Peanut Butter & Jealous

More than a year ago, I wrote a post titled Peanut Butter & Jelly Time! in order to recognize and celebrate! (prematurely, in would turn out) my freedom from Peanut Butter’s reign of terror over me.  Throughout the majority of my eating disordered history, peanut butter has wielded great power as being at the top of my “unsafe” or “trigger” foods list.  I just loved it too damn much.  

My declaration of peace with peanut butter was akin to a lifetime alcoholic saying, “No that’s okay! Really!  I’m totally fine with that little airplane bottle of scotch in the cupboard.”  or a shot-the-f***-out-methhead being left alone in a room with a speed ball.  

Riiiiiiiiiight, mkay, if you say so…

Back then, I was excited to share what I thought was a “Recovery Hurdle”, I’d overcome.  It was short-lived, though, and soon peanut butter was back on my unsafe food list.  

Now, I don’t really keep it in my house or think very much about it.  If I have it, I will eat it, but I am not consumed by the thought of it.  I have some jelly in my house right now, but I am not in any way tempted by it by itself.  That’s just gross.  

I guess you could say that is progress as far as “trigger foods” go.  As far as disordered eating itself goes, I have vastly improved in the last month since my psychotropic medicine has been changed.

I haven’t purged in months.  That is a really, really good stretch for me in recent days.  I attribute that wholly to the heavy psychotropic drug protocol that I’m prescribed.  I’m not sure exactly which one it is because right now I am on several medications taken at different times of the day and they all seem to be working together to serve that purpose.  

However, my anxiety has been through the roof, and  

If you are unfamiliar with my primary psychiatric diagnosis, it has been updated to Bipolar I, Rapid Cycling-Manic with Psychotic features,  Unspecified Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  

Fun.

And with all medications, it’s a guessing game.  What works for some Bipolars, doesn’t work for others.  And what works for some, may have a terrible tradeoff.  Like some really horrific paranoia.  Or hallucinations.  Or dangerous physical side effects.

And also, sometimes you’ll have a medication that will work wonderfully! or, eh, good enough anyway, for a while and then all of a sudden, something in your body’s chemistry just changes and that medicine, which you’ve come to rely on for survival is now essentially nothing more than a placebo, a sugar pill, a nothing.

And your back to square one.  With all your original symptoms running rampant.

Recently, I have been thinking about common stumbling blocks that eating disordered individuals face, in both recovery and relapse.

For example, exposure to “unsafe” or “trigger” foods creates the environment for a possible setback.

In relation to my  own specific struggles, “trigger” foods are consumables imbued with the power and potential to lead me to binge, and, subsequently purge.

For many years, Peanut Butter held the primary place among my list of “trigger” foods.   

I actually think that the peanut butter struggle is fairly common among eating disordered individuals.  I attribute this to the calorie-density, high fat content and satiation quality being irresistible in the face of malnutrition.
I still have a great many struggles with many foods, but peanut butter is no longer a trigger food for me.   I am finally at peace with peanut butter. 

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Peanut butter no longer holds such enormous power over me and my limited self-control.  Jars can exist in my cupboard for a respectable period of time.  In fact,  a bowl of mashed Bananas and Peanut Butter is a common snack.

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Presently, Peanut butter bears the same significance to me as, say, applesauce: it’s yummy, easy for me to eat and good any time of day.  It may seem silly to devote an entire post to this, but, in my estimation, this is a significant milestone in Eating More Normally.   

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Speaking of jelly, I want to try making my own this berry season.  So far, two of my Black Raspberry bushes have started yielding.  I picked a handful from the front yard today:

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So I guess it’s Peanut-Butter-Jelly Time. 

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 Peace with Peanut Butter. 

One small step for Eating.  One giant leap for Eating Disorder Management.

What is your relationship like with Peanut Butter?


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