I am attached to the notion that I will someday be like other people around food.
I was out on a pass yesterday, getting my hair cut and getting a massage. Coming back, I was on the highway and saw one of those blue signs by the side of the road that listed all of the restaurants at the next exit. I remember seeing Burger King and Wendy’s.
For half a second I considered pulling off the exit to get food. That’s all it took. I was overwhelmed with sadness. My eyes filled with tears. I was driving down the highway sobbing.
The sadness I encountered was related to the fact that I have to struggle with something simple like a highway sign. Driving on the highway is fraught with temptations and memories of eating at fast food places. I can name most of the restaurants between Atlanta and Charlotte because I travel that route frequently and have eaten my way across South Caroline more than once.
It was sadness that my life will never be completely free of moments like that. I suspect that I will have a dying thought about the food in the hospital. I will always have to be consciously aware of where my patterns lie, or where insidious thoughts may occur.
I believe that it will get easier. It won’t be quite so raw to drive down the highway as time goes on. But it will be for a while.
Acceptance of these truths will make it easier.
The treatment center also helps by exposing us to challenging situations. We just went to Wendy’s for lunch recently, for example.
I can also choose to let go of the attachment to the idea that I desperately want to be like normal eaters. I can tell myself the truth and accept who I am in this moment.
I’m a guy with an eating disorder.
It’s a good place for me to be right now.