I baked a birthday cake for someone last night. Four-layered, double chocolate. It got loads of compliments today. The person I baked it for told the newer people in the lab that my baking was "famous".
There was a time, not all that long ago, when baking would inevitably turn into a form of self-punishment. Only about half of what I started baking would ever make it to the person I was baking for; I would end up eating the rest, whether still as batter and icing or actually in baked form, and then I would end up throwing it up. It was totally impulsive and uncontrollable. Some part of me would clue in to what was happening, and realize it was crazy and pointless, and that part of me would want to stop...but it was like that part was distant, locked up somewhere inside, an observer unable to interfere with what she saw.
But that didn't happen last night. Last night I baked like a normal person. Actually, not quite - a normal person probably would have tasted the batter before it went into the oven, would have tasted the icing before putting it on the cake, possibly would have licked the mixing spoon clean. I didn't; I avoided the spoons and bowls as if they were coated with poison; but that's still much better than what I used to do.
And then I had a slice of cake with everyone else today. No big deal. Just a normal slice of cake.
It still amazes me, how such normal, seemingly small things feel like such accomplishments. But I'm proud of them all the same.