Feeding Frenzy

It appears that I have hit the self-destruct button. All week I have alternated between starving during the day and bingeing/purging during the evening. This is my usual ED manifestation. During the day I go to yoga. I teach ballet. I survive hour by hungry hour. I try to eat ‘healthy’ even as I am restricting. As soon as I am finished work, I am starving. If I am home alone, I let loose and eat whatever I feel like. I just don’t care at this point. It goes down and it comes straight back up. As a result, I constantly feel terrible. I suffer excruciating migraines, stomach pains and I shake. I shake from the jitters (induced by caffeine), the cold (I am always cold) and the debilitating anxiety over my relationship crisis.

The nights that I am not alone I still binge. My boyfriend took me out for a romantic dinner on Thursday (we are attempting to recover), and I ate everything I could see. The bread basket arrived and he had the tiniest sliver of bread. I ate the remaining three bread rolls slathered in butter without a second thought. I drank copious amounts of wine. I ate bruschetta as a starter. I ate the most enormous plate of pasta and then polished off a tiramisu and half of his dessert too. After dinner we went to a club and they had free pizza. I ate the free pizza. Then we came home and I purged until there was nothing but bile. The entire time, my boyfriend didn’t once comment on my mammoth eating extravaganza. I wonder if he notices and keeps quiet or if even worse, he is still clueless. He has no idea that I am barely eating during the day when we are apart.

I went out for girls’ night with some of the other dancers on Friday. I ordered just one tapas (vegetables only), but after about ten minutes, I realized that I was ravenous. I ordered a plate of nachos too. The girls dissected my relationship in the same way that I dissect my food: aggressively and without remorse. On the way home, my boyfriend texted me and asked if I wanted to join him and his friends for a drink as my evening with the girls had ended early.

“No,” I texted back from the inside of a pizza take away. I was more interested in a pizza and a date with the toilet bowl than spending time with the man who has hurt me so much. I ate the entire pizza on the drive home. It was beyond description. After puking up everything, I treat myself to an Emergen-C and a handful of vitamins and probiotics. I know this seems ridiculous beyond explanation.

Last night my boyfriend took me to his team’s BBQ. As usual, I had starved all day through ballet and bike ride. I started with a glass of red wine. Alcohol always manages to dissolve my good intentions of starving the rest of the night away. I was wedged in a corner chatting to a girlfriend when not one, but two appetizers made an appearance. They were plonked on either side of me. I am not lying. Out of all the places that these plates could have been put, the hostess saw fit to pit one on each side of the bulimic. I looked at them with a mixture of lust and horror. At first I nibbled on a few crackers. After the first couple of bites, I gave in. I devoured the crackers and cheese. I munched my way through the vegetables and ranch dip without pausing to breathe. After appetizers came the burgers. I slathered my veggie burger with every topping available, including cheese and avocado. I piled my plate with potato salad that was dripping in mayonnaise. Even though I wanted to vomit half-way through my meal from being so full, I continued like a champion and washed it all down with more red wine. Dessert followed: cake pops and nutella crepes. I didn’t even flinch. They went down the hatch and then I sat twitching and freaking out and planning my escape home to puke. Eventually we made it home. I ran upstairs, left the taps running and purged. I went downstairs, cuddled up to my boyfriend on the couch, then passed out from exhaustion as we watched a movie. I had a migraine before I even fell asleep.

Today I am sitting in a cafe as Autumn arrives in the Northern Hemisphere. I hate it. Everything is dying. Winter is coming for me. As any ED sufferer knows, being excruciatingly cold all the time is painful. I miss home. I miss the sunshine and warmth of Africa. I miss my family. I am unsure of my being in this place anymore. I want to sit under the Jacarandas with my mother and be well. I want to drink tea with her and eat cake that I won’t throw up afterwards. I want to walk with her in the evenings past the giraffe and zebra and enjoy the sensation of walking for the sake of walking rather than to burn calories. I want to go home.

In this sweet cafe by a river, I am drinking a matcha latte with almond milk. It is late afternoon and all I have eaten today are some grapes. I am trying to resist the urge to binge before my boyfriend comes back to join me for a late lunch. I want this coming week to be different to the last one but I have no motivation to change. I looked at my chest bones this morning and felt a sick satisfaction. Two months of recovery have disappeared after our relationship derailed. I have never needed much of an excuse to indulge ED but this unexpected downturn on our journey has left me wasted. If there is a vestige of control that I can salvage in this chaos, it seems to be in starving my unloved heart and broken body.

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3 thoughts on “Feeding Frenzy

  1. Greta says:

    This was so painful and familiar to read. My relationship plays the major part in my existence on the whole as well. Having relationship problems seems like collapsing and relapsing and being wrong in all the aspects of my life. The past month was hanging by a thread not to relapse as me and my bf talked about separating. And everything from that point had spiraled downwards. I’m better today, but it took all of my strength not to give in to the old habits.
    I wish you change. Embrace that autumn and dance through it. I understand that those are just words. But I mean it. Take care.

  2. jillinois says:

    I was told this (and it worked for me)…..if you stop purging, you WILL stop bingeing. Your body will get some nutrition (excessive as it may be, you probably have a considerable net deficit. ❤ It's hard stuff.

  3. hungryrunninggirl says:

    a coworker stumbled upon my blog and spread it through my school. I’m a teacher so it’s not cool at all. 😦 I changed my blog name so she couldn’t keep spreading my blog.

    Same blog, different name:

    Ps – love this post.

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