Looking back on an eating disorder

Have you ever….

….left a store with a bottle of soda, then after taking it out of the bag, suddenly found you’d accidentally bought Pepsi instead of Diet Pepsi? You either panic and give it away, or go six miles back to the store to return it?

Have you ever….

…been inside a store and suddenly discovered you’ve spent the past 45 minutes reading food labels, unable to decide what on earth to buy that won’t make you fat?

Have you ever….

….in the produce aisle, held up apple after apple, trying to figure out which one weighs the least, without letting on that that’s what you are up to?

Have you ever….

…been scared to death to bring home any food at all, for fear that you will devour it all at once?

Have you ever….

…gotten through all your grocery shopping and you are just about done. You are so proud that you haven’t overspent. Then, right by the registers, you pass by Gourmet Cheeses. Uh oh. Camebert. Swiss. Guyere. Bleu. Edam. Goat cheese. Don’t they have any really small ones that don’t cost a fortune? How about those little itty bitty ones? Famous last words.

Have you ever…

…lied and said, “My coworkers are gonna love having these tomorrow morning with our coffee.” And rushed out of there fast, before the cops came in for their shift break. (Hint: to make that one more believable, buy coffee, too.)

Have you ever….

….fended off nosy questions about all the lettuce and radishes you are buying by saying, “Oh that’s for salad for the potluck I’m going to.”

Have you ever…

…left a therapy or doctor session utterly overwhelmed or frustrated, telling yourself, “Wow, was I ever not listened to!” or, “That doctor has no clue what it’s like!”

Have you ever…

…left an appointment in tears?

Have you ever…

…known that you live and breathe each day through these colored lenses that darken your world according to how you are going to keep yourself thin and make yourself thinner. You’re aware of that narrow viewpoint, but you cannot rid yourself of the blinders. If only anyone knew what it was like to live this way. It isn’t just at mealtime. When it’s your life, it’s everything.

Know something? I’ve been through all that, too. Even thirty years ago I went through those same things. Even now, there are remnants of it all. Just remnants, though. It’s cool that mostly, what remains are the stories from the past. It doesn’t bother me to look back, no, not at all. I’m rather thrilled to be able to remember, laugh, and know that I am still alive.

Feedback and comments welcome!