I haven’t felt up to doing much today. A sewing project was abandoned – I was making a Russian Doll keyring but became too frustrated when I constantly dropped the needle and lost control of the thread – and I’m feeling too spaced-out to watch the usual few episodes of House or read. Sleep is an appealing prospect, but I’ve come so far in sorting out my sleeping patterns and I don’t want to ruin it now. So I spent some time reading Nicole’s blog, and came across a post called “I freaked out on the Starbucks girl“.
“what the f*ck!” i screamed. jamming on my gas pedal, driving in reverse, i returned to the window.
me: “excuse me, but i tasted SUGAR in my beverage.”
barista: “yes, it’s an iced coffee.”
me: “i’m sorry, i don’t understand your response.”
she repeated the original response.
me: “if a person orders a BLACK iced coffee, then what does that mean?”
barista: “it means without cream.”
me: “is sugar black?”
barista: “no, it’s white.”
me: “then how does this drink reflect my order of BLACK?”
barista: “well, it’s just syrup.”
at this point, i’m freaking out in my head. *i drank syrup?! it’s not even pure cane sugar?! i need to vomit. oh my god. no, wait, i don’t do that anymore.*
It struck a painful chord with me. Both anorexia and bulimia turned me into a horrible person, and in some respects I think that’s the most cruel aspect of an eating disorder. Lack of essential nutrients, anxiety and the pure terror of calories you hadn’t factored into your day can flip a switch which, for want of a better term, let’s call the Crazy Trigger.
Even though I consider myself to be treading the fine line between ED and being okay, I still have that Crazy Trigger, and I despise it. I hate it because it brings a feeling of total loss of control. I hate it because it drives people away, because who would believe that somebody can freak out over a few grains of sugar or a tiny bit of butter? I do. Sometimes I do, even though I’m no longer as bad as I used to be.
When my anorexia was at its height (at the age of thirteen), I turned into a total monster. I went from a quiet, shy, timid girl, to a raging monster with no self-control or shame. I’d scream at innocent bystanders holding sandwiches (why should they get to eat and not get fat?) and threaten violence against the poor food sample lady in Tesco, convinced she was part of some bizarre conspiracy to make me gain weight. Although I no longer abuse innocent people in the street, I still shout at my mother sometimes if she makes a comment like, “have you eaten anything today?” or, “that pie needs eating before it goes out of date”. The Crazy Trigger slips into the front of my mind, unnoticed and sneaky, and starts pushing everybody away with threats and curses. It’s a part of myself I truly despise, and although I’ve beaten it somewhat into submission, sometimes I just seem unable to control myself at all. And that scares me more than anything.
Today, my mother asked if I was going to eat anything. A simple question, an entirely innocent one… yet it set off a chain of events in my head.
If I eat… will she judge me? Will other people judge me? Am I just faking this fear? If I don’t eat, she’ll think I’m crazy and lock me away again. Oh god, what do I do? Do I eat? Maybe just a sandwich? That’ll be okay. Why am I worrying about this? I’m fat anyway.
Sometimes I suspect that no matter how much I feel okay with myself, I’ll always be one step away from crazy.