that’s what I’m doing.
it’s a gentle sway
between omnipotence and madness
and you know it;
clockmaster winding me up
while the seconds run me down.
tock, tick, tick, tock,
a pendulum dancing,
attracted and repelled.
Good Lord, I’m doing it again.
I stopped counting calories awhile ago, and by that, I mean that I stopped obsessing over the number, keeping meticulous journal and iphone records. Instead, I fell into a sort of guesstimating pattern that hasn’t really been guesstimating. I eat three times a day, eyeballing appropriate portions, not giving too much anxiety whether I fall a little short or go slightly over. That’s good. But I do have a number in my head, under times of stress, within which I prefer to keep said meals.
I must be stressed.
I recently began toeing a dangerous line, substituting an (albeit large) freshly pressed juice for a daily meal, usually lunch or dinner. Okay, that in itself wouldn’t be so bad, if I weren’t already substituting a protein shake for breakfast. Even worse, now I’ve begun restricting the third and final allotted meal, keeping it within the tight confines of said number. The measuring cups have made their return; the meal is painfully simple. Shit. Shit.
I’m sitting here at close to midnight, feeling like shit and having anxiety about eating after 7pm. Did I mention that is another hard and fast rule? So I won’t, can’t, put something in my body at this hour, not even fruit, which used to be okay until school started and I “realized” I needed to perform a biannual detox for 30 days, aka: no sugar, and the lowest amount of carbs I can manage. And boy, can I manage that. MotherFUCKER. What am I doing??
The thing is that although my rational brain is challenging all this, the anxiety wins out every stinkin time. Oh, I can eat something, but not without being consumed by guilt and self-loathing. And that just isn’t worth it.
You know, I really wonder when this will all finally kill me. Is that my subconscious aim? A slow suicide, without the spiritual conundrum of completing the act in swiftness? I don’t have the stomach for that. Isn’t this the same thing, though? I just can’t help it. I have many methods, nearly all unhealthy, to combat the endless well of pain, trauma, loneliness, depression, fear, and anxiety that seems to rise up through every cell of my being. Only Christ has been the healthy choice, and I forsake Him in this blind and selfish pursuit. Instead, I starve myself, and purge my body of perceived impurity. I rely on others for validation. I deaden myself, because I don’t want others to be able to reject me first, which of course they would if only they saw what lies thinly beneath. And they would, easily, upon second glance.
The funny part is that I am on a quest toward health. Or is it perfection? Argh. I just need fucking balance.
In 2008, I was diagnosed as bipolar II. This came after the hospitalization for anorexia, and along with it came myriad other diagnoses: OCD, ADD, PTSD, personality and panic disorder. I cried for a week. Of all these labels, the bipolar was the most painful. It was my benchmark for crazy.
I was able to get off the 10 high-powered psychiatric medications two and a half years later. I can’t say that I am cured, but I don’t feel numbed anymore, although I must admit that restrictive eating patterns has definitely functioned as another method. After extensive experimentation, I’ve been able to somewhat control my symptoms with a combination of supplements, including L-Tyrosine and GABA. Still, I am not, and will probably never, function as an individual without bipolar. I’ve rejected this label, and openly. I’ve preferred to pretend that it does not exist and this is just who I am. And it is. I have long felt that the pharmaceuticals were part of rejecting my fundamental self, but I do see the value in increasing my quality of living, thinking, and feeling: my life experience. Stress worsens all my symptoms, crippling depression being the most notable.
I just got off the phone with my ex. We have been keeping regular contact, and I’ve slowly began letting him in. I’m not sure if that is wise or unwise. Our conversations have been pleasant, but today, we found ourselves frustrated, voices raised. I thought about what had triggered that.
He told me that my depression was difficult for him to deal with, and that he wished I would be more optimistic. Of course I understand that, but it immediately sounded in my head that if I am ever depressed, he can’t be there for me; and my past experience led me to think about how he reacted to it before, by escaping into the world of online dating profiles and Craigslist sex ads, and how that affected me: very, very badly. I don’t think that’s what he meant, but my sensitive, very low self-esteem translated it into that. The thing is, I can’t promise to never be depressed. If the past is a likely indicator of the future, a depressed state is something I will be fighting for… awhile. I am already under enough pressure to be perfect, from myself. This facade is hard enough to maintain without being compounded by someone else’s expectations.
I am a manic depressive. I know this, although I will only admit it here. I am more on the depressive side, but I can be captivated into the highs by things like the promise of love. Then the dopamine flows, and I find myself even more lovable. Buying nice things, and other novel experiences, can trigger hypomania as well, but new love is easily the most obvious method for me.
My brain is wired differently. It always has been, and always will be. It’s what makes me both so special and so cursed; creative, sensitive, unique, gifted, talented, restless, depressed, suicidal. Balance. Balance, is what I need most. Consistency. Love, both from others, and from myself. I have two parents, but emotionally, I was orphaned long ago. It is very difficult to avoid seeking it from external sources, and marching to the beat of a different drum has made it even more difficult to find in the first place. Actually, it’s made it easier to find, at least initially. To maintain; ah, there is the rub.
Motherfucker!! As if quitting smoking weren’t hard enough, how could I have neglected to consider the gravitas of this situation: the GODDAMNED WEIGHT GAIN?
For months, I’ve been waxing poetic about how I am trying to recover from anorexia. And I am. And I realize that no one ever said it would be easy.
So, as I’ve written, I’m about 3.5 weeks into inadvertently quitting tobacco. Yay me. Ugh. Not only have I had to weather an onset of even worse depression, anxiety, derealization/depersonalization, and suicidal thoughts (how is it possible these things could get worse?), but now I have to fucking accept that I will be gaining weight without permission. That is to say, without changing my eating habits or increasing my caloric intake. I’m still eating the same five foods (my safe list has dwindled), well under my caloric requirements, and I’ve still gained a couple pounds. Okay, that sounds ridiculous, but it’s equally ridiculous to me that I’ve put on anything. I want this, I hate this, I want this, I hate this. That’s about a half pound a week without trying. Maybe it’s water weight. Just maybe. Maybe it’s temporary. Maybe I need it. Maybe it’s only one pound and I’m going crazy because I’m still OCD about it all and I don’t want to be. Maybe this is ridiculous because especially I realize that weight varies day to day. Maybe I read about the average weight gain and it’s blown up in my mind; the possibility. Because, what happens next if I actually try to eat to my caloric needs?
The weird part is that I’m attracting significantly more male attention. Wut. Maybe that’s because I’m actually foraying into public more, but I feel confident it’s the extra poundage. I don’t know how I feel about this. I’ve said before that the transformation of my body from a pre-pubescent’s into a woman’s is fucked up and terrifying. Now it’s being validated. And I’m scared.
I read that those quitting tobacco gain an average of 4-7 pounds. So far, I am below that. But it hasn’t even been a month. I can’t afford to restrict down anymore; not if I want to continue to partially function, or give the false impression of fully functioning on a severely part time basis.
I don’t know how to handle this.
So, I am in my third week as a non-smoker. Before you congratulate me, know that I didn’t exactly choose to quit, at least not initially. I woke up with a terrible stomach flu, and only puking prevented me from indulging in my hand-rolled cigarettes. That, and the overwhelming desire to stay in bed. After two days of that, I thought about my situation logically. I’d already ridden out two awful days with tobacco, and I’d been passively planning to quit since… the last time I quit, a year ago. It seemed like a perfect set-up.
And now, here I sit, my neurotransmitters just depleted and beat and wholly unbalanced, and I am super depressed. Not only do I feel empty, but I’ve been unable to ignore the return of my old friends Derealization and Depersonalization. The last time I experienced these disturbing sensations, I had quit cigarettes cold turkey… along with a handful of powerful psychiatric drugs. It’s safe to say that this go-around shouldn’t be as painfully mindblowing as that one, but still.
Luckily, I am slightly more prepared this time, even though I feel so low that it’s hard to care. It’s hard to want to even live, except that I know that this will pass. I’d like to hope it will blow over in, say, three months, but from experience, I know it could take closer to a year or more. Blast. I will be picking up tyrosine, 5HTP, lecithin, and a good B complex this afternoon. I already have a brand new bottle of GABA, which helps me a lot with anxiety and sleep.
All I’ve got to do is survive this.
This will easily be the most vile thing I write about.
I’m fairly certain my stepfather is in love with me.
My mom remarried when I was in my first years of college, and I have always liked my stepfather. He has been a great support to the family, and to me personally. He helped me move and has fixed my car countless times. He helps take care of my grandfather, and my family loves him. I love him, too.
It just gets all fucked up and confused when I look at him through that uncomfortable lens. I moved back home last year. He and my mother have separate rooms, and he tells me how they never have sex. He has made countless innuendos toward me, some of them overt. Most just leave me sick and wondering if my gut feeling is real (isn’t it usually?) or if I am just being paranoid. All I know is that I feel fearful and uncomfortable when I am alone with him, and terrified he might be drunk or stupid enough to fuck up all of our lives by making any kind of move on me. I make a conscious effort to deter that possibility with the way I act and dress. I don’t remember the last time I wasn’t covered from neck to toes at home. I see all the confident girls walking around in miniskirts and crop tops and heels, with heels and makeup, and I could never do that around him. I love to dress well, and I did indulge when I was on the east coast, but then I come home and revert to frumpy polychromaticmadam because I don’t want to encourage thoughts. I don’t paint my nails, and try to refrain from even having my hair down around him. Because he tells me that he has “fucked up thoughts” and “fucked up dreams” but won’t disclose them, and being the self-centered betch I am, I feel certain they have to do with me. Maybe it’s the look in his eye, or his posture, I don’t know what it is, but it makes me want to run far, far away. When he gets like that, I can’t even make eye contact with him and just silently pray he will stop ASAP so we can go back to the paradigm where he is a father figure.
I want to talk to my mom about this, again. Both she and my father know, as well as past therapists. But nothing changes. I don’t think they realize how anxious and depressed it makes me every day. How I am fearful to appear as a woman, at all desirable, in my own house. How it makes me pensively anticipate possible situations I might have to navigate. I know I need to gather the guts to confront him. I just have no idea where I’d start, or what I’d say to him. Something along the lines of “Don’t ever make comments like that; it will never, ever happen; you make me want to kill myself.”
It’s fucking disgusting, and I hate it. Or am I crazy, and all this is in my head? I feel certain it is not, but I want it to be at the same time so I don’t have to face it. Because it’s awful. Hopefully, I will be able to move out in a year or so. Until then, I will continue to avoid putting myself in a situation where I am alone with him, but you know what? That’s not always possible and no one thinks anything of it except me. Because he is supposed to be my DAD.