I’ve discovered a pattern: when there’s lack of control, I clean.
I don’t mean I picked up my socks off the floor. I clean a lot. Usually it’s my entire apartment.
Floors washed, toilets scrubbed, counters dusted, furniture moved to get to the dust… Not only to vacuum, but to shammy off any spots or that weird layer of dust that lingers. We’re talking a job that starts shortly after 8am and doesn’t end until the whole place smells of chemical disinfectant. This time, it took about 8 hours or so. This isn’t the first time, either.
The only factor I can pinpoint that would cause my anxiety to take the driver’s seat would have been a titration. I’m working on emotion identification.
Do I consider this a relapse in my eating disorder? No. Why? This is what I did once all was said and done.
Yup. I ate out. I made a clear choice to eat something I consider unhealthy: a burger (well, it was lamb, but it was still a burger) with pub style fries and a side of lightly dressed coleslaw (I hate coleslaw). I didn’t do any other behavior like ask for no cheese, or condiments on the side other than taking the onions off (they give me reflux), or cutting up the food into small bites, or only eating half the bun. I took the whole burger in my hand, messy and dripping, and bit into it with no hesitation. I noticed flavor combinations instead of the odd textures mixing around in my mouth, and I wasn’t trying to finish it as fast as I can.
That’s another thing I do: eating sucks. I want it over and done with, so I eat as fast as I can. Not that night.
I didn’t feel sick afterwards, I didn’t feel any compulsion to continue to move, and I sat and played a video game when I got home.
Point being is that recovery will never be perfect, but you have to be mindful of the small changes that happen in the process. Will I do that all the time? Probably not. I still struggle. However, old me would have then hit the gym for 1-2 hours once done, and ate something in a much smaller portion, broiled and steamed.
I ate a fucking burger with no disordered behavior afterward. Go. Me.