Family Time

Earlier this week, my mom sent me an e-mail with a pumpkin soup recipe, asking if I'd like to come over and help her make it. The answer was obviously yes, seeing as pumpkin was in the title of the recipe. We decided to meet up today, because yesterday was my sister Shannon's 15th birthday and my family was going to celebrate it tonight, so it seemed like a good time to meet up.
I met my mom at Wegman's so we could do grocery shopping for the week. My house that I live in does communal groceries, but lately it's just been better for me to do my own food stuff. It causes me a lot of anxiety not knowing what I'm going to have for a meal, or planning the day in advance what I'm going to have and then not having something available. Ideally, eating what the house eats would be moving in the right direction in terms of recovery, it's just been too much for me to handle recently. Plus, if I'm going to eat food, it's gotta be the best tasting food, because why waste calories on cardboard? (My roommates don't eat cardboard, but you know what I mean)
So we went shopping, and it was a pretty low stress trip, mostly because I didn't have a lot that I needed. And I've kind of gotten into a routine of what I need, which is helpful for right now. And then we came home and made soup.... well, I helped a little, but mostly I just hung around and goofed off. But hey, I only see my family a few times a month, so I like to be able to hang out with my siblings and chat and mess around with them.
I had a really good time hanging out with the family. As I posted on facebook, it's always so refreshing to spend time with my family. They are so amazing and supportive, and I couldn't ask for a better family. It's amazing how much things have changed. I spent so many years being resentful of my family, and I don't even know why, they never did anything wrong. Of course, there are things that I look back on and wish they did differently. But they're humans and imperfect, and they did the best they could with me and my siblings, and I can't thank them enough for doing their best.
Going home used to cause me so much anxiety. Especially when I lived in Texas. I always freaked out about the whole food aspect of things (where am I going to get my food? how am I going to prepare it when there are PEOPLE there? I can't be seen around food. I'm going to have to talk to people?) I also struggled with the fact that I was really deep in my ED at the time, and my parents weren't actively trying to "save me." We've talked about it in therapy, and I understand now that at points they didn't know how to help, or if it would worsen things. And there were times when I was so good at hiding it, that they didn't realize how bad it was.
A big reason that things have been different is because of the work I've done both in and out of treatment. My family therapist at ERC in Denver was amazing at getting me to be more open with my parents, and not allowing me to bullshit with them. But even since then, things have gotten so much better with my family. I think I've been more open with them about my struggles, and how they can help. And I've reached out to my parents more when things have felt out of my control. I definitely can't give myself all the credit though, I don't know if "changed" is the right word, but my parents have learned so much over the past two years about how they can help me, and have been way more active in my recovery. I don't know if that's because I've let them in more, or if they've stepped up more, or both.
Dinner with my family was great. I don't usually enjoy food unless I'm not sober, but as much as eating with people causes me anxiety, it DOES make it more enjoyable once I get passed the anxiety. I think the anxiety is more thinking about having to eat with people and thinking about the anxiety, so I get anxious over becoming anxious. But once I sit down and do it, it's okay. Eating with people is so helpful because I can think about the conversation rather than the calories that I'm shoving down my throat. I feel like I'm getting much better at contributing to the conversation when I'm eating with my family than I was even a few months ago. We even talked about athletes, and 300-lb football players, and beefing up, and it didn't make me cringe or turn me off food. I mean, we WERE talking about a vegan 300-lb football player, but still.
When I drove my sister to wawa earlier, I found this pumpkin cannoli dip & chips, and anyone who knows anything about me knows I'm obsessed with pumpkin. And I like the regular non pumpkin variety of it, so I thought I'd give this a try. It was good, like the normal kind, but definitely didn't taste like pumpkin.


Anyways, I'm so glad things have been better with my family. I'm growing to love and appreciate them more and more everyday. I used to think my siblings hated me (because I was pretty rotten when I was in my ED), but it always tickles my heart when my little brothers come up to me and give me an "I missed you" hug.

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