Bad Day Conversation


Inner Voice: Thought it would be so easy, didn’t ya?! Thought you could just NOT do something. Sounds like the same person who though “Oh, I’ll just NOT eat so much” or “Oh, I’ll just NOT be sad anymore.”

Me: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Inner Voice: Wait, do you not feel bad about yourself? Didn’t you have more than one bowl of cereal this morning? Didn’t you eat two servings of cookies AND PEANUT BUTTER last night? Didn’t you not go to the gym this morning? Don’t you feel disgusting? Don’t you hate yourself?

Me: I mean… no. Everything you said was true. I don’t feel great about eating more than I needed last night, but it happens, and I haven’t been eating quite enough while A’s gone anyway. And cereal schmereal. I’ll get over it. I’m not going to let you make me feel shitty about myself when I’m doing well. I’m not going to let you take my successes away from me. So please, if you wouldn’t mind, just shut up.

Inner Voice: Hey, no! I have a lot of things to say! I love to talk to you! I keep you busy!

Me: I mean, yeah, but it’s tiring so stop.

Inner Voice: Fuck you.

Me: Fuck you too. And checking her Facebook once a day is already an improvement. See ya later, asshole!

Treatment Options for Binge Eating Disorder

This is amazing. I 100% support everything written here, and I have used many of these tools in my (pretty much complete? Eek!) recovery.

Dear Bee

Question from a lovely reader this morning: 

I was wondering what the treatment options are for Binge Eating Disorder. Obviously there are different severities of the disorder and different treatments needed for different people on a case-by-case basis, but I was wondering if maybe you could summarize some of the options out there for some of us.

Basically what I’m saying is, I have Binge Eating Disorder, and it is currently running and ruining my life. I really really need help but I want to know what I’m in for. Is inpatient a thing that happens with BED, ever? Is it usually therapy? What goes on for a typical patient, what is considered “severe,” etc…. I don’t know if there’s one good question in there to answer, but I’m really hoping you might have a bit of input, given that you are a) in recovery and b) on your way…

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Honesty. I binged tonight. I never really binge anymore, but when A goes away to Army, it happens. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. So here I am, taking control of what happened, and owning it for all of you. (I’m gonna get real with everything I ate today, with est. calories, so please don’t read if you don’t want to)

Breakfast:  2.5 bowls Barbara’s Shredded Cereal with lowfat milk (470)

Lunch: 2 eggs w/ cheese (200), kale and spinach (50), pretzels and hummus (250)

Dinner: Chips, cheese, salsa, spinach (250), Apple and PB (300)

Binge: Back to Nature mint cookies (680), ice cream (250), PB (200), choc syrup (200)

That is a total today of: 2600.

Worse has happened. Worse has certainly happened. But I’m disappointed. And I’m here, accountable.

Thanks for being out there, somewhere, knowing I’m okay, and knowing I’m honest.

Hot Air and Cold Air

Days have been long lately.

The weather is volatile– the sky’s the pent-up energy and rage blackens bright summer mornings and spits angry showers onto sticky sidewalks. We become a people of preparation, carrying sunglasses alongside our umbrellas, flip flops wrapped in raincoats and stuffed into backpacks.

Evenings we blast the A/C, attempting to cut through the moist air that hangs damp and still throughout our three rooms. The apartment has been sitting, shut up tight all day long, and the air seems to fester and sweat like we do on the sidewalks. We haven’t topped 85 degrees in a week or so, but the air is still pregnant with moisture, and even in the mildest temperatures, feels thick and unbearable.

It feels as though my body has sucked that moisture right out of the air, swelling my fingers and stomach and arms. I feel bloated and full, and whatever my body has absorbed sits, just like the air in my apartment, heavy and full and completely stagnant. I stumble through my days, out of bed covered in sweat, alternating between blasting my wet hair with the hot air from the dryer and standing, arms out, in front of the air conditioner. I while away the dark hours, when the sky clouds up, in the office alone, waiting for my boss to arrive. He often doesn’t. I stagnate with the air, sitting invisibly behind the desk, dimly lit by the lamp and the computer screen. Event to event, many events lately, hair sticking to the back of my neck, face shining with the pinpricks of sweat at my temples. Self-consciously flipping it from side to side, lifting it restlessly from my shoulder and shaking it, as if to somehow get the air around me moving. The nervous wipe under the eyes, persistently, if not successfully, attempting to staunch my eyeliner’s endless pull from its place on my lids to the caverns under my eyes.

The thickness of the air seems to separate us, somehow, as though we’re all moving on our own lily pads in the great swamp of the city, bumping each other perhaps, but not overlapping. It seems to take hours for a sentence to pass from someone’s lips to my ear, and another eternity to be processed by my brain. Everything appears warped, like wood panels left out in the rain. Sound, sights, thoughts– all bend their way from place to place, never quite arriving at their destination fully formed. Nothing feels sharp.

I long for that sharpness, in a way. The sharpness of hunger, perhaps. Also the sharpness of the burn in my ears and nose and fingers when I stumble into my apartment from the snow-whipped streets of the city. Clarity.

Summer, for me, inherently lacks sharpness. I plod. My mouth hangs lazily open and touch feels heavy and unwanted. I imagine scraping myself, inside and out, of the heavy air that inflates every cell. I slough it off with the metal scraper my mother had in her kitchen, which we used for Play-Doh creations. I finish off with a rough scrup from a loofah, dry and slightly painful. I radiate, red with irritation, but feeling present and alive. The fantasy ends when I inevitably imagine myself filling back up, skin and organs and fluids regenerating, sucking the water that hangs plentifully in the summer air.

So I plod on, sunny mornings through stormy afternoons through muggy nights. I continue to bloat, full of moisture and hot, wet air. I keep moving, and I hope that eventually I’ll pick up enough speed to blast through, cold and sharp, like the air from the city pumped through our old A/C, reappearing in the kitchen with fresh, clean life.

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Don’t Mean to Disturb

But what I really need is for some of you virtual friends to tell me I’m not crazy. To tell me I’m not insane for thinking I’m fat and worthless. To tell me I’m not looney tunes for second guessing my every move. To tell me that fucking up is an everyday thing. To reassure me that the shape/size/weight I am does not determine my abilities…. although I may not ever believe that.

Please? Can you do that for me?

Pins and Needles

My last post didn’t post… grrr WordPress. This has happened before and it’s the most annoying.

So. I’m back in the city till Thursday afternoon, when we reconvene in NJ to continue the run of the show. Opening night was last Saturday (all of this was in my last post, blerg), and it was great. The development producers loved it, the subscribers loved it, the casting director who gave me her card (!) loved it… All is well. It’s weird not doing the show at the moment, but it’s okay to be back in the city.

I can’t stop binging, though. Part of it is definitely that I’m on my period, but I have just been eating too, too, too much. It’s not crazy, out of control binging to death levels, but I am eating everything in the house. I only needed to supply myself enough food for a few days, but each day, I’ve eaten all of it. What the fuck? Part of the problem is that I’m way too focused on my weight right now. I need to calm the fuck down. Easier said than done, obviously.

Went to the doc on Monday and she told me flat-out what my BMI was and that it was “perfect.” Which truly did make me feel good… but also not good enough. I really enjoyed being called “healthy” by this doctor, but it didn’t change my currently obsessive desire to lose about 15 pounds. And like THAT is gonna happen anytime soon. Shit.

Anyway, many critics have come to the show so far, but we’ve only gotten one review, from the NJ Star-Ledger. The New York Times came on Sunday, so I am literally googling my name every hour like an asshole just WAITING for it to show. For some reason I’m not nervous… (I don’t think I’d be singled out as bad)… I just want to SEE it.

The first review, though, was a rave. And in particular about my performance.

“And [my character] is marvelously portrayed by B. She can give a sharp retort when it’s called for, but she’d just as soon be nice to everyone. To watch B try to maintain her composure when events conspire against [my character] makes for a heartbreaking performance.

[Director], [Playwright] and all the characters make clear how much they admire [my character]. So will many who make their way to [the show].”

So THAT feels good.

Hold onto that, B, hold onto that.

you are enough.

Form and Shape

Just a warning… this isn’t a positive message about my body. Don’t read it if you don’t want. Just FYI.

I miss the way my stomach felt taut under my hands when I ran them up lightly across the skin. It felt pure and simple, just the necessities. None of the soft fleshiness I feel now, the rounded corners and the creases and curves. It sounds so stupid, so cliché, so ED, but there was something so very comforting about being pared down to the essence of a body shape, skin and muscle over bone. Now I feel this extra, this unnecessary, these parts that move and shift and don’t cling tight and taut.

Sometimes when I run my hands over my stomach now and there is much to grab and ply. I wrap my legs around each other and soft, plush parts press and rub, expand and spread. I miss the way my body seemed and felt aerodynamic, how every movement felt defined and clean. Now I wobble, I rub, parts bounce and  flop.

There is no way to get back to there in the way I want it to. My brain flies to that summer away, the way those round parts melted slowly into a person-shaped person. But I can’t go back to that, and I shouldn’t go back to that. Aching for it breaks my heart, and just makes each moment worse. I am trying to love myself, trying to allow the shifts in shape and the roundness in my flesh, but I yearn for that lithe body. I yearn for that feeling of purity, self-sufficiency, solidity. There was something about feeling like that, looking like that, that let me off the hook. No one thought “oh, she should be thinner to fit her type,” “why is she eating all that?” or “that girl is not thin.” I could eat, and be, and cut myself some slack because I was in a perfect form—no excess, no mistakes.

Now, I feel like every failing, every error, every slight, every part I don’t get, every calorie I put into my mouth, every bad feeling that washes over me is digested and sticks, gummy, to my thighs, to my stomach, to my arms, my hips. I am covered in the thick, viscous fat of sadness, of self-hatred, of loneliness, of anger. I want to shave it off, even if it’s bloody and foul, and strip myself of those feelings that feed on me and grow fat and full of fluid.

It’s not what I should want, it’s not what I want to want, but I do. I want to be a body without extra, without bits that bulge out, the fat that drips with “I am flawed and imperfect and unrestrained and emotional.” I want a body that  is nothing more than the physical pieces it takes to stand, to move, to sleep.