Coping with my eating disorder and preparing for Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is supposed to hit us tonight here in Watertown, MA, and the worst of it is due tomorrow around 5pm as far as I can tell.  Rain will start today late morning but it won’t be windy for some time.  Right here in my town, it’s predicted to be a “tropical storm,” while in other nearby areas they’re expecting hurricane conditions.  One quirk about this neighborhood is that trees fall down here all the time.  The neighborhood seems to have an unlimited supply of trees for this purpose.  Cleanup takes a while, and my street is frequently blocked by downed power lines even when we don’t have a hurricane.  We’ve had a couple of calls from the Chief of Police telling us to keep debris off the street, park off the street, follow police instructions, check out the state website for preparedness, all kinds of instructions, but no hint that they are considering an evacuation at this time or even close to considering one.  Meanwhile, I will probably get some of Puzzle’s stuff together on the remote possibility that we do have to evacuate: Maybe three or four week’s supply of kibble (this isn’t much–she’s a little dog), her bowl, which Pooch Palace has kindly labeled with her name, her medications, extra leashes, plastic bags for poops, and rabies documentation.  She doesn’t have a carrier.  One of the leashes I have wraps around my waist and a leash attaches her to my waistband.  This is useful if I’m asleep at a shelter.  She has been microchipped since she was 6 months old, when I had her spayed.  Microchipping is highly recommended for pets at times like these.

It is kind of funny to me that the name Irene is the name of one of the characters in my memoir, This Hunger Is Secret: My Journeys Through Mental Illness and Wellness.  Actually, Irene is one of the most important characters in the book (besides me).  Of course, the name Irene is a pseudonym.  The person has a different name.  I do not know why I chose this name, absolutely no clue.  She has been Irene from the beginning.  Other names I changed to pseudonyms at the very last minute.  In the version I turned in to Goddard College as my master’s thesis, some of the real names are still there.  I am not the least bit sorry about this.  When I did my graduation reading, I used real names, and I’m awfully glad I did.  But Irene…now she is always Irene, and the name of the other person has kind of lost its meaning to me.

Irene is a manipulator in every way, from the time I meet her until the time we break contact.  Yet my attraction and need for her is very strong.  She is an addict (drugs and alcohol) and possesses the personality traits of someone desperately in need of protecting her addictions, even if her actions hurt others.  She is always afraid of being “found out.”  Throughout the chapter, “A Forgotten Line,” it doesn’t dawn on me that Irene is controlling me.  Then finally, I come to this realization in a moment of epiphany–in a “quiet room” in a community hospital in Vermont.  Was it too late?  I don’t think so.  But…well, I don’t want to give it away really….Have I really ever shaken Irene?

As a person with anorexia, I find it strange to be squirreling away food and supplies right now.  They say you should have maybe three to seven days’ supply of food in your home.  There are many foods I don’t feel okay about and so I haven’t purchased them.  Never mind what I have and don’t have.  Gradually, I am rummaging through my imagination and coming up with non-perishable foods I feel okay about that don’t require cooking.  I think I’ve been rather creative about this.  I’m going to make my final trip to the supermarket today.

TIPS: Get a manual can opener.  What good is one that requires electricity?  If power goes out, you will not be able to have your morning coffee…just something to think about.  I know this is “anorexic thinking,” but if you really need caffeine, then having it in pill form on hand might be a good idea.  Stock up on hand sanitizer.  Make sure you have not only prescription meds all set, but make sure you’ve got a good supply of over-the-counter meds you may need such as Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, etc.

I have this thing about bottled water.  It’s really stupid that whenever some weather event is about to happen, everyone rushes to the store to buy it, when all they have to do is to turn on the tap and fill a bottle.  I have a trillion bottles and pitchers filled with water I filtered myself here at home.  If you don’t have a car and have to travel on foot, how the heck can you carry water home, anyway?  Town officials offered people water last year or whenever it was that we had water quality problems, but they didn’t think that some people had no way to transport the water home.

I have to walk Puzzle now.  I have more to say about this and hopefully will be able to get back on later.  My Internet has been very slow.  The Internet people are coming tonight to do repairs but meanwhile I have to make do.  Then, Irene, and who knows what then.

Feedback and comments welcome!