Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pink Taught Me How

I successfully purged the other day.  Actually purged.  Not with exercise, but with a toothbrush.  Who knew instant gratification comes with such a heavy price tag:  Guilt overwhelming.  Throat raw.  Stomach cramping.  Sweat a slick sheen.  Tears streaming.  


Penguin finally moved in, which means zero alone time at home.  For the most part this doesn’t bother me.  I love knowing he will be waiting for me when I’m finished with work. I love snuggling every evening on the couch.  I love having his warm, hard body next to me in bed every night.  The only thing I don’t love is the restrictions put on my eating.  By me, not him.  Penguin, as far as I know, is clueless about my constant struggle with food.  Living together has left me zero opportunities to binge.  In the beginning I thought that would be a good thing, the push I needed to finally overcome this horrible disease. 

I was wrong.

The itch is always there.  I’ve been eating more during our meals together, and I can see the horror and disappointment in his eyes - even if he’d never say anything.  One might think eating more balanced, filling meals would be a good thing.  A chance to get healthy. 

You would be wrong.

My weight has slowly been creeping up.  A fraction of a pound at a time.  This, of course, started the sick cycle carousal.  Restriction, fasting, binging, purging (with exercise), restriction…

After weeks of barely eating, I had the very rare opportunity to binge - not just a shameful few moments spent in a fast food parking lot, but a real binge.  I tried to fight the urges, split my mind and remind myself that this is not really what I want.  It was inevitable that I fail and give in, pouring food down my throat.  Masticating the contents of fridge and cupboards until I felt I would burst.  

When I was able to stop, come back to myself and take stock, my body and soul hurt.  It was one of the worst binges I had ever experienced.  I thought for sure my stomach would split, actually split, requiring a horrifying visit to the ER.

I dragged myself to the bathroom, the slow shamble of a post-binge.  It was time to wash the sins away - from my mouth at least.  Toothbrush in hand I vowed to go for a long hike the next day.  I would work extra hard at the gym, putting in TWO extra sets (consisting of six to nine exercises each).  The rough bristles scraped my lips, and for some reason my mind conjured up the image of Pink in her Stupid Girl video.  The toothbrush felt heavy in my hand.  Foreign.  It’s true that I had never managed a successful purge with my fingers.  My mind picked up speed, racing, thoughts spinning.  I rinsed the paste from my toothbrush, lifted the toilet lid, brought the rough bristles back to my lips and…

Time passed and at last I felt empty.  Better.  It’s true I was a sweaty mess and my stomach felt folded in two, but I was free of the binge.  Like it never happened.  An ED mulligan.

The next morning I purged my protein smoothie in the shower.  It felt even better coming up than it did going down.  Cool and sweet.  Then my drain clogged from the bits of fruit. 

Apparently I still have a lot to learn.

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