Today I ate Easter eggs. I didn’t enjoy them. And it isn’t Easter.
There are bags and bags of leftover solid little eggs at work, and apparently we can help ourselves. I’m not sure my colleagues realise what that actually means to somebody with an eating disorder. The only thing stopping me eating the thousand or so delightful chocolate orbs perched upon the piano, is the mortifying thought of explaining how I ate a thousand chocolates. By myself! I’ve certainly been giving it a red hot try though… The eggs are disappearing at a reasonably rapid pace.
I could ostensibly ask my manager to move them to another location so I wasn’t tempted. They’d be happy to do so, but I’m not entirely convinced that is a great idea. I don’t think it’s in my vested interest.
Firstly, it would mean divulging the full of extent of my unhealthy relationship with food (they know I’ve had mental health issues and an eating disorder, but they don’t know the full extent of it). While I have definitely become very open in the past six months, I don’t necessarily open every sentence with, Hi I’m Simone and btw I’m bulimic. Most people are very kind about it, and they want the best for me, but in order to actually understand the depths of it, you have to have lived it. And that is not something I wish upon anybody. So no – I don’t want to ask my boss to move the eggs.
More importantly however, the hundreds of foil-wrapped treats that remain, are just this week’s problem.
If I ask someone to hide them, it doesn’t solve next week’s problem.
I don’t actually know what next week’s problem will be… But I do know this is neither the first nor the last time I will be confronted with irresistible tidbits for me to hungrily gorge myself upon.
The whole point of recovery is for me to find healthy and manageable ways of dealing with what for most people, is perfectly normal. Everyone else in the office is enjoying the Easter eggs – one or two here and there. I am the only person that waits until nobody is looking, grabs a handful to hide on my desk then quickly scoffs them all before anybody returns.
I downed all my eggs, threw half of them up because they taste pretty hideous after a while and they got stuck with my lap band – after that, I chose to reach out to my recovery group. Clearly I could – and should – have reached out before eating the eggs. But we can’t win all the battles on the first day! I sent all those lovely ladies some meaningless drivel but once I’d finished writing, the compulsion and urge to keep consuming eggs was gone. Poof! Just like that Which proves one really amazing point to me – the most useful recovery tool at my disposal is writing.
I have been gathering tools for ages and trying bits of this and bits of that. But today I realised when I reach out and write, it helps. It is cathartic. My ability to express myself with the spoken word is somewhat limited. I’m not entirely tongue-tied most of the time – I can string some intelligible sentences together – but the written word is where I find what is buried so deep inside me, I can’t even give it a name.
So today, those little bags of divine deliciousness, imparted some divine wisdom – I need to write.
I don’t need to ring people, or do exercises, visualisations or affirmations (… actually I retract that… I’m sure I DO need to do those things, but not as my very first go-to tool in a crisis). My first port of call is to write it down. Explore what’s going on in my head. Something like I wrote today…
I’m at work and everyone left so I am here alone. Went straight to the bags of chocolates (disappearing at a rapid rate – not entirely due to me thank goodness!) I dragged 20 little Easter eggs out, made a cup of tea, ate them until I felt sick and threw half of them up. Stellar start to the day…
My head is telling me, bad bad bad stupid woman go eat the rest now (still a few hundred there) so the problem goes away, la la la… And what I want to say instead is, make a cup of tea and relax and do some actual work and you’re not hungry right now so what’s going on and what tool could I be using instead of gorging on sugar until I feel sick.
So here I am. I haven’t made tea yet but the kettle is boiling. I don’t relax. I’m obviously not working right now but I will in a moment (I’m usually an excellent employee!) I have no idea what’s going on. I’m using the tool of writing it all out. I can’t spend too much time on tools. I do actually have work to do…
I am – as per usual – exhausted. So, so fricking tired… And I have a horribly sore throat so possibly coming down with something. I think my weakness this morning is largely attributed to that. Maybe? And or the emotional hangover from Mother’s Day (my mother and sister are dead and when I look at grandma I think she’s dying and we scattered Vanessa’s ashes yesterday and Dad looked god awful. So a bit of emotional baggage going on… )
Okay. Kettle is boiled. Work awaits. Writing it out is SOOO cathartic. I won’t need/desire/eat any more chocolates.
So there we go – epiphanies found buried beneath a pile of Cadbury’s eggs. You just never know what you might find – especially when you’re not looking!
ps… if anyone I work with stumbles upon this little blog, I’m sorry I ate so many Easter eggs. I will endeavour not to eat any more. I will conquer this beast – I promise! It’s just a very big beast. I’m kicking hard though And I did do my work. It was just a few dodgy moments!