I can remember facts I learned long ago. And I can remember how to get to a new place after going once. My body can remember dance movements at the drop of a hat. I can remember conversations almost verbatim. But ask me how I felt on Monday and I’ll say that I can’t remember.
I hadn’t meant to restrict as much as I had over the weekend. I had a take home final and an extra credit assignment I needed to get done and knew I had to take care of myself in order for that to happen. But somehow things went awry.
After restricting, my anxiety goes sky high and I end up on the verge of a panic attack most of the day. It’s a struggle between knowing that I should eat–that I have to eat–and actually doing it.
I sit at work, telling myself that I have to over and over again. I need to eat. Otherwise I’m going to pass out and my cover will be blown and the secrets will ooze out of my pores. I can’t let that happen. I have to eat. I have to. I struggle with opening my mouth, afraid everything will just pour out. And I can’t let that happen.
In a moment blinded by weakness, I tell my best friend who will be visiting this weekend that I’m really struggling with the eating disorder. He is nothing but supportive and helps me get though my lunch.
But then work stuff happens. And my grades get posted. And life just happens. And somewhere in the midst of all that, I forget how shitty I felt on Monday. It takes more than a moment before I can recall that I struggled through my meals, didn’t feel well for the majority of the day, and that my anxiety sky rocketed.
Everything was fine. Everything was normal. It’s no big deal. The good cancels out the bad.
The normal cancels out the bad.
And I forget how it feels to be sick. How it feels to know that living like this really isn’t the best thing for me. How it feels, even for a moment, to admit that I need more help.
But like I said, I forget.
Another night is spent trying to get the feelings out.
Another night spent wanting to think of anything else.
Another night spent stuffing food in my mouth, all the while chastising the hand that feeds me.
Another night spent over the toilet in an attempt to expel all the hatred looming inside.
Another night spent berating myself for giving in when I know better.
Another night spent tossing and turning, hoping sleep comes to help me escape the thoughts that plague me.
Another night spent walking towards the depths of hell I fought so hard to get out of. I never meant to go that far in the first place. I can see myself going down that path again and I don’t know if I have the strength to pull myself out again.
Another night promising this is the last night spent like this.
Another night is repeated.