So you’d think that yesterday’s revelation would be enough for me to trash the cigarettes, eat my meal plan, and throw myself headlong into recovery again.
I headed to my therapy and nutrition appointments yesterday, cigarette in hand (and mouth). But this time, I had a small bag of candy sitting next to me. I had actually bought it for my dinner on Monday night, a mere 180 calories. Thankfully, some dear friends, a French movie, and a few beers convinced me to eat at least a small [French-inspired!] dinner of croissant and crepe.
So now I had this bag of candy at my disposal. I thought back to a conversation that Grey and I had a few days ago when I was craving a cigarette. I sat at my desk, snapping bubble wrap between my fingers, bemoaning the fact that it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I had hoped.
“Maybe,” she said, “You should follow more of your meal plan?”
I scoffed at this idea, wondering how she could possibly make the leap from “bubble wrap” to “meal plan.” But this girl’s got me figured out.
“Well, you also smoke to avoid food. That’s how I made the leap.”
She was dead-on with that one. So when I was faced yesterday with low intake, a possible snack, and a cigarette, I considered my options. I popped a chewy spree into my mouth.
I sucked on it for a while, chewed and swallowed and wondered if I’d be willing to do it — eating, instead of smoking to avoid eating. I had another spree. I considered how terrifying it is to be hungry. I considered the fact that I’ve still got weight I want to lose.
I also considered the fact that I’m a runner to some degree, and while I may be on exercise restriction currently, I would like to get back to being the girl that ran 15ks and half-marathons. I considered how much money I throw away in cigarettes each week, just to avoid eating. I considered how much money I (and my parents) have spent on residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient therapies in the last six months alone.
I smoked another cigarette.
How much longer am I willing to let my eating disorder run my life and make my decisions for me? How can the same girl who eats organic salads and tofu, brews kombucha, and works out regularly smoke cigarettes and drink to excess? I am the first girl. My eating disorder is the second.
After yesterday, I can’t pretend to be oblivious any more. Each cigarette is a conscious choice. Whereas my default setting with food seems to be “don’t eat” (making it a much more difficult to fight my way into normal eating), my default setting with cigarettes is “ewwwww.” Every cigarette I have now is a conscious decision to let my eating disorder have the win.
So I smoked my last cigarette on the way home from work today. The pack is gone. I’m not buying another.
I’m committing to quit. I’m committing to journal and figure out what exactly is behind my avoidance of eating. What am I trying to avoid in my life right now? What are some better ways to deal with that than restricting, smoking, or bingeing? (For the record, I haven’t had a binge in a good long time, but I fear it nonetheless.)
I’m kickin’ the butt.