I was once so deeply self-aware of my eating disorder that I opted out of (potentially) forever missing out on trick or treating with my kids because it felt so triggering. Them going with their dad, my ex, felt safer.
Fast forward a lifetime.
I was many hours into today before I remembered that I used to hate Halloween. All of that candy used to feel like an abyss. I remember one year I even made it all the way through Halloween without partaking in any treats and it felt like this epic win. And because I got through it, I thought nothing of it when I had candy a couple days later.
I had been eating really clean before that too. Hell, I may have even been doing a Whole30. And I remember going from all clean all the time, to lots of candy intermixed, to quite literally only candy, within a few days. For two weeks.
For two weeks I ate candy. Almost exclusively. I tried to force myself to eat meat or vegetables. But none of that sounded good.
The detox from that was heinous. It was two solid weeks of agonizing pain. I had been taking a biology lab that semester. Every Friday. I remember trying to walk into that class. My legs hurt so much I was in tears. Just sitting was even worse than the walking.
At that point that was maybe only the third time I had experienced that deep, debilitating leg pain. I had no idea at the time how many more dozens of times I’d put myself through that. Or that seven years later, I’d have come as far as I have.
Chris and I went trick or treating with the boys tonight. I was worried about how cold it would be, but I layered and it was actually a gorgeous night. I could have stayed out for another hour or more. It was a perfectly delightful time.
This was the littlest’s loot.
It doesn’t tempt me or haunt me or sadden me. It doesn’t make me anxious or worried. It could be a bag of yoyos or acorns or marbles. I only even took it out to take a picture of it for Chris.
L had a blast trick or treating for the first time. And S had fun running around with his friend and taking a night off from the usual routine. Chris was so in his element tonight. It was a really amazing night. And I didn’t have to forfeit it to accommodate fear or my sense of balance. Feet firmly planted in goodness*.
*Alongside tonight’s goodness, today was a trying day in other departments and I never used food to navigate them. I noted a couple times that I was very intentionally not using food to cope or distract or soften the feelings of impatience and anger and frustration. And then I moved on.