Rehab Reminder: Food Is Meant To Be Enjoyed

ED recovery pushes you to re-learn foods that you like; it requires that you try and explore and cook and prepare what makes your body feel full- mentally and physically.

2 years ago I would never eat Chicken Parmesan for lunch. I had a stringent, unyielding routine of minimal tuna, 6 raspberries, 3 strawberries, a handful of blueberries, 6 almonds, spinach, and half a banana. I didn’t budge. I ate alone. I avoided office lunches. I barely focused at my desk- scowering the internet for “acceptable” vegan, raw, obsolete recipes. I counted down every day to 4pm when I “allowed” myself an Apple to soothe hunger pains.

I’m writing this post on a whim today- because 2 years into recovery, I stood in my office kitchen this afternoon- eagerly unloading Tupperware to prepare lunch for my coworker and myself, and I finally felt that sense of community that food is meant to represent in our culture. The love that food can symbolize between people.

“Now I’m not a big fan of the sauce,” I said to her, a bit insecure (and always a perfectionist). “I’ve done better but it’s fine. Do you like fruity salads?” I asked, jumping around the kitchen. “This is a bit fruitier- maybe too much dressing- but the croutons even it out.”

“Linds,” she said finally- touching my shoulder. “Chill- It’s wonderful. Look at you,” she smiled. “Who knew you could cook?”

I smiled then, I calmed. It’s true. And it was nice to take a moment to realize that I’m at a point where I can prepare foods and judge them based on taste and not calorie count.

I will always be a bit of a perfectionist, tis true, but I win ED today, you sour lil’ bastard.

11 Truths About That ‘One Time In Rehab’ Year 1- Where Are You Now?

One Year.

Year One.

Where are you now?

Where am I now?

What a complicated question that poses.

Let me start off by saying that not a day goes by that I don’t think of my experience in rehab.

The crappy food- the stiff beds- the 5am wake up calls- not even the unshaven legs. (I’ve actually made a fairly terrible habit of that since…. much to the dismay of my partner)

One year later- and I sit here thinking how quite often that time period can change on a whim for me- from feeling so near- to coincidentally so far.

How are those girls? I get asked. Do you keep in touch with them?

Sometimes, I say.

Because sometimes, I do- and sometimes, I don’t.

Different ages, different backgrounds- together we felt so very close- sitting in those god awful strained therapy rooms. Our feet tucked under us- notebooks out and on our laps.

So close in the times we were forced to make “sand stress balls,” forced to count from 1-100 when we went to the restroom.

Close in the times we cried over a donut- laughed on the ground playing bananagram- laid on the couches.

Watched as our parents came and went. As Christmas and New Years passed quietly.

Sometimes, I can still feel Lilly’s head in my lap- braiding her hair like I did my friends in middle school.

Other times memories of it all come to me innocuously- on a plane coming back from Thanksgiving, a note falling out of a book.

“I’ll miss you always Linds. Come visit me when you’re out.”

Kenzie’s pink gel pen sparkling off the paper.

A year later, I still wish sometimes that I could go back to that place-

To the floral comforters, the narrow halls, the community room we always had to leave Jacy in because she wasn’t allowed to walk around with the rest of us.

A year later–

I didn’t know I’d look back at in this light-

But I do.

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