Pizza and chocolate are just the beginning.
The past week has held some great hurdles and even greater triumphs.
I’m recovering from an eating disorder which I have had for five years. This week gone by has been most confronting but equally the most liberating week of my recovery.
I asked my boyfriend, Antoine, if he would help me with my food and exercise choices, two elements of my life that cause me great fear and anxiety.
I want to preface this by saying that when I asked my boyfriend for help I was under the care of a psychologist and a dietician.
I chose to ask my boyfriend to help me because he is the person I am closest to in my life. I could have asked for my Mum’s help or my Dad’s help.
And while I want to relay my own experiences, I also want to make it clear that I am not advocating this as a magical cure for an eating disorder. I just want to tell my story and describe what this week taught me about my illness and about myself.
I’ve known for a long time that I needed help confronting my food fears. I’m aware that even in recovery I am stuck in certain habits. There are certain routines that I abide by to calm my mind and relieve my anxiety.
I have avoided confronting my fears like the plague. Because being in the comfort zone is just so… comfortable. I prefer to be wrapped in a blanket of assurance than be out met with the brittle air of uncertainty.
So I asked Antoine if, for a week, he would manage my food and exercise choices just as my Mum did when I came out of hospital five years ago.
I wanted help but I was ashamed to ask, because my disordered behaviours are still looming in the background. The only way to challenge these fears is to face them. I had to confront my comfort zone and be thrust into the unknown.
This week, my routine was completely and utterly compromised. I hadn’t had a square of chocolate for over four years. This week, I’ve had chocolate on four occasions. I still have fears around carbohydrates. I’ve had complex carbohydrates for every meal every single day this week. Since I first got sick in 2010, every time I went to the movies, I avoided sweets like the plague. On Saturday, we sat down to a 7:40 session of Spectre and shared a packet of sour squirms and a block of Crunch. I felt, for the first time, that the real me was back again. I was truly content. I was having fun again, like I used to.