I, like many people with similar histories, have a sometimes irrational need for control. Some of this is by necessity: two kids by myself, both of them with stuff – I have be on top of everything all the time, and I’ve had to learn to anticipate the unanticipatable.
When life gets unpredictable, I slow down. If more than one thing at a time is out of balance, it can start to feel like everything is spinning out of control. I’m on black ice, and I’m headed off the highway. Do I do the right thing – aim towards the spin and trust that things will balance out in time and I’ll be safe?
Of course not.
I frantically try to regain control of something – anything – so I have
something to reassure myself that everything’s okay. The tools have changed over time, and I’ve been able to overcome most of the less positive ones. I no longer hurt myself to make everything slow down. I have more than enough scars from the scratches, cuts, and burns I’ve inflicted to want to add any more. (shameful secret: even though I don’t cut, I can’t say I don’t want to)
For the last decade or so, my go-to has been food. If I ate enough, and fast enough, the panic would be buried. If I could do it without losing any of the food, so much the better (I have never been a purger — ahem, as you can tell from the photos in the last post). Lately, though, things have changed.
In the last year, almost every single food that was on my binge list has become off-limits to me because of my body’s reaction to gluten. When things are totally out of control now, I. Can’t. Eat. Putting food in my mouth disgusts me. Chewing is a horror.
Thankfully, it’s not incessant. I have a realistic view of my body, and value my health. I know, when I’m not feeling out of control, that I need to eat well to maintain my health. I am also very aware of the example I’m setting for my children. If I’m in this zone, I try to ensure that whatever I do eat is in their company, to avoid normalizing my behaviour to them.
I know it’s not okay. I just have to figure out how the hell to accept that going into the spin really is the answer.