Exhibit A: The other night I was sitting in my class that goes until 5:30pm, planning what I would eat for dinner afterwards (the same thing I always eat afterwards) when S texted me asking if I wanted to go get dinner with him. Which I didn't, of course, because that was not in the plans. I spent the next twenty minutes crafting a lame response in my head about why I wouldn't be able to go.
But then, you know what? I just said yes. And I went. And the world did not end. We ate dinner and talked and S walked me to my meeting at nine. By the time I got home later that night, I was still grinning like a darn fool. The post-date glow, I suppose.
Exhibit B: My last attempt to complete R's assignment of filling in my roommate about my ED was a bit of a fail. The other evening, though, I opened up much more than I usually do and we had a very honest, straightforward conversation about it. I tried really hard to explain my thought processes and my fears - both the logical and illogical ones - in a way that someone with no food issues would understand. I don't know that anyone without an ED truly can understand, but it helped to articulate them. Even if she doesn't fully understand where I'm coming from, she believes me and wants to help. And guess what? I feel better, not worse.
Exhibit C: This one wasn't exactly a voluntary challenge on my part, but I'm trying to see the positive. I think I managed to injure myself again - this time, it's my Achilles. Yesterday as I was walking home from the gym (in shorts in 30 degree weather, which was stupid I KNOW) the back of my heel started killing me. I thought it was strange, but ignored it, as per usual. Throughout the rest of the day, I did a lot of walking around campus and the pain got worse and worse until I was limping and had to give up my last couple of errands to come home. I iced, stretched, and tried to stay off of my feet for the rest of the night, but my Achilles is now a bit swollen and bruised and I am so fucking frustrated by my body failing me again and again and again. I shouldn't be surprised, really, but it still sucks.
Not going to lie: I had an initial freak-out/near meltdown over the fact that I would not be able to run, which would most definitely result in me getting fat. Then, I told myself to suck it up and calm down, and accept that I would have to be rational and take care of myself. I'm going to take a few days off from the gym and then reassess. I can't think any farther into the future because it sends me into a spiral of worries (omg my Achilles is torn), so I'm trying to stay calm and in the moment and keep some perspective because at this point, what else can I do?
This was definitely not a planned recovery challenge, but I'm trying to see it as an opportunity for some steps forward. Today was my first day off from working out in a while, and it hasn't been easy. I feel antsy and gross. But a few days off won't kill me. And it won't make me fat. Right? RIGHT?
Being challenged like this is pretty tough, especially for someone as pathologically habitual and averse to spontaneity as me, but it's making me see things differently. I'm getting glimpses of what life would be like without anorexia, without panicking over the little things, and without using unexpected stress as an excuse to self-destruct.