Food is everywhere and impossible to avoid. That’s why I completely get bulimia – splurge, feel guilty, purge, feel better. Not surprisingly, that’s where I started when I was about 15. I’d purge and afterwards my face was flushed, my eyes bright, and I was buzzing for maybe an hour before the enormous guilt over what I’d done would hit me.
I don’t remember the first time I purged and I don’t remember the first time I restricted. But I know how I felt afterward. When I restrict, I feel so good – I feel like I’m a superhero – I’ve conquered food, I don’t have to eat, look at me, I’m THIN*BEAUTIFUL*BRILLIANT*CONTROLLED! The more I restrict, the more awesome I feel. It’s not just an emotional high over being in control, no no – I’m seriously buzzed. I am flying as high as a kite and nothing can touch me. Everything feels intense and alive and sparking and wow! My brain is different and it is intensely powerful. The problem is that coming down from that buzz is so much worse than coming down from a purge.
Because you know that anytime there’s a high, there’s going to be a low. The low comes so quickly it almost takes my breath away. It’s like falling off a cliff into a vat of giant mud. Everything is slow, tired, thick, exhausting. Nothing tastes good, nothing seems appealing. I can’t think, I can’t do my job, I’m a crappy mother, a silly girl, a terrible wife. And the voice – the inner megaphone – whatever she is – she gets so loud. Each time she gets louder and louder. STUPID*UGLY*AWFUL*FAT*IDIOT*CLUELESS*TWIT! She’s screaming at me and I can’t hear anything else. I can’t feel anything else. I eat something safe but she’s still there. When I go to therapy, sometimes she shuts up for a bit. Sometimes if I eat well and I exercise for healthy reasons and sleep and am gentle to myself I can go for a little while without the screaming. But the voice never goes away.
That’s my goal. It’s not to stop counting calories or to eat pasta. It’s to have that awful, horrid voice disappear for a while. I’m willing to give up the buzz in order to have my peace – I think.