Not in the Johnny Cash sense, though I am listening to him right now.
I’m walking the line between normal and eating disordered.
I don’t really understand it. What is this ambivalence? I’m being torn in two. On the one hand, I’m suddenly not depressed for the first time in my life. I have energy and motivation, and I want to create a life for myself. But on the other hand, I’m not eating enough. I’m suddenly thinking about purging and over-exercising a lot.
Oh, I can justify it. I eat when I’m hungry. I’m doing an elimination diet because my nurse suggested it for my eczema flare-up. I’m not losing weight, obviously, so that means I’m okay. My physiatrist even said I should lose weight to help with the back pain. I know these are excuses. At the same time, though, this feels different than my prior ED episodes. I don’t feel like I’m torturing myself the way I did before. It feels like it’s about losing the weight and getting healthier, not hurting myself. I really don’t feel hungry. These things are true.
But it is also true that what I’m doing is not normal or healthy. My intake for the day was probably a cup of cashews and a third of a cup of almonds. I was walking for probably 30 or 45 minutes running errands, and then I did an hour and a half of kung fu tonight. I haven’t done the math, but I know that’s a pretty substantial calorie deficit.
Part of me wants to tell someone on my team. Partly because I don’t want to hide things and partially because I need them to know that just because my depression is gone, that doesn’t mean all my problems are suddenly solved. I want attention. I’m not restricting for attention, but I need people to pay attention to this. I need attention so I’m not all alone with this.
But there’s another part that doesn’t want me to tell. I need to lose weight, and I apparently can’t do it the normal/healthy way. Maybe it’s my meds, maybe it’s my thyroid, maybe it’s that I ruined my metabolism with years of an ED–but the result is that I’m significantly overweight. Tonight at kung fu, I saw myself in the wall-length mirror and realized I’m the fat girl. I’m the fattest one in this dojo. I hate that this matters to me, but it does. I’ve never been the fat girl. Even as a young child, I was always the smallest in my class, and my mother bragged about this. (I have no idea why, but I learned that to be small was to get my mother’s approximation of acceptance and love.) I was never one of those ED sufferers who thought she was fat. I knew I was thin. Knew I was too thin. But that was never the point, then. The entire point was torturing myself, and the emaciation was just an external show of how good I was at negating my needs and punishing myself for existing. Now, it doesn’t feel like torture. I’m not hungry. Not curled up with cramps from an empty stomach. Finally! Now I can lose all this weight, and it’s okay because I’m not hungry!
I know better. The ambivalence is fear. I’ve always accepted that I’d be limited forever by my depression, that I’d always have to work around it. Now, I’m not depressed, and there’s too much possibility. I’m terrified. If I fail, it’s not because I have a defective brain, it’s because I’m just a worthless piece of shit who never does anything right and never works hard enough. I’m paralyzed by my fear of possibility, and I need to constrict. The world is huge and scary, so I can shrink my world by shrinking myself.
I hate being scared and weak and needy. I hate being a child. I hate being too much.
I need someone to hear me. I need someone to help me hold all this. I need to stop making excuses for self-destructing. I need to be present with the fear instead of constricting myself to hide from it. I need to allow people to help me hold some of this, help my figure out how to be less afraid or at least less paralyzed. I need to move instead of hiding in a corner.
I need to be accountable. Please kick me in the ass until I talk to somebody about this. I don’t want the ambivalence to keep me trapped in status quo. Don’t let me. Please.