Day 16

9PM:

Fuck this…

Fuck this lack of knowing.

Fuck this lack of remembering how to live, love and lose myself in the moment.

Fuck this lack of serenity to accept the unchangeable.

Fuck this lack of courage to be wrong.

Fuck this lack of understanding and wisdom to know the difference between what is normal and what needs to be.

Fuck this blackness in my gut that mutes my emotions and heightens my anxieties and angers and fears.

Fuck this thing inside me, my own unique cocktail of crazy.

Fuck this exhausting cycle of self-deprecating humour, delusional victories and hateful selfish rage.

Not fuck my life, because that tries to separate this from what is real = fuck me; that’s what’s real…

Fuck me.

Fuck me

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Day 15

9AM:

I used a phrase with Work Friend earlier: I am everyone else’s life lesson.  Old Boss and Family Friend didn’t reach out when I needed them, now they will for the next person.  Mom and Dad ignored the things that made me fucked up, now they won’t ignore them for my brother.  My wife abandoned me on two occasions – one time she wasn’t there physically, giving me someone to lean on, and the second time, she cheated on me, pretending she was there when she was somewhere else entirely – and now she tries her damndest to make sure that never happens again.  Same thing would apply for the family – who knows how that will go around Christmas, but I will most certainly become the life lesson again.  Is this an element of my disease or my personality?  I don’t mind this role; it makes me useful and wanted (and lonely).

And the train of thought continues…

My wife has asked me about forgiveness a number of times, so much so that I’ve had the thought rattling around in my head: forgiveness for all these aforementioned things, forgiveness of my own sins, forgiveness of my own faults.  What she does not understand is that I can’t forgive myself; how the fuck am I supposed to forgive anyone else?  In fact, I would be more likely to forgive everyone else for leaving me to rot in this hole of stress and anxiety and ED; it would be that much harder to forgive myself.

It has never been a question of forgiveness.

Why does it have to be forgive or forget, forgive and forget, or any of these permutations?  Why can’t it just be living the next day, and the day after that and the day after that?  Worrying about forgiveness, regretting what is done, longing for redos – these are the tragic flaws of Shakespearean plays, all leading to self-imposed dementia, deterioration and desolation.  But that’s her and everyone else, they are the ones that worry about those things, not me.  I wouldn’t regret what is done, I wouldn’t long for redos, I would just breathe.  I quack like a duck, walk like a duck and talk like a duck, so perhaps I am disguising moving on as forgiveness – but only for me, not for anyone else.  For the first time in a long time, I could very well be a life lesson for myself (now I just have to figure out how to accept and forgive myself).

Day 14

7AM:

Let’s say that I in fact do accept my relationship to food.  I am thinking about the day and the fact that my lunch time will be taken up by leading an extracurricular group.  It is taking a little thought and I would rather be a little hungry during the day than eat mystery meat patties or skip out on the event just to eat.  The norm?  Probably not… but could it be normal?  This is likely also the immediate reaction of most doctors, therapists, etc., who want to help me find my happy.

Here’s the question on my mind though: would this fix the rest?  Would finding my happy with relationship to food make me want sex more?  Would it make me less likely to want to hurt myself in times of stress?  Would it make the perception of me in my family clearer/cleaner?  Would it allow me to sit down and rest and not feel guilty?  Would it make me not feel self-conscious about telling others that I am not totally exhausted?  Would it make me not care about forgiveness?  Would it make me happy?

So maybe more than the question.

It could also not be that simple.  It could be that accepting my relationship with food as normal is step one or step two or not a step at all.  It is true that when the time comes, I will need to muster up the courage to find these answers, but I would like a little more guidance before stepping into the dark.  A little more light or a little bit of a map or at least an understanding that those things are hopes of a cowardly lion, things that are not offered to journeymen like me.

Day 13

6PM:

As I drive home from the (not-so-useful-I-think-but-I’m-not-sure-because-my-emotional-connections-are-so-very-disconnected-right-now) massage, having not yet eaten dinner, I am a little hungry.  I’m not famished or ready to assassinate my own grandmother for a whole wheat bagel (well…), but I can tell that something is needed to settle my stomach.  The immediate reaction here is not, “ok, time to find something to eat.”  Instead, my reaction is something along the lines of “OH MY GOD, I FEEL HUNGRY!  I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON BECAUSE I SHOULD NEVER BE IN A CIRCUMSTANCE WHERE I FEEL HUNGRY!”  I have not yet been able to understand this “terrible person” connection that comes with this stress management/perfectionism thing.  The food stuff should all connect to getting fat, but it doesn’t always.  My immediate reaction to sitting on the couch isn’t always that I will get fat, just that it is the wrong or a bad thing to do.  There is no clarification of this point, no matter how much I psychoanalyze or probe the blackness.  Perhaps this is part of the whole disconnecting my emotional connections bit – the fact that I just can’t understand how to solve this puzzle.

Day 12

7PM:

I can’t understand why I was the way I was when I walked through the door this afternoon – in immediate and non-immediate hindsight, I really didn’t want to act that way.  I got pretty riled up at the end of my school day and I was a little snackish, but the “asshole-ese” was coming out without me even wanting to hear it.  My wife was being kind and understanding and I just didn’t want to hear any of what she was saying: it seemed forced and false and that she was hiding something.  What shook me out of it?  Love, hugs, kisses – things that cannot be misconceived or misinterpreted.  Honest emotion without my mind misconstruing words or actions – fucked up me, can’t even appreciate kindness sometimes through my own foggy mind.

I do agree with my wife that the MindBodyGreen article truly resonates.  Perhaps I should “mantra” through the stress – a new tool to manage the blackness:  “Treat each moment together as though it could be your last.  Rabbi and author Joshua Loth Liebman said it best: ‘Treasure each other in the recognition that we do not know how long we shall have each other.’”

If I never see her again, I don’t want the disease to have my last words.  I don’t want the asshole-ese to be the last thing she hears coming out of my mouth.  I need to fix me so that I can fix this.  I need to show her my heart and not my darkness (this goes for my family as well, as I can’t count the number of times asshole-ese has come out with my parents).

Treat each moment together as though it could be your last.

Treat each moment together like your last.

Each moment could be the last.

Moments last.

Day 11

5PM:

This has taken so much away from me.  It has been my companion for over seven years and I am barely starting to understand this.  But I am waiting for the cloud to truly lift.  I have read all about how getting through the obsessiveness and rigidity will give me clarity of mind and enjoyment in the true things that should: activities, people, myself.  Will it be euphoric?  Will it be gradual?

A week and a half into this and the rigidity has loosened:

  • I have eaten breakfast every single day
  • I have written in this journal every day
  • I have shared food and guess-timated portion sizes at restaurants (and even been able to put those estimations aside afterwards, not having them rotate in my head for hours afterwards)
  • I have snacked outside of “meal-times” based on hunger and not necessarily on timing (however, with this one, I cannot say whether my level of ease is connected to eating less portions at that point in the day)
  • I have started to recognize that I like having something at the end of the day, possibly because I like that type of food as opposed to others

And I am still angry, I am still not loose, I am still not comfortable, I am still not horny, I am still not getting past or through the illness (just managing it), I am still not quiet, I am still not easy, I am still not happy.

There is one question I haven’t asked here though, one that these last few observations bring to “light” (AKA deeper into the well): will it be a myth?  Perhaps that’s the true test of things: that if that cloud isn’t truly lifted after dealing with the eating disorder, that this thing is something more than an eating disorder.  It is odd how no matter how many times I talk about the blackness being responsible, still I equate this cloud and my issues and the anxieties and the things that have been taken away (lust, passion, feeling) to food.  Solve food and solve these.  That’s not going to happen that quickly though, is it…?  The reality is something darker, more dangerous: what the fuck is the monster inside me, cloaking itself in normalizing food?  The monster that either doesn’t allow me to accept my normal as normal or the monster that avoids me from finding my normal in this search.

Day 10

4PM (recorded at 7PM):

Hope is a dangerous thing.  Resilience is also, from what I am learning, potentially dangerous as well.  I have the ability to fight through the pain, to pick myself up from some of the most devastating of circumstances (at least, from my frame of reference – deaths, injuries, heartbreaks) and carry on.  Resilience and hope keep me upright, keep me going and keep me from giving up.

But like I said, hope and resilience are becoming dangerous things in recovery, because there is a fine line between hope and delusion.  Every time I get knocked down or pushed down or ignored while I am down or trip myself so that I fall, every single time I find myself upright again.  Not always is this independently horizontal-to-vertical, but nevertheless I am standing by the end of it.  Yet, I am still writing and talking about being down, so how come hope survives?  Is it that I am so deluded?  And the biggest question, where has continuing to hope and be resilient and be potentially deluded gotten me?  There is very little logic to this hope – if I really thought about it, all evidence would point to the contrary with regards to the efficacy of what I’m hoping for.  All evidence points in the direction of another fall, another push, another trust exercise where there is no one to rely on.  And yet, hope survives and delusion does not.

Here is a sample scenario.  The world inside my head keeps spinning, through fatigue and self-imposed work, it keeps spinning.  In fact, even after a day cleaning the house, doing so out of love for my wife and believing I was doing something good, I walk in thinking about the dirty spots.  I cannot shut the part of my brain off at times like this, cannot convince myself that perfect isn’t enough.  And the worst thing is that the more worn down I get, the more my head seems to spin about these things, the more it seems to get angry and the worse every breath tastes.  Anyway, in this scenario, the latest breaking point arrives and I fall.  Those who pick me up promise the world, tell me that I will always have their hands and they will carry me to safety.  They tell me to believe in hope and their love, because these are the things that life is about.  And because I have faith, I believe in hope and love, believe that they will translate into answers and assistance and make it so that I don’t have to find solutions all on my own to the way that my head (and the world, it seems) scars as opposed to supports me.  Hope and love make me carry on, every single time.  But the cycle continues… I stand up and everyone loses the urgency.  I am patched up, but the source of the injury remains, waiting for the opportunity to break through the stitches more powerful and poisonous than ever.  At this time, everyone seems to forget that the only reason I am not bleeding due to the anxiety, the eating disorder, the perfectionism and the albatross that I’ve carried for so many years, is because of hope and resilience.  These things aren’t solutions, they are stop-gaps.  They are the bubble gum sealing the holes of my ship while I wait for the real boat to take me to shore.  Instead, I get forgotten in a few days, my head keeps working the way it has worked and in fact, has probably gotten worse because of how worn out it is from the darkness it has to call home, since that’s all it has.  My distress call gets unanswered past the initial S.O.S. and I get angrier, more tired and ever-more frustrated.

Hope makes me believe that eventually I will find quiet, that I will find enjoyment and that I will find the spark inside me that made the world shut off and allowed me to be in the moment.  But at the moment, I can’t very often find the moment with her, with laughter, with nature, with exercise, with books, with myself.  And yet, hope will come around tomorrow.