Today I was wearing a winter hat and jacket indoors. It was 79 degrees here at my desk, yet I was cold. I went to look at myself in the mirror. I noticed that my lips were blue. Blue. It has never been this bad.
I am so cold now. I have the space heater running. I am wearing fleece pajamas, writing to you. My hands are icy.
I sat on the toilet seat and wondered if I would freeze to it. I’m guessing my body temperature is low these days. Maybe I should buy an accurate thermometer (not the ear kind–the mouth kind) and check. I wonder how I can possibly make it through the winter. Even the extra two pounds on me seem to have made no difference: I am colder than ever.
It was 60 degrees out today and when I went out, I had to wear a winter hat. Was it the rain that caused this shift? What will keep me warm in December, January, February? What will keep me warm in October, even? Will I be shivering through National Novel Writing Month, which is the month of November?
I know what is causing this. I cannot fool myself. I need to gain weight. But is it too late? Am I permanently cold? Am I so cold in my soul that this is irreversible? Will my heart ever be warm again to life, to living fully, to loving God and appreciating all that is around me, and getting involved in the world again, instead of drowning in my eating disorder?
Frank asked me tonight if I recognize myself as being thin, if I can see it, and how I feel about it deep down. He asked me to ask myself if there is a part of me that desperately wants to lose weight, because this is a part of our illness, that we have this desire to waste away, to become, essentially, nothing, nobody, a mere line.
When I started out, I believed that I was special, that I was the exception, that I didn’t need to be “on the charts” of what was considered normal weight for my height. In fact, I used a chart that I knew to be incorrect. It was from an insurance company. Most charts stated that normal weight for my height was over 100. This chart stated under 100. I chose to follow this one instead. At the same time, I believed my own sense of what was right for me. Under 90 for sure. I was different. I needed my thinness and the scale to tell me that I was special and almost, almost perfect–if only I could get a few pounds thinner. My music, my compositions, my dog, the heaps of praise I received from the music faculty were not enough.
Today, I love that I am skinny. Truly. Deep down inside. I hate that I now have missed a second period, and what it means. I worry that I am so very cold, and what this, too, means. I keep two aspirins at my bedside, and the phone, in case I have symptoms of a heart attack. I keep wondering if I will die. Scary stuff.
My wonderful new book, This Hunger Is Secret: My Journeys Through Mental Illness and Wellness is now available from Chipmunkapublishing–click here to access. To read more about it at my home site, click here.