But to succumb to those feelings and think "I'm just a terrible person and I'll never be good enough" would be going right back into my disordered ways.
So here comes the big question: how do I never let this happen ever again?
As I see it, here are some keys to overcoming this type of eating disorder-fueled, relationship-damaging behavior.
In a moment like this, when fear hits hard, instead of being so battered by my thoughts that it feels like my only possible course of action is to hit back hard, I can tell my partner what happened inside of me when he said that.
In addition to being honest, I can hold myself accountable for my thoughts. Yes, he said something that was triggering to me, but I let myself be triggered. And I responded in a bitchy way. That part is not his fault. I'm still responsible for my own reaction, which was mean.
When my eating disorder is triggered, I tend to run away from connection (with a partner, or with people in general) as fast as I can. It's the emotional equivalent of locking myself in solitary confinement. To really move forward and not let things like this bug me, I have to fight that impulse and make a concerted effort to connect, even when it feels really really hard.
4. Sitting with the thoughts.
In addition to being honest about what is going on inside of my head, really taking the time to observe what is going on in my head. Instead of trying to push those thoughts away, letting myself at least entertain them. Reflecting on them.
5. Dismissing the thoughts.
Now that I have pondered the thoughts and let myself sit with them, hopefully by this point I'm smart and recovered enough to be like "well, that is ridiculous, let's move on". Easier said than done, but this is what I aspire to.
If I'm having trouble dismissing the thoughts or if the thoughts lead me on the winding path toward more destructive thoughts, it's time for distraction. A walk, a massage if I'm feeling rich, getting my nails done, heck, even going to the mall and just looking at shops. DISTRACTION.
7. Moving the eff on.
Acknowledge the thoughts, let them exist. Dismiss them, or try to. Distract yourself if you can't. Cycle through these steps again if needed. But ultimately, move on. Don't let stupid comments and conversations like this ruin more time in your day than they need to.
I choose not to let my eating disorder eat me up from the inside, and I certainly don't want to let it eat my relationship alive.
Sometimes the hard thing is also the right thing. These steps are not easy, but they are worth it, because the view from the real world is great.
Do you ever succumb to negative thoughts like this?