Eating Herself Sick
Today is unlike any other day she has been through over the last thirty-something years. For on this day, she stands tall and tells herself enough is enough.
What has she had enough of? What has she become so fed up with that she has to drag out all of her determination and all of her strength to bring to a grinding halt the one thing she has done over and over again until she was sick?
Not only sick in her tummy but also sick in her mind. Sick in her being. Sick in her existence. Her whole life has been consumed by this one thing. It was there with her when she woke up in the morning and it was there with her when she fell asleep at night.
It was there with her as she went about her day. It was there with her when she was thoroughly alone. It was there with her when she spent time with her friends. It was there with her when she begged and pleaded to be released from its obstinate grasp.
Always fucking there.
Her mind never let it out of her sight. A constant reminder of who was in charge. What was in charge.
No. Today is the day she stands up for herself. Nice and tall. Proud and brave.
There have been other days like today where she finds an ounce of strength to bolster her decision to let this shit go. Once and for all. But it doesn’t last long. Her strength wavers. A word sends her crashing to the bottom of her despair and she lays there wondering when she will stop crashing.
As she looks up to the sky from her position at the bottom of her despair, she quickly spirals out of control. The voice inside her head is irresistibly tempting her to go straight to the kitchen.
As she rises to her feet she begs to not let this happen again. She can’t deal with it anymore. The anxiety she begins to feel only makes it worse. Her insides burn with scorching tension but yet her legs keep moving. Closer and closer they get to a few moments of love and comfort she is unable to find anywhere else. That’s why she stays. That’s why she cannot stop herself from mindlessly moving toward the one thing that gives her (ever-so briefly) what is missing from her life.
With every bite there is love, hate, comfort, self-loathing, companionship and loneliness. Each mouthful gives her pleasure. Every mouthful induces more pain. Bite after bite after bite makes her feel sick. But she keeps going. She continues to punish herself. Reaching that point of no return. Where her stomach expands beyond contentment. Comfort is long forgotten leaving only suffering in its place. But oddly, there is a comfort in the suffering. In the punishment.
With the sickness claiming its right to smother any and all sense of what she is doing to herself, her body shuts down. Her mind goes into overdrive. Encouraging her to keep going. To shove more and more into her mouth. To relish in the delicious union of sugar, fat and salt. And, once that deliciousness crashes into her stomach the remorse builds. The anger rises. The shame rears its ugly head.
And, what happens with all of that bubbling emotion?
Her emotions remain imprisoned in the bubbling geyser with nowhere to escape. No outlet to release the pressure. The force of the geyser takes her emotions and carries them frantically from one corner of her body to the other in a torrent. Around and around they go. Building and building in pressure until one day she explodes. Her anger erupting from the depths in a flash of burning steam, scorching the unsuspecting innocent.
You see, her anger is the only real release for any of her emotions because she has no idea how to free them appropriately. To allow them the relief they deserve. The relief she deserves.
Food has become her friend. A fucked up relationship where one side controls while the other side follows. It isn’t working, though. This friendship should not be tolerated. Yet it is. There is no one else. No one else gives her the comfort she longs for. No one else gives her the love she craves. Food is always there for her. In the darkest of moments. When she needs affection.
Alone in her thoughts, alone in her presence. Food is there.
As her body expanded so did her dependance on food. She was completely unaware of her reliance on such a destructive habit. It consumed her every waking thought. Her desire to eat was insatiable. Compulsive. Unbreakable.
Desperation was ever present. A hopeless desire lay dormant, waiting for her to figure out how to stop it. To end it. To sever the attachment she clung so hysterically to.
What would happen if she did let go? Where would her emotions be then? What kind of woman would be left cowering inside the broken down frame of who she has always been?
She was scared. She was afraid of the unknown. Who was she without all of the mess?
Now, today, looking at the woman she is before her, a reflection of pain and hope stare back at her.
Eyes of determination sweep over her body. They see a shadow standing in the background. They see this shadow cast its pain into her awareness. Every time her love was rejected. Every time her comfort was abandoned. The shadow hugs her with sadness. Its melancholy drowning her in tears.
A silent weeping for all of her lost joy. For her beautiful feelings that were denied their rightful place within her. She has restrained herself until now. Crying was forbidden. She couldn’t even allow herself to do that.
Several minutes pass as her tears begin to ease. She has been watching the whole time. Her shadow right beside her projecting what had been suppressed for all of her life.
Food was only ever a refuge. An escape. It was the means to an end. That never ended.
Food was never really the enemy. Her demons were. That voice inside of her telling her she was nothing, worthless, not enough. That kept her face full of food. Her belly writhing in pain. Her body sick with disgust.
Her childhood was tough. Loveless. No emotions other than anger. Beltings for doing the “wrong” thing. Smacks for being herself. Cruel words instead of loving words. Her shadow accepted all of them on her behalf. It took her hurt feelings away so she wouldn’t have to deal with them as much. Leaving her with only anger to feel. This one emotion was more than enough.
It was time to let all of that dissolve.
How is she supposed to let it all go when the past is always spurring her on? Taunting her from behind a veil. Peering out to remind her once again of her failings as a human being.
Surely, she is so much more than she was led to believe. Surely she doesn’t have to accept those lies anymore. Surely her existence in this lifetime is of significance. She is meant to be here. She is meant for more than gorging sorrow.
Patting away her tears, she sits down on the bed. Her shadow joins her. She looks at her shadow and as she regards this part of herself she begins to wonder what else might be hiding in the shadows. What has brought her to this exact moment in time? In what way has the culmination of her life experiences kept her shadow alive whilst she felt dead inside?There is a lot. With each passing year her shadow became saturated with an abundance of misery. Her misery kept active by the copious amounts of food she shovelled down inside of her every single fucking day. Every disgusting mouthful was irrationally stuffed with crazy, frantic, idiotic thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Each swallow pushed them further and further down into her body until they made themselves at home. Never wanting to leave.
Her mind was sick. Her body was sick. Her life felt like one big tummy ache.
She couldn’t take it anymore. She was depleted. Her strength all but gone. Thankfully, and oh so gratefully, there was a solitary ounce left. That small amount gave her faith and hope that all is going to be just fine. That it will all work out exactly as she has dreamt of for the last thirty something years. That it has always been working out for her. She simply needed to look up. To look at her Self. To see the woman within.
So, today is the day she says goodbye to the most destructive and harmful friendship she has ever had. Today she cuts ties with the only friend she could rely on. Her best friend. The one friend who knew her better than anyone else. The one friend who gave her what she needed. Wanted.
She feels reassured that tomorrow everything will be different. If only a teeny tiny bit. Because as of right now she is forming a new friendship. With herself. One that will be full of love and kindness. A friendship that is free from hurt, free from pain, free from anger.
Not only will she cherish this new friendship she will begin anew with food. Gone are the days when eating makes her sick. Gone are the days when eating a mouthful of something delicious spins her out of control. Gone are the days when food is used as punishment or to lose the fucking weight.
Food is now love. Food is now nourishment.
Every bite she savours as something to enjoy. Food is neither bad nor good. Food is love. And only love.
Today she starts over. Today she sees her world with fresh eyes. A brand new perspective. The woman standing brave and tall is determined to change her life. She is now in control. But not a controlling control. No. She knows there is a power effervescing within her. She can feel it rising. The bubbles containing her anger are slowly popping and the effervescence of power are sparkling up in their place.
It will not be easy. There is years of torture and trauma to liberate and set free. She cannot change what happened to her. She can only take the moment she is in now for all the wonderful, inspiring and invigorating satisfaction it has to offer her.
With each new painful shake of her life comes an understanding of what it means for her. She can accept that painful period as an important part of her life here on earth. It will pass. It does not have to send her rushing into the kitchen to drown her sorrows in another bowl of sweet, comforting ice cream or a chocolate covered friend.
Food can merely be food. A delicious way to love and nourish her body, her mind and her soul.
Without the obsession, without the punishment, without the suffering she can finally get to know herself better. She can look beyond the woman who hides her addiction. She can envision her future yet to come as a gift and not as another day of torture. One after the after. Groundhog Day. Same old same old.
Her sadness can lift. The sadness of what was supposed to be. The sadness of letting it spiral so mindlessly out of control. She is done being sad. She is done being angry. She is done believing she is nothing more than a fat, hopeless, lazy, food obsessed woman.
She has endured the worst of it. She has held on for dear life. She has never completely abandoned herself the way she felt others had.