It is clear to me now why I am restricting, but I don’t know what to do about it. I know this makes absolutely no sense, but bear with me. I am trying to get revenge on my T for leaving, so I am starving myself.
I am hurting myself in order to hurt her. Logical, right?
Absolutely not. But this seems to be happening. I am hurting no one but myself. I am disappointing her and nothing I can do, no amount of starvation, will keep her from leaving me. No matter how little food I eat, the office where she works will still close on December 2nd and she is getting laid off. My last appointment is Tuesday.
She is leaving me and leaving me and my hungry body behind.
My body cries out for food, for nourishment, for love. My body yearns to be cared for. My body has been kicked around long enough.
I promised my body I would never be mean to it ever, ever again. I have broken that promise. I have broken other promises as well, that I cannot mention here.
Most of the time, I am deeply depressed. I cannot bear it and I feel as though my own mind is torturing me. Occasionally, I peek through all this and can see something, some hope, and everything seems okay for a moment. Like when I walk Puzzle, or when I run. I listen to music real loud and feel joy for a few minutes, and I try to grab hold of it but it is gone.
It is Puzzle’s birthday today. Today, I am thankful that I have a wonderful, healthy, happy 4-year-old dog who loves me. She is crazy and walks so fast. You’d think she had a fire bomb behind her. We move like the wind when we walk. Yesterday, for her birthday present, I gave her a two-hour walk.
We felt strong. We moved–fast. I listened to two Dar Williams albums. I hadn’t had anything to eat all day. Near the end of the walk, though, I suddenly felt fatigued and nearly lost my balance twice. I didn’t fall, though. I came inside and eventually had a bite to eat.
Yeah, I finally ate. Thanksgiving Day. Half a banana. Then later I ate an orange. That was it for the day. No turkey. No stuffing. No pumpkin pie. Oh, yeah, I also didn’t spend the day with my mother (thankfully). I think I’d rather eat two pieces of fruit for Thanksgiving than eat all the trimmings with my mother. Eating disorders do that to you.
So to my therapist, I say this: I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to work with you for the past two years. You have helped me tremendously. I have told you already that therapy kept me above water during the darkest days of Anorexia Hell. I will not go back there. You are a great therapist.
Thus saying, fuck you.
I know this is completely illogical. I know it is not your fault that your office is closing and that you are being laid off. I know it is not your fault that you cannot keep me as a patient. I know the circumstances totally suck for not only myself, but both of us. I know that I am not the only one that is unhappy about what has happened.
How dare you leave me behind. How dare you abandon me. How dare you do this thing to me. Because I am starving before your eyes. I am dying out. I am disappearing. You can hardly hear me calling out to you anymore.
Soon, we will part. You will go on, I will go on–probably. Depression never lasts forever, they say. This one has already lasted a damn long time–for me. Mine generally only last a day or two, though they are very intense. Then life goes on, and I suppose it will, eventually. I see no end to this, but maybe there is one, somewhere, somehow. I just hope the end of the depression comes before the end of me comes.
It is Puzzle’s birthday, as I have mentioned already. She is four now. Four years ago, I brought home a tiny delicate fuzz ball that could barely hold her head up, and called her “Puzzle.” Four years ago I was just returning to Goddard College after a break, starting off at the Port Townsend campus for the first time after spending two semesters at the Vermont campus. For the first time, I took an airplane to Seattle while Puzzle waited for me in Massachusetts. There would be many, many such trips, and each time, I knitted a new sweater for Puzzle on the plane. I have now knitted some 17 or 18 dog sweaters, all for Puzzle.
I have a dog sweater in progress, called the Cover Girl Sweater. It is made of very difficult yarn, called Shakespeare yarn. I say difficult because it breaks easily, very easily. All I have to do is to tug it the wrong way, and it pulls apart.
I may not be Shakespeare, but perhaps I’m a little like this yarn. Perhaps I break apart a little too easily. Perhaps I need to be stronger, more resilient, sturdier. Maybe I let little things bother me too much. You know, even Shakespeare yarn can deal with the bobble stitch, in which six stitches are created within one stitch on the needle, worked over and over, and then stitched together back into one. That’s a lot of stretching. Maybe I need to bend and stretch a little, fragile as I am, to accommodate a few extra stitches. Even Shakespeare yarn can be made into a dog sweater–for my wonderful dog, Puzzle.
And you know something? Shakespeare yarn is beautiful. You wouldn’t believe how lovely it is.
In my therapy session with my new therapist, I hugged myself and cried. I hugged my body. I held my body and wept for all the hurt I have caused it. I wanted to hold it and never let anything bad happen to it again.
I came home and cursed my body. Denied it. Beat upon it. Stepped on it. Kicked it. Wished it gone.
Does this make any sense?
No, eating disorders make no sense. Puzzle does. And I love my four-year-old-today dog. So somehow, I will hold onto that love, be with her, and survive.
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.