice!)
I am glad with what I did and I am glad I put Ed in front of her, but knowing that the other option of listening to my discomfort would also have been OK for the moment, is something important to acknowledge too.
It’s kind of crazy, because before I even got any comments or e-mails recommending to use that method to approach a situation like that in the future, my mom had told me the same thing right after she read my post.
She had said that it was major that I took that step yesterday and put Ed aside, but that I don’t always have to make others happy, and that it would also have been OK to say no, if I was uncomfortable at that moment.
Of course, we both recognized the ultimate goal in my recovery would be able to sit and eat the food the nanny made me because at the end of the day, I do really love it-but for now, it would also have been OK to honor where my discomfort was at that time.
Anyway, so tonight, my mom made dinner. It was very yummy yet it was something I would never typically eat on a weekday, it would be more of a weekend meal because it was heavier.
I tend to give myself more leeway with food on weekends than on weekdays-a similar pattern I used to have with restricting during the week and binging on Sundays when I was with Ed-and it’s not a pattern I intend to keep, but for now-I follow my meal plan during the weekdays (no restricting), and on weekends, I tend to let myself eat a little more (but no binging).
My mom had told me earlier what she was making and she was totally understanding of the possibility that I might choose to eat something different.
I knew I wouldn’t offend her if I chose to eat something else that was more safe for me, because she even advocated for me to honor those feelings yesterday.
But tonight was different than the situation yesterday.
Tonight, I didn’t want to eat the dinner she made to make her happy.
I wanted to eat it because I actually wanted to-it was something I wanted to do for myself.
It wasn’t a decision that I came to right away and it’s one that I thought about for a few hours in school.
I went back and forth between deciding if to eat her meal or to get my own, and I was left with one memory that is just etched into my mind: the memory of me sitting at a table-any table-whether it be out with friends or at work or with family, with everyone eating something almost the same, and me eating nothing, or me eating my safe food, or in those days, my ed approved foods.
Sometimes, I still need to be that person with her safe food if that’s the place in recovery I am that on that day, and that’s totally fine.
But today, I didn’t want to be her.
I wanted to be the one at the table eating the same thing as everyone else.
How many times I’ve spent being the odd one out eating “my food,” is a number I’ve lost count of and I just didn’t want to add to that today.
So, my mom, my grandma, and my sister and I, sat down to eat dinner together. I don’t remember the last time it was just the four of us.
I sat with them, ate with them, and ate the same food as them—maybe not the same amount as them, but nonetheless, the same food.
Now that right there, was more than a step in recovery.
It was a leap.
And it was a leap because it was a brave act of courage against Ed that I wanted to do-not because I wanted to make someone else happy.
While flying in the air while taking that leap was scary, the momentum and little taste of freedom that came with it, prevailed more than the fear of it.
I am not saying I could take that leap everyday, because I can’t right now.
But I did today.
One day, one leap, one taste of freedom at a time, I am doing recovery.
And that’s really more than I could ever ask for of myself.