Listen to yourself

by Anne-Sophie

in Blog

This week, I made a major mistake.

Well, it wasn’t really only this week, but the entire process started a few months ago.

You see, when I was fired by Starbucks in September because of my bike accident, they told me that they would always be happy to employ me again. My boss had been quite pleased with my work and he would have been happy to have me join them after I could walk again.

I have to say that while I had some fun working for Starbucks, it was physically and mentally draining, especially since I had just come back home from my treatment. I was still not eating enough and still abusing laxatives. So, I was often weak and struggled to make it through an 9-hour shift.

Looking back at the time now, I don’t know how I did it, especially since I was still so very fragile. 

It turned out that being fired was a blessing in disguise since I found my purpose and my happiness in the weeks and months after that incident. I began to write and podcast more frequently, I began to learn a lot about self-employment and I began to see all the amazing skills I had slumbering inside.

And I began to see the fruits of the hard work you do, my wonderful readers, and being on this journey towards recovery with you is simply amazing. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing you make major steps in the right direction and I am excited about even the slightest progress.

But even though I loved what I was doing and I worked harder than ever before, I did not earn any money. So, I decided reluctantly to go back to Starbucks in order to at least earn enough to keep the blog and the podcast alive and start paying off the debt that I have because of my treatment.

They welcomed me back with open hands and I was scheduled to start working again last Tuesday. The nights prior to this day were horrible. I had the worst nightmares I had in ages and they all revolved around Starbucks. I began to worry about what the irregular working hours would do to my eating structure and if I could be flexible and eat a bit more to have more energy.

The closer the day came, the worse my fear got. Before going to work, I called my mom, sobbing. I really thought I could not do it. I was terrified that I might risk a relapse and I did not want this to happen.

She calmed me down enough for me to get it together and make it to work on time.

I worked my butt of for 5 hours straight (no sitting down once, not even a sip of water) before I got my only break for the day. By that time, my eyesight had gotten really bad (nerves?) and I had a brutal headache.

I went back to work anticipating 5pm in order to go back home and rest. When I got home, I was beat. I felt crushed, both physically and mentally, and I was again terrified by the notion of having to do it again on the next day.

Let me stress this hear: It is not the work part that I feared (I work hard and I like it, the more to do the better), but I was scared for myself and my recovery. 

I have learned to take good care of myself in the last few months and I think that this is a major reason why I was  able to make so much progress. It is so easy to fall back into old and destructive patterns and I did not want this to happen.

At the same time I knew that my regular eating structure was another important pillar and I could not keep that up while working for Starbucks.

So, I talked to my husband and we decided it would be best for me to quit. So, I did. feeling quite queasy. I knew I was going to face major judgment both by my family and, of course, my employer. Seriously, my evil brother is probably having a field day right now.

But I needed to do it to protect myself. I made a fool of myself, undoubtedly, I wasted everyone’s time and I should have known better because I talked about it on the Fighting Anorexia Podcast.

So, why did I do it then? Why on earth did I go ahead with planning something that I knew was simply not right?

I wanted to please others. As simple as that. I wanted to please my husband and show him that I can take care of myself. I wanted to please my parents because I know they don’t see the business that I am building as real work (and before I write The Ultimate Guide to a Healthy Body Image, they never thought that I would make money with it).

I wanted to please and by pleasing others, I forgot to listen to myself. I forgot that I am still only a year into recovery and that it takes a lot of time and work and a stable surrounding in order to stay strong. I forgot that money will never outweigh the importance of my health and I forgot that I am important and my needs are not laughable.

When I talked on the phone with my my the other day telling her in tears that I would not be able to have my yoghurt at 11 am as I always have and that I would not eat my power bar at 4pm as I always do, and that this was a huge deal for me.

My husband later told me how ridiculous this sounded and I realize it does – for others. For me, this is important. Eating regularly is crucial for me at this stage right now and work should not interfere with that.

Of course, my mom was anything but pleased about the face that I quit after one freakin’ day and she did not hold back on showing me her disappointment. I am not going to lie. It hurts, it really does. But that is something I have to deal with if I want to stay in recovery. Other people simply don’t know what recovery really is and what you need to do in order to stay on track.

If your needs are being laughed at, criticized or if they are being belittled, try not to let it get to you too much and do what is right for you and your recovery.

After all, there is nothing more important than that. 

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