“Time’s a slut, she screws with everyone.”
My brain is disorganised, disorientated, disturbed and many other “dis-” words. I am melting to the couch and my mind is fighting hard to combat thoughts such as “Why the hell did you just eat lunch?!”, “How could you have been so greedy?!”, “You’re going to gain weight”, “Go and throw up like you used to, quick!”.
I have reasonable thoughts, I keep telling myself, “If you want to go back to taiwan, if you want to live a life where you aren’t just worrying about everything you put in your mouth, if you don’t want to feel suicidal when you eat then you’ve done the right thing, eating is ok. Everyone needs to eat. Eating = life, after all.” But my mind can’t wrap itself around the concept. “Surely you are different. Surely it’s everyone else that needs to eat, not you. You can be fine and be skinny and boney and happy, all if you just lose a teensy bit of weight. No big deal, right?”
Wrong. I know it, you know, deep down everyone knows being underweight (especially those of us who’ve been drowning in the depths of this same ocean before) is not indicative of happiness. Far from it. So why do I still want to do this? Why is my mind screaming at me because of what I just did — the sin of eating lunch when you also ate breakfast.
Today it is 44ºC (for the metrically challenged that’s 111ºF). I had a dietician’s appointment. I knew I’d lost weight (I weigh myself every day — usually twice daily) and I was nervous. I’d lost weight and I was happy that I’d lost weight and that is soul reason why I was nervous. I’m not supposed to be losing weight. I’m supposed to be sticking to my meal plan. The day was not looking promising. Lose weight, feel bad. Maintain weight, feel bad. We won’t even go into gaining. But it wasn’t even a debate, I knew I’d lost weight. When I saw my psychiatrist the afternoon previous she had weighed me. I, that morning had weighed myself. I knew.
I made my trek through the heat and into the confined but air-conditioned consulting suites of the medical centre. Needless to say the dietician was not impressed. We discussed the pros and cons of recovery. I know clearly what they are. I know that I want to go back to taiwan and continue my studies and I want to be free of the worry and endless anxiety that food causes me… but I can’t let go of the weight. She asks me why I’m not taking advantage of the support systems that everyone has put in place. “I don’t know“ I groan. “I know that losing weight isn’t going to make me happy. I know all this stuff you are telling me but I still can’t get past the fact that I don’t want to gain any weight. In fact, I don’t even want to maintain my weight, and I don’t know why.” I stop. I feel like it’s pointless. How can you tell someone that you fully understand you’re throwing your life away and you hate that fact, but at the same time you are fully invested in that very thing: throwing your life away. I was not, in fact, invested in throwing my life away (this was only vicarious), I was just so hell bent on losing weight, and I couldn’t seem to stop that. When you’re in that headspace you don’t want any “help” because that will just jeopardise your goal: to lose more weight.
She tried to make me promise, as I was leaving, to stick to my meal plan today. To go home and make up for morning tea. To go home and eat lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper. I told her I couldn’t say yes because I could not and do not lie. I told her I couldn’t make that promise because there was a huge chance that I just wouldn’t be able to do it. She said she’d leave me with the discomfort of my position. I felt sorry.
I melted my way to the bus stop in the heat and thought about what I could do. I could maybe have a coffee? I don’t know. At the train station I ordered a skinny cappuccino and drank maybe half, if we’re being generous. I couldn’t finish it. The thought of finishing anything at the point made me feel a huge discomfort.
After the 1/2 skinny cappuccino, after the train, after the bus and a discussion informing a fellow passenger on the meaning of the Chinese on his t-shirt (Long live chairman Mao, may his road of revolution be smooth), I did eventually get home. I did eventually eat. I ate lunch. This is what puts me in my current predicament. Do I eat afternoon tea? Can I live with myself if I do? Can I bear the thoughts? Can I even bear the fact that I just had my lunch? I’m tied, I’m melting, I’m wishing that I could just.fucking.lose.weight.