Every morning I wake up and tell myself that it's a new day, that I can start fresh and not be condemned to making the same mistakes as the day before. Every morning I wake up and believe, even if it's just for 5 minutes as I stretch in bed and hit snooze on my alarm, that things can be different.
Sometimes I'm right and the day gets off to a good start. I have tea, meditate, eat a healthy breakfast and accomplish a nice list of things at work. I make some jewelry, play with the cats and write for the blog or for my budding novel.
Other days it's not so good. Within minutes of getting out of bed I'm off and running down a comfortable but terribly unhealthy path. I'll eat an entire pack of sugar wafers for breakfast, have a glass of wine before noon, procrastinate on my work obligations and surf the internet in my pajamas.
The hardest part of these days is that they almost always revolve around overeating. It's like once I make the first wrong move - sugar, fat and alcohol in whatever combination and in excessive quantities - my day is blown to shit. I can't seem to stop at one cookie or one piece of cheese, I end up eating the entire package in an attempt to make myself numb. I'll lament all day about how fat I am, about all the willpower I lack, about how shameful my behavior is. I feel alone and desperate, like I did so many nights in college back when bulimia had me caught up in her tight little grip.
Things are better now - I no longer purge - but the binges are still there when I get stressed or when I manage to fall off track due to a holiday or a big night out. Despite the fact that I am in recovery from my eating disorder, the pain is still the same. All the underlying feelings are still there, and I am humbled when I realize that they may not ever go away. It's the way that I deal with them that changes, to what degree I give into my negative impulses and let my inner critic get the best of me. Every night after a bad day it still hurts to the bone. I still want to cry, still desperately hope for someone to swoop down and hold me until all the pain passes.
I know now that every minute I wait for some magical figure to fix my problems is a minute waisted. I am the answer. I must be the one to speak the kind words I long to hear and pick myself up the floor for a hug and some loving when things get tough. For the most part, I've gotten much better at this. But some days, when I am feeling particularly depressed and isolated, all I can manage to do is get into bed and hope that sleep comes quickly. The morning always brings me hope, even if it is just for a second.