A Dichotomy of Being

I'm having a very dichotomous day. Parts of it were really good- someone bought one of my pieces of jewelry (you know who you are, and it's in the mail!), and parts of it have left me simply quiet and confused.

I'm hormonal right now. More hormonal than usual. I know it's PMS, but when I scarf down half a bag of chips (the salty cravings are a dead giveaway, by the way. Usually it's chocolate and gummi bears. I never said it made sense.), I feel horribly, wretchedly guilty. Fat.

My jeans feel tighter. I don't think they can be, but they feel tighter. Why couldn't I binge on...I don't know...lettuce. Carrots. Celery. Something more virtuous.

It goes without saying that chips are bad and evil.

I want to "be strong." To "get with the program." To go back to those days when I was thin and strong and people wanted to be just like me. Look like me. When they always commented on how tiny I was.

Now I just feel so ordinary. Like any other of the billions of women out there craving things during PMS. I feel that people are watching me, watching my body, passing judgement. Thighs? Too large. Hips? Too curvy. Stomach? Not flat enough. Just me, just parts of me that can never quite add up.

I wish I didn't hunger for things. I don't want to want things, but I don't know how NOT to.

I am incredibly frustrated. Why did I eat those things if I knew they would make me feel like crap?

Because, oh, right- I was hungry.

That hungry? Hungry enough? Full? Too full?

Better be too hungry than too full.

That is a maxim with which I am all too familiar. I hear Ed in my head telling me "Tomorrow you will be virtuous. Tomorrow I will help you be strong."

Foods have become equivalent with morality. If you eat only salads, you're "good." Chocolate is a sin, an indulgence, something you should feel guilty about. No one ever says "Lettuce- that secret indulgence." They say that about chocolate, though. It makes me feel weak for eating those things, weak for wanting those things.

I guess Oscar Wilde said it best: I can resist everything except temptation.

I don't want to judge myself based on a post-dinner nosh. Yet I do. I feel the world judging me. I know most of the world rightly doesn't give a shit. But other people- they admire anorexia. Wow. Imagine someone so strong she doesn't even eat her own birthday cake. Someone so strong she nearly starves to death. Someone so strong even the people at the gym think she's a devoted fitness nut.

I'm not that dense- it's like admiring someone's figure after they had chemo and lost all this weight (and hair!). Nice going there, buddy. I know there are good things to be had in recovery and that I am finding them. But there's also this part I'm giving up. The part of delusional self-confidence. My thinness trump card. My life might be shit, but hey, I'm thin. Say whatever you want about me, I'm thin. I eat less, I exercise more, I'm thinner than you. Eating means that all of those anxieties (am I good enough, perfect enough?) come flying back in my face. I want to feel at peace with myself. I don't need to look in the mirror and think "yay." But it'd be nice to look in the mirror and at least not want to cry. Or look in the mirror at all.

It's hard for me to admit this, when I have a new book on eating disorders coming out in July. And it's a self-help book to boot. What a role model I am, huh? I know I wasn't expected to be perfect when I signed the contract. That was not one of the little paragraph whatsits that was in there. I can go and speak in front of audiences and give them reassurances and actually mean it. I'm very rarely completely full of shit. But then there are the darker moments like these when I begin to realize the monumental task I have undertaken, and begin to wonder whether I can really make it. It would be easier to stop here. Say, "good enough," and move on. I don't think I want that, and so I push forward.

As long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you'll eventually get somewhere.

(Thanks, E, for that thought.)

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Faith said...

Thank you again. You have said what I feel. Also, just because you have a new book coming out doesn't mean you can't struggle. It makes you human to the rest of us struggling. However good or bad that might feel...

mary said...

Ironically I came to the computer with a bag of chips in my hand and even your declaration that they are evil didn't scare me. They are tasty and gave me a little bit of sunflower oil...Lay's..and they happen to be lightly salted for my hub's BP.
My mom gave them up for a year...her favorite snack on earth, thinking she'd slim down or at least stop gaining. All she lost was a year. She won't do THAT one again but recently she said she was going to stop using cream....same idea but years later. I reminded her of the chip experiment and we both laughed. Then I suggested she enjoy her later years, paint pictures, and buy a flippin moo moo. Honestly, we take ourselves way too seriously and having PMS or even having hormones at all will mean that there will always be days like this. I felt like crap yesterday! Teary and alone. Today I feel a whole lot better. I am emotional because I feel all my feelings so well.
Now I'm laughing cause someone came along to take a chip from the now empty bag.[It was only a little bit left but I finished it] Call it moody but it's okay to feel your feelings and then move on no matter how ugly it feels or looks to others. It would be great if we were always at peace BUT we are a wee bit more complicated than that, which makes for a very interesting ride. No one wants you to anything more than human and if you can define ordinary then please try. You are very special to me!

samsi77 said...

Carrie, I know that this is an ongoing struggle for you and I am glad that you are using your place to openly share, vent and not keep it all stuffed inside. First of all, there is nothing about you that is "ORDINARY" you my dear are extremely "EXTRAordinary" and I mean that. It sounds like you are stuck in a place where there are only dichotomies (bad spelling) black and white, thin or fat, ordinary or anorexic and that ED is acting as a barrier towards you seeing how talented and gifted you are and the accomplishments that you are attaining by being Carrie. For example you started this entry by sharing that you sold a piece of jewelery, that is very much a part of who you are and your recovery identity. I do not believe and i hope that others would not that you need to be perfect, "cured" "fixed" or "recovered" because you have a book coming out. You are an expert, you have the battle wounds and track record to prove it, you just keep working and doing your best to combat ED each and every day and that will show everyone the real Carrie! I am right here by your side, Carrie's side that is "FORK OFF ED".

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's perfectly okay to be feeling down, pissy, regressive, whatever you want to call it. It happens. It doesn't mean it'll last forever but it doesn't mean you should feel ashamed of it when it happens. It's not hypocritical, either. It's all a part of recovery - that longing for the person you once were. Somewhere down the line, we romanticize the time we were at our sickest and wish we could be that person again. Being recovered *does* feel so...ordinary. But it's not. It's the development of becoming the supremely amazing person you'll be. Think about all the incredible things you did when you were sick and think of how much more you're doing (and will do) now that your brain is functioning properly. You're just getting started! I know how tough this part of the process is; I still have days where I wish I was xx pounds lighter and "good" again. But they pass. Hang in there. :)


I am feeling somewhat better today. I often feel like I'm a piece of clothing in the dryer, all tossed about and such. I wish I could find some sort of even keel. Part of it just isn't my personality- very emotional, very reactive, but calm on the surface. I need to learn how to channel that calm when I need it.

There's also stuff going on that is too personal (I feel) to blog about, and so that's throwing me too. I'm not ashamed of it, I just don't want it discussed on the internet, especially given that the person involved would know straight off who said it if he bothered to look. Then again, I don't know that he knows I have a blog, but still...

Thanks for the thoughts.

samsi77 said...

HEY Carrie, not that you do not already know this but a reminder, you never need to apologize for having personal things going on or for being in a tight place. You are human, remember that. You are going to have ups and downs and lots of grays and that my friend is a sign of life and living. I have shared the quote and picture that you have on your front page about the definition of nurish

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote

I believe that it is very appropriate here and under there circumstances; please continue to nourish yourself and your recovery process and you shall continue to blossom!

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About Me

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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