This is how I wake myself up:
I only feel good when I am drinking or eating. I have been drinking excessively every night since I left home a month ago. I have been restriciting a bit, bingeing a bit, purging a bit. I have finally gone back to gym to try get off some of the weight I have gained. I eat at work to ease my anxiety, I rush home to find a bottle of wine or rum or gin and to cry myself to sleep. I know I am depressed. I only want to eat until I feel nothing, to drink until I pass out.
I finally went back to gym today.
After nearly 4 weeks of being depressed and unmotivated, I dragged myself there and it felt good. I sweated and exercised long past the burn. I remembered endorphins and exhaustion and how satisfying it is to pound my anxiety away. Sadly, last night I caught my reflection whilst wearing a bikini. The extra girth and heaviness and cellulite was upsetting. I think I haven’t fully acknowledged how much size I have gained in the past 2 months. I am not brave enough yet to weigh myself.
I did however, come home, eat dinner, purge it, eat second dinner with my boyfriend and purge that too. Everything else today was coffee and celery. I feel like I am back on track.
Here is a list of things I vowed to never do again in a relationship:
I never even thought to add that I would never date a man with kids because that was never part of any equation. In fact the day before our first date, I swore blind it wasn’t a date simply because he had children and I didn’t want to get involved in that kind of situation. Don’t ask me how my big list of DON’Ts is going…
Some days I look at my life choices and laugh at myself because they are just so laughable. Who does these things? Who makes these kind of dumb decisions? Who doesn’t learn the first time around and keeps repeating the same mistakes?
Well…I never said I was smart. After all, I am a fat bulimic. And, on that note, I have started purging again.
I had to. Life is boring. It is mundane and of course I swore blind that the only reason I would stay was for an extraordinary love. Yes, I am waiting for the kind that sweeps me off my feet. The kind that they write about or make movies about. I said I wouldn’t stay if it was just going to be ordinary. Well guess what? It is ordinary – EVERY DAMN DAY And I don’t think it is ever going to be enough for me, in the same way that I will never be enough. I am bored by the routine.
My heart is somewhere else. We all know that. I have never made a secret of it; never hidden it. I am a discontent. I am a dreamer. I am in all likelihood delusional. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that every day is the same: wake up (chronically sleep deprived) to a dirty, disorganized house. Try fruitlessly to clean or tidy or sweep or do dishes or put toys away or stare at the mess and die on the inside. So much for a never-ending love story: it is more like never ending laundry. Nothing I do makes a dent in the chaos. Go to gym or work or both. No matter. I am eternally fat anyway. Come home to cook and clean and clean and cook. Who cares. It never ends. Try to be the perfect step-mommy. Fail. Try again. Fail harder. Give up. Cry in the bath tub. Pull myself together. Have a melt down. Drink excessively. Try to instill some boundaries. Fail, of course. Bake some healthy cookies. Feed the kids candy. Give in. Hate myself some more. Read a self-help book. Realize I am a bitch. Make school lunches. Realize I am not their mother(s). Try again. Fail again.
This is our “dating”.
I have started starving again during the day from the anxiety. I have started coming home longing to binge my way to oblivion. I look forward to drinking the most. What else is there to look forward to? No date nights (no money). No weekends away (no money). No wining or dining or shopping or movies or drinks or vacations or diamonds or roses or who cares anymore. I am obviously not worth those things.
I have made his life infinitely easier and made mine infinitely harder. I thought somewhere along the line there would be some reward, a payoff…something to make it all worth it.
There is the perfunctory “I love you” in the darkness before sleep (no sex – again). It is sad and empty and it sucks the life out of me: not my mistakes, but the ones that I’ve agreed to pay for by being here. That I will pay for over and over again every day of my life that I chose to stay. I try to tell him that I am not meant for this life. That I am not the person for him or his children; that I have made the wrong decision. He doesn’t believe me. It is like he is fighting to hang on to me because he wants someone to love. I would want to be loved if it was me in the situation instead of him. I get it. I keep saying that he needs someone else. That I am freaking out. That I made the wrong choice. He cannot allay my fears or calm me. He is too tired to see that this will not work. It cannot. There is no time for us. There is no foundation to build a life upon together. There is no room in his life for me to squeeze into. I don’t want to be mummy number 3. Third place does not sit well with me. Failure is my biggest trigger.
And yet he loves me, despite my failing. He loves me and I don’t know why. In 32 years I have never managed to love myself. He told me this week, “you are much more loveable when you aren’t trying to run away”. I am always trying to leave…
I sit here alone in the dark on one of our only nights without kids. I am serenaded by the hum of the dishwasher in the kitchen and the washing machine in the basement. At least in the dark I cannot see the mess (I have made of my life).
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.”
I am sick again. Every other month I come down with something. It is as though my immune system is so overwhelmed that it barely functions. Two weeks ago after days of purging, I ended up with a sore throat. Cue swollen tonsils, purple streaks down the back of my throat and the inability to swallow without pain. I tried to be good and keep purging to a minimum where I couldn’t avoid it. I hate being sick. It means I cannot go to gym or hot yoga because exercising seems to prolong the illness. Most days I am battling chronic fatigue or migraines as it is. I do not need this, but I know it is my fault. For my birthday we went out for dinner and I was unknowingly served meat in the bread. Who puts meat in bread? Without making a scene, I left the table and went to purge.
The next day the sore throat was back worse than ever. Today I woke up with a full blown cold: coughing, snotty and spaced out. I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed never mind hit the gym or even go to work. I called in sick which gave me debilitating anxiety. I spent the day in bed alternating between hot and cold, awake and asleep. Not sick enough to be in bed; not well enough to be at work. The worst kind of sick where you can’t justify either. Sadly my cold hasn’t made me sick enough to lose my appetite. I wonder why I can’t get the kind of sick that makes me not want to eat. A few days of that would surely do me some good. More good than purging up what I do eat. I am so tired of being hungry.
I had a birthday this weekend which means I have now had this eating disorder for 22 years officially. I have been sick for more than 2/3s of my life. I had an EKG today and blood work as part of a referral to outpatient treatment. I have no intention of going to the treatment centre. That would mean missing three months of work and confessing to my boyfriend that my ED is out of control. If only I was thin enough to justify all of this; to make it worth while.
Coffee, thyroid medication.
More coffee, an hour at the gym with my foot in a cast.
Celery and hummus.
More celery, more hummus, more coffee.
My coworker sits in my office and lectures me on eating (while he eats). He informs me that I will never have to wear a tutu and pink tights on stage again and therefore I should enjoy food. He mentions that I should get over my issues and I disagree telling him my demons keep me company.
“What do you want me to eat?” I ask as I shove celery down my throat and try not to gag.
“Bread,” he gestures with all of his Russian passion in the direction of my collar bones which seem to upset him. “It is so light; there is nothing in it.”
“I love bread so much. I dream about toast,” I confess like my soul depends upon it. It seems wrong to admit this; like I am betraying the wilting celery that is trying to nourish me.
“You need to eat some bread,” he is pleading with me now. “Good, grainy, dense bread.”
He is the devil. I shake my head as if to remove the picture of bread from my mind. He is always trying to get me to eat.
Dinner at a friend’s house: 4 plates of food, wine, cake. I sit at the table and start to sweat. Panic.
I will die of this feeling. I am out of control after restricting all day.
While they make coffee and dessert in the kitchen, I purge. The relief is instantaneous.
Fast food drive through on the way home from dinner:
2 veggie burgers, onion rings, 2 family size fries (to fill the hole in my heart where there should be a family). I sit in a parking lot as the rain pours down and I shake. I have found love on a Wednesday night. There is ketchup and comfort at the bottom of the brown, paper bag.
Purge, purge, purge.
Bubble bath and a conversation with my boyfriend on the phone: “I’m taking you out for your favourite Italian on Sunday night. Do you want to go on a picnic on Saturday? Maybe we could go to the mountains…I have some wine for Friday.”
I can hear the calories we are going to consume. I just want to lie in his arms and close my eyes and never eat again.
After the break down I had at my doctor’s office about my 15lb weight gain, she promised to refer me to a specialist. I explained to her about my vegan/vegetarian diet, exercise, hypothyroidism and eating disordered history. She was adamant that my weight gain and inability to lose weight are not related to hypothyroidism because I am medicated. According to her, that means I am “cured”. When she said that it had to be something that I am eating, I nearly lost my mind and the little sanity I have left. I explained to her about the calories I track every day, all the time I spend in the gym and I told her that given 21 years of having an eating disorder, that I know about nutrition and weight loss. In the end she said she would refer me to a specialist to make sure that there wasn’t another medical reason that I was gaining weight and couldn’t lose it.
Today I got a referral in the mail to a nutrition program. Thanks to my doctor, they have enrolled me in a group course called “Secrets To Weight Loss Success”. To say I am mad doesn’t even begin to cover it. Her referral just goes to show how little she cares about me or my health – mental or physical. I could write her a book on nutrition and exercise and I guarantee there is not one thing they could teach me about “balanced meals”, “snacks that cause weight gain” and “keeping weight off successfully with exercise”, that I don’t already know. When I was in her office she told me that I don’t need to lose weight and that my BMI is normal. Now I have a referral to go and sit with a bunch of fatties and discuss how not to eat McDonalds for dinner. Needless to say, she is no longer my doctor. Who gives someone with an eating disorder a referral to a weight loss course?
I had foot surgery yesterday. It was very traumatic.
The surgery was done with a local anesthetic and no sedation. I am the kind of person that needs to be sedated heavily because I have such high anxiety. On the way to the hospital my heart rate started climbing and as I sat in the waiting room, I started shaking uncontrollably.
As soon as the surgeon came near me I started crying; ugly crying. He did my last foot surgery and I trust him implicitly, but for reasons I can’t explain, I just lost it. They same thing happened last time and it is embarrassing. For almost an hour I sobbed and shook and hyperventilated while the surgery took place. My dear friend who had driven me to hospital was allowed to stay in the room during the surgery and held my hand and tried to calm me down. I am so grateful to him for being with me. I apologized over and over to the surgeon and the nurses and my friend for my behaviour. The nurses tried very hard to get me to relax. My blood pressure sky rocketed and my heart rate hit 276bpms. I could not control myself.
When it was finally over, I was allowed to go home with a cast and crutches. Now the reality of having had foot surgery again has hit me: six weeks of no activity. No ballet or yoga or gym. I am terrified of how fat I will get so yesterday I ate as little as possible. I didn’t even have much appetite. It is hard to get around and do even the simplest tasks including going to the kitchen and making something to eat. I am hoping I will enjoy a restricting phase now. I am lying on the couch feeling a bit depressed and in a lot of pain. Luckily I have been blessed with good friends who are taking care of me.