So I’ve talked about voice #1 – “the bitch” – the one who berates me, tells me I’m stupid, makes me feel like an awkward 12 year old girl with braces left on the side at the junior high dance. But there’s been another voice of late. She hasn’t shown up in a while, but I’m actually glad to hear her. Madame Denial. That’s right – I’m glad to hear Madame because it means I’m getting somewhere. She only shows up when she’s threatened.
I was at an EDA meeting tonight and I thought – I shouldn’t be here. I don’t belong here. Yes, these women sound like me, but it’s really not that big of a deal. So I stress about food – who doesn’t? I’m making this into something bigger just to get attention. I put a label on it, I see doctors and dietitians, psychologists and psychiatrists but it’s all just something that I choose to do. I don’t have an eating disorder – I’m just blowing things out of proportion as I always do, asking for attention when I don’t deserve it. I’m throwing myself into a new cause – attending meetings and reading literature and thinking about the steps because it keeps me busy, that’s all. Silly and pointless, all of this is.
And there’s a part of me that believed Madame Denial. I really did. I’m listening to others and thinking not that I’m better than they are, or that what I’m facing is less serious than they are – these people are incredibly brave and honest and it’s amazing to hear their insights and their struggles – not with food, but with the underlying issues of self-worth, trust, self-care, and control.
So while I was struggling with the “I’m overreacting” speech from Madame Denial, I went into the kitchen for my evening snack. And I realized that there was nothing I really wanted to eat except chocolate. I really, really wanted chocolate cake, and I have cake mix, and I make this little mini cake-in-a-cup in the microwave and it’s really yummy. And IMMEDIATELY I thought, you had a slice of pizza tonight, you don’t deserve chocolate cake. And then, right after that, it was – how would I even log this in MyFitnessPal? I don’t know how to convert the cake mix stats into 1/4 c. And that would be a lot of calories and fat, and I’d eat it, and then I’d feel guilty, and I can’t take feeling guilty today.
All of this is rushing around my head and I had to laugh aloud! Because I don’t know if God really does answer prayers, but he answered my unspoken one. He showed me in that thirty second interlude that I DO have an eating disorder. That normal people don’t think about food that way. That I need help. That no one is judging me at EDA. And that my husband doesn’t know what to make of my going to meetings but he seems cautiously supportive [he’s a cautious guy who feels out of his element with all of this]. I don’t have to be hospitalized and dying to get help. I don’t have to irreparably damage my internal organs and my bones to realize that I can’t do this alone. I don’t have to JUSTIFY myself – my freaky, scared, panicky self – to anyone. It doesn’t matter what my BMI is or isn’t. I know I have a problem, and I know I want to be better. That’s all it takes.
So God, if you do answer prayers, please know that I heard you tonight. And maybe I heard you not because I’ve been praying, but because I’ve realized I really need to just start listening.