I used to be scared of cupcakes.
The cute little desserts with adorable swirled frosting and rainbow sprinkles- they used to terrify me.
I remember one day after my lunch period, I was rounding the corner in the hallway when I saw a girl in my algebra class carrying a box of store-bought cupcakes. They were the ones with the good frosting too, I could tell from afar. Thoughts started racing through my head, and I realized that there was a chance she had brought those cupcakes for my algebra class to celebrate her birthday. This was awful news for me.
I speed walked to the bathroom, locked myself in a stall, and tried not to cry. I made an effort to calm my racing heart, breathe deeply through the anxiety attack I could feel coming on, and sort through my thoughts. Just the mere idea of cupcakes threw me into a meltdown in the middle of the school day.
I imagined my friends with suspicious eyes, watching me deny the cupcake offer. I knew they would say something; they had practically forced me to eat a little bit of the chips and queso our teacher had brought in to celebrate our test scores the week before. They were starting to notice my weight loss, my timid “no thank you”s around food, the skipped lunches; they were worried about me, and I almost hated them for it. I didn’t want to eat anything other than what I had already planned to eat that day, and the thought of having to do so made it hard to breathe. I knew they would make me eat a cupcake. They’d smile as I did, growing fat before their very eyes, pounds appearing on my body with each bite.
I was terrified.
As I stayed in the bathroom stall for a few minutes, I told myself that it was ridiculous to be scared of a cupcake. Cupcakes are adorable! They don’t have pointy, blood-dripping teeth, just sprinkles.
But I couldn’t ignore the awful thoughts running through my head, the fear of gaining weight, the fear of going over my set number of calories. I considered skipping algebra, just staying in the bathroom for an hour and if anyone caught me, I’d just say that I felt sick. After another agonizing minute- my eating disorder and my anxiety about missing class battling in my head- I decided to go to class, but also promised my eating disorder that no matter what, I WOULD NOT EAT A CUPCAKE.
Today, about two years later, they had cupcakes in my college dining hall. I didn’t even think twice about grabbing a pink cupcake and asking for sprinkles.
I didn’t ponder in my head if I should get one or not. I didn’t wonder if eating one would make me gain weight. I didn’t hate myself afterwards.
Although not every day is as good as today was (recovery-wise), there is no doubt that I have come so far in two years of recovery. Although I’ve been fighting this disorder for what feels like forever- and I know I still have a ways to go- I have won a huge battle over some of my worst fear foods: I don’t fear them anymore.
Cupcakes are now just cute little desserts that I get excited about when they’re available to me. I know for certain that they don’t have pointy teeth, and eating one won’t make me gain weight and it won’t make me a failure- it makes me strong. God has helped me win yet another victory in my recovery.