There’s a big event coming up this week in the Vancouver Mom blogging community that I am nervous and excited about attending. It’s not formal, but most of the women there will be dressed up and looking their best. It’s a special occasion. It’s a night of celebration and mingling and sadly, it’s also been a trigger for my eating disorder.
When I heard about the event, my first thought was what I would wear (of course!) and my second thought was that I would stop eating.
The urge to starve started in my late teens and remained an issue well into my 30’s until I finally thought I had it kicked. After all the work I’ve done around body image and self-care, and when I look at how far I’ve come in my wellness, having the thought of not eating even occur to me was like being sucker punched by a friend. It became obvious it still has a little hold on me.
Thankfully, this time was different. I was able to talk myself down using the same sorts of messages I share here with you frequently. It worked. After a few minutes I was able to go about my day as usual. Nevertheless, it was startling how quickly my mind returned to what had been my go-to stress coping strategy for years. It made me think of others going through similar challenges.
Certain emotions, events, stress and anxiety and can trigger a knee-jerk reaction in people recovering from an eating disorder.
However brief it was, the incident made me realize that the urge might always be there for me. You know that saying about “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic”? Maybe having an eating disorder is similar and, like sobriety, wellness is going to take a life-long commitment.
So I’m going to keep promoting body positive images and self-love messages because I know they work for me. (It works when you work it.) Hopefully they will help on your journey to body love as well. I am committed to my health and happiness and yours. We may never completely erase old negative thought patterns, but at least the positive ones will outnumber them and while it’s not perfect, it is progress.