So, I just wanted to write a post reflecting on my experience with last night. I was so anxious but really looking forward to it. It sucked that my original plans got changed but it was for a good reason (<3) Abb and Kar make me so so happy and I know that you’re probably sick of me saying that, but honestly they have been by my side through everything. I pushed them the furthest away during the deepest parts of my eating disorder, and I decided to reach back out to them at Monte Nido and I am so grateful that they accepted my want to reconnect with them. They truly will always be my best of friends.
Okay anyway, I went with a semi plan of knowing what we were going to do, but not a concrete plan which first of all brings up a lot of anxiety since I’m not in control. So I got there and Abb made me a drink, I didn’t make it. Alcohol is really difficult for me still so it was a big challenge for me, but I gulped it down and it was delicious. Also, she made taco salad with ground beef which for some reason is still one of my fear foods. But in that moment, I internally said to myself “You did it at Monte Nido and you can do it now.” And I did do it and I’m okay; nothing happened. It was so cool, and NORMAL. We went downstairs to give out candy but barely anyone came. We laughed at some of the kids and were just acting goofy. Then Kar came and brought the Jell-O shots which were AMAZING and addicting. I slurped one right down without even thinking. I had maybe 5? and some with whipped cream, because WHY NOT?! Then Abb’s bf came and we hung out and laughed and just chatted. Abb and Kar went upstairs saying they were getting something and they came down and said “Congratulations! We’re so proud of you!!” I probably had the biggest smile on my face and looked like a geek but wow they are so thoughtful. They got me 2 balloons, a nice card, pumpkin beer and big hugs. We took silly pictures and smiled and we were US. We made caramel apples which looked hideous but tasted delicious and I WANTED one, so I had one. At that point, my head was spinning with eating disordered thoughts saying that I had too many calories that were just alcohol and everything had too much sugar and wasn’t healthy and unacceptable but you know what? Clearly things like that are OKAY and normal. Being around people with a healthy relationship with food is so helpful in so many ways. I’m not afraid to eat in front of them and say I want Tootsie rolls, because I know THEY DON’T CARE. All they were focused on was that I was there with them. We all often think that people are looking at our bodies and keeping a tally and judging everything that we eat, but they aren’t. I will never forget when my dad said to me once “You’re not that special!” and I was so offended but he was making a good point. People are worried about themselves. So while being with them, I’m really comfortable.
Before I left, Abb said “So you’ve been out a year?!” I told her that no, I was just celebrating the fact that this year, I’m not in treatment with people forcing me to eat candy, but instead LIVING and doing what I want, and not what my eating disorder wants. Then she said “Well are we going to celebrate when it’s your one year being out of treatment?” I said OF COURSE!! She smiled and said, “Okay good!!” That just made me happy. So I left sleepy and satisfied. Overall, last night was really really awesome and I felt free. I had thoughts here and there but I said fuck it and didn’t let that ruin my time. and it didn’t. I drank copious amounts of alcohol, had meat, had candy, tons of salty edamame, a big caramel apple, and even spontaneously squirted some whipped cream right from the can into my mouth. This is how life is supposed to be. I’m supposed to be with the people that I love and make me happy and help me forget about my eating disorder for a little bit. I am SO glad that I went. So so glad. It sure beats being in treatment by a long shot.
I just want people to know that it is possible to do what your eating disorder says you will never be able to do. It will always say that you can’t do this or that or eat this or that, but YOU need to take the wheel and be in control. You have the power in your hands. Use it for the right reasons. Challenges only make you stronger and your life more worthwhile. Life isn’t meant to be a routine, and you shouldn’t go through it just surviving or functioning. You deserve better than that. You deserve to eat yummy food and go out with friends and sincerely laugh until you cry. YOU DESERVE IT. You have to fight for it though. But I PROMISE it’s worth it. The pain doesn’t last forever, but the memories that you make when you’re in recovery DO last forever, and personally, that’s more than enough.