I wrote a post earlier today, but I don’t think I want to share it. Not today. Not yet. It’s about my anger. My hate. My distrust. I have a lot of it. I am overflowing with it. And it’s ugly.
I am not afraid to show you my ugly. But it would not do any good right now. It would not serve me. Or you. There would be nothing for either of us to learn from it. Except that I am human. And that I have ugly feelings. Which I already knew. And you probably did too.
I am doing my best not to be ashamed of my ugly feelings. I am doing my best to remember that denying them doesn’t stop them from existing. And that the closest thing there is to making them disappear is to eat them. which is not an option. And I would like to say that I know that there is nothing virtuous in turning my hate in on myself instead of hating the people who have hurt me. But I have always used self-abuse and martyrdom as a kind of substitute for virtue. And I can forget when my rage scares me enough.
So for today, I will spare you my ugly feelings.
A friend said recently that my blog is as much, and maybe more, about quitting smoking lately than it is about compulsive eating. I think that may be true. And I told him that I made a decision a while ago to let it be what it is. That both the experience of getting control of my eating and that of quitting smoking are similar for me. I’m actually pretty sure that in time, my eating disorders will return to the forefront. I just happen to be going through a particularly difficult time with regards to quitting smoking. I am having a hard time with the feelings and the weight gain. I am having a hard time finding my footing after making a significant choice about who I want to be in the world. And who I want to be in the world is even more awake and aware and alive. I want to be not numb.
But there is something that I know, that you might not. In my mind, every day, always, I think of myself as a woman with eating disorders. I am a compulsive eater and bulimic with body dismorphia. A woman with a sugar addiction. And more specifically, woman who painstakingly takes care of her life with food so that she can be sane and stable. That is my primary identity. (I know…sounds super sexy, right?)
I have given up many things as a compliment to that identity. Smoking is one of them. Along with alcohol, and smoking pot, sugarless gum, diet soda and excessive caffeine. And behaviors like making rash decisions, and acting out in anger. But first, last, and always comes the food. Food was my first drug. It was my first numb. And getting control of my eating and letting go of getting high on sugar led me to realize that I actually wanted to be alive. That I don’t actually like numb. And that one step at a time, I want to come back to life fully.
I am in excruciating pain at the moment. I am more angry and hurt and scared and tormented than you can possibly imagine. I am burning with rage. I am overwhelmed with grief. I wake up puffy and swollen and encrusted with dry tears. My throat is sore from how tight I clench it. I am more miserable than I can remember being in the past (almost) 7 years.
But I do not eat to numb it! I would rather be here in honest, living, livid pain than be numb. Than be dead. Because eating compulsively is death to me. Numbness and death.
Yes, I have been talking a lot about smoking. And I’m ok with that. But my life, all of my life and every fiber of my being, is about being free from the food. I was able to quit smoking because I have my food under control. Because I learned how to feel pain when I let go of sugar and put boundaries around my eating. And if I thought that my eating boundaries were in danger, I would certainly go back to smoking. Or caffeine. Or chewing gum. Or whatever. Because the food will kill me quickest and make me hate myself the most.
So I hope you’re ok with my smoking talk. That you can somehow see that quitting sugar and quitting cigarettes are connected. Or if you can’t, that you still think I’m brilliant whatever I write! Or that you’ll humor me…