This is how I wake myself up:
I have been back nearly two weeks. They have been a blur of emotions and days and I cannot quite recall them in minute detail.
I have existed: gone through the motions, done what’s expected of me at work or home.
I have not eaten. I have eaten too much. I am now full of emptiness; of leavings and longings and loss.
In the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep (too scared to close my eyes, too numb to keep them open), I wandered into the kitchen in my underwear and started foraging for food.
The sight of my mostly naked body was simply an annoyance. Instead of halting me, it spurred me on. I made pasta without thinking about it. I could have gone to sleep hungry, but instead I started looking for comfort in carbohydrates, for happiness in the bubbling tomato sauce and for love in the soft, melting cheese. I let it caress my insides with warmth. I let it soothe me. I ate sitting on the floor with my fat rolling out around my panties and bra, cushioning the agony, shielding me from the dying sensation that will not leave me alone.
I sobbed into some wine. I wailed in a bubble bath. Tears and snot and mascara mingling with the grimy water, dull as my soul.
I am a tomb of nothingness.
We go to the wedding today. I wear 2 different outfits: one to the ceremony and one to the reception. I don’t eat all day so that I might look vaguely acceptable (to myself or perhaps some passers by). My boyfriend doesn’t look at me, or notice me, or comment on my apprearance. Given the horrible things he said a few days ago when I was trying on dresses for this event, maybe it is a blessing – you know the kind they say come in “disguise”.
I starve and I primp and I preen. I paint my face and curl my eyelashes and spritz and tease and my legs are tanned and my collar bones are glittered. I brush and comb and fuss and tuck and pin and change and inspect and criticize and adjust and ruefully accept the outcome. We arrive at the ceremony and he says a blanket “you guys looks snazzy” to all 3 of us. Snazzy…the epitomy of compliments. The truth is he only has eyes for his daughter. When she is around, his son and I cease to exist. I get compliments from his friends at the wedding. Complete strangers talk to me in the washroom telling me they like my dress or hair. One woman hugs me and uses the word “gorgeous”. My boyfriend barely acknowledges me. He is disconnected, preoccupied and I am just the maid who had fed and cleaned and dressed and delivered his children to him while he has been drinking with his friends.
He takes his daughter “for a walk” which is code for calling her mother. I sit at a table for ten fat, repulsive and alone, staring into my appetizer, looking for love. After the briefest pretense I walk away from the table and in my high heels and lace and pearls and curls, I toss back up the disappointment. There is not enough wine to soothe my discontented soul.
His daughter is sick and whiny. She takes up all our attention. There is no time for “us”. There is no hand holding. There is no smiling into each other’s eyes. There is no dancing at this wedding. I hold her and she fidgets, unhappy. He holds her. She cries for cupcakes. No matter what we do, she is fractious. We are home by 10:09pm on a Saturday night. I wanted to slow dance in his arms and dream of our wedding which we both know (but won’t acknowledge) will never happen. The kind of things you do when you are only 9 months into a relationship. I wanted the overflow of love and happiness from this union to flood out hearts. But there are children to take care of and his stomach is upset by the Indian food (which I hear about in graphic, unromantic detail), so we go home. I pour myself wine in the kitchen, take out the flower from my hair while my boyfriend puts his daughter to bed. His woefully neglected son comes to me in the kitchen and tells me that he feels like we don’t love him. I wrap my arms around him knowing exactly what that feels like and hating myself for not being able to stop him from feeling it too.
Meals deliberately missed: 2
Meals purged: 0 (for a total of 3 months purge free) UPDATE: purged tonight…offically ended my 3 month streak just hours after I wrote this.
Days of premediated caloric restriction: 3
Accidental binges: 1
Planned binges: 1
Gym workouts: 4 so far…
Total meltdowns: 1 (crying naked in the bathroom in the middle of the night)
Partial meltdowns: 2.5
Number of migraines: 6
Longest lasting migraine: 3 days without any respite
Days since last hospital visit: 17
Weeks left til trip home: 13
Anxiety level: please send Valium
Glasses Bottles of wine: too many
Months since I moved in with my boyfriend: 2
Number of days period is late: 1*
*(I did just have my IUD removed a couple of weeks ago and am waiting for things to “normalize” whilst trying to avoid any unplanned babies.)
Triggering comments from this week: “Why don’t you go have a nap and then you won’t eat anymore?” “She loves food…she is a woman after your own heart.” “You had 3 carrots and a banana for lunch? Watch out you don’t get fat.”
Every day for three days, I drink rather than eat. The calories in alcohol no longer scare me. I hang out with friends and we have a glass or two of wine. They eat. I don’t. I am drunk immediately, all traces of tolerance have vanished. My boyfriend picks me up for dinner and pours me more wine. I am swaying faintly in his kitchen from lack of nourishment and distress. He is determined to feed me. I wash away the guilt with another sip. I jokingly tell him that I am not an alcoholic. He laughs and kisses me. I wish I could tell him of the demons he has yet to meet.
“I picked up a pizza for dinner tonight. I have wine for us too.”
Hold the pizza, pass the wine.
2 plates of quinoa kale salad
1 veggie burger (no bun)
1/2 a wheel of brie
3 glasses of red wine
3 bowls of potato salad
1 chocolate square
1 piece of apple crumble
1 piece of rhubarb pie
2 scoops of ice cream
1 epic purging session
Please stop inviting me to your BBQs. They are bad for my health.
I am sitting on a picnic blanket with my neighbours and roommates. One minute I am eating tomatoes and hummus; the next I am drunk, playing card games and eating a bag of chocolate chips.
Bulimia and alcohol do not mix. I haven’t eaten all day. I am drunk after two glasses of wine. Then I think it is a good idea to eat three peanut butter cookies. My evening of restriction is gone. Sometime around midnight, I am in the kitchen laughing uncontrollably, pouring another drink and funneling chocolate chips down my throat.
Eventually everyone calls it a night. I am so desperate to purge that I don’t care anymore. I run a hot, steamy shower to mask the sound of my vomiting. I stand up and stumble. I am light headed. I grab onto the side of the sink, the tub, I am dizzy. I think for a moment that I am about to faint. Everything happens in slow motion as I fall backwards. I still have more to purge – wine and cookies and liquer and chocolate chips and eventually I get down to the tomatoes and hummus. I don’t care if my roommates can hear me vomiting over the sound of running water. I don’t care. I just want to be empty.