A friend asked today, How are you?
Now this friend is not someone I bother saying, I’m fine to, because she knows better than to listen to that bullshit. Our journeys have crossed paths on more than one occasion and she gets it. But I didn’t really know what to say, because I kind of AM fine.
But I’m also not fine.
I’m not good. Or bad. I’m neither happy nor sad.
I feel stagnant to be honest. (I looked up a feelings wheel – it didn’t mention stagnant…) I don’t even feel flat (another non-feeling). So what do I feel? After a quick scan through I can identify the following: distant (mad), insignificant & anxious (scared), appreciated (powerful), pensive (peaceful), apathetic & tired (sad). So aside from joy, a little bit of everything. I’m the mongrel of emotions.
What does this mean? I’m not sure. But I do know I’m having a very – very, very – strong urge to slip back into restriction. It barely has anything to do with losing weight – although I desperately want that as well. I think it’s about identity. And success – peculiar as that sounds.
I’m an unsuccessful bulimic. Too timid to do it properly and go the whole hog (well to be fair – I’ve eaten like a hog a lot of the time…). But throwing up sucks – big time – and I don’t want that any more. It hurts my back and neck, I get blood blisters in my mouth, it clogs the toilets up, destroyed my singing voice, and eating food then regurgitating it almost immediately is just a big fat waste of money! Plus bulimics find their way into eating disorder hell because they want to lose weight, but ironically, are usually a little plump.
But the siren song of restriction – aka starvation – is calling to me. Today I had no urge to binge whatsoever. Yippee! However I’m acutely aware the lack of urge is not progress, but a pendulum swing to the other extreme, and it is at this point I need to be careful. I repeated my little mantra throughout the day (restriction leads to binging leads to weight gain) because while you cannot recover from an eating disorder if obsessed with weight (light bulb moment – this is why I’m not recovered!), reminding myself means I will force meals in at regular intervals. Today was two bowls of carrot & coriander soup, and two large glasses of breakfast smoothie. Lots of nutrition. Zero hunger.
So how to answer the How are you? question? I still don’t know. Freedom from food obsession requires looking forward – picturing myself in a future that has “stuff” in it. People, places, purpose. Identity. Slipping backwards feels comforting and has an enormous allure – I would be depressingly happy. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. If you haven’t – I can’t explain it. Familiarity is comfortable, and comfort is happiness. In a morbid kind of way.
If you ask me how I am today, I can quite honestly say, Peculiar.