1:03 a.m. - 2013-03-20
It is as familiar as my face in the mirror, my old friend.
Having an eating disorder was hard work a long time ago but now it is the easiest thing in the world. It's my soft place to fall. Being normal and healthy is hard. I never have enough energy for that and I never really succeed for long. I've stayed among the living, and not stare-in-the-supermarket skeletal, for years because I don't like it when my life is out of my control and that is what happens when it's really bad. I don't like hospitals and I don't like stares. I have two kids I don't want to fuck up. I stay right there on the borderline. The only person who knows which side I'm on is me.
It gets bad when I feel too much. A makes me feel too much. Her being gone. Her grandma dying. I don't know what to do and I hate that. I love her and that kills me too. I don't like feeling inadequate. I don't like feeling understood.
I have spent years trying not to be too much for people and those were my OK years. Now I know she thinks she wants to really know me and I want her to more than anything but I can't because I'll destroy her. I'm not strong like she is. I fall apart over the tiniest things. I fall apart over the big things no one notices, kids starving to death and people tortured to death in prisons and how evil and cruel the world is in places that never make the front page. I really can't handle it, never could. My sane times are just the times I have managed to cover my ears and close my eyes and turn off my mind and acted like I think a normal person should act.
I only make people happy when I keep a tight lid on me. I don't think I've ever been happy. I started cutting when I was 5 and started trying to kill myself when I was 8. I couldn't stand how cruel the world is and how much suffering there is and I just wanted to stop thinking about it. I wanted to stop knowing. That is the only way I knew to do it.
I still feel that way when anyone pries too much into what makes me tick. I feel like I should have done so much that I haven't already, mostly because everything I've done I've done with a 1000-lb gorilla of an eating disorder and severe depression and alcoholism (though I quit drinking five years ago) and anything I've ever done is nowhere near where it should have been.
I look at the scale and my failures -- mostly to get my life in gear and Fucking Do Something -- seem overwhelming and unforgiveable. I don't forgive myself for the tin cans I don't recycle and my several years' hiatus from vegetarianism (I became a vegetarian when I was 9, though I didn't know anyone else who was -- and gave it up for a while in my 20s when it seemed like nothing mattered anyway -- and probably as a form of self-punishment because meat appalled me every time I ate it.)
I have to get my shit together for A and for my kids and for Doctors Without Borders and all I can think is how I know damn well I am going to make those numbers on the scale drop.
I don't know why.
I don't fucking know.
Except that maybe it is the cliche "cry for help." I feel like really, when it comes down to it, nothing is OK. Nothing. Not the world, nothing I have ever done, me as a mom, friend, daughter, partner -- I am still devastated by Matt and I suppose that has a big part in it. His leaving me made me lose faith in myself. Whatever faith I'd ever had, I got from him. Sometimes I feel it's inevitable that I'll end up leaving A burned and running. I don't hurt people because I want to; it's like I was born with claws instead of hands.
Yes, I know that if I really cared I would stop feeling sorry for myself and get my ass in treatment. For the record, my ass has been in treatment plenty of times. My ass has gained something from treatment but I think my soul is what's broken; if I ever beat the eating disorder I'd just find another disorder. I have been doing that my entire life. The first few times I thought I really had things licked. I've learned -- it always comes back, shape-shifted, and I don't believe or hope that I can beat anything anymore.
I don't know why I fall into the falling numbers. I can list 50 good reasons why I'm a shithead and I should go eat a damn sandwich. I think it boils down to, hunger and starving myself are very comforting to me. They actually make me feel better. I HATE the feeling of food in my stomach and I feel bad enough as it is. I just don't feel up to feeling any worse.
So I'm a wuss. Looking at the scale is like standing outside your warm cozy house in a blizzard and watching the windows glow and seeing the smoke from the chimney and knowing that although you might convince yourself to stand outside for five more minutes or maybe an hour, eventually you're going to go back in. It's warm in there, and it's where you belong. It's safe. It's where you live and sleep.
Starving feels like that to me. It's like a warm pool; I think I know I will touch my toe into the water and then let it come up to my ankles, and then my knees. It's warm bliss. It's peace, and I haven't had any peace in so long. I have held it of and now apparently I am changing my mind.
I'll back out. I always do. But for a few days, or weeks if I can get away with it, I can let the water come up to my knees, and then my thighs....