I haven’t eaten breakfast.
This isn’t a surprise; I usually forego actual food in the morning in lieu of something caffeinated. Although my choice of caffeine has changed lately, for what a part of my brain deems better and another part deems punishment. But regardless, lattes and mochas are no more. Plain coffee with stevia and some half and half. At least it’s better than sugary crap, right?
Why I’m over here even contemplating my morning beverage of choice is beyond me. I drink a fancy-ass, overpriced drink like, every day. And I don’t usually bat an eye at it. In fact, there have been times I got straight-up pissed off at people who brought it up (typically in some stupid judgemental comment about how much those drinks cost). Leave my guilty pleasure out of this, motherfucker.
But I’m contemplating it either way. Because less sugar, fewer calories, that’s gotta be better, right?
Better than WHAT? says the rational part of my brain. You know, the part of my brain I used to claw myself toward awareness, overturn self-doubt, beat the ever-living hell out of terrifyingly negative thoughts. The part of my brain that gave faces to the demons whose names I learned, whose sinister motives I removed myself from. The part of my brain that rose from the ashes of a decayed will to live and withered-away motivation, that rose from that torment with forces unmatched in order to survive and thrive and charge ahead at full speed toward a future.
Better than what?
I shouldn’t eat lunch.
At this point last week or the week before, as mid-afternoon rolled around I would’ve felt the hunger pangs already. I would’ve begun salivating upon entering my kitchen, my mouth ready to begin the process of digestion due to mere anticipation. But I don’t feel it anymore. That happened rather quickly, I think. Back in the day, oh, 13 years ago, it took much longer for my body to adjust to eating itself instead of actual sustenance, much longer for the twisting, gnawing hunger to recede into simple omnipresent emptiness. But I guess falling into eating disordered bullshit and all the dangers of its realm is easier the second time around. I’ve heard it said that the pathways are already there in my brain. Like a path forged in a dirt road. A path that hadn’t been there before. A path that, regardless of lack of use, would still be capable of guiding risk-taking travelers to the dark destination they seek. So repeated wear on whatever-the-fuck brain circuits I used to starve myself into oblivion literally carved out my tendency to return to the whole calorie counting, weight loss driven, number obsessed me that I was back in my youth.
I’ve said it before, in recent years nonetheless, that it’s so easy to just whip out that handy-dandy anorexia and use it to obscure whatever pointless issue that happens to be blocking my path forward. If I can’t see the problem, it isn’t there, right? Mental illness logic at its finest. But weirdly enough, I’d said practically in the same breath that I “could never” let hunger consume me again, not in the way that it did in high school. I could NEVER. I wouldn’t even be able to!
Except that, uhhhh, I can.
And I shouldn’t eat lunch. If I’m empty, at least I’m focusing on something. At least I am something. If I’m not eating, at least I’ve done something. Fuck knows I’m nothing else, that I haven’t done anything else. Nothing I’m proud of, nothing I value. I know, I know. I’m basing my self-worth on irrelevant nonsense, like a job and money and…I guess that’s it. But goddammit I’m sick of going nowhere. I’m capable of so much more than treading water in a swirling ocean of confusing options that don’t make complete sense.
But something throws a punch at me from the left. I tumble into uncertainty, into the depths of “this is all there is for you” and “don’t bother trying when you won’t make it anyway.” I punch back, miss, and try to duck another oncoming blow. I’m hit with “everything sucks.” I sidestep in an attempt to evade more damage but I’m weak, exhausted, and although I usually refuse to admit it, dizzy. And then from the right, the dramatic ending to the fight scene, “you’re fucking fat.” One, two, three. Down for the count. And all of that violence taking place within the confines of my all-or-nothing, one or the other, reactive, ridiculous bipolar brain. How many wars am I expected to win?
Unless it’s just me seeking out trouble. Marching into battle, one after another, because well. What the fuck else am I supposed to do with myself? Live a normal life? Like a normal person? How does one even accomplish that, particularly without even knowing what it means?
I’m should really eat dinner.
But I’m “restricting.” Yuck. I absolutely HATE “treatment words.” I guess because I’m (supposed to be) so far removed from them. Been there, done that, used them, moved on. But have I?
Ughhhh. Fucking YES, I fucking HAVE. Or I fucking had? Why. Why is this shit barging into my life right now? I hate myself for letting it and I hate myself for almost wanting to let it. How. How could I have come so far, so far, to basically invite this monster of a disorder back into my life. And honestly? How dare it just waltz the fuck back in here as if I didn’t rip out its heart and crush the thing to dust?
It cannot possibly be because I’ve gained weight this year. Because, oh hey, that’s what human beings do. And that’s perfectly okay. And I actually didn’t mind my body, this awesome thing that carries me around and lets me experience life and houses my consciousness and every part of who I am, about a month ago. Not to mention I know so much better than to equate anything about who I am with what I weigh. I’m pretty fuckin’ awesome.
I block a disfigured fist from knocking the wind out of me. I lean away from another as it tries to catch me off guard. But I use that momentum to swing back, full-force, with “I don’t have to do this.” BAM! I land another punch, make full contact with the thing’s face. And in a moment of adrenaline-fueled bravery, I kick the motherfucker between the legs and it drops to its knees and folds into a defeated, self-mutilated fetal position.
“Know your place.” I don’t shout it, but the ferocity in my voice doesn’t require backup.
I’m hungry. I’m gonna go have a fucking snack.