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The brown bag effect

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:51pm
I haven't ever packed my own lunch and brought it to work or school with me. In middle and high school, I helped, sure, but my mom put it in my backpack in the morning. In college, if I was eating, it was in an on-campus cafeteria. No packing or pre -thought required. By the time I had left college, the eating disorder was in full swing. On a good day, I'd grab an apple and a sugar-free yogurt, stuff it in my bag, and run out the door.

As I moved home and started recovery in earnest, my mom was once again on brown bag duty. It worked out well, and things moved along splendidly. This past year, as I was in school, I never had class over lunchtime and lived only a 15 minute walk from campus. So packing a lunch wasn't really an issue.

It is now.

With having to get up for work disgustingly early (well, for a night owl like me), I need to pre -plan my lunch and snacks the night before. I could go out to lunch--and I do--but it gets expensive and the pay isn't so great that I can afford to do so regularly. Nor do I like doing so- a leftover, perhaps, from the eating disorder.

I'm not used to this. It seems onerous. I just finished dinner and here I am making LUNCH for tomorrow . Yet I know it won't happen in the morning, so it has to happen at night. I need to make it happen.

Did I mention I hate this?

I didn't expect to like packing a lunch- never heard of a single person who does. But I didn't expect the level of difficulty in taking ten minutes out of my day to make a sandwich or put leftovers in Tupperware. I'm not used to it. I'm not used to relating to food like a normal adult, and it takes a massive shift in my thinking to do simple things like packing a lunch.

It's not particularly healing or mind-opening. Just weird. I hadn't realized all the ways in which my eating disorder had permeated my thinking until I slowly started to examine those ways. And get rid of them, blowing them out of my brain and spreading them like dandelion seeds.

These adjustments? They're hard. And they take energy. I want to shake the Powers that Be and scream: "I have a two hour commute each way , you bastards! I work hard ! I am trying ! And I am tired ! Could someone up there please just make it a little bit easier down here? Because this is Really. Not. Fair."

But enough whining. I have a lunch to pack.
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