Wednesday, August 29, 2012

War

My blood burns and itches with so much of something searing and rotten that I feel like I can't keep it inside of me. My insides want out. What is this thing within me that scratches and claws at my very core, ripping and tearing me apart from somewhere deep inside with a fury that frightens me? Is this anger, rage, or fear? Or is it all of them and none of them in the same instant? Something somehow everything and nothing all at once, too wild and out of control to pin down and identify, and thus impossible to resist and dreadful to give in to at the same time. Whatever it is, it's too much and it's boiling over the edge and I'm bursting at the seams. I want to scream and lash out in violence and rage toward my unknown and ever present enemy within, but how do you kill something which lives inside of your heart and has become intertwined with the fibers of your very soul? How can I kill such a creature without ripping myself to shreds in the process. I cannot be a casualty of this war inside of me. In fact, I must be the sole survivor. I feel as though I'm about to explode in every direction, like my blood is boiling and my skin can't contain what lies whithin for much longer. I need to go; to get up, out, and away, to somehow leave the intesity of whats burning inside of me behind so that I can take a breath and begin to find myself again. I'm free to do whatever I'd like, but trapped within myself and my struggle; physically stuffed and emotionally starving for something that I can barely imagine the taste of. The moment has passed, the intesity of the rage within me has subsided and returned back to it's hiding place somewhere deep inside. Those thoughts are seven days old now. I can't say that I've ever felt quite like that before. I've felt something worse, something more crippling and painful, as though a thousand pounds of dread were standing on my chest making it impossible to breathe as my soul poured from my mouth between sobs of hatred for myself and my weakness, but never have I been so outraged at my own success. I had decided that I was done fighting, that it had been long enough and that these feelings of being so overwhelmed by the world would only go away if I finally gave in and let myself sink down and away into the darkness of an old familiar friend. I had decided I was ready to fall down and felt completely justified in my decision. A new home in a place that I'm not comfortable, a new job in a place where I can't make a comfortable living, and an expectation by those around me that I be thrilled to be in these new surroundings. The urges have been here all along. I haven't left them behind as the summer has progressed, I've simply been so preoccupied with living in three different places that I haven't had a true chance to slip in the fashion that I must. It can't be unplanned. Poor planning may lead to a half-hearted attempt at a binge and an attempt doesn't count which means that there must then be another binge which is well planned and perfectly executed. There have been plenty of urges but no attempts, knowing full well that I wouldn't have the time to make things count the way that I wanted and needed them to. Things are different now. I have free time for the first time in months and this more than any of the changes in my living situation or working environment has caused the urges to well up inside of me these last few weeks. I've been fighting them, filling my time and belly with other unhealthy but slightly less detrimental coping mechanisms but last Wednesday I decided that I had had enough. What started out as a whisper in my mind had grown into a forceful shout that I could no longer ignore. Dez, you deserve this. Dez, if you do this just once, I'll be quiet and I'll leave you alone. Dez, you know this will make you feel better. Remember what the Dietitian said? This is not a process without slips and backslides, and you've been working so very hard for months. You owe this to yourself, you deserve to have a slip, you've been so good for so long. Your life is crazy right now and this will make you feel calm and numb to the chaos of the outside world. You don't need anyone or anything but this. Just once Dez, just once and I'll go away forever. I promise. This time, I mean it. As these words grew louder, my strength to resist them began to give way under their weight. Where once these thoughts filled my mind during brief moments or glimpses of possible windows of opportunity, it seemed as though they had now taken up permanent residence in the forefront of my thinking and to every obstacle I encountered or question that I faced throughout my day, the answer became the same. A binge and a purge would make you feel better. Slow day at work? Binge. Uncomfortable in your new home? Eat until you can't feel the world around you anymore then get rid of it in a panic of guilt and frustration as the realization of what you've done comes crashing down into the numb stillness of your food enduced momentary bliss. Trust me, that will make everything better. Okay. Alright. You win, you win. You're right, I know you're right, I've always known and I've been so silly to resist you for so long. The answer was right in front of my this whole time and I somehow had myself convinced that resisting the easy way out was going to make me feel better. I know now that what I'm about to do is unavoidable. It has become only a matter of when, not a question of if and by holding out and putting it off I'm only tormenting myself. These thoughts raced through my head as I rationalized what I was about to do while I hurridly gathered my supplies at the grocery store and drove home. It will be over soon, I told myself. It will be over soon and although you're going to feel awful for a few moments, or a few hours, or even a few days, you'll get through it and somehow through the feelings of guilt and shame, through the compensatory behaviors and through the landslide of emotional turmoil that is sure to accompany what you're about to do, somehow things will all be better if you just get this out of the way. Dez, you're going to binge. Dez, you're going to binge and then you're going to purge. I know you thought that you wanted to ride your bike and have a good day, but you were mistaken. This is what you really want, this is what is really going to make your life more manageable, this is what will finally allow you to relax and take a step back away from the chaos. Listen to me, trust me, believe in me. I know we've had our disagreements, but I've never wanted to hurt you. All I want is for you to be happy, for us to be happy. We don't need anyone else, they only want to seperate us and make you live in the discomfort that you've been feeling in trying to resist me. Give in and the discomfort will disappear. By this point I've stopped arguing. I know in my true self that every thought running through my mind in these moments is tainted and seeped in self-destruction. I know that not a sliver of what I'm thinking and allowing myself to believe is true but I've grown tired of fighting my own thoughts and now that I've decided to give in, I've let go of my control of the situation completely. I'm on auto pilot and I know exactly where I'm headed. For an instant, I believe that I truly will feel better somehow once all is said and done, but as I sit down with my binge laid out before me, my spoon in hand, I know that I have stepped to the edge of what could prove to be a very slippery slope, and that I want with every ounce of my being to hurl myself off the edge of this cliff and into the darkness. I want this more than I have ever wanted anything in my life. This is it. It's now or never. Everything is here, everything is set, everything is perfect. I can follow through with this, with all of it and as I wallow in hatred for myself in the days to come, I will at least be able to hold onto the smug satisfaction that I made this binge count for everything that I could. I will know that I went all the way, I didn't waste this binge on something that was just lying around in the cupboard or give into a minor urge without enough time or the right opportunity to do it properly. I will know as I struggle to find my balance and to compensate for what is going to happen over the next hour of my life, that I held out as long as I possibly could, that I pushed myself to my absolute breaking point before I finally gave in, and that in true black and white thinking fashion, I made this one count. Somehow, these thoughts provide me with the final justification that I need to pick up my spoon and begin digging myself as deep a hole as I possibly can, one bite at a time. The phone rings. This can't be happening. I'm about to engage in a behavior which must be denied the one person whom I've sworn never to lie to is on the phone. I ignore the call and the phone rings again. I've blown my cover somewhere along the way and she knows that I'm up to no good. What do I do? I want to finish what I've started so badly that I can't stand it and yet I know that ignoring her calls is quite different than choosing not to reach out for any support when I knew that I was going to give in to the urge to plunge myself into the cool numbness of a binge. Choosing not to ask for help is one thing, but blatently resisting it when it's being offered to you is something entirely different. Moments later I find myself standing in the kitchen with the sink running in the background. I feel as though I'm going to explode in every direction and the voices inside me are screaming so loudly and with such hatred and rage that I want to rip my chest open with my bare hands so that they can escape and pour out of me along with the rest of the black feelings that almost saw me give up and throw the last months of work out the window for a chance at feeling the fleeting bliss of a binge. The ice cream is slowly melting as the water from the faucet pours over it and the cake is sitting at the bottom of the trash can out on the curb, still tightly wrapped in it's plastic container, untouched and still not off the table entirely. The ice cream needs to disappear faster. It needs to disappear before I lose my nerve and before this nervous rage and energy boiling up inside me finds me scooping it out of the sink and into my mouth which would be the first step towards me fishing the cake back out of the trash for all of the neighbors to see and devouring it in its entirety. I have got to get out of here. As I said, I've never felt this way before. Somehow I know that I have done the right thing, the thing that will allow me to feel good about myself in the days to come, and yet here in this moment I am positively miserable. I'm miserable but I feel vivid and alive. Emotions are surging through me and although I feel as like I may burst into flames at any moment, I cannot deny that I feel more alive than I have for months. I'm relieved. I'm furious. I hate her and I love her. There is a part of me which absolutely loathes the rest of me and most of me doesn't know which direction to run in order to get away from the seething hatred that's boiling up inside of me. As I pounded my anger and rage into the pedals that afternoon, the tension within me began to loosen and my thoughts began to clear. I couldn't help but wonder if feeling the way that I had standing there in the kitchen might not have been just the thing that I needed to prove to me that no matter how tempting it is to give in and to give up now and then, in the end there is only one way to win a war: never back down.