As a recovering bulimic, (all though I prefer to say my bulimia is in remission) one may think that every experience I had eating was an unpleasant one.
Not even close.
Bulimics love to eat. The ritual of a binge/ purge is a reward, a really good high. We love eating. I mean you would have to enjoy eating in order to become a bulimic. What may have started out as an easy way to try to lose weight turned into a ritual of meal planning, binges, closely followed by the purge.
Even going out to eat was magical. I could eat all the good stuff knowing that I would come home and get rid of it all. No one ever suspected a thing if I ordered the biggest hamburger on the menu. All I had to do was throw in a side salad for good measure. I had many many tricks.
However, once I got my bulimia under control, what was once a wonderful magical high, became very unpleasant. We all have our trigger foods. For me, if I have a trigger food, (which is basically all the good stuff) my brain would play tricks on me and tell me “It’s okay, have all you want, you will get rid of it.” Pre-recovery, I was like “Heck Ya!” Post-recovery not so much.
One of the hardest things about recovery is going out to eat on special occasions. The trigger foods are limitless. Every table you see, someone will be eating something that if you are not careful your brain will try to convince you “Go ahead, just this last time.” It really does not work that way. If you are not careful you will go through about 2,000 “last times.” The key is to keep away from the trigger foods, and as you can imagine that is hard to do when you are in recovery. But it can be done.
I remember one time, as a family we decided to visit a nice seafood restaurant for the first time. The menu was complete hell to even read. Everything was triggering me. I was sitting there, silently praying for the strength to order something that would not trigger me. Then, a member in our party says “Hey Jen, did you see the seafood platter, that looks good.” Game over. I knew from that moment on, I was going to order to seafood platter and come home and purge. What should have been a nice evening out with lots of family, turned into me analyzing how much time I had before my food would digest. How am I going to find time to purge when I would not even be returning to my own house for the next three hours. I was pre occupied. I could not focus on anything that was going on around me, well, other than the delicious seafood platter that was large enough to feed two. That I was focused on.
Now a days things are a lot easier than they were in the early days of recovery, but it is still hard. I just know how to be better now. I will take a look at the menu online before we go out. I will go over it with a fine tooth comb and find something that I know I will enjoy without triggering me. It does get easier, but it never quite goes away.
This was a writing prompt from the wonderful Mama Kat. I would encourage any bloggers to check out her weekly writing prompts.