Day 8, Recovery isn’t everything, it’s all things.

Ugh, I have a 2 year old, a 3 year old, and a husband, and I don’t want to cook. My kids don’t want to eat anything I make. My husband is on a diet which leads me to a very dangerous precipice from which I can easily hurl myself into an abyss of numbers, quantities, and labels assigning moral characterizations to inanimate food objects. I just want a break. I made the appointment, I’m not using eating disorder behaviors, not physically. But now that I’ve made this decision, I kind of don’t know what to do with myself. I’m obsessing a little about what my life might look like in the future. I’m definitely not living right here right now. That’s not true either. Some times I am, and sometimes I’m a mess.

Today was all of recovery.

I took my 2 year old out to a Cafe while his brother was in preschool. It was my first time eating anything outside of my home since I decided to kick this. It was oddly enjoyable, watching my toddler watching everyone else, practically climbing over the booth to say hello to the elderly couple on the other side. The bagel was gone, and maybe a millisecond of guilt for having eaten “out”.

I spent 2 hours outside with my Littles only aware of the current moment, their rounded sturdy bodies tumbling down the hill in our front yard. The look of surprise on my 2 year old’s face when he fell, fear turning into laughter instead of tears because we were finally outside on a gorgeous day after so much winter. My 3 year old pushing his brother in his cozy coup, showing off, using both hands because he has Cerebral Palsy and he knows it makes me proud. All this life and love packed into two little bodies, it hardly seems fair. The sun on our faces and bare arms left us nearly ecstatic. Honestly, I did not have a thought during those two hours that wasn’t aimed at enjoying my children and increasing their joy. It was the best part of my day.

Several attempted feedings later with little success left me frustrated. How these tiny people that I love so painfully hard can drive me so crazy is one of the great riddles of my life. Wasting food leaves me feeling uncomfortable; preparing food leaves me irritable. I have recently left my part time job to stay home with the children every day and to help my husband with his business. There are few moments to myself in a day. He actually asked me today, what I could possibly be stressed about. I literally disclosed to him yesterday that I have never stopped struggling with my eating disorder, save for one unexpected and unearned year. I told him YESTERDAY that I was seeking professional help for a disorder he thought I no longer had. He wonders what I could be stressed about.

I completed several business related tasks this evening, the kind of tasks that early in my sobriety would have hung over me, looming, threatening, until the very last moment, driving the drama and adrenaline sky high.

I stopped listening to a recovery podcast and sat with my 3 year old and read to him while his brother napped because he asked me to.

I’ve come to believe that my recovery isn’t everything. Certainly, it’s significant and without my recovery from alcoholism I wouldn’t have my children if anything at all. But, I need my heart to pump my blood just as much as I need to be sober, and without one, I have nothing. So, neither is everything. But I’m remembering today how recovery is all things. All those little and huge triumphs, all those fears, all of the uncomfortability, and the serenity, all of the recovery.

Challenge for today:

Start and end your day with gratitude. I becan my day with coffee and a gratitude list. As I sit here before bed, after having several Nasty thoughts about my husband, I am reminded of his place on my gratitude list this morning. I was grateful for the compassion he showed me yesterday when I came out to him regarding my eating disorder. And so, I will end my day with a gratitude list devoted to him.

Grateful for my husband for: his unending desire to provide for his family, his enormous work ethic, his down to earth attitude, his recovery, and his faith.

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