All week I’ve had in mind a topic I knew I wanted to write about. This isn’t it.
I thought Ana had gone and, in the main, she has; but, her presence still lingers in me.
This last week has been up and down. My feelings of depression overcame me for most of the week and I withdrew into myself again. I slept in the afternoon, I feared the future, I couldn’t see the point of my being here, the part I have to play in my life, in other people’s lives.
I’ve been in a baking frenzy; it’s a way of testing and punishing myself because I love to bake cakes, experiment with recipes, share my baking and, in the past, enjoy the sampling! Of course, now I rarely eat the products of my baking so, as always, Mum has been my grateful guinea pig!
Finally, on Friday I tried two of the buns I’d made as I was experimenting with new flavours. I didn’t sit down with the finished buns and a cup of tea and enjoy them as a treat. I mulled over in my mind the pros and cons of eating them; what else had I eaten that day, that week; how active have I been; can I justify them? I ate them to test the flavours, not to enjoy the fruits of my day.
Later, after dinner Mum and I were enjoying a cup of tea and I brought out some of the buns. She had one and commented on how delicious it was and said she just couldn’t resist another one. I wanted to be part of that. I wanted us to share the enjoyment of this treat, my baking. I sat with the tiny bun and a cake fork and ate it as slowly as if it were an entire celebration cake. But, this time, there was something a little safe in eating it because Mum was too. She eased the guilt and I said, ‘It’s nice to enjoy a cake with a cup of tea.’ Something so very very simple is so very very significant and challenging for me.
We’re spending the weekend with Granny. Granny’s house has always been the place were you enjoy her homemade flapjacks and fruitcakes. Of course now it’s something that preys on my mind all week. Can I have a treat? I know I shouldn’t; but why shouldn’t I?
After dinner last night I ate a huge piece of fruit cake. But I didn’t do it freely, I did it because I’d had just enough wine to take the edge of the endless mental to-ing and fro-ing. I ate it and went back for more, despite not wanting it, despite being full. I was binging on the thing I so desperately wanted to freely enjoy because the alcohol meant I wasn’t thinking or feeling. So I didn’t really, truly enjoy it.
Of course, I woke this morning tormented with the guilt. I don’t want my relationship with food to be like that. I don’t want the only time I eat certain foods to be if I’ve been drinking. There are so many more foods that I’m happy to eat now but still so many that confuse me and challenge me. I want to simply pick up some chocolate and eat it without giving a second thought to it. I want food to be a fun, sharing experience again and not accompanied by a million conflicting thoughts.
I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to eat like that again.