I have never been fond of doing dishes. In fact, I don’t like doing anything that never gets permanently “done”, like making my bed, doing my laundry, cooking, or cleaning.
I used to feel very hard done by that I had to do these things. I used to think to myself, “I did my dishes this this morning. Why do I have to do them again now???” It seemed somehow unjust for the dishes to just jump back into the sink all the time. I would get annoyed thinking of how many times I would have to do dishes again in the future, and often I would just make the choice not to do them at all, for days. Or I would eat out so someone else could do my dishes. Or I would eat ready-made food from the supermarket that didn’t need dishes.
Listen to this post as a podcast!
I also had a huge grudge against food, in general, not just cooking the food or doing the dishes afterwards. I’d have to go and buy it, then it would take ages to make anything with it, and I didn’t even know how to cook it properly, and the ingredients were probably just going to go bad in my fridge, and I was always hungry, and the food was never quite what I wanted, or it was what I wanted but I wanted more, etc. This kind of thinking would swirl through my head and make me feel super agitated and annoyed whenever it was time to eat.
In my recovery from food addiction, I have finally been able to get past these pointless, frustrating thoughts. I thought that the problem was just that I was too lazy to cook and do my dishes properly. I wasn’t actually seeking to change my thinking about doing repetitive, but necessary, tasks, but that is what has surprisingly resulted from changing my relationship with food.
I think one of the things that has caused this change in me is having three meals a day, every day, at (relatively) set times. Committing to eating my meals at certain times has helped me to develop a routine that was lacking in my life in the “beforetimes”. I think that this routine helps me live in reality, rather than in a fantasy world where food doesn’t have to be prepared, dishes don’t have to be done, and houses don’t have to be cleaned.
Okay, let me try to rephrase this so it makes more sense…
Now that I have a better relationship with food, in terms of both the quality of the food I am eating and the times when I am eating it, I am able to be a person who just gets on with things rather than having arguments in my head about why I shouldn’t have to do them. It has helped me be the kind of person who commits to something, and then actually does it, which is something that was hard for me to do in the past. I used to have unhelpful thoughts like “poor me” and “why me??” that would get in the way of me doing stuff that just needed to get done. There is no point in having an opinion about doing dishes or cooking food. It has to be done, so it’s better to just do it.
Of course, if I had told myself to just get over it and do it, it wouldn’t have worked. But somehow, through the power of routine, and by having clear — and helpful — boundaries around my food, I have been able to shush those voices in my head that do not serve me well and just get on with things.
Before dealing with my food addiction, I didn’t even realize how noisy it was in my head. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t living a peaceful, serene life. I didn’t even realize that one might want to live a peaceful, serene life! I was “always on”, going at a million miles per hour at all times, barrelling towards… well, I don’t even know where I was barrelling. But now, I have somehow found a way to just get on with tasks that used to drive me crazy in the past, and I think that changing my relationship with food is the reason. Rather than trying to live in a fantasy world where I dream about one day having little magic birds who will do things for me, I just get on with doing things myself, and I don’t have any pointless conversations in my head about all of this. This is a surprising side-benefit of being in recovery from my addiction to food.
That said, I still never make my bed. I really don’t get the point of that one.