So there I was ordering a cup of coffee before getting my nails done because it was really cold today here (and I hate the cold), when the lady asked me if she could put in the half and half for me.
I asked her if she just had milk, not creamer, and that it would be totally fine for me to do it myself.
There was no milk; only cream (it was a small boba smoothie shop known for smoothies, not for coffee).
Creamer is a huge “not safe” food for me, and it would be the ultimate rule to break on my list of food rule that still exist.
For people with eating disorders, I am sure you can already feel the anxiety build in you as you read this. For those readers who don’t have an eating disorder, let me explain how this feels.
It’s like when you drive to work on your usual route, only to come to your freeway exit and it’s closed for construction and now you have to make a quick decision as to what detour to take. You don’t know which is the fastest way, or if you’ll even make it on time now, but either way, your stuck.
This was me and the coffee place. OK, so there was only cream. I probably stood there like a deer in headlights thinking of what to do for a good five minutes.
The lady probably thought she offended me or something.
Do I walk out?
Do I drink it plain (which for me is not tasty
)Or do I just drink it with the cream?
So, I added the cream.
Also, let me add, that there are no measuring spoons at a coffee shop, so you don’t know how much your adding.
Woah, talk about disobeying Ed.
I sat with the coffee for a while when I was getting my nails done, and I tasted it really slowly.
It was delicious yet at the same time it was so uncomfortable, almost as if I was sinning in secrecy in front of all these people at the nail salon and no one even knew. Like I was committing a crime in front of their faces and they didn’t even see it.
I forced myself to drink that coffee, even if it meant being uncomfortable, because I know that change only comes from action. To throw the coffee away would not be action, it would be escape. I don’t need any more escapes from Ed.
There is a time and a place for everything in recovery, and I am the first one to say to take our time to break our Ed rules, and each person has their own path.
But today, I knew inside myself, I was ready and needed to break this rule.
E just got done telling me yesterday that recovery is literally like re-learning how to live. It’s like teaching a baby how to walk. And she was so right.In recovery, we have to re-learn everything.
We have to re-learn the basics like eating and resting our bodies.
We have to learn how to socialize again, we have to re-learn how to not be afraid of food.
But we also have to re-learn the things that seem so remedial and small to others without an eating disorder, such as ordering coffee at a coffee shop; such as getting dressed in the morning and not doing body checks and such as learning how to choose a restaurant to meet someone for lunch.
Isn’t it kind of crazy how recovery works?
I have learned to live without a scale, my most prized possession, for 8 months now, and one of my most uncomfortable and scariest moments in recovery so far has been re-learning how to order a coffee with cream at a coffee shop?
And I don’t just mean to write about the food part-I mean to say that we are re-learning how to live our entire lives.
I have thought about this all day, and I’ve decided that I can either look at that in one of two ways:
One: Oh my God, how annoying, frustrating and terrifying that I need to re-learn how to live all over again, and even re-learn how to order something as small as a coffee.
Two: How lucky am I that I get a chance to re-learn how to live my life in freedom; how lucky am I that I get to re-learn how to live my life for me, on my terms and my standards, not Ed’s or someone else’s. How lucky am I that I get to create new norms for myself, such as even ordering a latte one day, not just coffee.
Choice one is easier, as those emotions tend to be more natural.
But choice two, while it’s so much harder and uncomfortable and scarier, is what will make this process of recovery turn into a journey as opposed to just “something” I have to go through.
So, choice two is my choice.
Here is to the journey of re-learning how to live my life my way, not Ed’s way.