The problem is, I’ve never NOT had the cycle. For as long as I can remember, I gained a ton of weight, then I lost it in dubious ways. I don’t understand moderation. I don’t GET having one. I don’t understand hunger and fullness, or letting my body tell me things. I seriously just don’t understand.
My boyfriend has no issues with food. The other day I made a chocolate cake and he had one piece. He had one. That thing haunted me all night. It’s all I could think about–when could I finish that when he wasn’t looking? When I am in this mode, it affects everything. I haven’t slept in our bed in three days because I can’t stand the thought of him having to touch, what I consider to be, my awful body.
To combat this anxiety, then, I am on autopilot and restricting today. Because I have broken my ankle, my pattern is thwarted and I can’t overexercise. I find myself looking for tips on how to purge for when I break down and binge. Because here’s the thing: I KNOW I will. So you would think I would just follow a damn meal plan or something reasonable, but that idea seems ludicrous.
Because the crux of the matter is this: I can’t stand this body right now. I can’t stand it. I want it changed and I want it changed now. Plus, it’s much easier to think about this stuff than it is my life or how I feel like a failure.
When I was in treatment, my team would say things to me like, “Just think of how much energy you’ll have to LIVE. Think of all the things you can do.” And I would laugh hysterically, because that is exactly what I’m trying to avoid. We are a perfectionistic people, we eating disordered, and the thought of not living well scares me into doing something I know I can do: control food.
When I have to think of my life, I have to think of how I haven’t published (or even finished) that novel I’ve started; how I’m behind in all my work projects; how I’ll never get a professorship because I can’t publish; how I’m broke with no health insurance; how I don’t have children or a husband and I’m 38; how I am a bad daughter who doesn’t visit my parents enough; a bad girlfriend because I have issues; about how some days I can barely summon the energy to even shower. I don’t have to think about any of this if my time is spent calculating calories, looking up innocuous recipes, watching eating disorder videos. How convenient! What a lovely thing ED is, to help me avoid life.
I would tell my team when they would say this, “Yes. Exactly. Imagine how much time I WOULD have to think about and live my life.” It is not a selling point; not if I think I can’t do it well.
Well, damn, this post is a little more melancholy than I expected. It’s just, I find myself in the same restrictive, hopeless place right now. I’m on the cusp–I’m not quite in the crazy eating disorder mindset and I’m not out of it either. I think this is the hardest for me. To break the cycle. To trust that my body will go to the place it needs to go. And to love it during all of this.
Anyone else feel this same way?