I cannot fool them anymore

My doctor’s onto me and I cannot fool them anymore.  Next week, I won’t cheat.  I promise.  Next week, I won’t water-load.  Next week, they will know what I really weigh and I will take the consequences, whatever they may be.

I know, I know, I keep saying I’ll do this–next week.  But really, today, my doctor asked me, “Why is it that you weigh exactly the same each week?”  So she suspects something’s up.  She knows. She knows I water-load, that I plan and scheme and cheat the scale.  She must know that I weigh a lot less.  She looks at me, week after week, after all.

Today I saw a photo of myself taken in April, when I got my hair cut.  I look a lot different–younger, you could say.  More flesh on my face. Jeez.  It’s kinda shocking to me.  So I don’t even look like my Facebook photo anymore, taken a day later.  I’ve lost 90 pounds since my passport photo was taken, and still I zoom through security.  Do those guys even look at the photos?

So my primary care doctor suspects that something is up.  I can zoom through security and they don’t notice weight loss, but I can’t fool her another week.   I just can’t.

Tonight or tomorrow, I will write some things for my therapist: more about “Why I should not be sent to the hospital,” for one thing, and “Why I don’t tell you things,” explaining that I don’t tell her things because I’m afraid if I tell her I will be sent to the hospital.  And so on.  And then I will ask her if she knows already what I am going to tell her.  She probably does.  She probably already knows I’m cheating the scale big time.  You can’t fool her.  She sees me twice a week and she’s noticed things.  I can’t escape now.

I guess that it was bound to come to this.  I know I need help, and I am worried about the medical consequences of what I am doing to myself.  Like my eyes (I’m getting this checked out tomorrow) and my periods stopping.  I know I can’t continue to lose weight or eventually–well, this whole scene isn’t good.  It just isn’t.

So tomorrow I will tell my T that I plan to stop water-loading and let them weigh me correctly.  I have not scheduled my next weigh-in yet.  I will do this after my T appointment.  Not that I’m eager to go.

Apologies

I’m sorry I don’t have time for much of a post today.  I was in New Hampshire for most of the day, and have been busy tonight.  I have thoughts as I approach tomorrow’s weigh-in that I’d like to share with you but I don’t know how much energy I have to do so, as it is getting late here on the East Coast of the US.

I have lied and cheated my doctor’s scale. It is time to put an end to this.  I am only cheating myself.  I am only hurting myself.  My weight is low, way, way lower than they think.  Who knows what kind of danger I’m in.  I might as well give in and tell them the truth.  Maybe tomorrow, if I dare.  Or maybe next week, after my appointment with Dr. P.  I have to decide.

I know what you’re going to say.  Do it.  Do it tomorrow.  Tell them.  Tell them the truth.  Just do it.

Well, let’s see if I dare.  Just do it and take the consequences, whatever they may be.

On the plane

I was on the plane riding home from Ohio. I removed my headphones and caught snatches of what the pilot was saying:

“…Plane damaged…needs repairs…delayed landing…66 degrees currently in Boston….We’ll keep you informed as things develop….”

What the fuck?  The plane I’m on is damaged?  Does this mean we can’t land?  That we’re going to land in the water?  That we’re going to crash?  And why aren’t the other passengers panicking?  Did I hear wrong?  I looked around, trying to hold back my bewilderment.  All the other passengers were either listening to their ipods, reading, or sleeping.  Had they ignored this?  Did they routinely ignore what the pilot said over the loudspeaker?  I generally do, I must confess, but now, I listened whenever the thingy beeped, to gather more information, but there was none.

Okay, so the plane is malfunctioning.  It could be anything from the air conditioning to the smoke detector in the lavatory to the wing tip.  It could be a stray thread in the carpet.   Malfunctioning.  Machines are not perfect.  Little things go wrong all the time.  Parts wear out, loosen, or break.

“All matter goes to greater randomness or lower energy.”  That is what I learned in high school chemistry.  And it’s true.  And true of ourselves.  We get older.  Our bodies break down.  Our bodies lower themselves.  Our faces, our skin and organs sag.   This is inevitable.  Although I am reasonably certain that I still walk with a bounce in my step, I can see that my face isn’t the same face I wore ten years ago.  Nor is it the same face I wore two years ago.

I thought of the plane going to greater randomness as it landed somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, along with all its passengers.  I thought of my last moments.  I thought of dying.  I wondered what the pilot’s announcements would be.  Would he say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please say your last prayers–we are going to crash and there’s nothing you can do about it.”?  Didn’t they have “black boxes” that tell us what pilots say to passengers right before their planes crash?  Why didn’t I  know these things?

I thought of my friends.  No, no, I did not want to think about my friends at that moment.  I have good friends and classmates and they would be devastated if this plane crashed.  Please, please, do not crash.  Puzzle is waiting for me at Pooch Palace.  Do not crash.  My family?  Naw, they’ll get over it pretty quickly.   My family does not even understand that I have a deadly eating disorder.  They would get over this plane crash, I thought, and not even know what the last two years of my life have been about.  As a matter of fact, they wouldn’t know what any of my life has been about.   I don’t think they ever read this blog or my website, or plan to read my memoir, though I do supply links at the bottom of the rare e-mails I send them.  And at that moment, not knowing if the plane would crash or not, I felt very, very misunderstood and ignored.

Do not crash.  Because I do not want to die and be misunderstood.  Because I don’t want to be among the 40 or so passengers and 4 crew members that died in a plane crash.  There are plenty of plane crashes and there are plenty of people on this plane.  I will be a statistic that will be in the paper tomorrow and forgotten the next day.
“Oh, it was just a little plane, under 50 passengers.”  “Too bad the plane was full.”  “Nobody important was on it.”  Yeah.

If the plane had crashed, I would not have died of anorexia.  Sure, nobody wants me to die of this deadly eating disorder.  I wondered, at that moment, which would be preferable: die of anorexia or die in a plane crash.  If I die in a plane crash it ensures that I won’t die of anorexia, and it robs me of the opportunity to starve myself to death.  Please, do not crash.

I did not pray.  I cannot pray. I wish that I could, but this eating disorder stole God from me when it came back in 2008 or 2009.  So I just sat there and waited for the flight attendant to pass out drinks so I could ask her about what the pilot said.  I listened to music.  I think it was Bruce Springsteen but I’m not sure.  I knitted Puzzle’s dog sweater (pictured in the previous blog entry).  I did not drop a stitch.  Finally, the flight attendant, named  Denise, came around.  I asked her for a Diet Coke.

“Denise, did the pilot say the landing was delayed?”  Now, I was attempting to sound the least panicked as possible.

“Yes, the landing is delayed because take-off was delayed.”  Denise said, annoyed.

“What was that other bit the pilot said about the plane?”

“Yes, the plane was damaged and needs repairs.”

A passenger behind us added,  “It is the connecting flight that needs repairs.”

“The connecting flight,” Denise echoed.

I did not completely believe her.  I watched the wing flap intently.  Hadn’t it flapped a little right before take-off?  I wondered if it would flap again.  I wondered if it would malfunction during landing.  I wondered if I would die in a plane crash and be forgotten or survive and starve myself to death.

Anorexia is an illness understood by few.  In fact, I don’t understand it.  I “get it” in part but it is an illogical illness.  It does not follow the “lower energy greater randomness” rule.  The medical consequences of starvation are logical–if you starve yourself, your body will break down and cease to function–but self-starvation is nonsensical, dangerous, and damned stupid.  Who in their right mind would do such a thing?  I must not be in my right mind.

So I sat there, not in my right mind, knitting a dog sweater for Puzzle, who needs her mama, thinking that I wanted this plane not to crash so that I could continue to starve myself.  No, definitely insane.

Why didn’t I think of the other alternative–that the plane wouldn’t crash and maybe I would live a long, healthy life, like to 100 without starving myself?  Because wasn’t that what the other passengers on the plane were assuming, those that had heard the announcement correctly?  Weren’t they assuming that they’d get off the plane in Boston, and walk into the world, and have a nice big dinner at the usual time?  Weren’t they looking forward to nourishing themselves and having something else besides airline brand peanuts or pretzels?  Weren’t they planning to see their friends, or business acquaintances, or families that may or may or may not understand them, and living their lives free of starvation?

Okay, maybe I’m wrong.  There were just under 50 passengers on the plane.  One or two, statistically speaking, may have had an eating disorder and was planning, or not planning but would, starve, binge, throw up, or do some other eating disordered behavior–soon after getting off the plane.  I feel sorry for them.  But I’m getting very side-tracked here.

The plane landed safely and we all deplaned.  What a weird word–“deplaned.”  I took public transit back home.  As soon as I opened the door, I was overwhelmed by a freezing cold apartment.  It was 61 degrees out and it was f*cking freezing inside.  I had a fleece jacket on and a wool hat.  I took off my fleece jacket and put on a warmer jacket.  The heat had malfunctioned and wasn’t working (who needs heat in 61-degree weather, anyway?). I switched it on and got it working again.  The heat in the bedroom was further malfunctioning–the housing authority’s computer had knocked the maximum temperature down to a lower level than it should have been.  Annoyed, I shut the living room door and decided to stay in the living room and keep warm.

As I write this, I am still wearing a wool hat.  It is 79 degrees here at my desk.  When you don’t have enough flesh on your body, your body can’t keep warm.  Anorexia sucks.

As I write this, I feel thankful that the plane didn’t crash, very thankful.  I am glad to be alive today.  I am glad that Puzzle has a mama, that we had a wonderful walk this morning, and that I had a great visit with my friend in Ohio.  I do not want to leave my friends.  I do not want to hurt them.  I do not want to turn my back on them.  And I am happy to be writing to you right now.

Have a nice day.

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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.

The “Cover Girl” Dog Sweater

Here’s the dog sweater I was working on in Ohio:

I call it the “Cover Girl Sweater” because the colors remind me of eye shadow.  The yarn is so delicate that if I tug on it ever so slightly, it breaks.  Maybe it’s not the greatest yarn for a dog sweater.  Tough.  I’m making it anyway.  This one is going to be sleeveless.

I do not know if this is true

I got this off the web.  It seems to be controversial.  Apparently, this is in a Jewish prayer book.  It is a prayer that Orthodox Ashkanazi Jewish men pray daily:

“Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a Gentile.”

“Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a slave.”

Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a woman.”

Okay.  Let’s not judge.  Just take it for what it is.

Here’s my daily anorexic prayer:

“Blessed are you, Whatever, thanks for letting me wake up this morning not fat.”

Anyway, I’m going to Ohio for a couple of days starting tomorrow, and may or may not be able to log on.  Have a nice week everyone!  If I see you, good, if not, I’ll talk to you Friday or Saturday the latest!

If I were given the choice

Today I did a great deal of walking and thinking about my usual topic that I write about on here, and as you know by now I write about it because I must.  Everything boils down to it.  I cannot get away from it.  I live it.  It is everywhere.  It is there when I awaken and when I go to sleep.  It follows me and it is before me.  But of course I have said this many times.  Nothing has changed, sadly, since the last time I stated this.

“It” is my eating disorder.  So this is what I was thinking about.  I was thinking that it came upon me some 30 years ago and I really didn’t have much of a choice about it.  If someone had told me what it would be like to have this terrible disease, I would have said, “No thanks, I’d like a ‘normal life,’ thank you.”  Of course I would.  I would have made a rational decision because in those days I was not yet ill, and I made rational decisions.  Most of the decisions I make nowadays are rational.  Brush my teeth.  Take Puzzle to the vet when she’s sick.  Take the #70 bus to get to Waltham.  Don’t call my friend at 3am when she’s asleep.  But as you know, I go haywire when it comes to my weight, food, body image, what people think and say about me, what I wear, grocery shopping, drinking liquids, being seen in public, therapy….Okay, okay, I go haywire a lot.

Let’s look at it the other way.  Let’s say there was a pill for anorexia.  Would I take it?  Would I?

Imagine that.  No more worry about weigh-ins.  No more thinning hair.  No more freezing to death all the time.  My friends would invite me back with open arms.  My gums would stop bleeding.  My periods would come back.  I could go back to the gym and be strong, strong, strong–lotsa muscles, maybe even take up running again.  No more worrying that I will faint.  No more carrying Gatorade around with me drink in a pinch to prevent fainting.  Grocery shopping trips and clothes shopping wpi;d be re;axing (except the price tags).  Going out in public–no problem.  People would stop their rude comments.  People would stop their worries.  No more nagging shrinks.  No more hospital threats.

Right now, I expect that I will die of this disorder.  I can’t help myself.  This is what I believe.  Imagine that belief gone.  Dissolved into nothingness.  Finis.

I picture this pill.  This pill that, if swallowed, would put a permanent end to my anorexia.  What color will the pill be?  Pink?  Light blue?  Yellow?  Peach?

Yeah, peach.  Peaches couldn’t be all that fattening.

So I get out of the cab and arrive at a brick building with a door sheltered by an overhang.  I enter the building and go up the elevator to the third floor.  I turn right.  Here is a small office, carpeted, with a waiting room.  I help myself to free coffee and wait my turn.  Finally, a woman’s voice.  “We’re ready for you.”

I enter a small office.  Here I see a woman and a man.  They are a nurse and a doctor.  “Are you ready?”  The doctor asks.

I don’t say anything.  The chair is cold and hard.  The room is overly air conditioned.  I shiver.  I’d like to get this part of it over with.

The nurse says, “This takes effect in about an hour.”

I breathe in.  I breathe out.

She hands me a peach-colored pill in a little plastic cup.

I hold the cup in my hand and think about my future: Normal me.  Normal weight.  I am no longer unusual.  No longer special.  Maybe even fat.  No more of that terrific feeling of an empty stomach, the high of starvation.  No more goal: to lose weight.  No more major project to work on: suffering.  No more feeling of power and control.  No more saying, “I can take it!  Give me more, more!  Hit me again!”  Nothing left to live for.   And I would not die from it.

I shake my head and hand the cup back to her.  “No thanks,” I say.

And then I don’t know what would happen next.  How would the nurse and doctor react?  Would they accept my decision?  Or would they try to talk me into taking the pill?  Would they tie me down and inject me with the elixir of the medication?  Would they let me hold off on taking it, and for how long?

I finished my walk before I could answer these questions, and still have no answer.  If there was an instant cure for anorexia, I’m sure I wouldn’t jump at it, though I wish I would.

They say when a person gives up an eating disorder, they grieve for it.  I can easily believe this.  Although I choose not to  personify my eating disorder by calling it “Ed” (this seems childish to me), I do believe that if I gave it up, for whatever reason, I would truly have a fit and a half.  I would scream.  I would cry–a lot.  If I really gave it up, I mean, really really really, not like before when they forced me to eat but if I chose to eat and wanted to eat and actually ate to live and to be strong and gained weight whether I felt good about it or not, just took baby steps I suppose, somehow…I would scream every day.

Already, I cry a lot.  I cry because sometimes I can’t take it anymore.  I can’t take the way I feel so alone with it.  The way it has taken over my life and so little gets done during the day.  It is so hard just to live and breathe and move and love and understand and feel–especially that last one–feel.  Because I feel nothing.   I might feel alone and cry but nothing is left now and if I had the choice–

If I had the choice I guess I wouldn’t cry so much.

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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.

Asking Why

A post at another site reminded me that today is September 11, and I should be thinking of something, remembering that on this date in 2001, two jet planes simultaneously crashed into a building, killing about 3,000 people in New York City.

I was not there when it happened, of course.  I was in Boston at the time, a student at Emerson College, going to class that morning.  People nowadays, when they think of 9/11 (which the day and incident are now called) think back and remember where they were when it happened, or, rather, when they found out.  People look back this way only on incidents of great, unexpected tragedy, it seems, such as Kennedy’s assassination.  I am not old enough to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I was a student in Emerson College’s Adult Degree Program, but I frequently took day courses, meaning that I took classes with young students sometimes.  As it turned out, this course, which was your basic English 101–I’m not sure what it was actually called but it was a requirement even of experienced writers–was populated by 18-year-olds fresh out of high school.  It was the youngest class I’d ever attend at Emerson, it was taught by an inexperienced graduate student, and the textbook was as heavy as a block of concrete.

For some of these kids, it was their first time away from their parents.  For me, high school was long in the past, and there were years in-between, years I was doing my darndest to hide that morning.  From age 22 until age 40, I had been hospitalized over 50 times for my mental disorders, spent time in day treatment centers, been medicated, had shock treatments, lived in residences, and tried suicide twice.  Now, I was free of all that, coming back to life at last.  You could say I was picking up where I’d left off 18 years previously.  And none of these kids knew this about me.

But I had had a small relapse the year previously,the second half of 2000, for unknown reasons.  Looking back, without analyzing much, there didn’t seem to be a clear-cut reason for the relapse or what caused my bouncing back. I remember I had a little psychotic incident, then went to a freezing cold hospital, then had shock treatments until I could hardly stand up, then had to miss a semester because I was so fuzzy-headed, then lost a lot of weight, then got pumped up with the antipsychotic medication Seroquel, that causes weight gain.  Because I gained so much weight from Seroquel I was assumed cured from anorexia along with everything else, and all was fine supposedly.

On September 11, I walked into my English Comp class early.  There were a couple of us already there, three or four, and some kid walked in and excitedly (how else can I say it) told us about the first crash.  “Can you believe it?” he asked.  He ran out of the room to watch more of the news.  I suppose there was a TV hooked up somewhere.  The other kid and I just went back to our books, chuckling.  Either we didn’t believe him, or the news was just too bizarre to hear right before class when we were thinking about other things.

Two kids appeared back into the room, that kid and another.  “Another plane crashed into the same building!”

“Huh?  No.  Impossible.”

“Really.  We saw it.  They’re doing the replays.”

“Isn’t that kind of a coincidence?”  The other kid still held his book, barely looking up from the page.

When class started, the concept of “attack on America” had not yet been formed, but already the media and government had determined that the airplane crashes were in fact staged attacks.  The news poured in.  But class went on anyway, and the news didn’t penetrate.  Kids were skittish but too uninformed to be shocked.  Yet.

What was my reaction?  Maybe I’d been so pumped up from shock treatments and medications and what I’d seen in mental hospitals the previous year that another bizarre incident didn’t faze me much.  Maybe it was because I knew nobody in New York City at the time who could possibly have been on the ground or in those planes.  Maybe an attack on the country was one thing, an attack on my mind another.  Maybe it was because of my utter selfishness and ignorance at the time.

I left Comp 101 and walked over to the building across the square.  A zillion conversations were buzzing.  More was known now.  Terrorists.  Maybe to do with Afghanistan.  President Bush had something to say.  People were damned scared here in Boston, and all over the country.   And in New York–I did not even think of it.  I could not picture New York City, so I pushed it out of my mind, and continued on to my next class.

Fiction with Richard Hoffman, my favorite instructor of all time at Emerson.  I think it was the first class of the semester.  The students were older than the other class, because it was a more advanced course.  There were about ten of us.  We sat around a table.  Everyone sighed as they took their seats.  Richard started us in on an exercise, based on a poem by David Ignatow:

ABOVE EVERYTHING

By

David Ignatow

I wished for death often

but now that I am at its door

I have changed my mind about the world.

It should go on; it is beautiful,

even as a dream, filled with water and seed,

plants and animals, others like myself,

ships and buildings and messages

filling the air – a beauty

if I have ever seen one.

In the next world, should I remember

this one, I will praise it

above everything.

Richard then took out a couple of the lines, and asked us to substitute our own words.  He wanted specific, sensual imagery, not concepts like “love,” or “devotion.”  A woman’s scarf.  A rose.  A scratch on the subway window.  As each of us read our lines, feelings came out.  Finally, one student began to weep.

At first, she was the only one.  Then one or two joined her.  Then Richard asked if perhaps he should have taken time to see if people needed to just talk about what had happened that morning, instead of going right into the exercise.  He apologized for his insensitivity.  Someone assured him that the exercise he had given us was entirely appropriate, though they knew he had planned it well before the attacks had taken place.

Why was I not more moved by this show of emotion?  Why didn’t I feel something about this attack?  Why didn’t I feel scared?  Why didn’t I feel patriotic?  Where were my feelings?

Was it because I had seen too much, felt too much, was too drained from 18 years of mental troubles and treatment and what I’d seen over those years?  Was it because it was one more thing to add to all that?  Was it because I could not see outside myself?  Was it because after all those years of paying attention to what was internal, I couldn’t sense that there was an external world that lived outside of myself and functioned and had problems and could die without me?

Today, on this day and every day, I still have trouble generating within me emotions about 9/11.  I still have trouble getting myself to grasp and believe and feel the terror of what happened in the crashes, on the ground, to the people, the city, the firefighters, and in the horrible wars that followed.

I have trouble feeling anything about what’s going on in the world outside of my own little world.  Maybe that’s why–one reason why–I don’t own a TV, don’t listen to the radio, don’t read newspapers, and don’t look at the news on the Internet.  Sometimes I go places where there is a TV and see the news, like at the gym, where I view it with subtitles, and I see some horrible tragedy, a murder, some guy shoots up a neighborhood, a car crashes, a home burns, and I am not fazed.  It may be horrible, shocking, disgusting, but deep down inside, it is not a part of my little world and not even close to it, and will never reach it.

There have, however, been exceptions.  You have read my mention of Karen Carpenter’s death.  This one bit of news threw me backward.  I had not realized she had the same disorder I had.  I hadn’t realized you could die of it.  It was the moment of her death that the world learned of anorexia nervosa.

Maybe I should pay more attention to the media.   Maybe I need to stay more in touch with what’s going on with our country and its leaders.  Maybe I should at least read the newspaper headlines or pick up the free commuter paper we have here in Boston.  But I doubt I will.

Maybe there will be some news of yet another well-known person dying of an eating disorder.  News I don’t want to hear.  News that will scare me.  Maybe the story will jolt me the same way Karen Carpenter’s story did.  I don’t want this to happen, but let’s face it: eating disorders know no boundaries–it doesn’t matter if you’re famous or not, you can still get an ED.

I now see the anorexia growing inside of me even after the years following 9/11.  I began taking Seroquel late in 2000.  I began to gain weight from the drug in 2000, and was well on my way upward when the 9/11 attacks hit in 2001.  I was already desperate to lose weight.  It was anorexia in the making.

The commute home that day, September 11, was hectic.  That’s how the radio DJ described it: “Hectic.”  I remember thinking what a stupid word that was.  I came home, set down my books, and greeted the dog.  I went and peed.  I untied my shoes.  Slowly, carefully, I removed my clothes.  My shirt, my jeans, my bra.  I left these on the bathroom floor.  Naked, I stepped on the scale, and noted where the needle fell, the number that was far, far more important to me on that day than the number of people who had died.

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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.

What a feeding tube looks like

When I was at the ED hospital last March, I had a feeding tube in me.  Feeding tubes are put in your nose and they extend down into your stomach.  They put “tube feed” into a bag, and the bag has a tube that leads to the feeding tube.  A pump regulates how fast the “tube feed” goes into your stomach.  It sucks.

After nine days of tube feeding, one night at 3am, I woke up in the middle of the night in a rage and pulled my tube out.  I saved the tube.  I’ve photographed it here for you to see:

Why did I save it?  Did I want a souvenir of the hospital? Did I want to remind myself of what I never, never wanted, ever, ever again?  Or did I want to remind myself that I, Julie Greene, am a rebel, that I never wanted to gain the weight, that I had no intention of cooperating, that I wasn’t ready for “recovery,” whatever that is?

Was I aware, back then, of the slippery slope I was on, and would continue to slide down, even now?

When was the turning point?  Did I ever intend to cooperate with the hospital plan?  I don’t know. I don’t think so.  I don’t think the hospital is the answer for me.  If there are any answers, I don’t think we’ve hit upon them yet.

Today in therapy I compared anorexia to a merry-go-round.  Sometime, long ago, I hopped on the merry-go-round, and I haven’t wanted to get off.  Sometimes, people try to pull me off, but can’t.  I stay on.  The merry-g0-round is spinning faster and faster, getting out of control, and soon, it will spin so fast that I may in fact fall off–involuntarily–to a very dark place.

Maybe when I fall off, I’ll be okay.  Sometimes, people will get scared into recovery.  Like when I quit smoking.  I saw what it was doing to my lungs, the wheezing feeling it was giving me, and my dwindling budget, and I quit cold turkey.  You know, it was pretty easy.  Really.  I just stopped one day.  Saved a bundle of money and took up fitness walking.

Hopefully, it won’t take a heart attack or stroke to scare me into recovery.  Maybe this thing with my eyes will do it.  Maybe it will take something said by a specialist such as an ophthalmologist to make me snap to attention: You must eat or you will go blind.

Maybe I’ll jump off on my own.  It takes guts to jump off a moving vehicle. Maybe someday I’ll just get sick of being anorexic, give up this stupid fight, move over to the other side, and eat.  I don’t know if anyone remembers this old TV ad, but maybe that Tareyton commercial is wrong: maybe it’s better to switch than fight.

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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.