Ok, so what I am about to say would probably seem ridiculous to most, and to all who don’t suffer with eating disorders, it is merely a normal thing to do. However, for me, what I have achieved today is a massive step forward for me, and for the way that my eating disorder controls my life.
Today…I ATE LUNCH OUT IN A RESTAURANT. And I enjoyed it!
For someone who feigns illness whenever friends invite me out for a meal, misses birthday celebrations if they involve dinner plans, can’t eat at my favourite restaurants, and can’t go on romantic dinner dates, this is a massive, massive achievement.
I went for a lovely walk with my boyfriend and my dog, and we thought we would make a day of it, including lunch in a lovely, idyllic country pub.
And I actually ate!
I did not feel nervous, nor on the edge of a panic attack. Nor did I feel sick to my stomach, with my whole body trembling as if it were facing a true fear. Of course, a fear of eating is ridiculous Rationally, I have known my whole life that nothing would ever happen to me. The worst that could happen? I would be sick. And that’s really not that bad. But the thing is, anxiety and panic attacks aren’t rational. They creep up on you when you least expect it. They are the enemy. But today, I chose to fight back, and they knew it, so they didn’t make an appearance.
I’m not saying I won’t stumble again, as perhaps today was just a lucky day, or a one off. However, I am recognising that I have overcome a few hurdles: eating in public, eating out with my partner, and even just eating at all! I have also challenged and faced my irrational fears head on. I have decided that what I want to do is more important than my anxieties. And I have chosen to be in control, rather than succumb to the panic. And these are hurdles that are incredibly important to me.
How did I do it? Perhaps it was because I didn’t over plan, so I didn’t have time to think about the fear. Nonetheless, I distracted my mind by talking about other things. I also had my dog sat beside me which made me feel a lot braver. I ordered a small dish so that I wouldn’t have to over eat, or waste a lot of food if I couldn’t eat it. I told myself that I could. And so I felt comfortable, and confident that I could do it.
Today, I am very proud of myself. They say that you should do something everyday that scares you, and today, I certainly did.