I officially signed up for spring semester classes today.
I will be the first to admit, pursuing culinary with an eating disorder doesn't make any sense. At all. But, in my defense, I was completely obsessed with food. I would constantly search the web for new recipes and read Food & Wine like it was the bible. My brain was so starved for nutrients. I thought I could somehow fulfill that hunger and seem normal if I surrounded myself with people, who I thought, shared my same passion for food. So why not study it?! Makes sense, right? Unfortunately, my food obsession was quite different than my fellow classmates.
One thing I avoid dealing with is the guilt and shame I feel for graduating at the top of my class with a culinary arts degree, landing a 'dream job' at a thriving winery/bed and breakfast straight out of school, and not being happy or strong enough to handle it. My internship, in Aspen, Colorado, was the opportunity of a lifetime. I was working for a James Beard Award winning chef and helped prepare dinner for Bill Gates and Bill Clinton one night. I somehow landed a full pass to the Food & Wine Classic for goodness sakes. Even though I was learning from the best of the best and living in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, I hated every second of it. It was miserable. What was wrong with me?
As I continue put the pieces of my life back together, I am slowly beginning to deal with this mess I have gotten myself into. No matter how many times my therapist tells me none of this is my fault, I won't believe it until I'm ready to make that step. Somehow, I need to break free from the never ending guilt that is holding me back from finding what makes me happy.
Signing up for spring semester classes might not seem like a big deal, but it is actually one of the most liberating things recovery has given me. This is one tiny step in letting go of my crippling shame and guilt. Today I am beginning the process of figuring out what I want to do with my life, not what my eating disorder wants.