Every week, I attend an eating disorder support group. I have been going for just over 2 years now, and generally I really enjoy it and get a lot out of it and all sorts of good stuff like that. It's not easy to get to know me, because I'm pretty reserved in "real life," (the internet world is easier for me, and besides you only see what I want you to see) but these girls have gotten almost as close to me as I let anybody get, and they're maybe da raddest people I've ever met, and I totally adorbs them and (cheesy and cliche) really admire them and look up to them.
So, I'm a creature of habit. I eat a lot of the same foods every day and I almost always eat them at relatively the same time. My mealplan kind of keeps me from deviating from the norm too much. Just call my body Big Ben; a total clock that depends entirely on the same habitual routine every day. (Daylight Savings realllllly throws me off.)
Every week, on my way to group, I eat a granola bar and chug a Diet Coke. Every week.
Except this week.
This week I've been sick; caught a stomach bug. My tum-tummers has seriously been unhappy and truthfully my adherence to my mealplan has been lacking due to the nausea and inability to keep much in. When I left for group this week, I didn't feel hungry. Not at all. In fact I still felt a bit queasy, so I decided to skip the granola bar, because I didn't want to have to make any embarrassing bathroom runs during group. (TMI, perhaps. Sorry!)
So group starts. All is well in my land. Until, oh, it hadn't been long, maybe 15 minutes into it, I started to feel hungry. Didn't think much of it, just knew I'd have a nice big dinner when I got home, and it was actually relieving to feel like I had an appetite when I'd been quite sick earlier in the week. 20 minutes into group: shite. I'm REALLY hungry.
It was actually a little distracting.
21 minutes into group: ohnoohnoohnoohno my tummy is gonna growl please don't let my stomach growl in a group comprised of women who have eating disorders please please i don't want them to think i'm not eating please don't growl please please!
And my tummy seemed to be saying, GIVE ME MY SWEET 'N SALTY GRANOLA BAR, YOU NAZI STARVER! THIS IS WHEN I GET MY GRANOLA BAR, A PRE-DINNER SNACK AT 5:30. GIVE ME GIVE ME I WANT I WANT I NEED I NEED!!! WHY IS THERE NOT A GRANOLA BAR INSIDE ME RIGHT NOW, YOU BEEZY?
And I was like, I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. But please, dear stomach, have mercy on me and DO NOT growl again. It's too embarrassing.
25 minutes into group: I'm really worried about my stomach demanding the granola bar again, or worse, insisting on dinner when I could not give it to it for another hour. Like,I was ridiculously stressed. I don't know if my embarrassment about it was a little dramatic, but really, think about it, having everyone know you're hungry in a group of women with ED's is embarrassing. And that leaves a lot of room for them to make conclusions about how you're doing. And when it's silent in the room, all but for one person, like, emoting, it's just a big distraction. So, this paranoia was like really getting to me.
So I got desperate, about 30 minutes into group, because the hunger pains were NOT going away, on the contrary, they were increasing in frequency and intensity. And I could feel the growling just about to start, before it would mercifully abate, even for just a minute. I thought about leaving group and going to the bathroom, but really how would that help? I can't pee out my hunger. And I hadn't even brought my purse, just grabbed my cell phone and wallet, so the bag of mini-candybars in my purse weren't an option either. For a minute I considered leaving group and just going home, but that seemed a little dramatic. RECOVERING ANOREXIC LEAVES GROUP BECAUSE SHE'S HUNGRY AND EMBARRASSED ABOUT IT. Pish.
So I did what I had to. I PRAYED.
I'm not joking.
I prayed to Heavenly Father to help my stomach not growl. I told Him that if he would quiet the mutiny going on in my stomach, then I would make up for my lack of consistent mealplanage by eating a giant dinner and never missing my regularly scheduled granola bar again. That's right. I bargained with Him.
And, be it God, be it sheer will-power, or be it luck, my stomach didn't make another peep during group. But it came close. Dangerously close. Distractingly close.
I came home and told Brandon about the growling fiasco and about my desperate prayers. He stared at me, open-mouthed, and was like, "Did you really pray for God to stop your stomach growling? Like legitimately really really?" And I lifted my chin and defiantly told him YES. And it had worked, thank you very much.
And I ate a huge dinner in thanks.
And I'm never going to miss my pre-dinner granola bar again.
And I'm never going to group without a full stomach, like, ever.
And if someone else's stomach growls in group, I will gleefully laugh my ass off. And maybe, if they're lucky, I'll pray for them.