I spent most of the day yesterday getting random stuff done. I gardened a bit in the afternoon and removed many of the dead plants. I finished making a lovely necklace that turned out to be the piece from hell in terms of work load. But damn it looks good! I made scones with my mom. I read another chapter in Charles Darwin's journal The Voyage of the Beagle. I loaded some CDs I bought at a local Scottish Festival on Saturday onto my iPod. And so on.
Not exciting, not world-changing, but good.
It felt good to be a part of everyday life again. Even the parts that give you a sunburn.
See, there were all of these "Big Things" that I hoped would keep me moving forward in recovery. School, career, travel. Things like that.
My first job out of grad school was my dream job at the time. Couldn't have asked for better. Good salary, good benefits, and a great ability to put my skills to work. And I loved working there. No psycho dieting co-workers. Decent camaraderie.
And I crashed after several months. Part of it was due to stress. I always dreaded picking up the phone on Friday afternoon because it was probably going to be a disease outbreak or some other brush fire that needed extinguishing. I solved this problem by turning my ringer off at 4pm. Perhaps not the most professional of things, but if it was a really serious emergency, they would let me know.
This job, however, wasn't enough. Ed was totally willing to sacrifice it to keep me in his grasp. There was a part of me that didn't care a whole hell of a lot, either. It was a good job, but still just a job.
Right now, school is still a big motivator for me. I want to finish out the year without having a complete nervous breakdown. The biggest skill I have learned is how to reach out, ask for help, and also how to self-correct. If I see the old AN patterns creeping back into my life- the rigidity around food choice, the constant vigilance of calorie counts, the urges to abuse exercise- I can recognize them, give myself a good talking to, and phone somebody (usually my mom) to have her reassure me to stay in recovery.
The biggest victory I've had in this past year is truly understanding that anorexia was an illness. That I was not the person wanting to starve myself- that was the anorexia talking. It's still hard, because it comes from within my own head. But slowly, I'm learning.
Now, the things that keep me in recovery are much smaller.
- Noticing that my kitty has itty-bitty eyelashes
- Feeling the warmth of her body and the softness of her fur as she sits on my chest
- Finding out my favorite band has a new CD
- Exploring new types of food
- A cup of hot chocolate when I'm cold
- Needing to know the ending of the Harry Potter series
- Great books I've never read
- All of the great blog friends I've made
For some odd reason, they have more meaning. I find it harder to write those things off than things like jobs and careers and school and life.
It doesn't make sense...but it does.