My eating habits have been so poor lately. They’ve always been poor, but the medication I’ve been on is just reinforcing my bad habits. While Topamax is great for curbing my desire to smoke and drink, it also curbs my already low appetite. That, combined with nausea, has made it very easy for me to go a day, often longer, without eating. It doesn’t even take any effort to not eat. I know it must be affecting me because my roommate made a comment that I looked like I was losing weight, but not in a good way. I’ve been consuming more Pepto-Bismol than food the last two weeks, so it makes sense. Part of me doesn’t want to risk making a medication change because the medication is working in other ways. Then part of me (in a sick way) likes the fact that I don’t have to put forth any effort into keeping up my eating disorder.
My food issues came up in therapy today. My therapist always e-mails me on the weekends to check-in, and she gave me a list of favorites to fill out and reply back to her. One of the favorites was food, to which I responded: “Hardest question ever, because food is the worst. I guess rice.” I figured she was going to bring it up at our session. I’ve only briefly mentioned my issues with food because there’s always been so many fires that needed to be put out, that I’ve had very little time to actually sit down and delve into my real issues. She did bring it up towards the end of our session, about why I think food is the worst, and out of all the foods I could have picked, I chose a food that people find the most bland. I asked her where I should start. I told her about my constant nausea, my dramatic weight loss and subsequent malnutrition and hospitalization. I also told her about my food aversions, which she seemed to understand somewhat, as she is a picky eater herself. Then I told her about my childhood, how my mother would take away food in order to punish us, how I got used to being hungry.
I told my therapist that I think a lot of my starvation issues in adulthood stem from food being taken away in childhood. I use starvation as a form of continued self-punishment. I don’t know. I just don’t think my poor relationship with food came out of nowhere. It’s probably a multi-faceted issue. Who knows. Then my therapist asked if I could be doing it in a way of being indirectly suicidal, knowing that continuing down this path could eventually kill me. That hurt. As much as I’d like to think it’s not, deep down, it probably is. The self-destructive part of me always seems to be working, even when I’m not conscious of him.
I had to make a promise to my therapist that I would work on at least getting myself vitamins. I think she’s worried about me, especially with my past malnutrition issues. She suggested Ensure, but I told her I don’t want to spend $10 on four bottles of shakes. I don’t even want to spend $10 a week on groceries. She brought up getting financial assistance to buy food and supplements. I don’t want assistance. I’d rather starve. I made the decision to up and leave. I got myself into this mess. That’s not the government’s fault. I’ll figure shit out. I’m not in a dire need right now, just overly cautious. Food is not a priority for me. It never has been. I never learned that it should be.
As I was getting my stuff ready to leave, my therapist told me, in her serious tone, “if you ever come to a point that you really can’t afford it, you need to tell me.” This woman already knows so many of my secrets. I wouldn’t want to burden her with my shame.
Maybe one day I can have a healthy relationship with food. But I also need to have a healthy relationship with myself and with my parts first, and I don’t even have that yet. One step at a time.