Life's A Trip
For years, the thought of a vacation stoked anxiety. Vacations were always a step outside of the comfort zone of routines, regimens, and safe foods. For most people, that’s the appealing part of vacation but for someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder and an eating disorder, it can sound like hell.
I’d research restaurants weeks in advance. I’d plan every minute of the trip and often obsess about keeping on schedule while away. Heck, I’d even clean the hotel room upon arrival and iron all of my clothes. I still managed to have a great time but that doesn’t mean that OCD and ED weren’t barking in my ear the entire vacation.
Now, I find myself gearing up for a 5-day trip next week. I’m heading to Tulsa and Fayetteville to speak at the NEDA Walk and the University of Arkansas.
It hit me today that this trip represents a total 180 from where I once was. For starters, I’m not anxious about leaving behind my routines or safe foods. I’m excited about the prospects of trying new restaurants and exploring different places. You better believe I’ll still have a packing list and some sort of itinerary but it won’t be near as detailed or rigid as it once was.
More importantly, this is a trip with a mission. I’m leaving town to basically talk about how difficult it once was for me to do just that. Well, that, and many other things but I think you get the point.
When I was in my comfort zone, my eating disorder thrived and now that I’ve stepped out of it, I’m the one who is thriving. This trip is the perfect example of just that.
Arkansas and Oklahoma might not be considered the most glamorous of getaways, but this trip is one I’ve been waiting to take for years. Bon, voyage!