Tonight I did something that I haven't done in over 20 years.
A part of me is really sad that I caved. I almost feeling like saying "you win" to my team. I mean, after all, this was their idea. Sure, it took four years for it to move from idea to encouragement to consideration to well, basically I've gone through the stages of grief, actually. And I've finally moved from acceptance to action.
Tonight I intentionally ate meat.
And I didn't vomit.
And I didn't die.
And I didn't melt like the wicked witch.
Who knows what tomorrow morning will bring, or even the middle of the night, as my stomach is quite the hyper sensitive beast. But I ate. An entire cup of chicken rice soup. I even drank the broth at the end of the cup.
This was (as exaggerated as it sounds) an excruciating task. It meant giving up the title of "vegetarian" which I've coveted since I was 13 years old. It meant giving up on what has proven to be the most useful tool in my eating disordered box of supplies. My eating disorder has one less ally now, and that worries me. Maybe it shouldn't, but it does.
It worries me because the path to recovery, which has been a dirt road littered with gravel and rocks, often challenging to travel, might just be starting to smooth out. That should be good. Making traveling forward easier, leaving more and more disordered eating behaviors behind me. But those behaviors have been my travel companions for so long, leaving this one, the original, the biggest supporter behind? It's anxiety inducing.
On the up side, it means that there is room for another tool, a healthier eating tool. It means that, as long as there are no detrimental reactions to meat becoming a part of my body (and yes, I will give it a full six weeks to try out,) my menu will grow astronomically.
A part of me feels like I failed. Like I couldn't keep up, even after more than 20 years, a vegetarian diet. The reality is that when I became a vegetarian at 13, I only had one known food allergy. 20 some years later, I have a dozen. Those are not choices. I must avoid them. The vegetarian avoidance is a choice. It always has been. One I hold very tightly to. I mean, I am a vegetarian. Period. It's my choice to continue with that vegetarianism at the potential expense of my body, or make the choice to eat meat again as a way to better take care of my body. I might hate the outside of my body, but I really do want to take care of the inside.
Distressing. Confusing. Sad. Anxious. Remorseful.
But also kinda proud of myself for pushing through this massive hurdle and making the attempt to take care of my body in the way it needs. Kinda.