A week of post-race blues wiped me out…and gave me a new idea

Sunday the 19th: the race.  I was tired afterward.  A little sore.  Overwhelmed.  Flooded with emotion.  I certainly didn’t have the words to describe, here, what I felt, so I waited a while before writing to you and telling you the whole story.  Monday came.  Then Tuesday.  And I crashed.

I didn’t tell you the whole story, and now I will: I started bingeing again.  I’ve stopped now, but it lasted a full week.  By the end of it, I was utterly despondent, and in my desperation, wished myself dead.  That’s what bingeing does to me.  In a mere week.

The first time, my body was overwhelmed.  I became dizzy and nearly fainted.  My heart pounded, too.   For the past several days, my ankles have swelled up very badly.  Only in the past several hours have they come down to almost normal size.  It is a good thing that I didn’t binge on sugar.  Nope.  Nothing sugary.  Otherwise, I do not know what would have happened to me.  Seriously.

As Frank and I always say, “We are too old for this.”  But trust me, eating disorders are dangerous at any age.

Meanwhile, I was very depressed.  My T suggested that this may have been the cause of the bingeing.  I also spoke with Dr. P during this time, and we all agreed that post-race blues had a lot to do with it, as well as losing my old T, the fact that my foot was hurting and I had to take a couple of days off from running, the fact that it is winter, and cold out, and my new T being on vacation, and the “holidays,” which I always spend alone, but this year have been blessed to spend, via skype, with Frank.

Let me digress for a moment:  It is difficult hearing about how others decorate their trees, and have their friends and family visiting, and photograph their grandchildren with Santa.  It is difficult to hear Christmas Carols blasting in the stores when I am Jewish and don’t care to hear them, and Christmas decorations that mean only sadness to me and sad associations.  But most of all, and I say this with immense anger and grief, it is very difficult for me, knowing that my brothers spend every Christmas with their in-laws and have not once invited me to join them, even though they know I am alone for the holiday.  There, I said it.

Okay, back to subject: Frank was immensely helpful to me during this horrible time.  It is such an amazing thing to know someone who has been through the same things that I have, who I can relate to, and say, “Yes, that’s happened to me, too!”  So many times, we are in synch, we have this understanding, we “get it” in a way that no one else can.  We even have our own code words for things.  When you’re in a special relationship, you tend to get this way.

Frank was very patient with me and always is.  I can’t believe he put up with me the whole time.  I cried a whole lot.  I was scared.  I was needy.  I depended on him too much.  He gave me a good talking-to, and made a number of suggestions.  And I took him very, very seriously, listened carefully, and heeded all his advice.

As I said, it took a week.  Finally, I’m out of it and doing okay.  I am no longer depressed and I have stopped bingeing, and dare to eat solid food today.   I am still bracing myself for the worst, but this is diminishing.  I must say, though, that I no longer live in constant terror.

You know something, though?  I’m crazy as a loon with this ED.  Today at the gym I was running and did something real dumb.  There is a fine line between exercising for fitness and exercising to burn off calories and lose weight when I don’t need to (overexercising).  Well, today it was the latter, I admit.  I was running on the treadmill and last week’s bingeing kinda got the better of my body and I had to move my bowels.  Did I stop running?  No!  I felt the urge around .3 miles, and kept going.  Around .5 miles I was getting worried that I would lose control of myself.  Around one mile, I was reasonably certain that I was indeed letting loose.  A mile and a half went by, then two miles, and I was convinced that I had gone to the bathroom in my underwear.  Did I stop?  No!  This is the insanity of my ED.  Finally, I stopped the treadmill at 2.3, walked quickly to the bathroom, and checked myself out.  I was fine… no accident whatsoever.  Good.  Then: back on the treadmill for another mile.   I must have been really desperate to burn some serious calories.

Let me back up, though: One thing that helped me during that tough week was my decision…drum roll…I AM DOING ANOTHER NANO IN FEBRUARY!  end of drum roll.  I am doing this one on my own because February is not National Novel Writing Month.  November is.  I will spend January writing the outline and February doing the actual writing, just like I did for Nano 2010.  I made this decision a few days ago, and it has helped me knowing that I am going to have some grand purpose, some reason to go on after all, some project to keep me going.

Agreeably, I have one heck of a lot of revision to do at this point.  The heck with it.  I will leave the revision for another time, and write something new.  I am doing this for my sanity, after all.

I have no title.  I do have ideas.  The book will be about running.  About someone who runs.  There will be a race involved.  The book will be sad.  Sorry.  I am determined to write a sad book, because you’d assume a book about running a race would end up with the guy, or gal, winning the race.  Well, not mine.  You’ll see.

My T suggested that I begin working on this book immediately, and not necessarily on January 1st.  So I started today.  Yeah, today.  I got out of the house and went to the library, sat down with Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, and jotted down some story ideas in a notebook.  Also, I put in requests at the library for some books on running to use as references.  I’ll let you know which of these I find useful, and why.

I am not going to tell you much about what will happen in this book.  No, not yet.  I hope to get a title soon, though.  It is helpful to have a title to “frame” the work.  Or a “working title.”  I learned this from Bea Gates, one of my advisors at Goddard.

On your mark, get set, GO!

Feedback and comments welcome!