Typically in our family, I am the one who does the cooking. And when I say typically, I mean all the time, every day, for every meal. Even the Train’s lunch he takes to work with him, I make those too. What can I say, I enjoy my time spent in the kitchen.
Honestly, in all reality there was a bit more to it then just mere joy of the stove, it was actually a method of control for what and how much (or how little) I was eating. The ED had specific stipulations upon each meal and did not let me venture out much unless I’d done something to deserve it. Special considerations were taken according to each plate, each restaurant, each calorie. A routine give and take – an extra workout, a smaller lunch, a less caloric day in general, etc – my entire day was based on the previous meal or the meal to come. It truly felt as though I was chasing my tail all day long.
The few times the Z man would cook for me, my anxiety levels would be off the charts. I didn’t know how he cooked it, if he cooked it the way
the ED I do, what was in it, if he’d laced it with lard or scoops of sugar (ok a bit of a stretch, but these are the things I worried about). Often times I was looking over his shoulder watching his every move, dictating orders from the other room, and pacing between rooms fidgeting endlessly to slow my racing mind. I was an irrational wreck and not a pleasant person to be around. I’d even sneak into the kitchen to put things in or take things out just to be sure his recipe met my caloric standards. (Poor Z, he’s always so patient and just trying to help, yet he faced the rathe of my angst – which came out as anger towards him when in all reality it was mix of anger towards myself and the ED)
Even though I feel I’ve grown so much, I challenged myself and took big leap in my soul searching. Tonight, I asked the Train to make me dinner. He was hesitant, but I assured him this was something I needed him to do. And even though I laid out a tiny road map for him to take in the kitchen – I asked for a vegan main course, a small salad, and a side of some sort -, I promised him (and myself) that I would enjoy his lovely meal, without questions and anxiety free.
I came home from work to this awaiting me. (Pictures contributed by Mr. Z Train himself 🙂 )
I didn’t even have a chance to get anxious or nervous, I was so overcome with love and appreciation for what the Train had done for me. Nothing says “I love you,” like preparing and presenting food for someone – or at lease to me. But it wasn’t just about the food, he really put some consideration into my feelings, what I enjoy, and what would challenge me just enough to not push me over the edge.
And this time felt so different than the other times he’d cooked for me. I hadn’t spent the entire day calculating what I was going to have to do or what I wasn’t going to be able to eat before and after. I didn’t feel the choke hold in my chest from the distress of eating something I had not had a hand in myself. It was just two grown adults enjoying an evening of each other’s company and a wonderful thoughtfully prepared meal together. ED free.
Each day brings new light to a healthier and happier me. I can’t say it’s been easy, but I am not giving up or giving in. Until I’ve come to a place in my soul searching where I am completely released of the ED, I’ll keep pushing myself. I’m confident in saying I’m getting there. Meal by meal, day by day I’m getting there.
*A special loving thank you to the man of my dreams. You are more wonderful than words can say. I love you Brat.