Today I tried a little experiment. Well, not an experiment exactly, but a strategy for working on some of my food/eating issues. I kept a food log today. This is not meant to be a diet log to tally up how good or bad I’ve been, I was using it to try to bring my eating back into consciousness, to try to be aware of what my eating and my using food (which are two very different things). This is not meant to be a judgment log, but just a strategy to not numb out to my life.
I have done this before, and I remembered having some success with it (in that I became a more conscious eater for a time). What happened today, however, took me by surprise.
I felt an abundance of anxiety unlike anything I can remember. I was so literally trembling with anxiety (not the perfect word, but the best one to think of to describe what I was feeling), that I could scarcely carry on a conversation. I have never had an anxiety attack, and this was definitely not one, but I think I got a taste, just a taste of what that might be like.
I already knew that I had been using food to numb out, to not feel some pretty uncomfortable things that I knew were there, that I do feel on occasion, even with the food as a buffer.
But the degree of this feeling, and how quickly it came on shocked me. No wonder I was eating so much, huh?
I called a dear friend (the only person in the world I can talk to about this). I told her about today’s experience, and also about some journaling I did last night as an exercise (I’m going through the exercises in Geneen Roth’s Why Weight?). So based on some things I told her, my friend Cherry said that she thought perhaps my compulsive eating was acting as the angry part of me, that it was the one place that I could express my anger.
That sat and stewed for a while after our conversation, and I have concluded that she is right.
I am angry.
I am so angry about so many things.
A big part of the anger is about not having a baby or getting pregnant or being able to do either in the near future.
But I think that the majority of my anger comes from wedging myself into a little box, a tiny little space that makes other people much more comfortable. From inside this box I smile and say, “When is your due date?” or “you have lovely children” or “I’d be happy to, here, let me just cut off my arm.”
Anything to make you more comfortable. I don’t say what I really think. I don’t tell you what an asshole you are for commenting about my lack of children. I don’t hit you in the face for telling me I need to have a baby soon so that you can have another fucking baby shower to go to.
And little by little, bite by bite, smile by smile, I am obliterated.
Perhaps this eating is a way to say, “No! I’m still here! I’m big! I take up space! You can’t do this to me! I matter! If you keep jamming me into such small spaces, I will keep making you bigger and bigger and bigger!”
I am so afraid to feel this anger.
I am so afraid it will take me over.
I can deal with sadness. I know what sadness does. I know how sadness comes and goes and I know how to handle it.
But anger…anger is so much scarier. Nice girls get sad. Bitches get angry. And I only know how to be a nice girl.
But I’d like to learn how to be a bitch.