Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Saying goodbye...starting with dining hall bagels.

Today I almost had an emotional breakdown and almost didn’t eat one of my bagel snacks…and ED had nothing to do with it. I know, makes no sense, but let me explain.

I went to the dining hall and they had no more wheat bagels. This is the last day the dining halls near me are open this semester, or for me, ever. So it was my last time in them. And these were my favorite bagels. Yes…I could go to other dining hall tomorrow to get more wheat bagels, but what if they didn’t have them? I began to panic. Even though I have 13 in my freezer..I panicked. I told myself I couldn’t do this flavor tonight because didn’t replenish it. Why is this such an issue. Well…it has nothing to do with the bagel…or my hoarding….it has to do with sadness.

You see, these bagels….to me they represent my time at my university. They represent my time with my N. They were our first big challenge and have been a required part of my meal plan for over a year. But these brand bagels are only from my university. So I have begun stocking up on them…because I don’t want to run out. No, not now….while school in session. But after this Friday. When I am home. Because not having any more bagels….it means I really am letting go. Letting go of my time at my university. Letting go of my relationship as it is with my N. It will be another sign I have to move on.

So now, with my several loads of bagels back to my house over the past few weeks, I have a stockpile of bagels. But I didn’t figure my stockpile would stop today. Figured I had two more days. And then I realized I didn’t….and I was going to have to start eating my stockpile. Slowly but surely having to face reality that this is goodbye. It seems silly. I’m not saying goodbye to the bagels. But to my N, to UGA, to the life I have always known. And that terrifies me.

It’s like somehow having these bagels, I would have a security blanket. A connection to the life I have known. And could still tell myself I was coming back. That N wasn’t gone. But that isn’t reality. The time has come…and I have to say goodbye. And for me goodbyes are hard.

But I knew I had to. Had to take the first bite into my stockpile. Had to start to accept I am saying goodbye. Had to let the tears fall.

Everyone makes graduation seem like such a happy time…and it is. But it is also terrifying to leave the life you have known for so many years. It’s sad to say goodbye to the friends, professors, and familiar places you have known for so long. Yes…it’s even hard to say goodbye to the bagels you have known for so long. That first big ED victory you had.

So I let it sink in. I let the tears fall. And I ate the bagel. I knew by doing my plan tonight, I would be honoring these memories, especially the bond with my N which these bagels represent to me. Even in my relapse I have tried to keep the bagel…because I felt like by letting it go, I was breaking my promises to my N. And now….after 74 days of no relapse…I really don’t want these bagels to go. My N to go. I don’t want to be left on my own.

But whether I eat the bagel or not, that time is coming. Yes…running out of the bagels will symbolize the final goodbye to UGA and my N as it will happen long after graduation. But even if I kept the stash forever…I would still have to say goodbye. So I am letting myself feel. Letting myself grieve. I don’t want to let go. I don’t want to leave. I am terrified. But…the time has come….classes have ended…and its time for my next chapter in life. And it’s time I move past the comfort of UGA….learn to live outside the university walls…and finding my own way…even without my bagels ;)

P.S: This has also reminded me that when I am having strong emotions around food it has nothing to do with the food. Here, not finding my bagels terrified me. But the fear had nothing to do with the bagels. It had to do with the fear of letting go and of having to change my meal plan on my own when the bagels do run out. On having to learn to trust myself. And on moving on from undergrad and the college I held so dear. In accepting I won’t be returning in the Fall. No more dining hall bagels, no more N, no more UGA. That was the fear..but ED masked it in bagels. And had I just focused on bagels and not eaten them…I would have never realized what was beneath. 

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