I Achieved My Biggest Goal of 2023! Here Is What Happened...


Good Morning Lovelies, 

A few hours ago, on the day I am writing this post, I did something that scared the living daylights out of me, but also made me so proud. At the start of the year, I made a vow to myself that I would have a meal out with my mum at least once in 2023. I haven’t managed a meal out in around two years now. 

It took a lot of preparation and work with my therapist, but I made the decision that I wanted to try and have a breakfast out, when we were away in Blackpool, with my brother Gio and nephew Leo joining us. I have never been out for a meal with my nephew, where both of us would eat at the same time. I can only recall eating out at a meal when he was first born, which is nearly nine years ago. 

At first, I thought I wanted to go to the Beefeater Red Lion in Bispham. I had looked up the menu and decided that for a first go I would stick with my normal breakfast of some cereal, milk, fruit, jam or honey and a Yakult. I knew I would need to take my Yakult and probably some milk with me, as nowhere does skimmed milk, but I was starting to mentally prepare. 

Until it came to the morning of the meal. We decided to go on Saturday (18th Nov). However, after looking up what the Beefeater buffet was like, I got super anxious. So, I went for my second choice. The local Morrisons, very close to my brother's home, which I had kind of seen what it would be like. 

With boxes of cereals on the side and tiny jars of jam, honey and fine cut marmalade, I knew I was two steps in. The only thing that I couldn’t get was my fruit, however, after talking it through with my mum, we came up with a solution. As well, instead of my normal bottle of water, I had gathered enough bravery to decide to have herbal tea instead. Although, I didn’t know what kinds would be on offer until I got there. 

Arriving at around 10:30am, me, my mum, brother and nephew turned up. I was terrified. I started to doubt I could do it. Especially when the cereal I had thought I would have wasn’t there on the shelf. Plus, the team told me that they wouldn’t be able to heat my milk. Yet, with encouragement from both my brother and mum, I managed to keep going. I went up the milk aisle and found a pint of skimmed milk. Then when I got back to the table, my mum and brother took me to the counter and helped me talk to the staff, who were amazing. 

At first I picked up a box of Coco Pops. However, when my eye caught hold of the calories, my worries started to peak. So, I put them down, even though I wanted them and chose the safer option for me of Cornflakes. I then put them down and picked up the Coco Pops. This went on even when I had returned to my table. My insides were in knots. 

Standing at the counter, I also went for a very different option to put on top of my cereal. I normally have some jam on a Saturday morning, to mix it up from the honey I have on other days. Yet, I went for the Wilkin & Sons Orange Marmalade. Something I quickly handed to my mum, who put it in my bowl, to prevent me from changing it. I then picked up a warm mug to fill with tea, having chosen a lemon and ginger fusion to enjoy. 

Once it was paid for, we started to head back to our table to get things sorted. Right then and there, in my hands, I had a bowl, which I hadn’t cleaned. A spoon, which I did not pick or clean. A box of Cornflakes. A mini jar of marmalade. A mug with a lemon and ginger tea bag resting in the bottom of it. We stopped at the hot water station to make this, before picking up some napkins and heading back to the table. 

Right then and there I felt my heart pumping and had to go to the toilet. After a mild panic attack, a wee (sorry!) and a phone call from the toilet to my mum asking her to go and get the box of Coco Pops and put them into my cereal bowl before I came back, I ran some cold water on my wrists and headed back. Just as I did, I saw my family’s cooked breakfasts arriving at the same time. This calmed me down a bit, as I could now see that we would all be eating at the same time, which I find really soothing. 

My Actual Bowl of Cereal!

Sitting down at the table, I added a scoop of marmalade to the bowl and mixed it in. I then poured the milk on top, which I had cold. Something I am not used to due to my love of hot milk and cereal. I then picked up my warm mug of herbal tea and started to drink. My first win of the day, as I realised how much I loved ginger tea again. 

It was then time to tuck into my cereal. Sipping my Yakult first meant that the chocolate on the Coco Pops had time to mix in with the milk. So, when I took a straw to the bowl, I had a chocolate milkshake type cereal milk waiting for me. Once the milk was all gone though, I faced my biggest challenge. The Coco Pops themselves. 

Scooping up my first spoonful, I quickly popped them into my mouth, to stop my anorexia talking me out of it. Whilst I struggled with the first bite, I quickly eased up and before long the bowl was all gone. I had done it. I had won a battle that has taken me 11 months to work up to. I had a meal with my nephew and brother. I had kept my promise to my mum. I like to think that my dad was with us and smiling at me with pride. 

I won’t lie and say that my ED wasn’t having a go at me. It was going wild in fact. Yet, I tried to calm myself down with some of the toolbox trips that my therapist had taught me. I couldn’t wait to share the news. When in Blackpool, battle the ED and win! Soon after we had finished the meal, we left and my mum and I went off to wander around the local towns to help distract me. 

Looking back on that morning, there were many times I could have said I couldn’t do it. I stood in my brother’s living room and spoke to my mum, who promised me no one would be ashamed. I spent the morning watching The Hunger Games films to distract myself. I watched the clock trying to come up with an excuse to say it was too late to go out for breakfast. Yet, I let my rational, the real me, side win. I am proud of myself. 

This moment is the moment I am so proud of that I had to share it with you all because it was my biggest goal for 2023. I didn’t think I was going to achieve it. I did though! Now, I am going to be taking this moment into 2024 with me and hopefully enjoying more breakfasts with my mum from now on. Maybe even with friends. Right now, the day of doing so, my head is going wild, yet, I can’t change what I did. I am now trying to accept it and take pride in it. 

The most praiseworthy moment of it all was hearing my mum say how proud she was of me. That was and is worth all the pain and panic. I couldn’t have done it without them three and I am so humbled and honoured to have them alongside me. A breakfast win made 2023 a proud year for me in the end. Slow and steady will win this race lovelies!

Joey X

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