Last weekend was my favorite weekend of the year. My kickball team plays in the annual Red Rubber Showdown, a kickball tournament hosted by Underdog Sports Leagues, in Portland, OR. We make a whole thing of it – driving down on Thursday, spending the day together on Friday, the tournament on Saturday, then heading back to Seattle on Sunday. We rent an AirBNB for extra special team bonding.
While it’s my favorite weekend of the year, it’s also terrifying to Ana:
- All the social time I will spend trying to feel like I’m not dying on the inside, fearing that…I’m-not-cool-enough, I’m-not-fun-enough, I-don’t-drink-beer-enough, and ohemgee, I just should stay home so I can be by myself where I’m safe.
- All the food I won’t have control over, which means I should eat nothing or I will overeat, and I can’t overeat but I will want to because in all social situations where food is involved I have to be occupied to avoid remembering how not cool, fun, drink beer enough I am. Without LK there for me to pretend to have to constantly watch over, I will eat and eat and eat so I’m occupied and it’s not as obvious that I don’t belong.
But it’s kickball. I love kickball. It’s my ME thing that I’ve managed to participate in nearly my entire life. And darn it, I’m good at it.
So I went to Portland and played kickball. And I learned a few lessons:
- It’s okay to enjoy my own company and do what I really want to do. It’s okay to drive by myself and enjoy the alone time with my music. It’s okay to spend hours at Powell’s City of Books instead of the many “cool” Portland spots that make for a much better answer to the inevitable “So, what did you do in Portland all day?” question I would get.
- I can participate when and how I want. I had a few Tequila shots. I did not have beer (though I was the only one) because A) Beer tastes like pee and B) Why would I spend precious money and calories on something that tastes like pee?
- I do have the control over what I do and say, even when I feel like I don’t. I was able to go for a run when I wanted to. I was able to choose what, when, and how much I wanted to eat. I was able to take a nap (#mommynaps).
- I can not feel like I’m enough to others, and still find my own peace and acceptance. I didn’t go out to the bar because I wanted to go to sleep. Maybe I wasn’t cool, but I was well rested.
- I can do scary things and live to tell about it. I did it.
The weekend was certainly not free of anorexia (or depression), but I am proud of myself for going, learning new things about myself, and walking away with a better understanding of how I can look terrifying things in the eye, face them, and even win now and again.