I’ve recently come to realize some things about myself.
- I once could fast for 4 or 5 days straight. I would get a little tired, but I managed just fine. Now, by day 2 I’m exhausted and so beyond hungry that I’m in pain. I’m just finishing day 2 of my “punishment fast” and I dread work tomorrow. I know that day 3 will be torture, and day 4 is going to be terrifying. I’m not shaking or dizzy. I rarely feel either unless I stand up quickly. Since these are the hallmarks of starvation, the nagging voice tells me I must be doing something wrong. I must be faking or not restricting enough.
- My mind cannot wrap itself around zero and almost-zero calorie foods. Strictly speaking of caloric intake, I should be fine with these foods. Cauliflower and mustard are so low in calories that eating them shouldn’t make me panic. I thought these were my safe foods. Which leads me to number 3.
- Safe foods. I once had a list of foods I deemed safe. Things I could eat large quantities of without worrying about weight gain. Evidently I no longer have safe foods. I panic when I think about eating a pickle or an olive. Constantly asking myself how much fat this will add to my body. I’ve gotten to where eating anything terrifies me.
- Shopping. Specifically, grocery shopping. I didn’t know how neurotic my shopping behaviours had become until I took my father shopping with me. Some of this is related to my OCD. I have a set pattern in the store and deviating from that makes me confused, lost, and panicked. But I also read every single label, looking at both calories and ingredients. I tried to be discreet while doing this, but with someone constantly watching you, it becomes nearly impossible. “Did he notice that everything I bought was low-calorie?” “Did he see me read the label of that jelly?” I worried that he would notice me comparing serving size to calorie count. About half way through shopping, I became so overwhelmed that I just wanted to skip shopping altogether. I already knew that I spend hours shopping because I have to read the labels. I also constantly talk myself out of buying this or that because 100 calories for a single serving is impossibly high. These things are difficult to hide with someone watching. I guess I didn’t realize it had gotten that extreme. Fortunately I can claim the excuse of expense. “I can’t afford that.” Works at hiding my neurotic behaviours.
- Drugs, or marijuana. Anytime I have had to go without for more than a day, I slip into a deep depression. Previously, I went without due to lack of bud. This time is different. I am forcing myself not to smoke because I don’t deserve to smoke. I have become reliant on the calming properties to keep my suicidal tendencies at bay. It also quiets the angry voice in my head telling me I’m disgusting.
- It occurred to me that by allowing the voice to take back the lead, by not getting high, I am forcing my eating disorder to get me back on track. I became too relaxed. I would get stoned and then snack. I snacked on approved foods, mostly (chicken nuggets or fries are still my drugged out crave). Sure, it might have only been a single pound gained, but if I continue that path, it’s another and another and then a few more pounds.
I can’t stress this enough, I didn’t realize I had gotten this bad. I didn’t think my behaviours had changed that much. I was wrong.