I am resigned to the fact that my anorexia isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Or should I say I am resigned to the fact that my anorexia most likely won’t ever go away. Or mostly, I realized today the fear I have in my heart that my anorexia will kill me. And although this emotion, which I’ve felt before in various forms, hasn’t always been sadness, I have felt sad all day.
Walking Puzzle is generally a joyful activity for me. I can feel incredibly high while I’m in synch with my dog and we’re zooming down the sidewalks at top speed every morning and evening. I get out before the dreaded vertigo starts, before the drudge of the day begins. The vertigo wears off in the afternoon, and is gone by her afternoon walk, but I’m often not up to snuff for that walk. It depends. But the mornings are awesome.
This morning, however, was different. I was listening to Evanescence. This was not the best music to have on, it turned out, because it was what I listened to at the time that I was raped in 2008. Whether I wanted it or not, I was brought back to this time, the time that the germ of my relapse was implanted into me, if you will, and life was never the same after that–I was dirty, contaminated, damaged goods.
I thought of my character in my novel, I am So Cold, and Hungry in My Soul, May, who tosses out her clothing after she is raped. I did the same damned thing. I scrubbed myself over and over in the shower to cleanse myself of the horror of the deed.
So I was thinking these things, walking Puzzle, just getting sadder and sadder about my life, while Aimee Lee sang the songs, “Lithium,” and “Lacrymosa.” The music pushes and pulls against itself and twists and turns. Her voice is full of turmoil.
You couldn’t say what I felt was turmoil this morning. Just sadness, a deepening feeling that my life isn’t going to go on the way it would if I didn’t have anorexia, that I am already past the edge, and I am falling, falling into an abyss that I can’t get out of. I see all the Fourth of July celebration around me and this makes me feel even sadder.
Last year, I walked past barbecues and drooled because I was so starved. I am starved this July as well. Now, though, I think the smell of burgers would make me gag. I haven’t smelled any, though. Guess I instinctively avoid big yards with grills and picnic tables and toys and coolers full of beer of all types, and bags of chips, bags of corn-0n-the-cob, bags of burger patties, hot dogs, paper plates, cups, punch, coke, burger rolls, pickles, ketchup, mustard, spatula and tongs, and charcoal and lighter fluid. Guess it’s any trace of family, friends, and celebration that I avoid. Or should I say, someone else’s family, friends, and celebration. I don’t want to see it, smell it, or taste it.
Yesterday, I went to a Staples store and shopped up a storm. I put it all on my credit card. I had coupons and a Staples card. I carried it all home in my rolling backpack. I bought mechanical pencils, two little boxes to keep things in, a three-ring binder, a little notepad, ink for my printer, a pencil box, a box nicely shaped for knitting needles, wipes for the computer monitor, and a box for 4×6 note cards. I stopped at Petco for necessary dog toothpaste, three tubes of it, and three toothbrushes for Puzzle. I bought a bunch of produce. And this morning, after Puzzle’s walk, I was at it again, online, at Staples.com. I went to CVS this afternoon and got two bottles of mouthwash, two thingies of soap, and dental floss. I’m all set for financial ruin.
It was a comfort to me to have these little things. To be a hunger-gatherer in this big, scary world. Yesterday when I came home from my big shopping spree, I went on another spree: I cooked. I cooked a zillion things that I didn’t eat. I put things in tiny containers and labeled each container. I think I spent three hours doing this. Afterward, my apartment smelled of onion and peppers. Everything I cooked was made only of vegetables. When I chopped and stir-fried the onions, I cried.
As time goes on, I am becoming so organized, so compartmentalized. I write down everything that I’m going to do for the day, and then I do it. I write these things on a spreadsheet. I write down everything I eat. After the day is over, I print out the spreadsheet. I write down how well I starved myself. Of course, there’s a special place on the spreadsheet where I write my weight. I thought about this, and I thought about the boxes I bought, and I thought about the databank watch I’ve owned for years, and I thought about the pop-up reminders I’ve set up on my computer for everything, and the labels in my refrigerator, everything organized, the post-its telling me exactly what to do, the way I get upset if I don’t follow my routine perfectly, how I eat what “normals” wouldn’t call meals but I do at the same time every day….This is getting damned scary.
Who am I becoming? I think about my anorexia all the time. I think about it from the moment I get up until the moment I go to sleep. I thought about it the entire time I was walking to CVS today, and during the time I was shopping at CVS, and for the entire walk home. I think of it while talking to people. I even think about it during my joyful walks with Puzzle. It never, ever leaves me alone.
I don’t remember this happening in all the years that I have had this illness. I remember forgetting about it and thinking about my studies. I remember, even during this relapse, thinking about my thesis. Now, I am lost, buried in it, and I can’t get out.
I am afraid that I will blurt it out. I was afraid that I would tell the pharmacy person, while paying for my prescription today, “I am anorexic.” I was afraid that I would lose control and say this. I held my lips tightly shut.
When I see my T on Wednesday, I will tell her about this writing. Maybe I will read some of it to her (not all of it–or should I say I won’t read the majority of it). I will tell her that I am going to die of this disease and that I may not make it to my next birthday. Of course I don’t know this. No one knows. But it is her job to disagree with me. It is her job to not let me die or resign myself to dying. It is her job to help me find the will to live. It is her job to help me find a way out. I wish she wasn’t going to bother trying, though. It isn’t worth it. I am too far gone.
So I will see her Wednesday, and tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and the next day is the fifth, and then Wednesday. It seems far off because she’s been on vacation. She’s been on vacation and I have lost weight. Guess when the cat’s away, the mouse will play. On a treadmill going nowhere.