Five years since recovering from anorexia, I’d almost forgotten my paralyzing fear of food.
I mean, really, no one ever forgets. But it had been some time since food had been an inconvenience for me. Where once I had been unable to eat in public without guarding my food with a steak knife, I could even share a bowl of ice cream with friends. I no longer wondered what people would think of me, if they thought I deserved to eat those delicious calories, how ugly I’d look with an extra ounce of chocolate-induced fat on my thighs.
And it was terrifying how quickly I slipped back into that fanatical world just because of a bowl of soup.
Without relaying my sob story—a Lifetime movie in its own right—let’s simply say that I was at a comfortable stage in my life for the first time in, um, ever. For the first time in my life, I thought I looked decent in the mirror. Good, some days.
And then my doctor said I might try the Candida diet to cleanse my gut of candida albicans, which might be the cause of my recent lethargy. The Candida diet requires either three days of soup fasting or seven days of eating only vegetables to starve the Candida living in your gut of sugar.
I figured, sure. I used to be anorexic. I’m a highly disciplined individual with two black belts to prove it. I know how to be hungry.
But I’d forgotten what it was like to be forbidden food.
It was, um, challenging
After the first day of soup, I awoke shaking—not with hunger but with anger. I couldn’t ease the scowl from my face. I glared at the bowl of humble oatmeal in my boyfriend’s hands. If looks could kill, his body would have been in the attic, his head in the refrigerator. I won’t tell you what I screamed at him.
I hated the idea of soup and decided—foolishly—to not eat at all and play video games instead. Rather than distracting me with perilous dragon fights, I found myself eating sweet rolls and pheasant breasts in the digital Nordic world of Skyrim.
I grew angry and went back to bed. Anger kept me awake.
Time wounds all heels, or something
On my third day of soup, I visited friends. Their neighbor—a stranger to me, the poor soul—came over with cupcakes left over from his birthday party. I started sobbing.
Ten minutes and a poor guy who looked ready to pee his pants with guilt later, I ate a cupcake.
Some wounds take more than time to heal.
Tara Spenser is currently the resident writer for workingcapital.org, where she researches the most affordable small business loans and business cash advance available. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, swimming and being a mom.
Many thanks to Tara for this wonderful insight into how the battle for recovery continues long after the initial fight…
Have you ‘recovered’ from a mental health condition or addiction, does it still affect you life many years later?
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- How a giant cantaloupe saved me from the evil vortex (onceafatgirl.com)