On Anonymity and Community

So a long time ago, I had a personal blog.  I talked about everything - my friends, my family, my job, my dating life - though I did so with complete anonymity.  This blog is not anonymous.  Folks who come here can figure out who I am in real life (though if you know me in real life, you probably won't find the blog until I tell you about it.)

At first, I was a little scared by this. I wondered what repercussions it would have for me, my friends, my job. But now I like the comfort this provides. I can share things that are important to me with a growing network of folks who support me, both in real life and the virtual world. That said, there are some things about me that I don't really tell anyone.* While there are good reasons for that, I sometimes think that some of that information should be shared because it helps me, and because hopefully it will help someone else.

Recently, I've found myself struggling. I'm trying to do all the things I know to feel better - to relax, be happier, take it one step at a time -but it's been hard.  I've found myself thinking back to the places I've been before, and remembering how terrible it was to be there. In times like this, I know it's easier for me when I know I'm not alone, and it occurred to me, that maybe someone out there reading this feels that same way too. So I went to the old blog and dug up some of the old me. The me I try not to think about anymore. But a me that still deserves a lot of attention, because she's still a part of the person I am today. And for once, I decided that I'm going to give her voice.
The following is a post from a long-ago deleted blog. 
On Eating.
I love food. I love gourmet food. I love comfort food. I love junk food. I love the way simple ingredients can be combined to make the most scrumptious meals. I love thinking about food, planning a meal, stopping at the store, cooking up the ingredients and delighting in the fact that I made whatever it is that is making me so happy. And there in lies the rub. Cooking and eating is the only way I ever learned to make myself happy.
Now, I know some of you might be thinking "But I love eating! And it makes me happy! and there is nothing wrong with that!" You're right, there's nothing wrong with loving to eat or delighting in the process. But there is something very very wrong with using eating as your only means to deal with things that make you unhappy.
And that's what I've done. Sporadically, over the course of my life, but substantially in the past year or so. In fact, I ate so much, so often, that I started gaining weight exponentially. I gained almost 20 lbs in 2 months. And, coupled with my history of being fat and fear of being so again, I became desperate to slow the process down. So I became bulimic. 
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's right. This seemingly well-rounded law school grad, with the good job, and the great friends, couldn't figure out how to make herself happy and so turned to consuming ridiculous amounts of food and puking it all up. And somehow, that made me feel better.
The saddest part of the whole bulimia battle is that I knew how horrible everything I was doing to my body was, but I couldn't stop. Every time I threw up, I would freak out that my teeth were going to fall out from the acid, but that didn't keep me from puking up the 10,000 calories I had just ingested. And yes. It is quite possible for me to eat that much.
In fact, I probably ate that much today. You see, even though I'm in recovery, and even though I'm doing all the right things, I'm never not going to be a bulimic, just like an alcoholic will never not be an alcoholic. Unfortunately, unlike an alcoholic who can avoid booze and bars, I cannot just choose to never eat again. It's not just a matter of putting down the ding dongs.
So sometimes, I fall off the wagon. And this makes sense. My whole life, everyone has told me that food is the way to be happy. And when you look at the obesity in my family, you'll see I'm not the only one with an eating disorder, though maybe I was the only one that purged. So this weekend, when I was surrounded by friends who love to eat and who want to do it a lot, I lost my footing. I started eating a lot and I told myself it was ok because I wasn't binging, I was just overeating, and that if others were overeating too, it must not be so bad. But what isn't so bad for them is horrible for me. After I got home from my mini-binge vacation, I couldn't figure out what to do to make me ok with being home alone and doing work that I hate. 
So I ate. And I ate A LOT. I even went to the store to buy horrible things to eat so I could eat more. And today, when I told myself I would do better, I just went and ate more at lunch than I could ever need even though I wasn't hungry. 
So how do I stop?
I keep telling myself it'll be better when I work out again. And this is true. Working out means I'll actually feel hungry at some point and that will help me self regulate. But that's another issue non-bulimics maybe don't understand - for those of us living with ED, we actually don't know what it's like to feel hungry. That feeling of actually needing food, and the corresponding feeling of NOT needing it anymore was completely foreign to me. I didn't know what hungry felt like until I was in my 20s. And everytime I experience it now, I'm surprised. 
So yeah. I'm not doing so hot right now. I'm on a binge (minus purging) and I need to fix it. So if you see me with that cookie, or that cake, or lord knows what else I bought last night because shopping for bad foods creates a high for me, talk to me about something else, do something with me, invite me somewhere. Because I'm not hungry. I'm just stuck. And I don't know what to do.

*This is how you can tell I adore Meagan. There is very little that she doesn't know.

1 comment:

  1. <3 <3 <3 Eating Disorders are such pains in the asses. I wish they'd get the hint that they're not really wanted amongst our awesomeoness. Unfortunately, some of the awesomest ladies I know (myself included) have these EDs not getting the hint and hanging around their mental minds for life. Nothing but love for you, T.