I have settled into a routine in the last few weeks that vascillates between ED and normal eating. I am not longer actively starving. Instead, I eat ‘healthy’ during the day (soup, salad, tofu, fruit, vegetables and hummus) and then I go home at night and ruin it. I eat whatever I feel like and then go puke it up under the pretext of having a shower. I obsess every day about the cellulite that is all over my butt and thighs. I hate it which means I hate me for having it. I go to yoga most days. I take ballet class and loathe the sight of my too big body in the mirror. My legs are huge. And did I mention that they are covered in cellulite? I no longer weigh myself (I don’t think my heart could handle the truth). People have stopped commenting that I am too thin. For a year all I hear was “you’re too thin”, “stop losing weight”, “eat something other than grapes”. I miss those days. I know I am heavier now and I hate it. I need the willpower to restrict calories again.
I am no longer focusing on trying to be recovered. It’s a joke. Each day is a new day. Some days I make it through relatively unscathed by ED in the food department but it is still in my head and my heart. I want to be thin. Last night I sat on the couch with my boyfriend and threw pasta and banoffee pie down my throat. I knew before I began that I didn’t intend for one morsel of it to remain with me. I threw it all up and felt better afterwards. Our relationship problems have often been a trigger for ED for me and the last 2 months have been particularly rough. A week ago we had a huge fight during which I told him that I no longer wanted to be engaged to him and not to bother asking me. For the last little while the stress in our relationship has been caused by the fact that he reneged on our timeline for engagement and marriage. I kept asking him to let me know just how long he expected me to wait around for him to make up his mind. I wanted a time frame: a month, six months, a year…. just something to give me some indication of when he might make up his mind. He refused. His commitment issues are a story for another day but I finally had enough. Why should I wait indefinitely for a 32-year-old to figure out if he loves me or not? Why should I put my life on hold because he keeps moving the goal posts?
I decided a month ago that if he would not man up and give me a timeline then I would give him one. I told him that I have decided on an expiry date for our relationship and will not tell him the exact day. It goes like this: I am willing to give our relationship 6 more months and then I am out of here. If nothing has changed or improved then I will leave. If things are better and we have moved to the next level then I will reconsider. He is upset that he doesn’t know what date I have decided on or how long the timeline is. I told him I will not pressure or coerce him into marrying me and that it is better if he doesn’t know when the end is coming. That way he will have to decide in his own time what he wants. I may or may not be around when that happens.
Taking the ball out of his court and regaining control of the situation has made me happier. There is a huge correlation between ED and control issues. I have control issues. I don’t care. I get to live this life once and I will be the one who makes the decision on this relationship. I am a hopeless romantic and there was a time when I was content to sit back and wait for him to propose – until I realized that day was never going to come as far as he is concerned. Now, I refuse to wait for him to alter the rest of my life. It’s only fair after all. I have given him years already. I have no more years left in me to give. I may not have the self-respect to eat 3 meals a day but I do have the self-respect to leave a man who does not deserve me. I will leave with my ED (or stay as the probably unlikely case may be), but I will also leave with my dignity and the knowledge that I am worth so much more.