Have you ever said something, or did something, that completely ruined everything? However small it might have been, however trivial.
One of the most exhausting aspects of recovering from something is its residual factors. If you endured an injury, the process of rehabilitation would be by far more difficult than the initial accident. First and foremost, its length would far exceed that of an accident; while a car accident can happen in mere seconds, the aftermath could be months, or even years. Following that, during this process you have the knowledge of that which brought you to this place – the hurt, the sadness and the guilt.
Recovering from a psychologist trauma is not much different. The one major note between the example above and my situation is that, in my car accident, I was responsible. I accelerated, weighed the potential consequences and continued. I did not think it through; I did not care. I just drove.
Now, I am crippled by my past. Unable to enjoy some very important parts of life. While, on the whole, I would argue I am a happy person, there are moments which remind me – my scars – of my past.
The one echo of my past which has resonated far beyond its expiry date, has been the concept of schedules and times. Before continuing, you need to understand that with a disorder regarding food, scheduling becomes almost… required. It is similar to the counting of calories, or the restriction: the one in the driver’s seat only feels safe when her or she has full control of the vehicle.
When I was trying to get over restriction, the one thing I turned to was scheduled eating (a concept which, rationally, I put little credence into). I submitted to the notion that one should eat every three hours and should not put a bite of food into their mouths after 7PM. While, I have become a little more flexible on the first part, the 7PM rule plagues.
Yesterday, my boyfriend decided he would want to come over after work (meaning 6:30 arrival time). For most girls, this would lead to pure thrill. For me, it was a balance of joy and fear.
What about dinner? Should I eat before I get him… or after? If I eat after, that is superbly close to seven… I can’t eat that late. That’s far too late. But I want to do this. For me, for him; I want him to know that I am getting better.
After a great deal of humming and thinking, I decided my strength would enable me to do this. Leading up to dinner, I was fine. I was actually extremely happy. I was proud. So proud. I felt like I was better – over it.
We got home a few minutes earlier than expected. So, I decided to prepare my salad and wait. Still, I was absolutely okay. The tilapia and burgers were ready, the fries in the oven began to beep and everyone started to meander, getting their food – by this point, I had been done for about seven minutes, just waiting for my tilapia.
I fingered a strawberry slice as my heart slowly began to rev its engine. Here we go, again. I knew this feeling. I decided to practice my circular breaths; usually they helped. I refrained from looking at the clock, knowing that time was but a number and my body did not comprehend its meaning. Then, I folded.
6:42PM; nearing the 7PM mark and we had not even sat down yet.
I snapped, and said: “C’mon guys; let’s go!” much alike a young child, impatient and whiny. As soon as the words came out, I froze on the inside. I was ashamed, upset and felt nothing but pure failure. Even though it had only been four words… it negated everything leading up to this moment. I officially lost.
My father freaked out, told me he was sick of this and threw his food on his plate so harshly, the burger almost missed. He uttered: “gotta be fast; gotta be quick”. My mother remained quiet, as did Omar. Which was almost worse. I knew it; I hurt them. More importantly, I hurt myself.
The rest of the night was filled of regret. Why could I not just take that moment back? Sit down, eat my supper without a care. I did not say much, for I could not find the words in me. After a couple routine episodes of How I Met Your Mother, I went into my bedroom, read a book and reflected.
Just when I believed that I would be able to walk again, my legs gave out. The hours spent telling myself I would get better, gone. Now, as mellow dramatic as it is, I feel I am back at square one. Trying desperately to make that first step, knees shaking… heart racing.
Maybe one day.