You can cry and walk your dog at the same time so long as you have a supply of tissues in your pocket. That way, you don’t have to use your sleeves. Another thing I’d suggest is to make sure nobody’s looking. And if you do anything out loud, make like you are talking to your dog or talking on a cell phone just in case anyone drives by or walks by with their own dog, or is listening out their window. That way, it’s all kinda foolproof.
So I was out walking Puzzle this morning down a street I frequently walk on, and sure enough, started thinking about folks at church. Don’t ask me why I thought of this particular person, never mind who, but this person is wicked, wicked nice. I said to myself, “Oh honestly, Julie, you have not had one single negative interchange with this person, it’s all been entirely positive and pleasant. Julie, this person and this person’s spouse, they are about the nicest people you could ask for.” And then I proceeded to think up more people at church that I thought were the nicest people you could ask for, and more and more people. In fact, I had such a list that there was no list at all. I just kept thinking of more and more wonderful people, a whole conglomerate of them. You’d think I’d thought up a whole church full of them, more than ever show up on any given Sunday. Actually, if that many people filled our teensy parking lot, a zillion cars would be double-parked and I guess there would be all sorts of problems for the first ones that had arrived.
Oh no, I didn’t get that far in my thinking. By then, I was bawling my eyes out. Don’t ask me how many tissues I needed cuz I have no clue. Me, leave Watertown? Well, yeah, I really am planning to leave. It does truly suck when you end up getting sad over stuff like this.
Relationships. Well, like I said in previous entries, stuff happens like this. There will always be folks I wished I had gotten to know better while I was here. And folks might appear at some point and make it known that they wished they had gotten to know me a bit. It was like that in every town I lived in and then moved away from, years ago, and so the pattern will continue.
I didn’t want to go to church this morning. I had a nagging feeling that I should not go. Like the feeling you have before something really bad happens. A premonition.
I got there, and something happened that was yucky. Something that ticked me off. I had no way of expressing this to anyone, so I kept my mouth shut. It had nothing to do with the content of today’s sermon, which I could barely think about, anyway.
There was a meeting afterward. I stayed for it, then I went home after quite a bit of socializing. I felt like a fake. I didn’t say anything in the meeting. While walking home, I felt like crying, but I didn’t. I don’t want to go back next week. Just don’t want to be there anymore. Never mind why.
I’m at the hotel right now and it’s late. It feels good, and not good to be back in London. Good because I feel oddly at home here, and not so good for reasons I can’t explain.
The best part so far has been riding the tube. I guess if you’ve been car-free as long as I have, you can deal with any public transportation okay. No matter where you are, you can get to where you’re going. I guess I wouldn’t be where I am today if this were not the case, and so it is with everyone.
All I can hear right now is the rain outside and the tap-tapping of the keyboard. And the rumbling in my throat that I do all the time, my vocal tic that seems to be getting very vocal these days.
On the plane, I switched on Vertical Horizon’s album, Burning the Days. It seems to be good airplane music, but this morning, VH wasn’t cutting it for me. I thought of switching to Dave Matthews, but no, that’s dog-walking music. I went through the listing of albums and Born to Run popped up? Huh? I didn’t even know I had that album. I switched it on and Springsteen began wailing out the first track, “Thunder Road.”
It was all over. I cry on buses all the time and I’ve cried on planes before, but since I’m not on a plane every day I can’t say it’s an everyday occurrence. I now know why I ended up at a window seat last night. The trick is to pretend you’re really fascinated with the cloud cover. If you turn your head far enough, the people sitting in your row have no clue you’re crying.
I was really bawling, though, enough to take off my glasses, sniffle, and wipe my eyes with my sleeves.
It was my Joe who introduced me to Bruce Springsteen. We used to play this game over the phone, back in the days when the phone was used for conversation, called “Name that Group.” Let me tell you, Joe knew right away that I was rock-music-challenged, so much so that half the time I guessed “Elvis” not really knowing who else it could be, having never heard of any of the current groups. He saw to it that I got good at this guessing game.
We loved Born to Run, but when Tunnel of Love came out, we had a hard time coming to consensus. Either you loved that album or you hated it or you weren’t a Springsteen fan. There’s one thing Joe and I agreed upon, though. We liked the word “Love.”
We liked the word “love” so much that we rarely told each other that we loved each other. It wasn’t nthecessary to state and re-state the obvious. And right then, sitting on the plane, I guess a lot of stuff seemed obvious to me. Like the passage of time, for one thing. It’s been nine years since I saw him last, unless you count the times he appeared to me in dreams.
When we first started dating, one outing he took me on was a trip to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Around the beginning of the eighth, Joe said to me, “C’mon, Jules, let’s go. Our guys are a disgrace today.”
“Huh? Don’t you want to see the end of the game?”
“Naw, I’m too disgusted. They’re not cutting it today. Lazy fucks.”
Over the years, of course, the Red Sox continued to let us down and let us down. It was kind of a Boston thing, this getting used to being let down. You had to have kind of a tough loser skin if you were to spend any time at Fenway Park.
That is, until 2004. But Joe had been dead over a year then.
Here in London, folks aren’t baseball fans as a rule. It’s a weird unscientific American game based on superstition and luck. People here didn’t’ grow up on it the way I did in Boston. They don’t have baseball summers in their backyards. “Strike” doesn’t mean the same thing here. But the Olympics are coming to town later this month, which seems to be the big buzz right now. It’s a city full of anticipation.
This is summer in London. This is daily rain and daily Changing of the Guard. Somewhere in the middle of the city, in a little cheap hotel, an American writer sits and muses about this weird place she’s found herself at. She writes, thinks, and remembers. She asks herself what the future holds,if it holds anything at all or if it holds nothing and lets life slip through its fingers.
Maybe when I cry on buses, and last night on the plane, it’s cuz life is doing just that, slipping through. I try to hold it but it is slippery and elusive. It’s the same for all of us, just a game of superstition and luck. If we’re lucky, we see a handful of winners in our lives. I guess that’s asking enough.
It is no coincidence that when McLean Hospital diagnosed me a chronic case with poor prognosis and recommended a long stay in a state hospital, it was not long after my parents had stopped pouring money into my mental health care, and turned instead toward my father’s three-year journey with cancer that would lead to his death in April 1997. McLean, and everyone else, had milked my parents dry, or let’s just say everything they wanted to give up. My mom was sick of it, I suppose, and probably resentful. So McLean had little use for me anymore, and once they finished using up my lifetime Medicare days, they weren’t very friendly.
My parents, meanwhile, had their own little life. My mom said on the phone to me, “Dad’s main problems are with mobility and function.” Function? I wondered why she didn’t just call it piss and shit. After a lengthy period of euphamizing in every way she could, she finally consulted with the medical profession and they got him some medication to help him with bladder control, and Depends with embarrassment. For the first time in over thirty years, she found herself changing diapers, and still hating it just as much. Or did she?
This became a complaint every time she got on the phone with me, in a very offhand way. She coyly explained one day, “I control his diet so that he only makes a bowel movement every other day! Less cleanup!”
McLean Hospital, of course, had ceased giving me good care, so I was very, very sick, and it took years before I realized what was going on with my parents. My mom had my dad under complete control. It was almost as if he was helpless, all his body functions regulated, always watched, always controlled and monitored. She made sure he took all his meds. He might as well have been in a locked ward on a “one to one” with the Nurse from Hell.
They say he asked not to go into a nursing home. I wonder if he said this himself, or if my mom put these words into his mouth. Before he died, he was in a hospital for a bit, probably less than a week. I forget which one. Maybe Brigham and Women’s. Then a nursing home, a nice one, for ten days, where he died, somewhere between one and two in the morning. I’m glad my mom wasn’t with him at the time.
During the last ten days, my mom showed off her athletic ability by cross-country skiing to the nursing home from her home. I think she was trying out some of her freedom. I think the nursing staff understood this, too.
A bunch of us went to see Dad in those last days. He was kind of out of it. Then again, so was I, in my own way. I felt hopeless because the people at McLean had turned their backs, and I didn’t realize that it was all because of money. But I didn’t say anything to anyone in the family about that.
Dad lay there with his eyes closed. He didn’t say anything or do anything. His arms and hands were puffy and I was afraid to touch him because I didn’t know what his skin would feel like. My mom pranced around the room and waved her arms, speaking to the nurses in a sing-song voice. They responded to her in whispers. “Yes, Mrs. Greene,” they said.
My mom called me in the mornings, early, in the days following his death. Or I called her. I don’t know why. These conversations were pretty much hi and bye, but I didn’t have anyone else to talk to.
That was April. In August, I took an overdose. My mom never found out. McLean sucked out the last of my private hospital Medicare lifetime inpatient days, and then set me loose after three days. They sent me back to their shit residence, which was soon to close down. They made some excuse. Blamed me, of course. I started on another suicide plan and almost completed it.
I’m glad I’m the hell out of there.
At some point I made the promise to myself that I’d never let my mom change my diapers again. Once was enough. I do remember toilet training. Most adults don’t remember back that early. I remember my parents standing over me in our yellow bathroom, all of us staring at my soiled underwear, my shame, their disgust. Yelling all around. Booming, scary voices. Never again! Never again! Never again!
I’m sure it happened over, and over, and over, just like I’m sure it happened to my dad when he spent his last year dying. I can only imagine.
Now, my mom is so out of it that she can’t be alone anymore. She can’t take care of herself. I think she needs someone to help her bathe and dress. She can’t clean the house and she can barely walk. My brother took over the finances completely because she neglected all her bills. Only a few months ago she was riding her bicycle around town. Weird how these things happen.
Part of me is very happy about this, though. Thrilled. She has lost control. She can’t even do her own food. Well, well, mother. Isn’t it about time you stopped controlling other people’s bodies? Isn’t it about time you got a taste of what it feels like to be controlled? Locked up, maybe? I think my brother is rather thrilled to be arranging for the nursing care.
In three days, April 10th, it will be the anniversary of my father’s death…I guess fifteen years. Lots of stuff happened in those fifteen years. His kid got married, he gained a granddaughter, and a grandson graduated high school and went on to college. A son got tenure and both sons got promotions. Me? My bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, five books written, two of them published.
Yeah, Dad, I told McLean where to go and started a new life. The saddest part about it was that you weren’t alive to see me do it. I told them I didn’t need their locked wards anymore. I didn’t need them to tell me I was “chronic” and that I had a “poor prognosis.” You didn’t see me break free of their bonds. You didn’t hear me tell them to fuck off. Well, I told them. And I’m going to tell the world again.
Maybe you will hear me screaming, loud and clear, very soon. I don’t need their locked wards. I don’t need their state hospital. I don’t need coping skills or stress balls or bubble bath, you can take all that and shove it. Freezing an orange is a waste of food, I don’t use that as coping skill thank you. The crisis team can now go take a long smoke break and all us mental patients will go on parade and show off our Tardive Dyskinesia in the streets. Look at how that one flaps his tongue! Freaks!
Yes, Dad, I am breaking free. I won’t let Mom control me. I will speak out and tell others to speak out. I believe that if you see something that you know in your heart is wrong, you should take action against it, even if it means doing something unconventional or unusual. I’ve done some rather offbeat things because I believed that in doing so, I was saving others. If you were alive today, maybe you would understand my actions, but maybe not.
We did not always agree. In fact, I’d say, most of the time, we disagreed. Most of the time, you were the one who was right about stuff. You were more mature. You were wiser. You were a better thinker. You took more time to think things through and didn’t jump to conclusions the way I did.
When I was in my thirties, I used to ask you guys for approval all the time, and then curse myself for being so childish. Was it my illness that had caused me to become so dependent on you two? Was I doing it to please you, to reassure you that you still had a little girl, someone you could control? Was I doing it because I was lonely and had no friends, no one else to turn to? I can still picture your nods and smiles, the exchanged looks with my therapist, the winks, the approval.
I guess I’m kind of on my own now. If you were alive today, you’d see what was going on with my brothers and me, the way they more or less don’t even know I exist, and I’m sure you’d be disgusted. Or maybe not. I don’t know and I’d really better stop putting feelings into your heart or words into your voice. The way things are is the way things are. I’m going to tell the world again. I’m going to tell them I don’t need their state hospital. I’m not “chronic” and I’m not “poor prognosis” and I don’t need the mental health system lingo buzz words hollered at me over and over and over like I didn’t hear them the first time.
Dad, they told me if I hold a frozen orange, I would feel better, and I told them I refused to freeze an orange, because this ruins it as a piece of food, thereby wasting it. Oranges are expensive as well, I added. Would I feel better, for instance, squeezing a California orange, or a less expensive Florida orange? The person leading the group told me maybe it was time to give someone else a chance to speak. I said, maybe you just want to shut me up. Later, I wrote in my journal that they could take their coping skills and shove it.
No one will shut me up, Dad. I promise. We may not have always agreed. So you taught me. Disagreement is all the more reason to never, ever, shut up.
I awoke in tears that morning thinking about my ex-friends, and so I wrote my goal for the day around this. I wrote three goals. We are supposed to read our goals aloud in Goals Group. When it came my turn, I began to read my goals. I had written them so carefully, and spent a lot of time on them, and gotten them to my liking, but it had taken a long time. The last thing I wanted was to be interrupted and told that what I was saying was “inappropriate.” I was in a shitty mood to begin with.
Here’s how my goal began:
1. This morning, I awoke in tears realizing that every friend that has left me has done so knowing without a doubt that they were leaving me at a time that I needed them most. This has been happening over a period of not months, not years, but decades. I have been wondering for quite some time if this says something about human nature.
This goes on to state that people I have known who have had cancer have had similar experiences. When the going gets rough, your friends split. As soon as I used the words, “Stage Scary,” the group leader told me to stop reading. She said I was upsetting other patients. Triggering other patients.
Well, damn. Eating disorders are fucking Stage Scary if you ask me. But I didn’t say this. I walked out of group. In doing this, I made one helluva statement.
There is part of this goal that I have never read to anyone, and it doesn’t appear on this audio portion. Here it is:
I remember all the excuses my friends gave for ending our friendships, the most honest being “I can’t be friends with you anymore because I’m afraid you’ll die and I’ll be heartbroken,” and the most inexcusable being, “You do not dress like a typical anorexic. Therefore, something is wrong with you.” I can pray as hard as I want but I don’t think I have it within me to magically erase the anger and hurt I feel from decades of this BS. Nobody wants me anymore. Not even my family. But I am happy that I have my church and I have God. Today I will cope with the feelings of anger and hurt that I woke up with.
Goal #2, which of course I never, never had the opportunity to read, was the following:
2. Pull out the figurative feeding tube that was put into me by my parents, all the kids that teased me and laughed at me, the teacher that called me fat, mean friends, women and men, men, men, the way society looks down on me and puts me on display as “mentally ill,” the way I look down on myself and put myself on display as “mentally ill”–I repeat, the way I look down on myself and put myself on display as “mentally ill”–for today, I will pull out this figurative feeding tube and replace it with an everyday voluntary forkful of nourishment of my choosing.
Goal #3 of course was, “I love everyone here,” and this, too, I never had the chance to say.
So Feb 18 was my day to fight censorship. And I did.
I read a “Mood Monitor” and a journal entry as part of this audio post. At the end of the day, I felt confident and I was proud of my strength, good self-esteem, and ability to express myself. I felt empowered like never before.
I’m going to have to write just the basics because I have very little time left till I have to go to bed. There was a lot I wanted to say, much, much more than what I will give you presently. But here’s the scoop, not in any particular order:
My brother called a bit ago, I think around 7pm, to tell me that our mother had fallen and injured herself, probably a hip fracture. She was taken to the ER. I told him that I am too ill physically at this point to be involved in her situation and requested that he not give my phone number to anyone. I am aware that of course someone will probably get my phone number anyway, and most likely I will be getting a call seeing as I am the closest relative by far.
I had to tell him the facts. I had to spell it out for him. It went in one ear and out the other. Dear blog readers, you know one hundred times more than my brothers know about me. They are in such denial. I told him about my blood levels. I could quote the conversation but I don’t have the energy right now. He didn’t want to hear it even before I started saying one word. My brothers are good people with good morals and I highly respect and adore them. But what’s with them? Why don’t they fucking give a shit?
This is why I go to church. Tomorrow will be great.
Anyway, yesterday. I went to see Dr. K. She looked at my blood work from the ER, you know the low blood sugar and dehydration and the precarious state I was in. I wish I could remember her exact words. Like that I was in a bad, dangerous place medically and that she was going to have to force me into a situation against my will. That’s it in a nutshell. So by next week, I have to weigh between x and x+4. I had to eat at least x, which I have not done for months, and not binge. So tell someone who is depressed to snap out of it. It’s the same thing.
I am facing sectioning to a medical floor or eating disorders treatment, not sure which, within a week. I see my therapist Monday and she may do it herself.
I felt like crap today and considered surrendering myself anyway if I started to feel worse. Common sense. I did not start to feel worse, just feel lousy.
I feel real lonely, too. I went through my landline phone stored phone book memory and all the numbers on it were Puzzle’s vet, my doctors, the taxi…sure wish I could just pick up the phone and talk to someone, just shoot the shit and not worry about blowing another friendship. I must be really, really scary.
I do love my Sundays.
My therapist and my primary care physician concur that whatever is going on with my brain is caused by malnutrition and cannot be solved by medication. Today I went to see Dr. K, and she said that if there were a magic pill for this, surely the problem would have been solved ages ago.
I went web-surfing a bit ago and I wonder if what is happening to my brain is what happens to the brains of alcoholics due to malnutrition, specifically thiamine deficiency. I am noticing certain patterns. A lot of patterns in fact. This thing comes and goes, though, and seems to vary as to how much I am aware of it, how fast time flies by, how fast I forget things, how well or poorly I can concentrate, how long it takes for me to make simple decisions and perform simple tasks (such as getting dressed, preparing Puzzle for her walk, etc). I never, never feel well physically anymore. I always seem to either have a headache or strange feeling in my head, or am nauseous or crampy in my stomach or intestines, feel weak and faint and lightheaded and wobbly, and am sometimes deeply depressed to the point that I am unable to get out of bed. Here is the link:
Dr. K had me get my blood tested and did all the usual examinations. They are all very worried about me. I didn’t hear from her later today so I assume nothing came out super urgent (my kidneys haven’t failed, in other words). My next appointment with her is on Friday next week.
I think that I have been able to make a fair amount of sense while speaking today. I spoke with the minister, and he said I was making sense. It was hard to tell. I forgot the beginning of a sentence by the time I got to its end. I was able to write, but I’m not entirely certain of this, either. At one point at the library, I felt faint, and again, confused, but about what I don’t recall. I make a point of being polite. It’s very, very important to be polite and kind.
Suddenly, I am grieving to the point that I am dizzy. There is joy and there is sorrow. I guess the reason for joy was all fantasy on my part.
There are things that I keep secret. Life happens so quickly when you live on the edge. I wish I had the energy to write everything down as it happens.
I turned on my computer this morning. I turn on my computer every morning. I weighed myself this morning. I weigh myself just about every morning. I made coffee this morning. Now that is a treat. Sometimes I have coffee and sometimes I don’t. Today, I am truly savoring it. I have very little left in this world but I must say this cup of coffee tastes excellent right now.
I need a shower. I take a shower every morning. Yesterday, of course, I was taken out by ambulance by fools, and kept at the emergency room, where, in the long run, the emergency room staff treated me for the opposite complaint of the one I reported to them. This “treatment” consisted of leaving me in the room for two and a half hours unattended and allowing me to drift in and out of sleep. I was hooked up to all kinds of gizmos. I am surprised that I slept with the automatic blood pressure cuff squeezing my arm every now and then. They did not offer me water or juice during this time or ask me how I was feeling, or even enter the room. I would have jerked awake. I woke up twice when the housekeeping person came in to replace the latex gloves and other necessities. My mouth was dry. I was cold. I needed water and more blankets. I also wanted to know what the heck was causing the delay, and what the results of the tests had been.
When I first arrived, the attending nurse, who apparently hadn’t heard the report from the EMT’s, asked me about the reasons why I had called 911, and what my symptoms were. I told her. She then asked, “So you aren’t hungry. Is that the problem?”
What a freaking idiot.
I replied, “No. That is not the why I am here. Not feeling hunger is not a reason to call 911!” I add an exclamation point here, but the truth is, I was rather out of it.
This was the night nurse. Thankfully, she was quickly replaced by another nurse. I saw her twice while I was there. The first time I saw her, she inserted the IV. The second time I saw her, she removed it. I was never actually given fluids. When I pressed the call bell (once to ask what the heck was going on, and the second time to ask someone to pass me my belongings, as I couldn’t reach them, being hooked up) a guy came who was not a nurse, but some kind of other ER person lower on the totem pole. I also asked for water.
They said all my lab tests and EKG (heart test) results, etc were fine. In the same breath, my nurse mumbled something about dehydration, and told me to drink more water and that this was why I was experiencing the symptom that I hadn’t reported to them.
At this very moment, I removed my ER papers from my knapsack. I was given a “psychiatric discharge.” My diagnosis: generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD. My instructions: “Take it easy.”
I looked over the symptoms that people who have GAD experience, according to the sheet they gave me. With the exception of feeling like you are going to pass out, I did not have any of the symptoms.
They noted that my heart rate was a bit elevated. They told me that this was a symptom of anxiety. This was when the nurse told me that dehydration can also raise one’s heartbeat, and told me to drink more.
Actually, my elevated heart rate is a side effect of the antidepressant, Imipramine, that I started taking last month. Since I started the medication, my pulse has run about 94 beats per minute. There is nothing dangerous about this. It is simply something to take note of.
For the past couple of weeks, it has dropped into the 60’s. There is a reason for this and I know the reason. Normal heart rate for a woman is 70 to 80, and a heart rate in the 60’s is perfectly fine.
I reported to the doctor that for three nights this week, it got so low that it was scary. Yesterday morning when I woke up, it was even scarier.
On Tuesday, that is, Tuesday of this week, I got it into my head this fantasy, and I guess I had hung onto this fallacy enough to want to go on with it all. Yesterday, when I felt that I would pass out, I drank a bit of juice, and some water, and lived.
I feel really, really shitty right now. My coffee is finished. I have a bit of water left in my cup which I will finish in a bit. A shower will surely help. I do a lot of constructive thinking in the shower. I will get dressed. I will give Puzzle a terrific walk. It is cold out, but otherwise is a lovely day. Tonight I will go to church.
I have a sad life. The past year has been the worst of it. There is no reason for this.
I’m going to a faculty reading tomorrow night at Emerson College in Boston. Emerson College was where I studied as an undergraduate, finishing in 2003. The three faculty who will be reading are Murray Schwartz, Richard Hoffman, and DeWitt Henry. All three have been working at Emerson for a long, long time. I did not take any courses with DeWitt, but I took one course with Murray, and two with Richard.
Richard Hoffman was my favorite, favorite person at Emerson. I don’t think he realizes just how much he influenced my writing and thinking while I was a student back then. I remember sitting in his class feeling that my mind was very quick and that I was so desperate to learn as much as I could. I was 41 and I thought that I had grown out of every bit of foolishness that I had been born with. I went for a run every morning even though it was dark and misty and I couldn’t see anything.
That was the fall of 1999. Now, it’s the fall of 2011.
I tried to continue writing this three times, and three times I deleted what I wrote. I thought about all that has changed, and tried to sort through which changes were most important. These were not the changes that were the most noticeable, nor were they the first that came to mind.
I guess I just want to cry.
But why? After all, in those twelve years, I have earned two degrees and written a number of books.
It seems like twelve years of continual loss. It is not something I can easily explain. I remember what I had then, and look at the stray papers and little bits of eraser dirt right on the desk in front of me now. There has been a massive shift. I am starving. I think that says enough.
This is atrocious and discriminatory. I was told that Medicaid follows suit.
My only choice is to find someone who offers services on a sliding scale. I am broke from purchasing huge quantities of food that I binge on, and I can’t afford to pay much. My credit card bill has gone through the roof.
I haven’t eaten a normal meal for a month. I have either restricted or binged.
I have been on a non-stop binge since Saturday.
I have been told to join a group. I called the two group organizations that Dr. P recommended. Neither has phoned me back. The nutrition people my therapist recommended don’t take my insurance, and of course Medicare and Medicaid don’t cover, anyway.
Today, just now, actually, I contacted three nutritionists that specialize in eating disorders. I found these people online. I left detailed messages. I hope they call me back today. All three offer sliding scales.
I am waiting for a call back from Dr. P about a referral. She says she knows of someone.
In about an hour, I’ll be seeing Dr. K, my primary care physician.
I called my brother today to wish him a happy birthday. He says he’s been trying to reach me. I guess he’s talking about September. I have received no phone calls from him for a month, and I think he called only once in September. Happy birthday, Phil.
I slept well. Thank you, Desipramine. I got up. Walked Puzzle. Lay down and slept some more. Never mind the bingeing part.
I am not bingeing at this exact moment. I am writing to you. I am safe from it for now. Sometimes, I am in the middle of something, and I suddenly stop, and next thing you know, time has passed, and I don’t know what has happened, but I have binged. Sometimes, an hour has gone by that I have lost track of.
Today I had to empty my trash. The trash reeked of food wrappers. I was ashamed to walk down the hall the short distance from my apartment to the trash room. I wore my long winter coat to cover my body, so no one would see me. I hid my face.
I have neither showered or brushed my hair or washed my face. I took off my shoes last night when I went to bed, but didn’t take off anything else. I changed my shirt this morning. I brushed my teeth in the kitchen sink. The bathroom sink is clogged with soap scum. I have called the Housing Authority to unclog it. I am ashamed to allow them in.