Saturday, December 10, 2016

Free Time

Work has been slow the past week or two, and besides a few social activities on weekends I have not been very busy in general. Being bored is very tough for me. When I was not doing well (AKA struggling with Ed severely) I was never bored. My mind and body were constantly occupied with Ed. Either working out, thinking about working out, reading fitness/diet magazines, thinking about food/wondering through the grocery store to look at food, looking up calories online (sometimes of restaurants I had not even heard of before.... just because it would be nice to know what foods to avoid if I ever was faced with such a terrible situation).

That was one thing the eating disorder gave to me-I always had something to be working on, a reason to keep going...because what was life besides running and calories? 

Being on the recovery side of ed, I look back at my old self and cannot believe how I filled my time. Was looking at calories from restaurants in California really what I did for 2 hours on a Saturday? Even if I do not have lavish plans on the weekend now, I would  never want to do that activity again! One of the many perks of recovery is that you get to choose how you want to spend your time (opposed to Ed choosing for you). However, it's hard when almost all of your previous free time activities are Ed related...

Instead of exercising (beyond what I am allowed), I have recently begun journaling again, a habit I really got into during my stays at treatment when free time was frequent and behaviors were not an option. I have found that writing makes me feel tremendously better. Even if I am in a good place, writing soothes me.

My new routine is to go to Starbucks, order my iced coffee with extra soy milk, now that it's cold outside I'll probably switch it up to a cinnamon dolce latte :), and settle in for an hour or so of writing. 

I used to think writing without a real purpose or without something significant to say was childish. I have since changed my outlook completely.

I realized that the act of writing, whether it is about a sweater or life and death is important, for me at least. Every sentence doesn't need to be a breathtaking string of extravagant words. I can write whatever I want because there are no rules.

Now I might simply write about my day-the mundane meetings I had at work or something really exciting at work like seeing caramel flavored creamer at the coffee bar (yes, this is exciting).Other days may be more intense and I'll find myself filling the pages with emotion and adjectives I didn't even know that I knew!

Realizing my enjoyment of writing makes me wonder what else I really enjoy doing - things that are not just what Ed has told me to like. Discovering my real interests is a step in recovery that I haven't taken thus far. Unoccupied time has been dictated by Ed for far too long. I am excited to learn what Julie enjoys doing in her free time.