I am fucking starving. Absolutely fucking starving. Literally, starving.
I don’t eat much, these days. In the early days of What Happened, I managed, a bit. Then Mum came and took over cooking. I managed to eat the dinner she cooked, most nights, trying to set a good example for The Blondies. It felt tasteless, though. Lumps of food, sitting in my mouth, chewing endlessly until they became mulch that had to be forced down, then sitting heavy in my stomach, feeling as though it was gaining mass as my body gave up on the whole process of digestion, my stomach feeling distended. Sometimes the bloated, stuffed feeling would pass. Sometimes it wouldn’t, and I’d end up puking secretly in the toilet.
Unsurprisingly, I lost weight. I wasn’t huge to begin with, and I’m far from skeletal now, but I’m smaller. The weight kind of fell off without me noticing. It’s stopped now, because even though I don’t eat much, my body’s worked out that food is a rarity, and jealousy guards the slim pickings afforded by two crumpets a day and a fuckload of coffee.
I should eat, I know that. This isn’t a healthy diet, and my body’s not going to thank me long term for the lack of vitamins, fruit, vegetables, fat, water etc that it’s being denied.
But I can’t eat. I don’t feel hungry; don’t have those pangs that tell me I need to eat. I have dizzy spells. I feel weak. I get tired easily. But I can’t eat. My throat has closed. I have to force myself to swallow the bites of crumpet, and I feel sick. Sometimes I am.
And the thing is, I loved eating. Loved food, cooking, feeding, snacking, stuffing my fucking face. I used to eat a whole baked Camembert with four slices of toast. And now I can’t. I wish I could. But I can’t. And if I’m entirely honest, I like not eating. There was a prolonged period when my life was completely out of my control. When I lost every secret I had, every vestige of privacy, and my distress and vulnerability were exploited, scoffed at, dismissed, even used to attack me with. I could not control anything that was happening to me, and I was blamed for that loss of control. The only thing I still retained any power over was what I ate.
Not eating becomes a pattern. You don’t eat because you can’t. You feel a misplaced sense of pride about not eating. Your appetite shrinks. You don’t eat. Then, things improve, you eat a bit more. Things slide, you revert to the coping strategy that is not eating.
This isn’t a good week. There have been a few too many days when I haven’t eaten. When The Blondies aren’t here, it seems pointless. But I’m not feeling in control of things at the moment, so I suppose that for now, so until I feel better, I will be starving.