It’s midnight again and I should be asleep in bed. I would just go upstairs, pop my Ambien, put on my sleep mask and sleep. It works – nearly every night – and yet I cannot go just yet.

I have a quiz to write, a final exam waiting. Trust documents to sign, bills to pay, taxes to review. The kids’ lunches aren’t complete, there’s laundry to be hung, and I could stay up all night working but to no avail. It’s not the work, it’s me.

There’s that period of time before falling asleep where I am afraid. Afraid I won’t sleep in spite of the powerful meds. Afraid of letting go. Afraid of what might fill my mind. It’s the same fear that keeps me volunteering for things when I have zero time. It’s the same fear that has kept me from running for the past six months. If I cannot do it perfectly, I cannot do it. Period. Intellectually it makes no sense, and though I am an intellectual, it doesn’t matter.

ED has my brain right now. Well, it’s a battle between ED and Depression and I don’t know who’s winning. I know these are not normal thoughts, I know normal people don’t feel this way, and yet this is all I know. All I know is that it is midnight, I’m posting on my blog and eating oatmeal with chocolate chips that I really didn’t want.

It is midnight, and my whole house is asleep except for me. In six hours it all starts again. Each day I run a greater and greater deficit – deficit of calories, deficit of nutrition, deficit of personal time, deficit of sleep. Deficit of job performance, of family interaction, of laundry-processing and house-cleaning and errand-completion. I started down this path because I felt that I was not good enough and what I’ve found is that I was right. I am not good enough. I’m not capable or dependable. I’m sketchy, unreliable, and a time-waster. I am a waste of time.

Each night as I sit here at midnight, trying to force myself to bed, I see myself as a whole new light of failure. Because lack of sleep begets poor decision making, which begets my “inappropriate compensating behaviors.” That’s the euphemism that T and I use for the purging, self-harm, and self-hatred. In turn my compensating behaviors beget poor eating choices and lack of sleep.

When I dream, I dream of a man who will swoop in and take control of the mess that is me. It isn’t control that I crave – it’s freedom. Freedom from decisions, freedom from agonizing over food, freedom from screwing up. There is a part of me that wonders about whether IOP would be freeing, whether having a team descend on me would be comforting. Not that it matters. I cannot afford personally or professionally for anyone to know about my ED. I cannot risk being away from my kids and my life. So I tuck all of this away, and like the good girl that I must be, I go to bed.


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