Sunday, January 29, 2012

Maybe, Not so Far

*I want to preface this post by explaining that I have never been formally diagnosed with an eating disorder, but I know what I struggle with is real and not always healthy. I am trying to be as honest and candid as possible. If only to help myself sort my way though this.*

This week was just one of those weeks.

Where everything is piled up, back-to-back-to-back, and you don't even realize how busy and crazed you are until you finally reach the end, slow down, and try to catch your breath.

Everything whooshes past your ears, and you realized you are exhausted. Beat.

Needless to say, this was how I was feeling at about 4:00 on Friday. Don't get me wrong, it was a great week. I was busy and focused and overall, very productive. I worked out everyday, had 2 exams, did tons of reading, and taught a very successful lesson to my fourth graders on Friday.

So, after a low-key night on Friday, and some errand-running yesterday morning, I was ready to blow off some steam last night. My roommates and I got all dressed up and went out on the town. It was an awesome night out with all of my best friends. I was one of those nights where everyone is in a great mood, you see people you haven't seen in years, make some new friends, and probably drink too much.

Yes, definitely drank too much.

But you know what? That's ok. It was once in a while, and the fun I was having was more important than the calories I was consuming. Yay! It was awesome! I was feeling like I really had come so far to find myself forgetting about the calories. I was on top of the world.

Until...things took a turn for the worse. Duh. Duh. Duhhhhhhh (cue cheesy horror-movie music).

Long story, short, I ended up in an alcohol-induced panic attack at my best guy-friends' house because of all of the food I ate after getting there for after hours. I tried to dip out of there and sneak home unnoticed, but my friends weren't going to allow that. Alex, one of the guys (and actually an ex of mine), walked me home. He let me cry into his chest and said all the right things to help me start to calm down. It's amazing how someone so unexpected can be just what you need sometimes.

I don't even know where to begin explaining what was going through my head during that whole time. I really was freaking out about the food. I haven't done that in months, but it was an all-too-familiar emotion to fall back into. I was also embarrassed because all of my friends either witnessed or were aware that it was going on. They are my best friends, and I don't want them to not know, but I have always been so good at keeping things under wraps that it is just uncomfortable to think that I allowed it to happen so openly.

Mostly, though, I was disappointed in myself. I felt like an addict that has relapsed. Like I have been doing so well, and I know that I have come so far. After all this time, to go back to this pattern of behavior is so upsetting. Yes, I was drunk, which never helps, but I feel like I should have been stronger than that. Maybe I haven't come so far. Maybe all the progress my roommates say I have made is all for nothing because of this one episode.

I know that's crap. I know that this is a process that is going to have some ups and downs. And, yet, I can't help but beat myself up for it. I am disappointed in myself, and disheartened, again, because of how hard this all is for me.

As I think about last night, though, there are some positives that can come of this. I have to try and see the silver lining to keep my positive streak going. This is just a small road bump, rather than a brick wall.

First, the public-ness (may or may not be a word) of my break down may actually have some positive outcomes. My roommates have always been pretty keenly aware of my struggles, but my other friends who don't live with me everyday haven't known the extent. Now, they have seen more of it, and I don't feel like I have to hide so much. I am really trying to own who I am, and this is one step in that direction.

Second, this is an opportunity for me to take control and show how far I have come by reacting differently than I used to. I will not be at the gym the minute the doors open today to start working it off. I will eat well-balanced meals and not restrict calories. I will not punish myself for "mistakes" made last night. This is extremely difficult for me emotionally, but I am going to push through the discomfort and make the decisions that I know are good for my body. This is huge. This is definite progress. I am proud of myself for this one.

So, yes, maybe I haven't come quite as far as I would like to believe. Maybe I am still fragile. But, this is all the more reason to be kind and forgiving to myself. This is an opportunity for growth, and I am forcing myself to make it through. I don't really have another option. I have to put last night behind me and move on.

Here's to another day.

Respect Yourself, Accept Yourself, Forgive Yourself, Love Yourself.

~ Rach

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