As I’ve mentioned previously, my fiancé is away on business in another part of the country until October, so I am alone. Well, not entirely. I do have the cat to keep me company. I also have my job, though my hours have been cut back to roughly 10-12 per week. So I have a lot of free time. I have so many hours where I could be doing so many productive things—editing my book-in-progress, devoting time to my fiction side project, updating my blog, cleaning our apartment, making a dent in my mega-long reading list. Sharpening my guitar skills. Brushing up on my French. Planning our wedding. Applying for a better job. There are so many productive ways I could be spending my time. What am I doing?
Working out (far too often)
Obsessing over food
Watching reality television
Playing Angry Birds
Listening to pensive indie bands (which I do love)
Somehow I’ve found myself in the midst of a depression. Depression is nothing new to me. I’ve dealt with it since I was twelve when my father was first diagnosed with colon cancer. I fade in and out of it so fluidly that sometimes I don’t even recognize. For the last few years it has been relatively mild (I don't take any medication). However, it worsened back in January when my mother remarried. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned her husband (soon to be ex-husband, God willing), but he is a very, very negative and verbally abusive person, which yielded a whole host of trouble. I’ve been so stressed and worried about my mother, among other things. Of course, my eating disorder is closely linked to my depression. And, of course, I’m not eating nearly enough. But it’s hardly even a conscious choice this time. It’s because my fiance is gone and I’m here on my own. There’s no one else to cook for and I’ve been too emotionally drained to cook for myself. I don’t have the energy to do anything at all. All I want to do is sleep. I started out eating frozen dinners just to keep from cooking—which I normally love to do—and I’ve slowly been eating less and less. In the back of my mind I know it isn’t right, that I was doing so well in my recovery for the last several years really, and that not eating is never an option. I know how unhealthy it is, I know how hard ED behavior is to overcome. I know how hard I’ve fought this thing and how much progress I’ve made and how I never ever ever want things to go back to the way the used to be. I know all of this but I can’t snap out of it. I can’t snap out of it because, without really trying to, I’ve lost about 8 lbs. Suddenly my brain insists that I can and should lose more.
“Don’t you love a challenge? 8 was easy. Let’s do 15!”
The one thing that has been keeping me solid in my recovery all these years is my ability to block out those eating-disordered thoughts. They have always been there, but I’ve been able to override them and do what is right. But now, it seems so much easier and requires far less effort just to let my eating disorder do the thinking for me. I’ve been fighting this for 7 years. I’m tired.
I’m not saying I’m giving up on my recovery. I’m not giving up and I’m not going back. I just need help, and thoughts, and prayers right now to keep me grounded and give me the energy and motivation to keep fighting. It is worth it, I know that. I believe that. Really I do.