For some (in)sane reason I decided that in this interim period of my life, while mostly being spent healing physically, it should also be spent working on my mental capacities and those things I feel I have lost in the past four years.
I began reading a book written by a recovered annorexic, about eating disorders being more that just getting to the point of being alright with just eating and weight. it covers a gamut of issues related to both the inner-self, relationships with people and relationships with society and how each can effect a person with an eating disorder. the book cites not only numerous personal memoirs writting but specific women who come from very different backgrounds who have faced and overcome eating disorders. the book also cites so many scientific studies, most recent, because there was not even a name for bulimia until the 80s.
my family's history of alcoholism, OCD and depression make me something like 45% more likely to have developed my disorder, in addition to numerous other factors.
this book is funny because i never wanted to identify before with people who had these disorders. I saw them as weak, and being weak is something i never want to appear. i also see patterns within relationships that they have had and the ones i have had. as one woman stated "he didn't let me be strong."
I wish i could type this out with more coherence and order, but mostly i want to get down all the muck that has been stirred with so much self-examination.
there is such a difference in the ability to tell and story and just state something and the four years and state, i just began to state things as they were, for sake of berevity, yes, but also for protection. the numbness that i allowed to creep in as my freshman year progressed was my own personal cage, not to keep me in, but to keep everyone out.
it is apparent in my relationship choice, choosing the boy who lived 400 miles away, who only came to me electronically and at various times in the city on my own grounds. he was the fairytale, the escape, the dupe to all that was really going on in my life and he ultimately suffered the most. Cruelly, but was I not the victim to my own sickness? Of everyone, he should have been first aware, but he only knew what i told him, so i met with the catch 22 of my life. i was desperate for anyone to see and know what a terrible darkness had settled on my mind, my body and my soul and still i plodded onward- i managed to complete my sophmore year with minimal decline in grades and secured an internship in chicago for the summer.
summer in chicago should be in the dreams of everyone. it is the perfect season to expereience all the city had to offer, but at the same time i had a job which i not only loathed but managed to make me doubt any ability i could possibly offer the professional industry. so many days i would count down the hours and minutes and seconds until i could exit the building and walk along the lake michigan shore. the weight gain came with anxiety about work but more-so with drinking. that summer i never drank more. alcohol was a simple, easy escape but also the social utility for me, a 20 year old with friends who were 23 and older. the phrase
'if i had a quarter for...' everytime someone emphasized my age while there...it began to be another point of loathing. i was too immature.
growing up far too quickly, led me to notice the softness not apparent before in my hips, the squishyness in my stomach. the size 25 pants i had purchased in februsry now would no longer close.
one fateful day, near the end of june i was cleaning out the housekeeping storage room and came across a scale. it glints evilly in my memory because it was between the moment i found it and the numbers flashed on its screen that my life as a bulimic began.
the scale read 127.
the rest of the day flashed by in a panic state. stopping eating was just too hard at that point, and i berrated myself for not being strong enough to just stop putting the needless calories in my mouth. that night i remember ordering food and eating it, (whole wheat pasta with steamed veggies and no fat sauce) and just feeling completely sick with myself. entering the bathroom i did not first think of puking, i first just looked at myself and saw hatred. then i puked. with just thinking of puking, i found that i could just do it. most bulimics have to mess around with fingers and gagging but i found that with just the thought, a little retching, i could throw up everything i just ate. the giddiness was that of a kid who just got a new toy on christmas, something they had wanted all year. (the answer to my prayers...)
this answer began to rule my entire life. throwing up became second nature, i would eat, and go use the restroom, sometimes go in the middle of meals, purge and return. what didnt help were the millions of ana-mia sites online each and everyone with their own jabbing little secrets and posts of who did and didnt eat and who hated themselves most for eating however many calories and who worked out more and who loved fucking mary kate olsen most. it bacame my quite strength. my friend. my silent friend when nothing else made sense.
in the course of any day, i would puke between 3-12 times, depending on how much i ate, how much i slipped and sometimes how much i wanted to punish myself. there were times i wouldnt want to puke really, but had eaten something my mind had deemed "NOT GOOD" and into the bathroom i would go to rid my stomache of every little bit of the bad. there were few people who even would have guessed this, i am sure my roommate didn't know because of her shock when i finally told her- one was this boy, A_____ and the other was R_____.
to compare and contras these two boys and the relationship i have with both is to, one, portray myself as under the influence of this disease and also, give a picture as how it effects relationships.
With A_____ everything was always different. I loved him deeply but was hurt and faced a very tumultous past and hard decisions in which I ended up walking away from him. Sometime while in chicago I felt the need to contact him, and wrote him a letter. I am grateful to this moment that I did. He and I met when I got back from Chicago, and he saw straight through my bulimic mask. We sat together and I laid out my faults to him, not to ask for understanding but to scare him away. A____ always had the ability to tear me apart and it frightened me, so i used my purging as armor. After that night it was a long while until I heard from him again.
During my freshman year, I used to see R____ a lot. He worked at the coffee shop in the dorms next door, and we went to a lot of the same shows. He and I met, and he was sweet and kind, and generous and fun and silly and most of all he made me feel good about myself. There was not a single thing wrong with him, but I still kept myself at a distance from him- mentally. When I told him about my problem, with tears in my eyes, he resigned to help me. So, there I was, expecting him to flee, fast as he possibly could, and I was there, with a boy who wanted to date me despite what had become my life. R____ went with me to my first doctors visits, and held me when i cried and encouraged me when i berated myself for eating too much, but then something happened. My mind began playing games, and whereas purging would give me a sense of relief all my own, I began to feel shameful, that i would disappoint him, and then in turn hated myself all the more. i craved his support and love and approval but in turn hated it, hated what it made me feel about myself. my eating disorder was no longer only mine.
i vowed that to get well, and get well properly i would have to do it alone. alone is one of the most frigtening words i can think of, but so far-
i began seeing a psychologist in late july of 2006. with her support and weekly appointments i have just barely begun to reconstruct the person i knew i was.
somewhere in that summer this happened, and it concerns A_____:
that night i began to write in a little red book, honestly and faithfully and more truthfully than i had been in years. the book turned into a lengthy letter to him, a confession of everything, and a sort-of therapy for myself.
the year passed and i cannot describe classes or peole in school so much as i can describe wanting to see him, wondering about his travels and then i get into my head that going to key west would be good. since that trip, A___ has not been far from my mind and I, not far from his.
Seeing A____ has been an interesting and important last piece of recovery. He reminds me of everything I once dreamed I would be, all my girlish and crazy fantasies and those that are not so wild. There is my most basic love for the written word, the painted image, music.
this summer, no matter how separate he and I are, I spend it thinking of him and knowing he is proud.
There are drawing classes to take, design to consided, tshirts to work on, photos to take, words to fill a plain black journal.
and i know in september, i will be ready. for anything.
(its late and i dont care about spelling errors, coherence or anything at this point.)