Death, taxes, and curveballs

I think that everyone who is recovered, or in recovery, has made some kind of serious error. Skipping breakfast because you wake up late (guilty). Deciding butter (or oil or cream cheese) is an unnecessary expense (guilty). Starting a new, hard-core exercise regime because you want to be more "toned" (guilty).

Well, you get the point.

I wanted the "perfect" recovery. I figured since I hadn't had the "perfect" eating disorder--whatever the hell that means--I needed to have the "perfect" recovery. That meant eating everything on my food plan, not a bite more, and never deviating. That meant I would never think about wanting to get sick again. I am done with you, anorexia! ::wipes hands::

Except that this isn't life, and sure ain't recovery. There will be curveballs. Ben Franklin said there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. Sorry, Ben, but there's a third: curveballs. Life isn't a straight path.

The point is to make these curveballs work for you. What can you learn? How can you make things different?

Oversleep and miss breakfast? What can you keep in the fridge/pantry to grab on your way out the door? Where is a place to pick something up?

Want to try a new workout? Can you get a friend to do it with you? Specifically a friend who knows about your eating disorder and will call you on your I-just-love-spending-30-hours-each-day-at-the-gym crap.

Slipping is one way to identify your own personal weak spots that Ed will continue to exploit, over and over and over. I used to tell myself that other people might need butter, indeed they might, but I was different. I didn't need butter. And I didn't always need breakfast.

Then I learned better. I didn't realize that one skipped meal could do me in. I didn't realize how crucial a good night's sleep was. This isn't to say "Go ahead, skip a meal! See if it affects you!" It's like the 6-year-old playing with firecrackers. Chances are, he'll survive. But he might not, and that's not something you want to chance.

Portia Nelson says it best:

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk I fall in. I am lost ... I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place but, it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in ... it's a habit. my eyes are open I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.

What have you learned from your slips? What are you doing differently now?

posted under |


Libby said...

How I love that Portia Nelson piece... I think I shall print it up and hang it in my cube at work. I'd kind of forgotten about it till just now. I needed to hear that.

Was in Baltimore this weekend and thought of you. There is a secret beach on the Chesapeake Bay that a friend and I discovered. I'm a big swimmer and love the water, so it was fantastic (great weather, great water, very few people there)... except for the sunburn.

tokaiangel said...

Thanks for this post - some good points really well illustrated, and something I could do with hearing right now.

I tend to be willfully ignorant when it comes to tumbling into bad habits again, but it is ALWAYS playing with fire. My favourite one is "oh dear I've forgotten to get any food in for dinner and I'm too tired from the gym to drive to the shops - let's just go to bed instead" IDIOT.

TA x

Carrie said...


Thanks- I have a friend visiting this weekend and we might just have to check that out. I'm a water baby myself.


And learning these things on the first try would be nice, too. :) I'm still in denial that I'm not going to be doing extra things in the morning, or waking up early to 'get ahead.' Yet I keep trying. So I hear ya.

FWIW, I usually have leftovers frozen and on hand for those occasions. Just pop it into the microwave and dinner is ready.

IrishUp said...

I have learned that the question is NOT "Who teh F@$% keeps putting these @#$%*ing HOLES in MY WAY?"

I have learned that when I hear the above sentence coming out of a hole, I wont be able to help them get out. And I have learned not fall in from trying.

Maybe, I have learned how to climb out faster.

Tempy said...

Ahh, good post. One of my favorite nutritionists asked me write out my day and meal plan for her once. So I did, and then she went through the entire thing, blow by blow throwing 'curve balls' in the schedule and asked me how I was going to problem solve to still get my meals. When we were done, I had no excuse and knew the items I needed to keep on hand for meals on the go and at in my fridge at work.

She also gave my my new mantra. "My body image is not my business". Every time I think of skimping or something I have to say it 5 times. LOL

A:) said...

Wonderfully appropriate as usual Carrie.

I think I am more in the third chapter -- "I fall in the whole because it is habit" -- the hard part is getting out of those habits.

As to what I can learn from my slips -- well, small insignificant slips compound to lead to bigger slips -- EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. -- it is never just about having less just because you don't feel hungry that day. It never stops there either.


Carrie said...


That's a great problem-solving activity. I think more dieticians should do it.


If only small slips stayed small...but they don't. Which is the nature of an eating disorder.

It's odd, but a lot of recovery is just breaking those old habits. Like eating lunch at lunchtime. Oh, so that's why you get half an hour off work around noon. I get it!

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home

ED Bites on Facebook!

ED Bites is on Twitter!

Search ED Bites

About Me

My photo
I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

Drop me a line!

Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


Popular Posts


Recent Comments