Wednesday, August 3, 2011

3,000 Thoughts

I heard during some inane commercial tonight on the tv that people have approximately three thousand thoughts in one day.  I stopped chewing the frozen grape that I'd been methodically moving around my mouth for the past few minutes until it was a pile of mush.  I almost laughed.  Three thousand?  That's it?

We, us weird people with eating disorders, we either go wayyy over that "average" of three thousand or else we're just highly trained professionals at thinking multiple thoughts at one time.  I, for one, know that has been a constant internal dialogue that I honestly can't remember ever not having.  I can change a diaper with one hand and my eyes shut, but I can also do things like study for an organic chemistry test while adding up calories in the margins of my notebook, or read Winnie the Pooh to a four-year-old while frantically calculating how many minutes are ticking by before it's too late for me to throw up whatever it was I last ate, or carry on a perfectly normal conversation with someone while scrutinizing how much they weigh and what size clothes they wear so I can assure myself that I am always, always bigger.

It's generally a bad sign if I talk about having watched television, by the way.  I watch tv when I'm numbing myself out.  Purging is also an extremely effective way of numbing onself out, if one so chooses.  In combination, they are the perfect storm of background noise and serve to cease all thought, for once, ohgodplease just let me stop thinking all of these things.  Please.

I know what purging does to my body.  I know that it's bad for my esophagus, my stomach, my teeth, and especially, my heart.
I know what severe restriction does to my body too.  I know that it's why I've stopped getting my period and why I'm covered in bruises all the time.
I know that in combination, the two things are the reason I'm underweight and unhealthy.
But knowing those things doesn't make it real.
Knowing my ribs are sticking out doesn't make me feel any less fat.
Knowing my hip bones hurt because I keep hitting them on things doesn't make my ass or stomach look any smaller.
Knowing that people love me for who I am doesn't make me love me for what I'm not - small enough.

Three thousand thoughts?  Bullshit.
Here's a thought for you (in case you haven't hit your 3,000 quota yet) - if you've ever, in the back of your head, or even out loud, wondered why people like us "do this to ourselves," I would tell you this:
I don't want to be doing this.
I don't want to be kneeling over the toilet bowl for the tenth time in one day.
I don't want to feel vomit splashing back and hitting me in the face.
I don't want to feel like I have two options in life: either eat nothing, or throw up whatever goes in.

And I sure as fuck don't want to be sitting on the cold wood floor in front of my scale every morning, rocking back and forth in my underwear, crying because it's never, ever good enough.


Sarah said...

I'm thinking about you. Please let me know how I can help. No one deserves what you're going through. *hugs*

Kate said...

Hugs and thoughts for you. Don't think you have to handle all this by yourself.

Anonymous said...

Dear Caitlin,

I'm a long-time reader of your blog and a big fan of your writing (seriously, you're fantastic :).

I too suffered from an eating disorder for many years and can definitely relate to what you've written. What I can tell you, after 4 years of being in recovery, is that it does get better. It's so incredibly important to find that person that you can talk to - someone who can help you realize that you deserve more than this for yourself. For me, finding the right therapist was the most important thing I did in my process towards recovery.

It definitely takes a shit-ton of work and perseverance, but you CAN get out of this and start living the happy, successful, fulfilled, and wonderful life that you deserve to be living. Please know that there are many of us out there that care about you and only wish you the best.

- a fan

dmsegel said...

thinking of you and wishing I could help in some way.

Cait said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. They mean more to me than I can express. D, Sarah, Kate, and Anon, thank you for your love and support and hugs (via internet). I don't feel like I'm going through it alone, because I feel like I have such amazing, loving, supportive readers backing me up all the way. For now, I'm proud of myself for getting up each day. It can only go up from here.

Baby in Broad said...

Talking about what's going on—all those thoughts—is such an important thing. It was such a weight off my shoulders (horrible expression) when I could start to be more "out in the open" about my eating disorder.

You're not alone. Let being conscious of what you're doing and the not wanting propel you forward.

~ Noelle