School Haze

Well, I survived my first day of teaching. I'm convinced my students think I'm a moron. I think I sounded like a moron, anyway. At least I got a chuckle.

I'm so worn out, though. Just completely exhausted. The stress is beginning to kick in. I have so much to do all the time. Go go go go go go go go go. I think I'm going to learn a lot about time management this year. I'm also beginning to feel the shock at being back in school.

I remember when I first started working full-time, and my dad asked me how it felt to have this big full-time job. And all I could think was that this was way easier than college, or even high school. Your day was done, you went home, and you forgot about everything. Not every job has been like that, but I at least had a solid 2 hours all to myself each and every day.

Hah! I think that's going to be a fond memory by the end of the week.

I'm feeling guilty that I'm not really exercising as well. Not that I could reasonably handle a moderate exercise routine on top of everything else, nor that I really need to formally "work out" with all of the walking and moving I do anyways. But still I fret. Is this going to be the Year of the Expanding Ass? Will Carrie turn into the Marshmallow Man?* That would be a huge insult to me. Really depressing. Because at the end of the day, I still hate my body.

I don't hate my body from a purely aesthetic point of view. I'd love to erase the scars and dimples and cellulite, but even I know that ain't going to happen. I just don't like the constant reminder that I'm human, that I'm real, that I'm somehow imperfect. That I have to be in this world. I don't like that. I don't know how to handle it. Life is so overwhelming. So intense. Everything comes flying at me all at once and I want to

I have to confess- starvation does a mighty fine job of that.

Then there are the minor (ha!) downsides. The whole life-threatening disease part. The perpetual misery. Things like that. But when every cell, every nerve, of your body is screaming for food and rest, it's kind of difficult to focus on things like school. To your body, they're unimportant. Your brain wants food, now. Period.

I felt a lot as if the starving part of my brain just took over. Higher functioning was subjugated, and I simply survived. I think my actions were directed by the eating disorder, but the internal thinking processes were much more primitive. My brain was reacting, as calmly as possible, to its environment. No food? Shut that part of the brain off and keep chugging along. I lived in a haze.

I idealize that haze a lot. It sounds so nice, so easy. Which it is. But then you can't see or feel or experience anything. It's harder, but the payoff can be greater.

Maybe it's not a surprise that I'm a terrible gambler.

*Ghostbusters reference. Gotta love 80s movies.

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Jeanne said...

"I idealize that haze a lot."
I do, too. Unfortunately, i've found that you can't go back to the haze. It doesn't have the same oompf that it once had...
And that is incredibly depressing.

Sorry - not helpful, huh?

I am glad that you made it through your first day! It will get better - easier, more comfortable.

thinking of you,

Faith said...

Carrie - At the end of the day, I still hate my body too. I haven't quite come to a full understanding of why and how but I'm hoping that by learning all of that, I will come to accept it as it is. Or at least some of it. I think for me it has to do with control. I don't like the constant reminder that I am not completely in control. Ugh.

BTW - If your students chuckled, they probably don't think you're a moron. They're probably really grateful that you're not!


Laura Collins said...

I don't have the citations with me, but the gambling/set shifting/risk aversion seem to all be part of the same pathways - especially related to bulimic symptoms.

And I don't know if this is good news but recovered people show fewer of these symptoms.

So there's hope for you if you want to become a compulsive gambler!

mary said...

Hope. For compulsive gambling! LAURA!
: )

I think it's going to be that's an addiction.

carrie said...


It's one of those things that I suppose is better in the long run (the anorexia not being quite as, um, fun as it used to). Like when you go back to an amusement park you used to visit as a kid, and all of a sudden, those rides look really small and puny.


Maybe they chuckled out of relief that I was a moron. I've had a number of professors frankly scare the snot out of me on the first day, so it may be relief!


Isn't that what treatment facility hopping is? A kind of compulsive gambling? Throw the dice and hope for the best! :)

No, Mary has me pegged (beaded?). I'm firmly into gambling with little beads and some good paperbacks. I have read that research, though. So me.

Carrie, your anti-gambler.

Sarah said...

Who you gonna call?

Carrie, congratulations on your first class! This is a Big Deal and I am proud of you. I know there are tons of thoughts and anxieties racing around your head, but take some time to congratulate yourself on a really amazing accomplishment.


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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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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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