Cake and Baking were two of my favourite things before Ed took them away from me. Whether it be sharing a cream cake with my Grandpa, making cupcakes for the school bake sale or a good old Mr Kipling, Cake always made me happy. So when my Therapist told me I need to start trying to enjoy things more and do the things that used to make me happy, cake popped to mind.
It upsets me that Today Cake is a challenge and instead of making me happy it makes me feel guilty. However, I remembered that challenges aren’t always meant to be fun and so I went for coffee and cake with a friend on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I was feeling in a good place and after a bit of pondering over what to have, I chose a lovely slice of Carrot Cake. Ed was quite loud while I was choosing, but once I was sat down, chatting with my friend and having a good laugh I managed to turn down the volume. In fact, I would go so far as to say I enjoyed myself…. Me: 1 Ed: 0.
This week however I wasn’t so ready for the cake challenge. Tuesday evening marked the final of The Great British Bake Off. I have been following the programme with my friends and was looking forward to the final…. Until they planned to celebrate the final with a cake party. Everyone had to bake a cake and take it to the party and then during the final everyone would try each others cake and choose a winner. Everyone was so excited by the idea but it filled me with dread. Would I even be able to hear the TV over the sound of Ed’s screaming? Would it look weird to only try one cake as part of my food plan? I was being weighed the next day, surely cake will make it go up? How will I eat lots of cake without restricting the next day?
Considering all these questions I decided it was best not to go. That was the safest thing for me given the couple of days beforehand were a bit shaky. However, I didn’t want Ed to have all the glory so I did manage to bake a cake of my own. It was my housemates favourite cake so that made my decision on what to bake nice and easy! My plan was to watch the programme at home and eat one slice of cake and still enjoy my evening.
Unfortunately things didn’t go totally to plan. What I hadn’t realised was that Arsenal were playing football that night. Living with four boys, it was hardly surprising that they all headed straight to the pub to watch the game. This left me home alone as my other housemate had gone to the cake party. I got so upset on Tuesday night because while I was by myself alone in my room trying to find the strength to fight Ed away, everyone else was having fun together. Enjoying themselves like 21 year olds should. I was unable to even ice my cake let alone eat it. I still haven’t even watched the final because I thought it would be too depressing to watch it alone while everyone else was having fun. And even though I know it was my choice to not go to the party, I couldn’t help being angry, upset and frustrated with the fact that my controlling Eating Disorder was stripping me off the ability to have fun with my friends.
I have to thank my good friend S. She saved me that night by telling me that If i can’t fight for myself, do it for her. Treat me as I would treat her. Would I ever tell her to restrict on her food plan and let Ed win? No. So I did fight for her and I had a dessert and managed to keep fighting. I knew that if I restricted it would make the next day so much harder. Although I am quite upset that I couldn’t find the strength to fight for myself, I learnt that it doesn’t really matter what your motivation is for fighting. Just do whatever it takes. Whether you are fighting for your friends, for other people in recovery, for your family or for yourself, just don’t let Ed win.
I also successfully Iced my cake yesterday and shared it with my friend (it’s his favourite cake). So I got there in the end.