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Taking a swim down de Nile

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:04pm
This week was incredibly difficult. I was very stressed, not sleeping much, and just generally cracking up a bit. I held it all together pretty well, considering. No one freaked out and asked if I was dying, if I was mental, if I needed a vacation in a straight jacket. Except for one teeny tiny, itsy bitsy thing:

I, uh, wasn't eating very well.


I'll preface the next part with: I am getting back on track. I hauled out my old meal plan and have been following that. I want to cut corners. I don't need an extra fruit with that, and if I don't, then I won't have anything to put the peanut butter on. Gee, doesn't that suck.

It's this line of thinking that got me into this pickle in the first place.

There were warning signs, and if I were smart, I would have noticed them. Actually, I was kind of aware of them. I just didn't think they were worth doing anything about. The thoughts were the same old, same old (you're fat, gross, ugly, lazy. You eat crap. You need to exercise more. I think ya'll know the drill). But this time, it was accompanied by a specific plan of action. As in, "Tomorrow I'm going to eat X calories less. The calories that I eat will be a nice, round number* This will feel better."

It sounds like the old "control" issue, and it is, just not in the way that you think. I'm not trying to control my food when I fall deep into the anorexia. I'm trying to control my FEARS of the food. The fears are so intense that I'll develop any number of ways (read: rituals) to decrease those fears, to neutralize them. Which is the exact definition of OCD .

Which is what I see the eating disorder as: another iteration of the OCD .

I knew I was on dangerous ground as the past two weeks progressed. I'm not dumb. I could read the writing on the wall. I had just convinced myself that I could handle this. That I could afford to lose a few pounds.

Denial. I was not so far into denial that I was in Sudan or anything, but still. Definitely swimming.

What I didn't realize was the depth of the waters I had gotten myself into. Not until I started to swim out.

Not denial.

I had grossly underestimated the strength of the eating disorder. You'd think I would have learned, after almost 8 years. You really think I would have learned. But I haven't. At least not well enough. Could this be my last learning experience? Perhaps. Hopefully my last learning experience of this kind, but I don't my last one. I got cocky, I think. I thought I was strong enough to beat him as his own game. And maybe I could have...except once I got close, he would have changed the rules.

Ed is a merciless bastard. He will drown me without a second thought. I will be another body for him, a tally mark on the wall, a statistic. And then he'll move on.

I can get him out of my life, but I can't beat him at his own game. I don't know that it matters, whether or not I can beat him at his own game. Frankly, I don't think I want to play anymore. So he can sit and pout for as long as he wants. I don't need to prove anything to him.

*One of my OCD things is my obsession with the number 5. I had these rules where I could only eat things with "nice" numbers of calories. A 100 calorie yogurt was actually better than a 90 calorie one. Unless I was having 1/2 cup of Fiber One, which was 60 calories, and that with the yogurt would be 150 calories, which was a nice number. I also had to eat a certain amount of fiber each day, and only a tiny bit of salt. There were numbers for each of these- also numbers I deemed "nice," and all of this had to be done within a "nice" number of calories. The calorie amount was actually enough to maintain my weight. But I still ended up malnourished because there was about 2 combinations of foods that I could eat in order to follow all of my rules.

**Now that I write this out, I'm realizing just how whacked this really was.

*** I still have issues with the number 5 and "nice" numbers of calories. Even if I don't add them up, I like those "nice" numbers.
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