Today, I got a glimpse of what it’s like to let go.
I’m a very black-or-white thinker. Especially when it comes to body image. Either I’m stick-thin and completely happy (because that’s totally what happens) or I’m fat and miserable. Because, you know, there could be no in-between. Same with food. Either it’s completely healthy and “safe,” or it’s a bunch of crap and not safe to eat.
That last thought is basically what happened at breakfast. There were starches combined with fats again. Both are necessary nutrients, I know, but my own “rules” got the better of me. Ensure replacement happened. But then at lunch – there were some foods that I wasn’t completely comfortable with, but I ate it all anyway. I started to ease off, just a bit, from the eating disorder mindset. I started to let go of some of those rules, some of the competition, some of the drive to be sick. And it was wonderful and terrifying and new and odd and reassuring and uncertain. It was different.
And then I’ve been catching myself on body image today – my mind has started doing CBT all on its own, responding to negative thoughts comparing me to other girls with replacement thoughts allowing for grey area. No, my arms might not be rails, but they’re not that bad. No, I might not be a stick, but I’m still skinny. Yeah, I’m still judging myself based off of largely ED standards, but it’s getting healthier. I’m letting go at least a little bit of ED’s absolutes.
I’m starting to let myself believe that life doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. I can just be, with all my flaws and shortcomings and imperfections. And while this is still ringing like a too-good-to-be-true statement in my ears, it’s at least sounding possibly true. I’m getting there, letting go. Slowly.