I made sugar cookies the other day.
This probably sounds like a mundane, everyday thing that isn't even worth mentioning. But it was such a big step for me that I wanted to scream it out my window.
I MADE COOKIES, WORLD!!
Cooking anything has always been a risky undertaking for me. When my brain was still being steered by ED, anything that involved me having carte blanche over what was being put into a meal was a recipe for disaster. (No pun intended!) I would inevitably add a ton of extra ingredients - whatever my heart desired - and end up with this supersized dish that was then consumed and purged. There was no leeway. There was no happiness or comfort in it. ED would lie to me from the start. He'd insist that I needed to eat everything in sight, and then the second I couldn't eat anymore, he would demand that I undo what I did before my world collapsed. It was an exhausting, miserable process that I felt compelled to repeat over, and over, and OVER.
Until I punched ED in the face and called him on his lies.
When I went into residential treatment last summer, I was finally able to loosen ED's grip on my brain long enough to reevaluate everything. Without him SCREAMING in my head every second of every day, I had the chance to actually think about things clearly. This was a double-edged sword. I saw how horrible and damaging and absurd engaging in this torturous cycle was. It made no sense. I was being tricked into believing that stuffing myself full of food would make me happy. It would erase my anxiety! It would help me deal with whatever I was stressing about at the time! It was the cure for everything!
But then he flipped the tables on me.
Literally the MOMENT I finished the first task he set upon me, he would claim that I now had to dispose of all of that food I had eaten before it magically turned into extra girth around my stomach and on my thighs. Because things really work that way, right? (Insert eyeroll here.)
Newsflash: ED is a lying SOB who will not be happy until he kills you.
I was so ANGRY when I first came to this realization. All of those years that I had been striving to please my brain were in vain. I had wasted so much time. I had hurt my body. Nothing good came out of what I had done.
NOT ONE DAMN THING.
So I changed things. These days I am so much happier than I was when I was so committed to ED. The only person I am trying to please is me. The only goals that drive are my peace of mind and happiness. I can still hear his lies, but I don't listen to them. I don't yield to his every whim. I don't allow his opinion to sway my decisions in any way, shape, or form.
In doing so I have found stability and relief.
Don't get me wrong - the road to get here was not an easy one. I was fighting back urges to slip at every turn and there were many times I was so tired of fighting that I just wanted to lay down and give up.
But I didn't. And I lived. And I persevered.
I beat him down until his power was gone. All I had to do was NOT GIVE UP. Keep breathing, keep hoping, and keep moving forward. It is completely achievable if you just follow those 3 steps.
You CAN do it.
I did. I will always have ED waiting in the back of my mind for an opportunity to slip in and take it all away. He won't find one. Even if I fall down and mess up, I will get back up and keep going. The desire to be at peace far outweighs anything ED tries to offer.
I like my life. I think I'll stay here.
Keep the faith, guys.
Before you know it, you'll be making sugar cookies, too!
Sending so much love your way.