I am beginning to think that I need to flirt with relapse every couple of months, just remind myself that it feels like hell and that I don’t want to do it.
Or, at least, that’s what I thought at 6 o’clock tonight. By 7 o’clock, I realized that I really didn’t care if I relapsed. I am simply going through the motions of fighting off a relapse: e-mailing my counselor, ratting myself out at my nutrition appointment, telling friends, etc. I am doing these things just so when I find myself underweight and scared of every food under the sun again I can say, “See? I tried. I’m just a hopeless case.”
The truth is, I’m not trying – not really. Trying would mean choking down dinner. Trying would mean planning appropriately sized meals and snacks for the day and bringing them and eating them. Trying would mean skipping the gym. Trying would mean returning the pills I bought. Trying would mean going downstairs RIGHT NOW and having something to eat.
But I’m not. I didn’t. I haven’t. I won’t.
I was talking to a friend on the phone tonight and explaining my mind-warp of a counseling session on Monday, weird days yesterday and today, and for about three minutes, crazy-anxious-eating disorder-Jessica took over the conversation and my friend just said, “Wow.” Then she confirmed that I do, in fact, sound completely crazy and that my doctor upping my dosage for my meds was a good idea.
Later in the conversation, she asked me if I could remove myself from the situation and answer whether or not I thought I was just going to perpetually cycle in and out of this thing forever. Whether or not I should go to residential treatment, even if it’s not medically necessary any more.
I told her what she wanted to her, the words that would comfort her: that recovery is bound to be full of small lapses, or longer lapses, but my dietician is sure I’ll pull out of this. My dietician is sure that this is an opportunity to learn and grow stronger.
I don’t tell her my own fears: that I’m not sure about these things, not sure that I can force myself to eat all over again, not sure that I care to do so.
She reads between the lines, it seems, my spoken words not speaking loud enough to drown out my tone of voice.
I mean, I’m glad you look healthy now, she says. But it just seems so…temporary. Fragile. Like it’ll break any moment.
It is, of course. It is for any addict early in the recovery process.
One drink, one hit, one skipped meal threatens to derail the whole thing.
I am flirting with disaster and I’m not sure I can stop staring into the flame long enough to run the other direction.