My mum said something to me at our Mother’s Day dinner a few weeks ago that really slapped me in the face.
We were speaking about the eating disorder and how much it took over all our lives (and occasionally still does). She called it “a selfish illness”. She didn’t mean I was selfish, or that it was my fault or anyone was to blame, but simply that the ED doesn’t give a damn about anyone else. It doesn’t take anybody’s feelings into account and demands all the attention—leaving none for the people close to you.
I had never thought of it like this, but looking back it was clear to see. Even the very place the conversation was happening—a Mother’s Day dinner I organised for mum—was a reminder of how bad it was, and how far I’ve come.
There is no way I could have organised a dinner party (or any event involving food) a year ago. I knew I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. But this year things were different. The Mother’s Day dinner was my family’s present for mum. We all put in to pay for a chef to come to my parents’ place and cook us a gourmet three-course dinner, plus canapés on arrival. It was bloody amazing. (We’ve got a link to the chef and pics of the dinner at the end of this post for those who are interested.)
In the week leading up to the dinner I had a lot of anxiety about the food that would be served and many suggestions from the ED about how I could restrict before, during and after the night. Thankfully I’m at a point in my recovery where I don’t always give in to the ED and I was able to enjoy all the food on the night. I even had a glass of wine with mum, which made me really happy because I know how much it meant to her.
It can be really useful, especially early on in your recovery journey, to focus on getting better for yourself (and I’ve often used this approach), but I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find the benefits of recovery aren’t just for me—they’re for my loved ones too. This realisation has given me massive motivation, especially during the hard times.
As you know, we’re all about being honest about our struggles here at mindfoodly. The truth is, while I did manage to enjoy the dinner without any interference from the ED, it struck back with a vengeance two days later. It was Sunday night and I came face to face with the prospect of eating dessert for a second time in one weekend—the ED thoughts came strong. I’ve found this to be pretty routine. Eating disorders don’t like you making progress, so when you do they’ll try really hard to make you feel bad for it. While it’s horrible at the time, I try to remember it’s a sign I’m on the right track! I may or may not have a thrown a little tanty, but I’m proud to say (after many expletives, screams and tears) I did enjoy a delicious bowl of Nutella and ice cream—mixed together by Matt of course!
Despite all this, the thing that makes me happiest is that when it was most important my attention was focused right where it should have been—on my darling mum 🙂
Here are the chef/caterer’s details:
Now please enjoy these pics of the absolutely scrumptious cuisine we had the pleasure of eating: