Really, though, it's been a week. The husband and I started off the week by taking someone out to dinner Monday night. It was the first time I'd been out to dinner (as opposed to nachos and cocktails) at a restaurant since my mother-in-law's birthday, if I recall correctly. It was the first time I'd been out to dinner at a restaurant whose food was actually good since some time before that. (Since Paris, maybe? I feel as though I'm forgetting something that's going to insult someone.)
Anyway, dinner threw me for a loop. A weird loop.
A normal loop occurs when I enjoy the food that's not in my highly restrictive diet now. My taste buds and tummy want more food like that and inform my brain that they'd like more at some point, possibly tomorrow or next week or whenever, thankyouverymuch. My brain shuts them down without even politely pretending to humor their request. So I lapse back to the highly restrictive list of safe foods I've been subsisting on for however long, and while I joke about catching a tape worm, it never actually occurs to me that, hey, I could also just keep eating more of that food that I liked.
A weird loop occurs when all that same stuff happens... but then it actually occurs to me that I could also just keep eating more of that food that I liked.
This actually occurred to me Monday night after dinner. It also occurred to me Tuesday night when I sat down to my not-dinner. And Wednesday. And tonight. The week itself has been abysmal when considering the actual nutritional mechanics at work in my digestive system, but that new thought, or that old-new thought, is really a new something.
om nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom
Another thing I noticed this week is that when I feel sad (as opposed to numbly depressed, as in clinical depression) I don't have any particular feeling or thought about my body. Usually it doesn't occur to me to notice my body when I feel sad.
This is novel. (At least lately.) Eating disorders like to cut off emotions, or dull them, or warp them. When emotions emerge, often they're scary, and so the eating disorder slips itself into the situational recipe like too much cilantro in your guacamole. When for a moment there you were only feeling anxious, or only feeling angry, or only feeling cautiously optimistic, you are now feeling anxious and like you're physically expanding, or angry suddenly obsessed with [whatever body part/area], or cautiously optimistic and also strictly planning exactly the foods that will allow you to maintain that optimism.
But I realized this week that these days, when I am sad, I am just sad. Not about my body, or about my food, but about stuff in my life. And my body is there, and often it's walking me around Manhattan (because that seems to be when I can access my sadness), and, crucially, it's just my body. It's just moving. It's just harboring and supporting my mind, which is just sad.
These are only moments; the eating disorder swoops in again, always, like anything else comes crashing in to change and undo a moment. But they're there, and they're fascinating to me. They make me imagine experiencing other emotions like I am experiencing the sadness. The make me happy to feel sad.