Friday, October 2, 2009

Coward

"I used to want to change the world," she tells me, "but right now I'm just trying to make it through the day."

This is not the first insightful, thought-provoking idea she has laid on me since we've been friends, one of many in fact. I'm learning a lot from her. It means so much for me to be able to say out loud, "I have an eating disorder. There." But it means even more to say, "I have an eating disorder," and hear someone respond with, "Me too."

I've been having a hard time breathing. Something in my chest weighs me down. My ribs struggle to expand enough to take in a deep, cleansing breath. I extend my spine, start to yawn, wait for it, wait for it, and it doesn't come. I can't seem to catch my breath.

We talked last week about what nerds we are for not having more friends, but I realized, I don't have more friends because I'm quite needy right now. I don't need someone to make jokes. I don't need someone to entertain me. I don't need someone to "hang out" with. This rules out what I see in many relationships in college. I need friends who can actually help me, listen, and help me heal. I'm tired and getting through the day is hard enough without acting like I want to talk about America's Next Top Model or who is sleeping with who at Union college. I just don't have the energy for it. I have too much to think about as it is.

Am I a broken record? I blog about the same things over and over again, in cycles: ate too much, got stuck in her head, contemplated vomiting, went running, felt horrible, got back on track, resumed life, learned something new and insightful and beautiful, felt confident, something changed, freaked out, ate too much, got stuck in her head...You get the idea.

There must be more to life, but I'm just not seeing it tonight.

I'm tired of being a coward.

I'm tired of responding to life's changes in destructive ways.
I'm tired of over-thinking and over-analyzing every aspect of life.
I'm tired of arguing with myself in my head.
I'm tired of battling this everyday.
I'm tired of feeling hunger and thinking, "But would anyone notice if I skipped lunch?"
I'm tired of feeling full and thinking, "Instead of handling this uncomfortable emotion (anger, loneliness, exhaustion, grief, guilt) I think I"ll just eat more food."
I'm tired of basing my self worth on how much I don't eat and how many calories I burn.

I go on auto-pilot to avoid thinking, to avoid feeling.
I go on auto-pilot to escape, to run away from dealing with life directly.
I go on auto-pilot because I'm a coward.

In a typical situation a normal person would encounter stress and anxiety, do their best to work through it, and move on. Me? I seem to overreact, disappear, think too much, comfort myself with food, hate myself for it, run/vomit, cry, and become depressed until I've earned the right to go on with life.

This isn't working.
I've been here before.
I've felt this before.
I've done this before.
I've binged before.
I've hated myself before.
I've talked about it before.
I've regretted this before.
I've moved on before, but still...
I am here again.

I would never let anyone down as much as I do myself.
I would never break promises as much as I do to myself.
I am the exception to everything I strive to be for other people.

I am the exception.

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