I have been learning about planning, and grace.
For example, one little challenge I’ve given myself to try and get a grip on my eating habits is simply having a tub of my favourite ice cream (a ridiculously sweet, salty, chocolatey, amazing one that I have been eating far too much of recently) in the freezer and leaving it there as long as possible. It’s a simply test, and practice, of will power and finding alternative ways to handle stress, loneliness, and all the other negative emotions that can sometimes take over when you suffer from mental health issues.
A lot of this has been about plans – having a mini to do list for each day is important (mini because when your list is too long to manage it only adds to a sense of failure), having healthy alternative meals planned, things to take my mind off negative patterns, and a list of helpful, positive, things to consider when I’m struggling. Planning is important.
Especially for a control freak.
However, grace is possibly more important.
Ideally today I would have eaten healthily, sticking to dairy-free, meat-free, and processed-free options in order to help me feel better about myself long-term, provide substantial energy to get things done, and not cause long-term damage which I will struggle with later. Ideally. However, when you feel low and your brain seems utterly fixated on that one tub of ice cream, because somehow it believes that eating that (honestly, very tasty) ice cream will clearly solve all issues, make me feel better, and give me the boost I need to conquer the world (utter merde – pardon my french), occasionally what you really need is a “better than nothing/could be worse” grace moment.
Today, my grace was eating cheesy curly fries (a la freezer) followed by dairy-free ice cream. Was this good? No. Was it the best I could do today? No. Was it the solution I had at the time which would at least not be ordering takeaway pizza, sides, and sneaky-ice-cream-so-it-didn’t-look-like-I’d-eaten-the-original-tub, be cheaper, better for me, and at least feed me? Yes.
Sometimes grace is about accepting that you are struggling in life, you cannot be perfect (not even close), trying your best, and being happy that at least you tried.
It was better than the alternative.
It was better than nothing.
It could have been worse.
I will live to fight another day (as will that tempting tub of lets-be-honest-salted-caramel-goodness). It’s not much, but it’s something.
Tonight I will cook tofu katsu with rice, followed by homemade dairy-free apple crumble. I call that a relatively successful third day of practising will power.