I’ve now been asked a few times about my donut obsession, so I thought I would let loose on how it started and how it’s been such an integral part of my recovery.
I’ve lived in Chicago for eleven months now, and one year ago from today I was still learning how to eat normally again. I finished school already at Oglethorpe and hadn’t made the decision to move up here yet, but my mental health was readily declining thus moving close to home became inevitable. I had a nutritionist down south, but like most eating disorder sufferers, I didn’t like her. She intimidated me and made recovery seem impossible which ultimately diminished my motivation. I began to just not care about recovery, and then I decided to make the change.
I officially called Chicago my home one month later. I wanted to own recovery by starting over and ultimately regain my life back; furthermore, I longed to return to climbing as I hit three months of my hiatus. On the plane ride up to Chicago, I compiled as much information that I could regarding recovery resources in the city, but I didn’t want to go the traditional inpatient route. I’ve experienced many ‘styles’ of recovery, but I knew the only way for me to get a grasp on recovery was being immersed in my day-to-day lifestyle simultaneously. So, I joined forces with a primary care physician, nutritionist, psychiatrist, and therapist (who has dealt with an eating disorder for the majority of her life!), and looking back today I couldn’t be more happy about my decision. Having to deal with life’s hardships while dealing with an eating disorder at the same time made me realize a few things: a) I am capable of doing anything I put my mind to, and b) I can’t use my eating disorder to cope with losing control of other things in my life.
So where do the donuts come in? Well, as part of my approach to gaining a healthier relationship with food, I decided to take mandatory ‘risks’ every week. I would have to challenge myself to indulge in food that I thought was ‘scary’ or food that I had avoided eating. Taking risks started off with a binge episode of cookies, and this reminded me of why you shouldn’t hold back on indulging for too long! Guilt followed, weeks passed, and I was back to trying my hands at this ‘risk’ concept.
My nutritionist’s office sits a block away from the infamous Stan’s Donuts, and the smell always had a way of tickling my tastebuds as I walked past. The cute flooring, the neon sign, and the old-fashion feel only enhanced my donut fiend, so I took a seat in the window and marveled at the blueberry cake donut I just ordered. I slowly took a nibble, and little did I know that I would be in donut heaven… forever. I still continue to take ‘risks’ indulge in other foods when I want to, but it has become a tradition to eat a donut a week in honor of myself and how far I’ve come. Plus, donuts are damn good, so it’s safe to say that I am okay with being obsessed with them.
I am remembering that although I am seven years into dealing with my eating disorder, I am less than a year since gaining a grip on my most current relapse. I don’t like to boast about myself, but I sure do feel proud of how far I’ve come.
Thanks for all the love and support from family and friends, and special thanks to the donuts that have made my recovery so worthwhile.