Recovery Snapshot: Equations

bagel + cream cheese  =    *_*

solve for *
show your work

    (bagel ÷ is it hot in here?)
+  (cream cheese ÷ why do my legs feel like I've just run a marathon?)  
    oh, this again.  how fun.

An alternative answer for * is:  the Hudson River School, my go-to for calming art.  Here, please have some:

A View On the Catskill - Early Autumn
Thomas Cole


Reintroducing Foods

*for a given definition of "medicines"

See the cat?  Yesterday that was me.  I was sitting at my computer, totally minding my own business, when BAM, I felt it necessary to send the following email to two of Les Comtesses:
Can one have a hot flash at 28?  Or is it just an anxiety attack because I'm deliberately eating something extra?
Guess which one it turned out to be?
... Yep.  Anxiety attack.  So much fun!  Kind of like a cocaine OD and a hangover all at once!
From there the discussion devolved into how I've never seen St. Elmo's Fire.  (Well, it continued once I'd returned from histrionically lying on my bed and waiting to die.)

What caused this anxiety attack?  Well, if I had to say, the tipping point was turkey.  Some maple honey roast turkey.  About two ounces of it.  Yes, deli turkey is popularly associated with anorexics, as in, "the only thing they eat."  (Well, people usually assume it's that and celery.)  That's the funny thing about eating disordered people's rules: they usually make less than no sense to anyone but the rule holder.  Even fellow ED patients can hear a certain rule someone else has and think, "Is she crazy?  Doesn't she realize that makes no sense?"

Well, yes, we do realize it.  To a certain extent.  But usually the rule fails to make sense so spectacularly that it does a 180 and makes total and complete sense.  "I have winnowed my foods down to A, B and C.  I have maintained a low weight/continued to lose weight.  If I add food D, or even just swap out food A for food D, I will gain weight/cease to lose weight.  Therefore, foods A, B and C are my only safe foods."  (This absurd axiom holds true for many bulimics and binge eaters, outside of binges, as much as it does for anorexics.)  If you know the barest facts about eating disorders, you know that they're not about food, and this nearly universal food rule situation is a good illustration of that.  Foods A, B and C will almost never be the same foods for any two ED patients; but foods A, B and C will be just as important to any two ED patients at roughly analogous places in their illnesses.  It isn't about food; it's about the perception of control.

And so, reintroducing food - any food, no matter how nutritionally "healthy" or calorically light - is cause for panic.  And yesterday's panic attack was one for the books.  My fridge now boasts, alongside the turkey, Greek yogurt and cherries.  (When reintroducing foods, you don't start with chocolate mousse, you know?)  At some point I'll even get back to putting the turkey in a sandwich and some cereal in the yogurt.  But one panic attack at a time, you know?  I'm taking my mom to Paris for her birthday in September, and damn it, I'm going to enjoy the food and not have any stinking panic attacks over salad dressing.

Excuse me, I have to go eat breakfast and exhibit symptoms of early-onset menopause.


Recovery Snapshot

Thursday, 9:30 p.m.

I weighed myself for the first time since at least Monday, and I did it at night, after dinner. Why did I do that? Why? I can think of nothing more bone-headed than what I did. There are no words for how much I wish I didn't do that.  First, I'm freaked out by the weight.  Second, I am sadangrydespondent that I'm so freaked out by it, that it makes me feel panicky, shamed, trapped.  And why the sadangrydespondent feeling?  Because there's no good reason for the weight to freak me out, to make me sad, to scare me, to panic me.  There's no piece of reality in my reaction to seeing the scale.  I'd be tempted to go through a mantra about the amount of food in the digestive system and the time of day being important factors in consistent weigh-ins, but the whole basis behind that mantra (that the weight I saw tonight isn't an accurate representation of my current body mass - and it isn't) misses the whole point.  It should be moot that the "high" weight I saw is not my bones/muscles/organs/skin/fat.  The only thing that should matter is that my instinct to reject an arbitrary number makes no sense.  But I cling to the likelihood that in the morning I'll see a more arbitrarily comfortable number once again.

Sometimes the uphill battle against myself just feels like a parody.  Sometimes I feel downright Sisyphean.

And then sometimes I check the mail late and find a piece of momentary salvation from a demented babydoll:

Now to skip the whole rolling-the-stone-up-the-hill thing, and jump right into the air, and simply forget to hit the ground.  Hm....


And Then My Head Exploded All Over 3rd Avenue

Overheard on the Upper East Side today...

Little Boy:  Can I have a milkshake??!!?

Dad:  Ask your mom.

Mom:  Don't make me the bad guy, John.

Dad:  Milkshakes make you REALLY fat.

Little Boy:  ... What about ice cream?

Dad:  Yeah, that too.

My Head:  *asplode*


Recovery Snapshot

Do you have days when being inside your own skin actually makes you feel claustrophobic?

I have actually managed to lose weight somehow.  Not much, but after clawing my way up a double-digit of ounces, I've slid right back where I was, and now all the anxiety feels terribly purposeless.  This whole business is like a truncated Chutes and Ladders.

I always preferred Candy Land.  (Big surprise, right?)

I like board gamez.  
I like teh sound teh peecez makes when I paw dem onto da floor."