Today I went to see my therapist and one of the first things I mentioned was the inconvenience of being too thin. Clothes don’t fit. Shoes don’t fit. The screw holding my knee together sticks out. The whole reason I broke my leg in the first place, in 1999, was because I was too thin and developed osteoporosis from amenorrhea. The worst inconvenience is that I’m cold, always cold. I run my space heater for up to an hour every morning. I shiver at night. I wear a jacket indoors. And it’s summer. But this is not the worst thing.
There are the physical aspects of thinness and restricting my eating that worry me. I have no stamina. My heart beats hard sometimes. I am weak and get dizzy easily. I cannot run, and must walk slowly. I get lightheaded after climbing stairs. I am sometimes afraid that I will faint. But this is not the worst of it.
Yesterday, I had a hectic day, taking two buses to get to the doctor’s (I got weighed again) and two buses home, and two cabs as well. I had to do a fair amount of walking, too, about three-quarters of a mile each way, and that proved to be too much. It felt as though it was too much of a strain on my heart to be running around like that. I was scared that exerting myself was maybe not such a good idea. Finally, about a quarter-mile from home, I stopped at a convenience store, and had an energy bar. I could walk no further without it. I had to shorten Puzzle’s walk last night. I felt as though I’d cheated her. But this is not the worst of it.
The worst of it is the loss of brain space to this ED. I feel like my whole life has been hijacked, taken away from me. I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been going to the library. I can barely focus on housework. And now I have graduation ahead of me. All I can do is hope that the event will springboard me back into these activities again.
I spend hours thinking about my eating and what I’m going to do about it. I spend hours planning how I’m going to lose weight. The rituals of daily weighing, counting, and calculating take time and energy away from things that used to give me pleasure.
Every day seems the same. And maybe it’s the sameness that I need right now. When I was writing, every day was the same, too. Then suddenly, I was working on my thesis full blast. Did it get too exciting, too risky? Why did I retreat into this ED cave? Will I ever come out of it?
Something is bound to change after graduation, hopefully for the better. I can only hope that the “healthy me” will take over, and abandon these thoughts, ideas, and rituals once things settle down. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, and Puzzle has her paws crossed, too.