Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recovery is easy when life is good

And not so easy when it's not.  Or that's how it seems to be for me recently.  I've finally made my way past the every-meal-is-a-struggle part of my recovery, at least for now.  When life is chugging along I do well.  I feed myself snacks, I don't measure everything, I cook with oil, etc.  But when I'm faced with unexpected challenges I still struggle.  A lot.

I went camping with the boyfriend and some friends this past weekend.  Life was good, even though it rained and our tent got all damp and humid inside and the water went out in the campground.  I ate deliciously burnt marshmallows, snacked on tons of trail mix, and drank beer without trying to get drunk (I still have issues with figuring that if I'm drinking empty calories I should have a goal like getting drunk but that's another post).  I hardly thought about calories all weekend.

Then I got home and my beloved cat that I adopted in college and has been with me through all the moves and ups and downs of the eating disorder slipped out the back door.  She disappeared under the house but we managed to chase her out of there and almost got her.  She managed to dodge though and get through the fence to the front of the house and vanish.  She didn't come back for dinner last night or breakfast this morning despite repeated tapping of her food bowl outside.  It's been almost 24 hours.  She's smart and tagged and microchipped but I live on a busy street and she's only been outside a few times ever.  And never at this house.  To say I'm upset is an understatement.  In fact, I'm tearing up again as I write this.  Everyone keeps assuring me that she'll be back but they don't know for sure.  No one can promise me that nothing bad will happen to her.

I can't help but beat myself up over it.  (Not too surprising considering my last entry.)  "This is all your fault.  You left the door open.  You should have been more careful.  You can't do anything right."  And as sometimes happens when I'm upset or stressed my appetite has vanished.  I know I should be forcing myself to eat, and I did last night, but I'm so sad.  I don't handle strong emotions well.  Not eating numbs things.  I don't have the energy to feel bad.

So yeah.  I'm struggling a lot today.  This makes it pretty clear that I still have a lot of work to do in this recovery thing.  When things get rough restricting needs to not be my go-to response.  In the long run it will just make things worse.  I know this and yet I still haven't managed to eat today.