At the moment that I am writing these words, I have not binged for about sixteen hours.
This has not been “by the skin of my teeth.” This has not been “by sheer willpower.” Over and over I walked into the kitchen and looked at the food. I stared at each item. I noticed how it smelled. I imagined its flavor. I imagined stuffing it into me.
Then, I was repulsed, and turned away.
The food has been sitting there untouched. Most of it I had stashed in the refrigerator, because those maintenance guys were going to show up and I didn’t want them seeing any food sitting around on the counter. Granted, they wouldn’t have suspected a thing. But paranoia had told me to hide it. It’s still sitting on the refrigerator shelf.
It’ll sit there and in a bit, I’ll take the stuff I deem as useless, unhealthy “junk food” out into the hall for the neighbors to take for themselves. What remains is food that’s healthy to eat.
The nutritionists at the eating disorders hospital tried to convince me that there are no “bad foods,” that is, I should get the term “junk food” out of my head. I don’t agree with this. Some foods have no nutritional value. Why eat a piece of candy when you can just as easily eat a piece of fruit?
But I’m getting off-topic here. Let me tell you this: I have not been bingeing. While I was writing what I have written so far of this article, another half hour passed. Sixteen and a half hours now.
I went to bed, tired. The new medication, Desipramine, makes me more sleepy at night than I used to be. I have been taking Desipramine for three nights. Tonight will be the fourth night, and I will be doubling the dose. Ever since I started taking it, I’ve been sleeping well. Actually, that’s pretty amazing considering that for a month, I slept two or three hours a night. Tonight, tomorrow night, and Monday night, I’ll be taking 50 mg. Then Tuesday night and from then on, I’ll take 100 mg and that will be my dose I assume. Desipramine, in my case, is supposed to be helping with three of my problems: sleep, depression, and bingeing. Dr. P explained that even after the first dose, my sleep would be improved. Then, after about ten days, the medication would help my depression and bingeing. She said, as she was writing out the prescription, “This medication tends to work.”
For reasons unknown to anyone, I have always responded to medications much, much faster than most people. Some doctors have told me, “No, this did not happen to you because nobody responds to x medication that fast.” Please, asshole doctor, do not take my miracle away from me.
After one night of good sleep, of course I felt better mood-wise, and felt that I had come out of a fog, though the bingeing was just as bad. That was Thursday, the day before yesterday. Thursday is my day to go to therapy, so I went. My therapy session went okay I guess. We did DBT, which, I must say, isn’t really helping me much. I’m going along with it because my therapist insists.
She let me cry some. This is a horrible disease. I don’t understand how anyone can have binge eating disorder and hold down a job or go to school. I have only had it for a couple of weeks and already I am completely non-functional and not doing my ADL’s (showering, brushing my teeth, getting undressed at night, wearing clean clothes in the daytime, laundry, cleaning house, brushing my hair–none of these). That’s what I told her.
That’s what I told my primary care physician, Dr. K, yesterday. She examined me, took my blood pressure and other vital signs, listened to my heart and felt around and listened to my intestines. She asked me a bunch of questions and asked me if perhaps I wanted to go to the psych ER to be evaluated for hospitalization. I said no. She sent me to the lab for blood work and said I could contact her anytime I needed to over the weekend if I had concerns. She said she would contact me right away if anything urgent showed up in my blood. I didn’t hear from her so I assume there was nothing urgent. I came home.
I was coming to dead ends trying to find eating disorders groups. I was coming to dead ends trying to find nutritionists. It was getting frustrating. But I realized one thing: I really couldn’t be at home. I wasn’t coping. I needed to go somewhere and get some intensive eating disorders treatment. I needed to find someone who could take care of Puzzle while I spent 60 to 90 days in an intensive program. I had a few ideas as to where I could find such a person (long story).
I’m not sure what time of day it was that I began my search. I may have gone to bed and then woken up or napped or whatever. I went to EDReferral dot com and went down the list of places. I went state by state starting with Alabama. These are ritsy, ritsy places that take insurance. Well, yeah, they accept everyone unless you’re on public assistance. I called one place that used to offer some kind of sliding scale or (supposedly) free care, but I guess I was mistaken. The cost of 30 days of care was $14,000. Even if you’re rich you don’t have that kind of money, because you’ve already spent it on your kid’s college education. I kept trying. I e-mailed places, offering $40 a day. I can’t even afford that, but the part of it I can’t afford will go on my credit card.
Meanwhile, something weird was happening to me. I hadn’t binged. Time went on and I still didn’t binge. Two, three, four hours passed. I slept. I got up. I wrote some more e-mails. Six hours, eight hours. I slept until I’d had enough sleep and felt rested.
I got up. Not only was the urge to binge completely lifted from me, but I actually wanted to take a shower. Last time I took a shower, two days ago, I stopped partway through undressing, ran into the kitchen suddenly, and binged. Today, I took a shower just as I have all my life.
I ran the water, got it to the right temperature, and stepped in. I started bawling while I was washing my hair. I let the tears come, and they mixed with the shower water and the shampoo. I suddenly realized I was talking out loud. I suddenly realized that I was praying, thanking God. I haven’t had the ability to pray since my relapse began and I was convinced that I had lost my faith and completely lost my belief in God. Well, it was happening.
I kept on praying and talking to God long after my shower ended. I wanted to go to church, and just sit there for a while, and I called over there, but no one was there and I assumed that the building wasn’t open. That’s okay. Tomorrow’s Sunday.
The search through EDReferral dot com is over. I had gotten as far as California and I don’t need to go any further. None of the places called or e-mailed me back. I’m not surprised, actually.
I assume that I’ll be on that plane to London on November 14th. I had thought I was going to have to call the trip off. But it’s actually going to happen. Of this I am certain.
London, I’ll see you soon.