(Subtitle: I am aware that this post makes no sense and is depressing and disconcerting, but this is just how I think these days)
I cannot stop thinking about the size of my breasts, my thighs, my stomach, my arms. I cannot doodle to ease the anxiety because the lines aren’t coming out perfectly, my hands shaking as I try to draw. Searching my bag for my phone, my hand hits a granola bar. I’m sitting in a coffee shop, and as I walked in, I noted a sign asking people not to bring in outside food or drink. “Oh, darn,” I think. “Guess I’ll just keep sipping my green tea.”
Except, I really shouldn’t. I really should walk downstairs and get a stupid gelato or a stupid muffin or a stupid fruit and yogurt parfait. I really should attempt to have something resembling a snack (even though it’s 7p), because if I don’t, my therapist is liable to look at me on Monday and ask me, yet again, if we need to put therapy on hold.
CBT-E has a staggeringly high success rate with eating disorders (70% if your BMI is above 17.5), but that success depends on your following the program exactly. So much easier said than done, even when my “program” right now just requires me to eat six times a day. It doesn’t even matter what, so long as food is passing through to my stomach six times a day (and staying there). In theory, I commit to eating six times a day, thus removing the “but I feel FAT” or “I’m not hungreeeeeeee” or “I’m too anxious to eat” excuses from my eating disorder.
I am struggling to do it. I am struggling to eat the simplest of things because I cannot get over how freaking FAT I feel. One or two fat days turned into fat week, turned into fat weeks (plural). I know this is to be expected. I know that even women who don’t have eating disorders have “fat days.” I suppose the difference is that these women say to themselves, “Hm, I have been eating out a lot, maybe I’ll eat at home more.” Or “Gee, I guess I’ll eat a little lighter today.” Or, heck, maybe they just put on some comfy clothes and engage in some retail therapy and move on with their lives. I don’t know. I hardly understand how these “normal” women think and move and live.
I, by contrast to these “normal” women, hole myself up in my room for days and weeks at a time. I cry. I pull out my hair. I follow my mind down bizarre, morbid rabbit trails that I cannot control, imagining carving all of the flesh off my body with a very large butcher knife. I restrict even more, trying to cut out everything “unsafe” from my diet.
And on the subject of rabbit trails, this post is not at all making sense. I’m aware of that. My mind is skipping from subject to subject, back and forth and all around. I am thinking of the little girl I saw earlier in the day when I was at Target, how confident she seemed in her shorts and t-shirt that proudly said, “I love playing soccer!” I’m thinking of the dinner and snack that I had last night, how I felt so full even 12 hours later that I couldn’t bring myself to eat my planned breakfast. I’m thinking about how I just asked my friend that I’m visiting if we could go out for pizza tonight, because that’s what I want, dammit, even if my eating disorder is positively apoplectic at the thought.
I’m thinking that I’ve got half an hour to shove a snack in my mouth or I’m risking my therapist discharging me completely on Monday.
And while I might not be bought into this whole “recovery” thing yet, I know that without therapy and a dietitian, I’d probably kill myself within the next month.
Because living this way is absolute hell.