When I was in hospital, my daily diet plan consisted of three meals and three snacks. When I was first presented with the plan, I launched into a fit of hysterics. How could they expect me to consume so much food?
So, whenever the opportunity arose for me to miss out on a snack, I took it. Missing out on a main meal wasn’t so easy, everyone on the ward ate main meals at the same time. Snacks, however, were a different story. Whenever there was a fight, or if someone had managed to break out and run away, the nurses would be tied up for however long it would take to sort out the fight of find the missing person, and this would mean that sometimes my snacks would get forgotten about. It would often happen that I’d be remembered about an hour or so later, but there was no point them even trying to get me to eat something. The moment had passed and I only ate at specific times.
I would relish the days when contractors would come in. They were easy to mislead. If they remembered that I had a break, I’d be able to hide my food because, unlike the other nurses who knew my tricks, they didn’t keep their eyes fixed on me.
For a number of years after I was discharged from hospital, I wouldn’t eat my snacks unless I was reminded. I felt like I needed to be given permission to defy the voice in my head.
Today eating a snack is a very different story. I don’t need reminding. I don’t need permission. I don’t need to eat within a certain time frame. A snack is a snack and there’s nothing dangerous about it.