Not to toot my own horn here, but I am proud of the way I was able to handle this trip. I'm not going to say it was completely ED thought free; because there have been ups and downs. Yesterday was a perfect example of that, but I'll get to it in a minute. Overall I did well. I faced a lot of fear foods, I stepped out of my comfort zone, I learned to be spur-of-the-moment and spontaneous without over thinking the situation. In the long run I'm coming out of this stronger and more confident then I came in and I am really proud of the progress I made.
I'm going to go on a tangent here, because I think it's really important that we (people with ED's) learn to be proud of any progress that we make. Our often perfectionist mentalities make us feel like we never do enough, that we are not doing well in recovery and blah blah. But that's all a bunch of hooey and hog wash (I love that phrase but never use it :P). Any step in the right direction is something worth celebrating and being proud of. It's much better to motivate yourself with a feeling of accomplishment as opposed to a feeling of guilt or inadequacy. Instead of beating ourselves up and saying "Oh, but I should have done this that and the other." we should be say "Look at all the things I've already accomplished and all I progress I've made. I can do this ! I'm going to push myself just a little harder today because I KNOW I am strong enough."
Ok, that is the end of my tangent, now onto my day yesterday. As I said before, it provided a perfect example about how recovery is full of ups and downs. People that expect it to be one or the other will probably end up having a rude awakening at some point, because not everything in life is black and white. Ok, now onto the events of the day. My friend had given me a whole set of fairly new jeans that didn't fit her. They came in a whole range of sizes so it was up to me which i decided to keep and which I deemed useless. I'm sure any girl can testify that trying on jeans can be a very mentally taxing activity, especially if you have any prior body issues. Well I can honestly say that I handled it very well. I approached it with a very scientific manner of "this fits and this doesn't" as opposed to looking at sizes and whatnot. What also helped was the fact that my friend was in the possession of many of these jeans because the sizes on them were mislabeled, so they couldn't be sold. But I came across a pair that were troublesome for me. They were a child's size and I decided to try to fit in them. I fit them perfectly, actually they were a little small. Of course my ED gloated at that fact that I fit them. But I decided not to keep them, because I know they would be a trigger for me. As much as I like free things (who doesn't) and they WERE nice I knew that I would become obsessed with fitting them which is NOT HEALTHY. I should NOT be able to wear a child's size (even though I am very short) and I intend to do all I can to rectify that situation. As a matter of fact all the jeans I did decide to keep I have to "grow into" which is actually an exiting prospect. As I was trying them on I kept thinking "Wow, these will look way better when I have a bigger butt". So I would call the whole jean fitting a positive experience.
I was going to meet up with a friend later on, but my bus was a bit early so I stopped in a mall to look around. Took a few goofy pictures in the dressing rooms for fun :P
Then came the down of the way. I had eaten an "early lunch" before I left and was very full for about 2 hours. But after that the hunger set in. I had a snack, but it didn't seem to help much. Then it seemed all my ED behaviors set back in. I kept walking into shops and picking up food items, but not buying them because I couldn't. In frustration I opted for a coffee which made me sick. In addition to that the whole "food dilemma" took so long that I was late for the meeting with my friend. This was a good reminder of how indulging and ED is just plain detrimental - it steals away your time from things that really matter and makes you frustrated and miserable.
Going to see this friend was a unique experience as well. This is the place I was put in IP and most of my friend from here have ED's. Some are recovering, others aren't. This one in particular was back in IP. She is underage so was in a child's ward, which has much stricter guild lines and policies then an adult ward would. I was only allowed to see her in visiting hours and she wasn't really allowed to go outside. This place always gives me a odd feeling, because I spent 3 months in the same ward. Actually we were there together, but now she is back. I remember far too well all the frustrations and mental hardships of being here, so I was happy to be able to be there for her. Talking to her made me realize also how far I'd come in my recovery. Although she is almost weight restored she said the voices and guilt are stronger then ever. I still have a ways to go on the weight front, but it is getting better and those voices and almost non-existent on most days. I am so happy to be finally committed to recovery and travelling on my own road there. I hope that in time my friend will have the inner strength to fight her own battles, because as we all know there is so much more to this illness then just the weight (which is primarily what they focus on in the hospital she's in).
I got home and ate a good dinner and enjoyed an evening with friends. It was a good ending to a good day. There were ups and downs, but I decided to end the day on a high note. I will miss everyone here, but I am looking forward to going home and moving on with my life. Things can only get better from here on out.