My first drive thru

When I was driving home yesterday after one of the most non-ED-related mentally grueling days I've had in a long time, I had to stop for dinner. I was tired. And cranky. And had spent Lord only knows how many hours sitting in traffic the last few days, and I was cruising along well down a major interstate. I was petrified that I was going to hit (yet another) traffic snarl.

Yet the fact remained: it was dinnertime.

So I did something unusual. I pulled over at the next exit to the Chick-fil-A* and went through the drive thru. I realized, as I placed my order, that I was 31 and had just ordered my first drive thru meal. I've ordered beverages at a drive thru plenty of times, but never an actual meal. I've ordered fast food in the actual restaurant as well, also on my own, but again, not the drive thru.

Let me give this a bit of context. Drive thrus were illegal in my hometown because they were deemed a safety issue (eating and driving). They have a point there- I feel horribly guilty for eating and driving yesterday, but it really couldn't be avoided. I really don't like ordering stuff out (it has nothing to do with food and everything to do with my fears of talking to strangers. Apparently, you can be 31, have never eaten from a drive thru and also have an overblown case of stranger danger. Sigh), and since I've been on my own, I've pretty much had an eating disorder. Diet Coke, fine. Actual food, not so much.

But I guess all of that changed yesterday. I got crumbs on my lap and grease on my fingers and I survived. I didn't like it, and I survived. I much prefer eating dinner when I'm not behind the wheel, but I also think the dangers of not eating outweighed the dangers of eating and driving.

So that concludes the tale of Carrie and her First Drive Thru.

Random story postscript: Doing this blog post reminded me of my undergraduate advisor and a story she told me when we were at a conference. She was originally from Taiwan, and when she first moved to the US to start her PhD, her English was pretty limited. She said that for the first week or two she lived in America, she ate dinner at McDonald's every night because you can order by number and she knew she could count to ten. Now, whenever I have to order a menu item by number, I think of her. She was a really neat person.

*As a family, we rarely ate fast food and still really don't. I generally don't like a lot of fast food places, but I do enjoy me some Chick-fil-A. My RD made me to food exposures at all the major fast food chains so I know I can eat there, but still.


Rachel said...

that's really awesome, carrie!

i like how you're able to realize that the percieved danger of eating/driving/ordering food isn't as great as the danger of not eating.

keep it up!

Lichen said...

Kudos to new experiences and making food a priority, even if said food comes from hateful religious companies that donate against marriage equality. Snark aside, that's a tremendous lesson learned.

hm said...

Nice job! Way to see your body's needs as a priority. Excellent.

Anonymous said...

Yay for you Carrie, another small but oh-so-important victory for recovery :-)

Tiptoe said...

Great job, Carrie! Good for the realization of not eating as opposed to eating and driving. It is an important one.

I Interestingly enough, over the last few years, I actually got fast food. However, the repercussions were not great as each time led to gastric upset for the rest of the day. Not a good way to develop a positive association.

Bev Mattocks Osborne said...

Great stuff, even though I have no idea what Chic-fil-A is?? A bit like KFC? Brilliant.

HungryMac said...

"it has nothing to do with food and everything to do with my fears of talking to strangers." I have this same thing!! Not in person sitting at a table in a restaurant, but drive thru for sure and even more so, phone calling for orders. Oy. I hate it! I was sooo glad when I could start order pizza for my daughter online so I could avoid the whole phone issue.

Anonymous said...

Well done. :D

Heather said...

This is oh so comforting to read. Thank you Carrie, as always, for your continued candor. You never fail to make me feel less alone.

Anonymous said...

woo hoo!!! Congratulations are in order :) I am so glad you did this, and even though you didn't enjoy it, it is great that you did it :) I like chick-fil-a, that my grandma calls chick filla!

Have a great Friday!


Amy Karon said...

Hi Carrie,

I discovered your blog a few days ago and am enjoying it so much. You do a great job combining personal anecdotes with reflection, and I like the look of your site. Congrats on surviving your first drive-thru. :)

I included your site in a list of blogs on what it's like to live with mental disorders -- as I continue blogging (I'm a journalist and focus on mental health), I'll strive to increase readers' awareness of eating disorders as treatable health conditions.

You'll find your blog listed here:

Keep up the great work!


CJ @ said...

that is awesome that you were able to prioritize what was right, even though you knew how uncomfortable it would be! my dietician and i made a list of all my fear foods, and slowly as we crossed them off, i noticed how many were chain restaurants and fast i love wendys chili over a big salad. it may not be the healthiest chili ever, but its awesome for busy nights!

Susu Paris Chic said...

Doing what we fear... and surviving. That is precious. I read you and try to do the same. More and more.

Anonymous said...

That's so great!!! I'm not able to do that yet, but this post gives me hope! :D

Tyra Shortino said...

Wow! That's awesome! It's nice to hear you're learning from driving. I never tried eating while driving since my parents don't let me. :I guess it is safer that way.

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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.

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