Curled up in a chair in the library with an injured leg and a sore heart reading a book to drown out the voice. The voice that has been at me all day. All day since I came back from the gym sore to the bone, barely able to walk, 986 calories. (disclaimer: profanity ahead not appropriate for younger audiences. I almost never use it in my daily life but Ana does. Every day.)
Only 986. Usually I burn a thousand. Oh no I was getting fitter. The workout isn’t working anymore. What do I have to do to burn more stay skinny fit keep those washboard abs… If I can’t have that boyfriend at least I can have my own sixpack right? All those soft girls with the boyfriends can sit across their loveseats and share closeness, exchange chocolates and kisses, I’ll be at home sleeping so I can hit the gym and pump some iron tomorrow.
But I was stressed today. I screwed up today. It seems like every meal is a screwup. I feel bile in the back of my throat wanting to spew the contents of my meal into the nearest public restroom toilet, the urge to hunch down over the porcelain bowl and purge. Purge. Purge. Purging. Burning. Not enough never enough. It’s never enough. Am I fatter? These thoughts won’t stop. The counselor I went to last time declared it but didn’t give me an official diagnosis. So what am I? Some problem?
I… I ate french fries. It should have been fine. I went to the gym this morning. I’ve hardly eaten anything the past three days. But then I couldn’t stop. I ate a whole sandwich the freak I ate the whole sandwich I didn’t leave half of it and I finished my soup and then before I could stop myself the golden, salty, hot, crunchy fries were against my lips. And then the voice. OH her voice that never shuts up. What about your sixpack? Do you want to be weak? Soft? Fat? Ugly? Do you want to be pushed around again by men? Do you want to be… ugly? You fat w***. Look at you pigging out. You went off your diet. You are going to be weighed at the doctor’s office next week and what is the scale going to say it’s going to say you’re a fat ugly b*** because that is what you are.
She never shuts up. Never.
And then the guilt. The shame. I nearly burst into tears just remembering how easy it used to be to eat. I was hungry and then I would eat. It was normal. I didn’t have to think about it. I’d eat pretty healthy but I’d eat until I was full. And then I was done and I went on with life. But with those fries in my mouth ouch ouch ouch I can’t drown her out she won’t stop what is wrong with me why can’t I just EAT? Food is medicine. Medicine that will keep me healthy so MAYBE I have a shot at a long and happy life. A shot at getting past this mental illness. So why can’t I just EAT?
I stand there in the store and I want to buy chocolate. But… That one is 230 calories. And it has 5 more grams of sugar than the one I don’t like as much, but the other one also has less calories. I can eat half and save the other half for later. I can’t overconsume. I can’t gain. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. That number.
It used to scare me when it dropped but then it became reassuring to me. Like everything else in my life was out of control but when I saw that number and it was the same or less it was a brief moment of peace. I had control over something.
That something had control over me.
Did I let it? Could I have stopped it? When she came to me could I have thrown her out? Honestly… it’s useless to ask. It has happened. I am in it’s grip and now I have to get the h*** out.