Supporting an Illusion

“Support,” to me, has always been one of those words which everyone uses without really knowing its meaning. At least, I don’t know its meaning. Since I am generally comfortable with words (more so than most other things), it really irritates me to not be able to define something. But. I’ve finally realized why it is that I don’t actually know what support is. It’s because (drumroll, please) I don’t get any.

To be honest, I don’t know why I’m even complaining. I always felt like an idiot in meal support groups, like I am sort of moron who can’t manage to do a basic thing like eat a meal without having a nervous breakdown in conjunction with it… though I suppose that would be a fairly accurate reflection of the truth. The thing is, nobody would really know it. Like today — I am already perfectly aware of the fact that my family cannot, or will not, be “supportive” in the way that I need them to be, even if I don’t quite know what that means, but for some reason a part of me seems to keep hoping that one day a miraculous change will happen. Anyway, it was after a Shabbos meal, which is never a good time for me to not feel guilty. Especially given the upcoming week, this did not make for a very pleasant situation. Which, in my opinion, called for some serious “curling up on the couch” business. Apparently, even doing that subjects me to a barrage of “Why are you sitting like that?” Argh.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system … for five minutes, at least … I went to my sister-in-law’s “birthday party” today. Never the most sociable of people (for good reason — I suck at human interaction), I wasn’t even going to go, but of course I let myself get guilted into it… some of her nieces were there, two of whom are twins and were in my grade at school. Why is it that people whom I barely even know have the power to make me feel so wholly inadequate?? (I’d ask why it is that people who are clearly bigger than I am also have the power to make me “feel fat,” but that would be perpetuating a “disordered thought” and so I won’t.) Oh, and guess what I should encounter at this party?! Smirnoff Ice!!! I manage to go years without having any direct contact with it, and now here it’s shoved in my face twice in one week. I would have loved to have one, actually. And I am mad as hell that I am such a wimp because I am too scared of it to have done that.

My father informed me that he ordered me a vegetarian meal for the flight to Israel, and that on the way back, they didn’t have kosher vegetarian meals so he ordered me a fish meal. Not that it matters, since I am not going to eat it anyway, but really… fish?! Does he not know me at all?! I am going to vomit if I have to sit in such close proximity to fish for so long. Especially airline meal fish. Shades of PI…

Speaking of vomiting, I have to say, this is really starting to freak me out. I am not a purger. I never was, if only for the sole reason that I am emetophobic. But the idea of possibly having to sit near my parents for twelve hours and feeling forced to consume things I can’t / won’t / don’t want to consume is making me worry that I could quite rapidly overcome what has proven in the past to be quite a healthy fear!!

In general, I am kind of a mess here. I am really panicking about this, because, to quote Chandler Bing… “Rock — hard place — me.” My nutritionist, who has “threatened” me with IP or some variation of that general theme in the past but never actually carried through on said threats, does have a point about this being a legitimate concern. I know that on vacations I tend to worry too much about gaining, even being convinced that I am gaining, and so I overcompensate. Ironically enough, what’s worrying me now is that she would have inspired a reverse fear… and that I’ll be so worried about not losing so I don’t get locked up again, that I’ll just go way overboard and turn into a huge hippo!! To inspire a little deja vu here, it was over a vacation with my parents that I was so ardently convinced that I was getting soooo huge… only to come home and find out that the exact opposite had happened, and I had actually gotten to a low I’d thought was impossible for me to ever reach. This was a few years ago, obviously, but I guess I still can’t escape it.

Maybe I can’t escape it because I haven’t hit what they call rock bottom. Yes, I’m a screwup, but that’s pretty normal. Most people are screwups in some form. But I haven’t lost everything in my life because of an ED. I guess I’m what they call “functional” … I can hold down a job, go to school, make it look like I actually am “normal” … and sometimes that seems to shortchange me, in a weird way. And of course, there’s the old “I haven’t gotten thin enough yet!” to contend with. Patently ridiculous, as I am perfectly aware that there is no “enough” when it comes to this. Yet I still can’t help wondering what would happen if I would just try to actually GET to “enough” … and it is battling that urge which I find to be more exhausting than anything else at all.

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes I knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking
~Miley Cyrus, The Climb

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