Watching my binge and bringing gentleness
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Today I had lunch with my husband and his drum circle. They watched me drink a beer and eat only half my lunch. I mentioned briefly that I ran six miles that morning and biked (a quarter mile) to meet them. Perhaps they admired my healthiness: my organic burger which I fastidiously cut in half, and my muscular legs which ran me through Chicago and Evanston.
When I'm bored or alone at home I cram cold leftovers into my protesting stomach in an attempt to feel something. I've been doing that more and more often recently. A week ago I tried to throw up after a binge but I'm just not good at it. I didn't stop myself, I didn't reason myself out of it, I just physically failed.
I'm going through physical therapy for my hips and a problem I have with intercourse due to my lady parts. My husband and I are looking into marriage counseling, not because we fight or don't love each other enough but because we both have harmful tendencies which are affecting our ability to express our love to each other.
What I mean to say is, my problems are not on my sleeve anymore. Ever since losing weight and becoming more slender I have had difficulty with this. When you are fat or ugly or awkwardly alone everyone can sympathize with just a look. I got so much support and surprise from strangers when I began running. LOOK AT THAT FAT GIRL GO!
My illness is that I feel the need to manifest problems in order to communicate the fissures and ruins that are hidden inside me. How will people know I am sick unless they see it? Who will believe me when I survey my perfect life and say, "Yet I am unhappy."?
My loved ones believe me. They never resent me. It's that snake-tongued voice tickling my ear that puts these fears in me. I am allowed to be unhappy and to deal with that unhappiness. I am allowed to ask for help and to express dissatisfaction with the world even as I am struck by its beauty and whimsy.
I took the jug of grape juice from my lips today, craving the immediate and sickening sweetness. I said to myself, "You can have as many glasses as you want but you must put it in a glass." I meant it. If I poured the whole jug out and drank it one glass at a time that would be fine. I only drank one.
Thursday I treated myself to a healthy meal at a fancy vegan restaurant after a binge. The voice in my head laughed, "Well now you are going to binge more so that you can get the reward!" but that is like the man laughing at the welfare mother. He does not know that this hell is not voluntary, that we do not want to be here and would not choose it were we given the choice. That voice is one of ignorance, one completely unaware of the problem.
Tonight I craved ice cream. I could go for a walk and pick up some frozen yogurt or low calorie gelato. But no, I decided, I'll make it. I have the ingredients and an ice cream maker, so why not? I chose a custard-based vanilla, using my organic milk, local eggs, and some whole vanilla beans I had on hand. If I still want it in an hour when the custard cools I can have it. In a bowl with a spoon, as much as I want.
I've decided I will give my cravings everything they want. I will let them win, reward their tantrums. I will only ask that we heat up the food or plate the lunch, that we pour the juice into a glass or prepare the ice cream myself. You can have as much as you want, just let me make it for you. While she waits I will hold her, stroking her hair, and show her how to tell when the custard is ready.