Our household was unfortunately struck down by a really nasty virus over the weekend. My birthday weekend of all times. What a lovely gift to be given. A test of health.
But something more happened to me. And it may seem silly to some people to think something as simple and common as a winter virus could throw me into such a tale spin but it’s happened.
Not being able to eat much for days, the pain of even trying, the nagging calls for satiation, they were so familiar. So longed for. Comforting.
Something I’ve tried to swear up and down about is never going back to my eating disorder. I’ve thrown out every cliche reason you could think of. I’ve talked an incredibly good game.
I never believed myself.
So when the numbers slowly start to tick in the opposite direction and the silent thrill zaps deep into your bones, it’s not easily ignored.
It’s been four years, entering the fifth, since I defiantly made the decision. Thousands of days, even more hours. Tripping and falling and getting back up yet never quite regaining the same steam.
Then these easy entrance ways open up, and the aroma of that sweet poison washes over me like a cloud. And I’m trapped between two doors. Going back to what is comfortable, disastrous, alluring and exciting. Or staying in this cycle of will I or won’t I, am I or aren’t I, can I or can’t I.
And my body starts to shake, expelling any good sense I’ve got left trapped inside of me. It hovers over me as though I’m in danger of taking my last breath. Choose wisely.
I tempted fate.
I tested myself. I tasted that sweet sweet hunger, and its calls were deafening.
I’d be lying if I said I never prayed to fall back on it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the anguish, the tremors, the incessant pangs. No, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it, if I didn’t call on it, if I didn’t kneel down and grovel for just a touch of it.
As far away as I may run, it’s still right behind me. As much lightness as I keep near to me, its darkness is never far.
I hear it whisper in the winds. I hear it under every footstep. I feel it coursing through my veins the longer I go without.
And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it.
I feel as though I’m faced with an impossible decision. Sheepishly cower backward into the arms of my deranged former self. Or stand in who I am in this moment. Unsure. Vulnerable. Missing and incomplete yet forward facing.
To anyone who’s never been strangled by their own mind the decision would seem clear. Cut and dry. But when something promised to love you so, never to leave your side, never to abandon you the way anything or anyone else ever has, it feels weighty.
I’m looking over my shoulder longingly. I want to cry out. I want to keep it locked safe inside of me.
It’s always been mine. Mine to keep.
I’m not sure what to do with all of this.
Intellectually, sure, the ‘right’ decision would be to root deeper into recovery. Allow this to teach a lesson about self love, distance and depth, forgiveness, resistance.
No one ever said people who’ve suffered eating disorders always think rationally.
This certainly won’t make sense to most people but it makes perfect sense to me.