I used to think celebrations were saved only for occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. When you are in an eating disorder pattern, these type of occasions are more stressful than not. I do not feel like celebrating or rejoicing. I am too worried about losing control over a piece of cake or being knocked off of my rigid eating patterns. I think, stress, anxiety swirling in my mind days prior to the event actually happening. What do I need to pack in my purse to get me through, how long am I going to be there, is there a way to get out of the event? How am I going to bypass the Chex Mix, cookies, cakes all over the table? My mind wonders if I am going to be able to eat my next snack of an apple or fat-free yogurt at my rigid time schedule. Do I have to leave my snacks in the car? I hope they are not getting too hot in the car. Do I need to bring a cooler to hide in my trunk? When can I go grab and eat my little bitty granola bar where no one is watching?
While at the event, I am not living in the present moment. I am trying to smile, answer questions, be engaged, act social, celebrate by signing Happy Birthday, wishing everyone good cheer, but DARN it is exhausting. I keep checking the clock wondering how soon I can safely make an exit. I only want back to my safe haven. The bubble I have created for myself at home, with my food, my schedule, my corner of the couch is the only place I want to be and all I can think about. All the anxiety and dread leading up to the event, the event itself, and then the emotional drain after the celebratory event is over.
LIVING IN A SELF ISOLATED BUBBLE IS NOT A WAY TO LIVE.
Is there a better way to live? I am learning, yes, there is way more to life on the outside of my bubble I am forging a new path. Instead of viewing celebrations as big life moments, I am starting to celebrate small moments. This may be anything from conquering my food fear in the morning by eating before my usual rigid start time or not taking my normal morning walk because it is cold and dark and I really don’t feel like it, or realizing I went 30 minutes without thinking about a calorie, a number on a label or how my stomach feels. These are the moments I am celebrating with self fist pumps and high fives.
THE SMALL MOMENTS MATTER THE MOST IN RECOVERY.
I wish each of you a few small moments to celebrate in your life today. Be sure to give yourself a hug and high-five! I will be giving you a virtual one from afar.
Linking to Amanda for Thinking Out Loud