This was published early January, 2007, one of the first ten posts on this blog. So many things scream at me. The writing style maybe more than anything although it ought to be my relationship with food and my body. I was not overweight by any means at that point in my life and if you catch it I was unhappy because my jeans weren't falling off me. There came a time when the scale was moved downstairs so I couldn't get on it without significant effort. So about the writing, I still like and miss the style; the staccato rhythm of expression, the passing of uninterrupted information like a telegraph with the occasional and intentional hard stop. It's how I talked, how I thought, how I interacted with the world, how light danced off my fingertips until, like a whirling dervish I went just a little too far and the light turned into sparks and my world went black, temporarily or otherwise. From January 2007 to February 2008 the spinning top escalated until it exploded sending shrapnel in as many directions as you might imagine and when I came up out of the ashes the staccato was gone with a deep well in its place. I think of it as a well because there's plenty good down there and no point filling it in, just something I need to wrap my arms around. That sort of sea change isn't anything that comes fast or easy. There have been two brief moments when I have been aware on a visceral level of exactly what I've lost in the medication or maybe even the break (and I'm sure I've lost other things as well but this was an integral part of who I was). The first was just a few weeks ago speaking with a man on the phone and suddenly feeling my heart race at the idea that one of his ways of being might threaten my carefully, thoughtfully, and sometimes artfully well built structure and the other was just today reading this.
I wouldn't trade any of it though. Not one bit. Carrie Fisher died today, you know. This is truly sucky for me personally. She's done more than most to take the stigma out of mental illness, bipolar (disorder) specifically. This is one of my favorites:
“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you're living with this illness and functioning at all, it's something to be proud of, not ashamed of.
They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”
Yeah. They really should. Anybody wants to call that sniveling can go fuck themselves. ;-)
The light is unsettling today. This is due in part to the wind which has been throwing itself about furiously probably since yesterday afternoon and is periodically blowing large chunks of cloud bank across the sun and then off again. It makes the wooded swamp behind my house look simultaneously ominous and surreal. I say probably about the wind because my head hasn't been clear enough to process much of my surroundings until this morning. We have been waiting for winter for weeks and now that it has arrived we are stunned, cold and unsettled.
I woke up at 8:40 to the roar and crash of my son scrambling to get out of the house in time to get to a job that requires full professional dress and he needed to be there at 9 and it takes at least 20 minutes and 8:40 is way too late to be getting started but that's what the wind sounds like out there anyway so it was hard to tell which was the boy and which was the pair of ladders leaning up against the house right outside my bedroom window and they probably aren't there anymore but he has gone off to work in any case and the house is empty and I am awake.
I lay on my back and close my eyes in the bedroom dim because the drapes and shades are still pulled and think of sleep that could come back if I wanted but I want to run and I hear a text message land on my phone in the kitchen and know it is my husband missing me and I miss him too so I get up and eat a banana.
I give myself a full hour run which is so much easier and better then the 34:45 I allow during the week because it provides time on the front and back for warm up and cool down and doesn't leave me feeling like I got hit by a mac truck. I am watching some show called E and they're talking about what everyone wore at something called Golden Globe or Globes or something like that and then about the models who are dying because they are so thin and then we see these girls on the runway in bikinis and I cannot believe what I am looking at. I have obviously not been paying attention lately. This is horrible. These women look like they have stepped right out of Auschwitz and had two tons of cosmetics applied and their hair done and tiny expensive things draped on them and then sent out to stagger about on four inch heels under the hot lights and I know this is a horrible thing to say about anyone but it's the truth and I do not understand what I'm looking at. What have we done?
I look away and contemplate something else until those images are gone. I do not want to know about this.
I talk to my husband and he asks me what is wrong. Not a thing, I must shower now I'm soaked and getting chilled and I'll see you in a bit. He is at exit 8a with the boys and this means I have maybe 120 minutes or more but not much.
I feel great until I try to get into a pair of jeans that I'm sure ought to fit by now given what the scale is telling me. They don't. At least not really. Maybe I'm being over sensitive because they do certainly come up over my hips and they do button up without cutting off my circulation but I still don't feel very good about this and I'm ravenous because of the run and I must eat but suddenly I feel so very terrible about allowing this weight to exist on my middle age body and I know perfectly well that I'm nuts so I put on those jeans which will only make me happy when they're too big to stay up and head to the kitchen for brunch because I will always and forever have an eating disorder and call myself a recovering anorexic.
I do not want to think about this and instead eat my breakfast at the counter and watch the strange light cross my back yard.