The scariest thing. June 21, 2008Posted by phledge in black bile, family, fat, health.
I can’t eat.
I admit freely that I eat more when I am stressed out; personally I’m inclined to believe that this is a function of a very perky adrenal output, which biochemically stimulates appetite, but I’m not in the mood to fight for why I am who I am. It could just be that I, in the immortal words of Po the Kung Fu Panda, eat when I’m upset. But this time is different.
I have, since Wednesday afternoon, eaten a baby yogurt, a piece of white toast with butter, three bites of Chicken Rice-A-Roni, one piece of four-cheese foccacia and a third of a lovely salad at Sweet Tomatoes, and four Altoids. I am drinking plenty of water but nothing else. Everything tastes like sand, hurts my stomach, looks like those crazy dull pictures of the outdoors until, as if by magic, Claritin lifts the screen and colors leap to life, vibrant on the television. Beets look brown. It’s not that I haven’t tried—I’ve been mentally scanning the lists of foods that usually break me down into Homeresque slobbering. Fuck, even Indian food sounds banal right now. I would eat some of my Puerto Rican aunt’s arroz con pollo if I could gain access to it, but even my normal grand portion would be way, way too much for me to work through.
There’s a preteen in my head saying, ‘Yessss! We finally got anorexia!’
I am mortified by this thought, the simplification, glorification of such a horrific disease. And yet I can’t shake the idea. Do I think that I have control over nothing but the torture of my body? Am I harboring some sort of bizarre fantasy of being thin? What right do I, a 260-pound Kung Fu Panda, have to think of the A-word?
I surprised the hell out of my husband, who finally is starting to believe that, yes, I am actually really truly honestly hurting, and not just trying to manipulate him or make him feel guilty. Why? Because I’m not eating. He has called me four times today from work, asking me gently how I’m doing and have I eaten yet? Will I, please? He has called a mutual friend (the wife of the aforementioned wingman, see previous post) and asked her to check in on me, which she has. We had an excellent talk; she has known him almost three times as long as I have, and had shared his bed long before me, so she was a good source and a kind listener. I still am not hungry, or, rather, I am somewhat hungry and not interested in food.
I wonder if the attention is the addictive quality. I wonder if the sense of bewilderment my body is feeling right now will go away. I wonder if just sitting down and getting through a plate of something would shake my appetite back to a state of arousal. I wonder if it’s normal to feel smug that Mr Phledge will be rushing home to see me whole and alive and then he will encourage me to eat something. I wonder if I’ll be able to do that, to assuage his panic that he really has well and truly fucked me up, and that he might not be able to fix it. I think these last couple of days have been about his denial that this could possibly be a real problem, that I’m not strong or independent enough to handle it, that I’m not just manipulating him with my tears for some unspoken gain. It finally occurred to him, last night as he yelled and I sobbed like an incoherent junkie, that I had met official criteria to be hospitalized (not sleeping, not eating, suidical ideations); his whole being shifted and he gently asked me if I needed to be taken to inpatient. He believes me now, and he is scared, scared for both of us.
We see the marriage counsellor on Wednesday.
Thanks to everyone who has graciously offered their well-wishes, advice, affection, and recipes for world peace. This blog is probably going to be a big part of what saves me.