4 a.m. stomach growling
Restless sleep and haunting dreams
Sleep to deny, sleep to forget
Rub your eyes, sunshine
Tapping fingers with golden rings
Feet twitch impatiently
Pull out the phone
Curious eyes glance at the clock
Is it time?
Minutes pass at a snails pace
Mouth stale with last nights slumber
Chewing gum, washing mouth
More minutes pass
Peek at labels
Wonder at everyone around you eating so freely
Cry in frustration
Finish reading the book
Wash the dishes
Organize papers, straighten shelves
Sip on coffee
Finally, it’s “time” and yet still, you at not satisfied
This is a post to help illustrate how fraught with tension meals and eating can be. They don’t come naturally to most with an eating disorder. There is always the apprehension, the anxiety.
Food becomes more than fuel, or even a source of enjoyment or energy.
Over a short period of time, I went from a “normal ” teenage girl who would compete against her brother to see how many pieces of pizza she could eat,(it was 7 by the way, and I won) to agonizing over the thought of eating even one bite of pizza.
In the process of working towards recovery, I have made strides toward calmer meal times. I no longer compulsively ask my husband what we are eating that day, I no longer have to know in advance what restaurant I might visit for dinner. Letting even those “small” things go has been so freeing.
It has been a struggle to know what is best when confronting a meal. In this age of always being busy, it’s so easy to rely on autopilot. Checking email, reading a magazine, listening to a podcast. All so called “distractions” but some days that is what it takes to get through a meal. Is this avoiding feelings? Running from thoughts?
Personally, I think you need to know what feels best. I love reading, so why should I deprive myself the privilege of consuming words as well as nourishment? I do think there needs to be balance though. Find what works for you, and allow yourself enjoyment (I’m writing this for myself as much as for all of you).