When Shopping is Fun Again

For the record, I generally hate shopping.  I’ve especially hated it the last year, when every time I’ve gone to the store I’m another size larger.  It’s a cruel irony of recovery — that you finally accept the fact you’ve gained weight and are okay with it and go to buy new clothes and then nothing fits properly and you feel like a whale and your body seems foreign again.  And I’ve gone through that whole process multiple times this year, finally settling in May on just wearing dresses because they are slightly more forgiving and wouldn’t show when I inevitably gained the weight that treatment puts on.

I went shopping again yesterday, needing to buy some new pants for work for the winter.  Until this point, I’ve only had 2 pairs of [rather thin] pants and I’ve been wearing them two or three times each every week because I’m already so cold.  So yesterday I decide to brave civilization and go about 45 minutes away to the mall.  I went into Sears and found some pants in the clearance section.  I held them up to my waist, trying to decide if they would fit or if they would be a dressing room breakdown in the making.  I decided to chance it.  The pants were a full size (or two) below what I normally wear.

I pulled them on with no problems.  They’re not even tight.  One pair even has a little extra room.  I debated needing to buy a belt just to hold the things up.  I considered that in another month, at this rate, I will definitely need a belt to hold them up.  I have lost a full pants size since beginning my job a month and a half ago.  And I loved it.

The only time I’ve ever sort-of enjoyed shopping for clothes was when I was at my lowest weight.  Yesterday was a glimpse of that.  The simplicity with which I was able to find a pair of pants in a size I could deal with.  The knowledge that the size is smaller than last time I went shopping a month ago.  The way that clothes fit, and even if I look in the mirror and think that my thighs are too big in the skinny jeans, I can look at the tag and say, “Well, that’s got to at least be partially a distortion, right?”

I’m not even really thin.  I weigh less than I did when I left residential treatment, and far less than I did when I left treatment altogether at the end of June, but I’m by no means too thin.  Yet my mind is totally obsessed with food and calories and exercise, and my behaviours are beginning to look more and more disordered.

I skipped a few meals and numerous snacks this week.  It was a crazy week at work, with an incident that nearly required my calling the cops and took almost two hours to de-escalate, and another 24 hours on watch to keep one kid from getting jumped.  I feel incompetent at my job, am sure that I’m doing terribly, even though I know my director has been speaking very highly of me.  And my, erm, extracurriculars are definitely taking up way too much head space and confusing me beyond what is necessary.

I am totally into this guy at work (the one that I blew you guys off for last week).  He and I have been hanging out for a few weeks and last week I stayed over at his place a couple of times.  We would watch a movie or play video games and make out and then go to bed and I would get up in the morning entirely confused about what I’m getting myself into and completely tired after only four hours of sleep.  The problem is that I can’t read him at all, and can’t tell if he likes me as well, or if he is just trying to get into my pants.

If it’s both, I’m fine with that.  If it’s just the latter, I’m in trouble.  In trouble because I really do like him.  That alone is sort of a big deal, given that I haven’t had any feelings for anyone since I called off my engagement almost four years ago.  And historically, I don’t have a great track record for holding onto my morals when I like a guy.  So I’ve already crossed a line or two that good sense told me should have been drawn and I’m all screwed up over that and all screwed up because I want to keep going.

And all screwed up because he made a comment last week about how he loves that everyone has love handles.  If it had been a different situation, I could possibly write it off as just a random comment.  However, given the fact that I was in a state of undress at the time (oops), it’s hard to believe that “everyone” doesn’t also include me.

I e-mailed my dietitian today and set up an appointment for next week and am considering e-mailing my therapist and giving her the heads up on what we need to discuss next week.  I’m scared because I know that a lot of the “red flags” I set up before I took this job are flying high and everything in my wise brain says I need to quit this job and go back into treatment.  (Friends I’ve discussed this with agree.)

To me, that seems like admitting defeat.  Defeated, once again, by this stupid eating disorder.  Having, once again, to put my life on hold to get “well.”  Feeling, once again, like I’m never going to make anything of my life because I’m never going to be able to get this one stupid thing under control.

I really do love my job, even on the days when I want to claw my eyes out from the stress.  The idea of leaving my job to go back to meal plans and boosts and weight gain is awful.  The eating disorder doesn’t even seem that bad right now – I just know it has the potential to get there, and get there quickly.

And to be honest, some small part of me is morbidly curious.  Could I get that low again? The fact that I ever met the full diagnostic criteria for anorexia seems like some sort of fluke.  Like, if I had been weighed a day before or a day after that date, I’d have been too fat to be anorexic.  I told my therapist this, and she thought it was a completely ludicrous idea and told me that she had no doubt I could lose all the weight again if I wanted to.

I told her I wasn’t so sure.

And nothing makes me want to do something more than someone (even myself) telling me I can’t.


6 thoughts on “When Shopping is Fun Again

  1. Um, HELLO! Choose recovery, girl! Whatever it takes. Don’t throw your chances away. Remember your tattoo…the story isn’t over yet BUT that doesn’t mean you need to self destruct to make it more interesting. It will be interesting enough, I promise, and God is NEVER done with us! I’m sorry I didn’t call you back last week–my week was INSANE and now I really regret not calling you because I kinda want to talk some sense into you in the most loving way possible. Hopefully you’ll get this! Call me when you do!! AND EAT SOME FOOD! looove you!

  2. You know what sounds more like defeat?
    Not fighting the disease you KNOW is encroaching.

    Leaving the job to recover? How is that defeat?

    Choose your battle.
    Jess vs. eating disorder
    Jess vs. Jess


  3. I think when you can come to terms with the fact that treatment is more important than any job, that will be the complete opposite of defeat.

  4. I wish I could make it all better for you. I can’t but I can bring you before our Father who holds you in His hands and never lets go. Praying for you! Take care of you

  5. You and a boy make me uber nervous. Are you listening to the Renovatus sermon podcasts?
    It’s good stuff.

    Can’t wait to see you. Please keep eating.

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