It reads 2:30 and it taunts me. I’ve been awake for hours and made my first priorities relieving my bladder followed by filling it, with coffee. This would stave off the inevitable headache and belly ache. It fills it and fools it. It begins the cycle of false control. I know this. Not always while it’s happening but now that I’ve seen the clock and heard it’s taunts in my head I know it’s started again. I even got up to pee once again once I noted the time and walked into the kitchen noting a dish I should place in the washer but nothing more and walked to the front door. I peered out to see if in fact it did actually rain after so many months of promise but dryness. It rained. The evidence is apparent on the cement sidewalk in front of my house. I smell it now, that familiar metallic zing in the air and yet, it feels so foreign. I shut the door not knowing what else to do and head back to my bedroom at the end of the hall hating myself for feeling completely unable or unwilling (I’m not really sure) to eat food. I’m hungry. I know I should eat. But what? I go through a mental list of what’s in my fridge and pantry. I let out a big sigh.
Having applied to a few jobs first thing this morning and then after managing the depths of my many inboxes I begin to feel uneasy.
What am I doing? What do I want to be doing?
Last night I was in the thick of anxiety and despair weighted down by a sudden feeling of severe alone-ness. I convinced myself that I was a giant loser. I felt it in the bottom of my gut. I held it with both hands. I felt sick, but only really sick of my own company. I reached out, to so many and yet none could distract me from my own self torture. Completely out of my usual coping mechanism I started a text conversation with a dear but far away friend who surely couldn’t fully understand my situation, but tried wholeheartedly. I knew better, so why couldn’t I do better? For myself?
So good at helping others, re-branding myself “director of happiness” and yet there I was in a weak and dark hour feeling like the lowest life form on the planet. What happened to directing my own happiness first? Why is it when left with too much time alone do I always default to self destruction mode? I know better but yet it still happens. Is it just a comfort or familiarity thing? Ugh!
She tried to lift me up, sweet thing that she is, even though I knew she was struggling, too. But it wasn’t cheeriness I needed or wanted. Soon I realized all I had to do was eat, but I didn’t feel hungry and I didn’t want to start all over again. I’d become disconnected again and wasn’t sure how or when it happened but I knew that’s what the deal was.
I have an eating disorder. I will probably always struggle with it.
I push myself only to later punish myself for doing so. I feel out of control over my entire life right now and so I pretend not to notice the hours stretch and pass. When I can look outside and see no light it almost feels like gentle permission to eat again. Almost only because occasionally that alone isn’t enough and I’ll attempt some sort of sick competition with myself to see just how much longer I can go. I hate it and myself when I do it but am so rarely aware of it when in the thick of it.
Once I decide I will eat it becomes even more difficult to decide on what to eat. Should I go get something? Should I cook? Heat something up? Money is always the constraint. Do I have anything fresh? Is something about to go bad? It’s never just “I’m hungry and will eat food” it’s always gotta be about something else. Always the multitasker. I can never just be human and do human things, I always have to worry about all the things always. Ugh!
Too much time alone seems to be the one consistant trigger I can point to and know for certain that I am not always good for myself. There was a point where it felt good and right to spend time alone. Those long evenings with the puggyman, chilling after a long day of work. I would happily and hungrily eat with ease and feel satisfied and fulfilled after a meal. Now without a job, once again I am left with not just evenings but days and evenings running into each other and bleeding into and out of me until I can’t recall the day or the date only that there is pressure to find a job, to be excited about my upcoming birthday and to make plans and decisions for those things.
I’ve lost my joy. There’s no pure joy anymore. It’s been muddied by stress. Even when having fun on the weekend with friends or my fella I just can’t grasp my old me-ness that used to get me through it. How can I help so many others through their difficult shit but nearly refuse any sort of help or support with mine? Why do I feel so invisible? How is everyone but me so fucking busy all of the time? (Have I really pushed everyone away?)
I’m writing this to avoid having to decide what to eat to stop the searing pain of it from interrupting my distraction seeking efforts online. I’ve hit a dead end and I’m having to face it and yet hate that I have to at all. Asked recently if I would consider never eating actual food again if I could just take a tablet 2-3 times a day instead and even that I couldn’t make a fantasy decision on. “I’d like the option to eat or not I guess” is all I managed.
When employed I am decisive and bubbly. When unemployed I am poor and miserable.
I feel bad for spending money on food and worse when others buy me a meal. I hate pity most of all. I self sabotage when left to my own devices for too long. I don’t yet know how much “too long” actually is. I only know when I’ve reached it or after the fact, usually. I’ve become sedentary out of weakness and fear. Weakness because I’m not getting enough nutrition to have the energy to do much in the way of movement. Fear of the outside world, human interactions, attacks, imposter syndrome, recognition, questions or even eye contact. I want to block it all out and so I do by not going out at all. My dog doesn’t seem to mind but surely he’d like to go for walks again. He’s an enabler of a snuggle monster.
I have difficulty getting excited about anything. I don’t feel quite numb, but I know it will arrive shortly. I can’t do the things I want to do (access/money/energy) and don’t want to do the things I should do. I have been sleeping too much. There’s a first for everything I suppose. I don’t want to talk about me. I want to talk about movies and music and philosophies and fashion and television shows and cuteness. I want art and feel so far removed from it at once.
I want to just eat something simple and feel satisfied. Why has other people’s moral issues with food crept back into my world? I didn’t sign up for this. And it’s not related to my body size at all. This is surprising to people. I love my body. But I am not supporting it like I should or want to. This is a battle of the mind. This is part of my depression cycle. I was doing okay with eating the first few weeks after getting laid off. I even started to cook and bake again for a bit. I don’t really know what changed or shifted nut something did somehow.
Thanks for reading.