“Until further notice – celebrate everything!” this note is sitting on my sisters fridge in her kitchen. A wee reminder that life is full of small and big achievements and events that in deed is a cause for celebration!
Last Sunday here in Ubud, something happened which might seem as a small event, but in fact was a personal achievement and a good cause for celebration! After two weeks of hibernating in my house it was GREAT to get out and enjoy being around people again! In line with the Ubud tradition, I went to dance on a Sunday morning, an ecstatic dance in a small community place / vegetarian restaurant with an awesome space for dancing, capoeira, drum circles, yoga you name it, they do it!
After a sweaty dance I had a beautiful lunch from the buffet and as I was about to leave, I noticed that they had put out a new home made cake.
“Excuse me, what kind of cake is that?”
“It is a raw vegan chocolate brownie cake with banana”.
A Raw. Vegan. Chocolate-Brownie cake. With Banana…
Is that a piece of heaven or is that a cake!?
Certainly it was both! A piece of heaven in the shape of a chocolate brownie cake. (oh did I mention it was raw? and had banana? DELICIOUS!)
It was a super delicious piece of fine cake and very delighted by that unexpected treat I went on with my day and went to see my capoeira friends and do AcroYoga in the evening. The cake was soo delicious that it even got a mentioned in an Instagram post that evening!
It was only the next day, when my ex-boyfriend replied to the birthday message I had sent him on Saturday that I realized.. exactly a year ago, on the day, I was also involved in another chocolate cake event but of a completely different nature..
This time last year I was in Brazil and it was coming up to my boyfriend-at-the-time’s birthday. We were also going through a little wobbly time and he wanted us to meet and have a talk about us and our relationship. OK, I got it.. Little wobbly but I was sure we would work it out with a conversation.
His birthday was on the Friday, and I suggested that he came over to mine after his course finish on the Thursday night, as he usually would do, and we could speak then? I sent him my suggestion in a message and went to work. After work, I stopped in a bakery and bought the most delicious looking piece of chocolate cake that I could find, thinking that, since he would probably come over after his course that evening, and inevitably it would turn to midnight and it would be his birthday! So, TA-DAAA as a wee surprise I had a chocolate cake to start the celebration!!!
Only that, when I got home, he had sent a message saying that he didn’t think that was a particularly good idea to meet after his course. Perhaps we could meet another day? Like Saturday?
“Saturday!?!” The day AFTER his birthday…
So there I was, left in my house, alone, with a delicious looking piece of chocolate cake bought for my boyfriends birthday. Same boyfriend who didn’t want to come over and see me or talk about us, until in two days time, after his birthday and all!
It is here things got a bit challenging.
Did I mention I used to be bulimic for a very, very long time..?
Since less than a year, I had promised myself to Never Ever do that to myself again – eat something I didn’t want to eat, to then force myself to puke..
But will that promise stand, even when you are left alone with a chocolate cake and a sad aching heart, due to a boy-friend who didn’t want to see you?
Now, I could HEAR that chocolate cake talking to me.. Saying;
“Haha! You see he doesn’t want to come over! Haha! You might as well eat me, cause he will never want to come over or see you again! Haha!”
Me: “No, no… I don’t want to eat you!”
Cake: “Haha! But what are you saving me for!? He will not want to see you anymore!! (followed by a list of reasons for WHY he would not want to see me, probably ever again..!)
I was sitting on my bed, alone and sad, looking at the chocolate cake, hearing it taunt and sneer at me..
Me looking at the delicious looking chocolate cake, saying back;
“No… no.. I don’t want to eat you! This cake is for my boyfriend! and I know what will happen if I eat you.. you will force me to puke .. and I DONT want to do that..!”
“Bought for your boyfriend!? Ha! you will never see him again! He doesn’t like you anyway! You will never work it out between you so you might as well eat me! Haha!”
It was that evening that I realized WHY I had been bulimic in the first place and WHY I had kept doing it for so long.. some of us, OK then, ME have had a BIG problem to express my emotions.. so instead of expressing, showing and acting my emotions and feelings out, I have suppressed them with food, followed by forcing myself to puke it up again. A good way to deal with it..? Eh no, not exactly..! I would not recommend it..
But what to do NOW instead!? I had promised myself not do it, but how do you keep your promise when you are suddenly faced with a really sad and upsetting situation, and all you know how to respond to that is to Say Nothing, Show Nothing, Eat something Forbidden and hide in the bathroom for as long as it took to get rid of it?
“It is easy to turn to the familiar, ” a dear friend also with eating disorders said to me one time “even when we know that it does not work.”
Yes, I knew more then well that eating was NOT a solution, but what to do when the chocolate cake is laughing at you, calling your names and sneer at you telling you that your boyfriend would not ever want to see you ever again!?
I did not know what to do..! I sat on the bed, heard the chocolate cake laughing and talking at me, while my head was full of;
” I am not going to do it. I do not want to do it. I am not going to do it. I AM NOT GOING TO DO IT! I will not make myself sick again…! I will not do it! Oh gash, I just want to do it! SWALLOW that piece of chocolate cake in one bite, go to the bathroom and forget that this night ever happened!! ..but I promised I wasn’t going to do it..!!?!??!”
And In the end..
I didn’t do it.
I put on some music and desperately started to do yoga moves to distract myself. And it worked. My mind got quiet, I put the cake in the fridge and before I went to bed sent a message to my sister, told her how close it was that I fell back again, but that I didn’t do it! And then I went to bed, relived to have manged to dodge the situation.
Eating a piece of chocolate cake is not the end of the world, you might think, and in deed it is not! If you eat it for the right reasons and with Loving Intentions. I think I have not been able to eat a cake with Loving Intentions for the last 20 years, instead usually finding it rather stressful when a cake needs to be eaten, stressing over how to handle that situation, how much I could possible eat etc.
And a piece of chocolate cake, eating that from a place of sorrow when you are disappointed that your boyfriend do not want to see you, that is a whole other story and becomes an act way beyond the actual cake. That piece of chocolate is in that moment charged with all the emotions of sadness, disappointment, and insecurities that you hold, and which you do not want to express. Thereby the act of eating that becomes something totally different from the actual experience of eating chocolate cake, it become an attempt to suppress your feelings, and make them worse, by that cake becomes a symbol of your insecurities you do not wish to express, and puking it up is showing how little respect you have for yourself and your emotions. Eating is a way to find comfort, for a moment, but really it is only acting to suppress your emotions and in the end, leave you feeling worse than in the first place..
But that night, I did not do it! and it was That night that made me realize beyond doubt that my bulimic behavior is coming from a place of not allowing myself to express my feelings, but trying to suppress them with food..
In the end, we did meet that Saturday, and we did worked it out, and we even had that chocolate cake together to celebrate his birthday a few days afterwards. Was I PROUD When I could pull it out from the fridge!? Oh yes! It was bought for him and I had not eaten it in my stage of sadness, so eating it with him was a victory to me!
Now it has been a year since that incident and I have kept to my promise to not make myself puke again. Currently, I am looking to the underlying reasons for my behavior and working on actually expressing my feelings as suppose to suppress them. And Look! I think it is working!! Without even realizing that I did it, I just Bought and EAT a chocolate cake – out of joy! out of Love for that delicious piece of cake! A year without puking, and suddenly I was able to eat a chocolate cake, without it being emotional charged, but just because it was delicious!
That my friends, I believe is an insignificant event for mankind, but a Huge Success for me, and in my opinion a well enough reason to Celebrate!!
What small trivial yet remarkable events do YOU have to celebrate?
On that note, I wish you a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for listening!