Knock On Wood: Keeping Commitments (Dear Cookie Monster)

Knock On Wood: Keeping Commitments

Dear All,

I (Twenty-Three, Age 23) am not happy about what just happened (a binge – way to jinx myself).

A lot happened today, though, so I’m attempting to put aside regret and disgust and panic and sadness and anxiety for the moment. 

Sort of. 

The food couldn’t stuff it down, it’s just pressed it altogether and the pressure is building and everything is now on the verge of exploding.

Fun times.

Anyway, you (Ana, 25 years old) wanted a tip from me about how I navigated the world at my age.

I celebrated my 23rd birthday in a deep depression after having to leave school and losing a lot of friends after a manic and psychotic episode. 

I pulled myself out from the depths by keeping myself so busy I didn’t have time to think. It just stuffed everything down, which isn’t healthy, but I really needed this at the time. I just couldn’t think at all or else I would have lost my mind again. 

There were a few things that made this possible:

First, not throwing up no matter what finally made that messy 6 years of bulimia end.

Please don’t let me jinx myself again. It’s been 2 years (and 3 sober!), but you never know. *Knock on wood*

That was what made my comeback possible. I ate a ton, sort of like when you (25) first moved out here a few months ago, but I always kept it down even if it was on the verge of bursting forth – like breathe too deep and I would yak all over my shoes, that much on the verge. 

All the eating disorder treatment centers and doctors and therapists said everything would even out if you just stop purging because that perpetuates a viscous cycle.

Haha, very funny.

I can still want to binge even if I am on the verge of puking because I’ve eaten so much. I used to purge in the middle of binges so I could keep eating. There really is no stopping this thing. Right now, even though I’m stuffed, I just want more food. I want everything.

If I stop purging, I just eliminate any way to get rid of the food, so it piles onto my body making me swell up like a balloon. It doesn’t even out.

If anything, it gets worse because seeing myself get bigger and feeling powerless/trapped/panicky makes me want to binge more.

The only times I’ve consistently not binged were when I took drugs for that. Each time, they worked for about 6 months, which were the most glorious times of my life (according to selective memories, obviously). Too good to last.

I could just think and live without the constant buzz of food in my head. 

So, bingeing probably is going away never since I won’t take drugs for that anymore.

I’m probably (definitely) just being overly pessimistic because I just binged. I’m filtering out bad memories from taking drugs and good memories (there are a lot) that would disprove the above because I like to throw pity parties and feel sorry for myself. 

Reality: Taking drugs was horrible. The brief windows of genuine awakeness when I’m not bingeing, either, have been more incredible than any high I’ve ever experienced.

Despite now being “fat” by my standards, I am so grateful for my (and your) commitment to keeping that promise I made to myself.

Being “fat” and having a shot at life (which I so far have squandered for the most part) is so much better than being “skinny” and “pretty” while locked up in a treatment center.

Another thing that helped was showing up no matter what.

Even if I just binged and was on the verge of puking, I would still follow through with my commitments.

I dreaded working at the school and since it started in the afternoon (unlike the restaurant job which started in the morning), which gave me plenty of time to work myself up into a nervous wreck and binge before I left. Chasing after small children while fighting down vomit is one of the least fun things ever.

That made me not back out of commitments, which is something I’m notorious for doing at the last minute.

Even though it was grueling at times, keeping commitments gave me a deep sense of satisfaction because I was finally living by my values.

I have never broken a commitment or a promise without feeling horrible and ashamed (my parents helped with that, too – totally understandable since it was super annoying). 

I didn’t want to flake, but I just couldn’t bear to go through with things, even if it was as “simple” as going to a baseball game or something (crowds, loud noise, feeling trapped in the stands – very simple for most people). 

I can’t think of anything else or how to transition this into an ending. I (and you) just don’t want to shower and go to bed

I don’t know why those things scare me (and you) sometimes, but they do.

I just don’t want it to be tomorrow. I don’t like that job. I got offered a new job today (hence the binge), a perfect job (with high schoolers – not tiny children! And doing something entirely different! I’ll get to write a TON!) …but it’s in a different country and in the middle of no where (more so than where I am now).

Why can’t that other job just be here?

Why can’t I just have my way all the time? Why doesn’t everyone bend over backwards to make my life perfect and peachy? 

What’s that – because the world doesn’t revolve around me? Oh, yeah, that’s right.

Poor little me, boohoo.

It’s 1am (now 2am, just checking for typos – autocorrect and tiny touch keyboard and all that jazz), I’ve gotten too little sleep for the past few days, and wanted to be in bed by 9pm. I have to get up at 6am

Whoo, poor life choices.

Ok, that’s all for now. I’m pretty sure that was all you Ana (25) complaining at the end. 

Don’t put words in my mouth. 

And go to bed.

Twenty-Three (23 years old)


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