My life is diminished by ED. I know it but, right now I am powerless to change it. I cannot sleep at night for the fears that crawl and creep. I cannot live during the day because I am filled with loathing. I loathe the physical. The sight of my body upsets me. My day is filled with thoughts of food, calories, exercise. Diminishing myself more and more seems to be the logical solution to a life of too much. Too much wanting, needing, being. I am too much. I am too extreme. How can I be less of me? I am riddled with anxiety. How did I get here? Why? What next?
I want to be in control of a life that is careening out of control One day I woke up with a boyfriend, a house and a life (I thought) I wanted so much. The next day it was gone and I was the one who pulled the rug from under my own feet. I was the one who made the decision to leave a man who did not love me enough. Now I sit here alone, drinking, bingeing, purging, over exercising and not sleeping. I am reeling from the loss of love; from the absence of the familiar; from the stabbing pain of being let go without a thought. I wake up each day dazed. I go through the motions. I try to stay in my routine: ballet, gym, yoga. Nothing saves me from my destructive self.
I went to hot yoga tonight after ballet. I had no strength….not an ounce. I had eaten carrots and grapes for lunch after a particularly bad B/P episode last night. I was unsteady on my feet. Sweat poured from my feeble body. The room spun around me. Darkness crept in every time I tried to stand up. I swayed. I put my hand on the wall to hold me up. I hung my head in defeat, steadying my body, leaning on my shaky legs. Dale, the instructor, came over and put his hand on my back. I was shaking uncontrollably. “Relax,” he said. He doesn’t know that I cannot. It eludes me no matter what I do.
Each day I wake from troubled, fitful snatches of sleep that do not nourish me. I get up, sore from compulsively over-exercising, dehydrated from purging. I feel like I am hung over. I make myself green tea. I race to the studio and teach ballet. All day I plan my starvation diet, count calories, think of my next binge. I flee from the mirrors in the studio and escape to the yoga studio where I can continue to loathe my reflection. I push my body to breaking point. I feel like I am constantly on the verge of collapse.
But, I keep going. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. My friend tells me that this is what it means to be strong – to take the next step when you feel like you cannot keep going. I feel like that is merely surviving. Sadly, I am a not a skinny bulimic. I do not drop much weight despite a severe relapse over the last 2 months. Hypothyroid sees to that. No one tells me anymore that I am too thin like they used too. So I suffer whilst my outward appearance belies a healthy, happy person. Each day I shrink, wither, die a little bit more inside. I loathe and I fear and I long for the unattainable.
“You can go a lot of years on empty”. One of my favourite, bittersweet quotes. It is so true.