Saturday, February 28, 2009

room service in chicago

i was in chicago at a convention this week, and i rocked my health. no alcohol, no sleeping pills, not even cigarettes -- no nothing. and when my brother, nephew and colleague went out for their gi-mundo dinner, i stayed in and got room service -- tuna sandwich, salad, soup, sparkling water one night and a chicken sandwich, with accessories, the next. tasty and containable. and not a glass of red wine in sight. really, really helped.

room service felt fancy and special. i called my friends, watched American Idol (the definition of a train wreck. i even turned off the sound at times but was still glued), and stared out at the glorious view.

still, i came back from chicago kind of down. PMS (with the pimples to prove it) brings the blues.

i spend way too much money, i'm not in dream work, i don't know how to put air in my tires.

BUT i can change how i go forward. time to stop the cash hemorrhaging. time to dream about dream work. and at nearly 45, it's time to learn how to put air in my tires.

BUT i don't want to learn to cook, i don't care if my apartment's messy, and i don't want to stop coloring my hair.

a good start.

Monday, February 23, 2009


why do spend all my time with itchy faux comforts when there are tons of people who support me in my life, who can offer real comfort? why can't i take that in and feel that?

didn't i start eating compulsively at such a young age because i didn't have love and support or stability? now i have all of that, and i'm gnawing on gum (even as we "speak") and sucking the non-living daylights out of Werther's caramels. (i suck really loudly and assume i annoy many people.)

i can understand it when i'm scared and powerless, e.i., we had a horrible plane ride, because of horrible weather, to california. what with planes going down left and right lately, i was frightened, helpless and sitting alone. obviously, i made it home safely, but during the turbulence, lollipop wrappers flew. suck, suck, suck.

yet, i'm not often powerless like that. and when i am scared or bored or angry, i can pick up the phone and call or text or email and find some wonderful person who loves and supports me. if i'm a little out of touch, wonderful people reach out to me. as i speak to them, i gulp down coffee.

will i ever feel emotionally nourished enough not to "need" a perpetually chewing mouth, constantly engaged fingers, a busy mind?

can i ever rest?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

what does oprah think

i wonder what oprah thinks, day after day, when she sits next to one skinny celebrity after the next. does she think they're too thin? does she wish she looked liked like they do? even the more "normal" weight actresses like jennifer aniston are super super thin, especially in person. i just wonder what she and jay leno and jimmy kimmel think day after day.

so, i'm off to california for biz. i haven't had much time lately to write, and i really miss blogging.

i've been smoking and eating and drinking tons of coffee. i want to think about and write about false comfort. hope i have time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

owning my weight

last tuesday, i weighed 124. monday, 132.

how does that happen? i think i need to accept that my body is the boss, not my ED. it's never going to give up and say, "hey, let's be naturally skinny".

what i've done differently. i have not weighed myself since monday. i have not cut down what i'm eating (!). i am not skipping meals.

monday, i decided to experiment. what if i decide i want to weigh around 135? what would that be like? could i actually accept that weight?

i really do look fine. my jeans are on vacation. i've been wearing stretchies, which look cute with (imitation) ugg-like boots and sweaters or blazers.

after work on monday, i went to see He's Just Not That Into You. voluptuous scarlett johanssen was gorgeous. breathtaking. in comparison, super-duper skinny jennifer connelly seemed cold and...angular.

i'm glad to know there's a scarlett jo., because i'd have to subsist on ice to look like jennifer c.

so, i'm not drinking or taking pills (yay me!), and i am still eating a smallish slice of blueberry pie with rocky road ice cream after a mid-size dinner. yay me.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jessica Simpson

There's a soldier in Bagdad
who's gained a few pounds
she desperately covers
her burgeoning belly
she is with child
but no one must know
the father's a sergeant
cohabitation is wrong
For her, there's no doctor
a doctor must tell
when she miscarries,
she does it alone

There's a singer in Texas
she's gained a few pounds
maybe she's pregnant
and heavy with child
or new birth control
has bloated her up
or maybe it is pizza
one slice, then two?
if she is pregnant
congratulations to her!
if it's the pill
may it work well
if it's the pizza
i hope she enjoyed

Sunday, February 8, 2009


(warning: this piece rambles.)

I drank, I stole Ambien, I ate so much, I smoked.

So, there you go.

Can you believe i feel worst about the eating? Four days of big dinners and cookies. With having my period, i feel my stomach expanding out to the house next door.

is that really true? why aren't i more miserable about the drinking? and going into my sister-in-law's drawer and stealing ambien and taking it?

perhaps it's because i relapsed all around. i just did. my hormones are raging. my cramps triple me over. i wanted relief. i thought a glass of wine would help with the cramps (it didn't).

i thought the ambien would help me get a good, long sleep. te sleep WAS amazing and much needed. the rotten part was the stealing. i'm not going to beat myself up as long as i don't do it again. that's the thing to work on.

i have to give more thought to alcohol. after seven weeks sober, there was wine.

i don't know what i'm going to do tonight.

how would i love to be able to have a glass of wine on the weekend? how hard would that be? could i do it? would i dream about it all week? would the weekend wine consume my mind?

there's been so much drinking around me. wednesday, we went to the boyfriend's parents 52nd wedding anniversary. there WAS so much wine and champagne AND food. they all drank moderately (of course, the brothers had the traditional shot of homemade vodka with their dad after the meal.) boy, did that champagne look good. i had diet orange soda, seltzer, diet coke, two cups of coffee and peed all night.

no alcohol for me, but I consumed an awful lot of (yummy) dinner and two pieces of cake.

friday, my girlfriend wanted to visit the bartender at a lovely restaurant near us. she invited me to join her. i love the place and was sick of drinking coffee, diet coke, iced tea, lemonade, seltzer with lime and peeing all night. instead, i sipped one glass of wine over three hours. and peed once.

we smoked cigarettes in her car. suddenly, i'm smoking three cigarettes a day. i don't know why. i never smoke regularly. i suppose i smoke, so i don't eat and drink. it IS something to do with my hands and mouth.

of course, this mustn't continue. i don't want to become a smoker. absention should be viewed as something that's good for me, not something i'm depriving myself of.

where am i now? i just don't know? it 3 pm. my eating's on regular track. i've smoked two cigarettes. i don't feel like drinking, but i can't predict what i'll want tonight.

it's all raw. i do feel that i'm in IT, instead of pretending i'm okay. i struggle sometimes and sometimes i don't.

over the next few days, i'll need to make some decisions or decide to let things ride. i can't predict what that will look like.

i'm strangely okay with this but sometimes not. i'm sitting with it all. there's no denial (well, maybe thinking i can just drink on weekends.)

one thing i know for sure -- it will unfold.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

my period and the eating disorder

my cramps have me quadrupled over. i have trouble just sitting here. headache fuzzies the brain. the words scramble on the page. advil rubs up against my ulcer.

hormones make me crazy. my skin and i don't belong together. what should i do with myself?

eating is off. i'm not hungry, yet ED wants a lot -- eat me. fill my tummy. it hurts. food soothes. i'm not hungry. fill me, fill me. no.

wouldn't it be nice to be in touch? i'm not hungry -- i don't eat. why do i want to eat when cramps have me quadrupled over, and i have trouble just sitting here?

tell me, ED, what is wrong with you?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gum and Candy

does anyone else depend on gum and sucking candies to get them through the day? no one in my life even chews gum!

i've always loved candy, but i really upped the ante when i dug in hard to an eating disordered life and my dependence on little oral satisfaction went thru the roof.

i've got everything laid out in my bedroom -- lemon drops, root beer barrels, coffee nips, lifesavers, creme savers. and the gum -- if i'm out of gum, it's like a junkie without smack. thank god for all night drugstores.

most people notice that there's usually something in my mouth. often, i mindlessly shove in piece after piece of doublemint spearmint until there's a baseball-sized wad in my mouth.

i'd like to stop this constant suckling, and there are days when i utilize fewer but in a way, this is the last frontier.

sorry teeth.

Monday, February 2, 2009


This post was going to be about self-hatred. i have the draft nearly ready to post, and maybe i will "publish" it when it feels right, but for now, i write of self-respect.

i came out of the weekend a different person than i went in, and that doesn't happen often. the experience covers all the usual bases -- food, alcohol, relationship...

i'd been plotting to drink and stopped taking antabuse (the drug that makes you sick if you drink) friday. antabuse takes several days to get out of your system, so i planned to drink tonight. i'm not staying at my boyfriend's, and i was going to have a delightful little romantic evening with myself.

The plan. After work on monday i'd take myself to a beautiful, fancy restaurant and order a delicious, expensive wine with a salad. the wine would compensate for any additional food i'd want but wouldn't allow myself. I'd sit at the bar and read and write and chat with folks. when i lived in new york, i loved hanging out in bars and meeting people and writing.

or did i? when i lived in new york, i starved and binged voraciously and drank wine to puke all night. perhaps it wasn't all as romantic as i remember.

now to the present. i'd told my therapist and my group that i longed for wine and was plotting to drink, but somehow i didn't convey the message of urgency. probably, because i wanted to drink. no one picked up that i was in danger.

yesterday, i was at the boyfriend's. each time i thought about my plan my heart would race -- a bad sign. i hate panic attacks. why was i going to do this? to end 6 and half weeks of hard-fought, hard-won sobriety? i'd have to tell my therapist. i'd have to tell my group. i'd have to start over?

why was i going to break my promise to myself?

i texted a member of my group. i texted my therapist. i spoke with both, told the truth and took my antabuse. i was proud, indeed. that doesn't happen often.

end of story, right? no. later that day, the boyfriend and i fought. he hasn't smoked a cigarette in seven years, but he used to smoke three packs a day. now, he hates cigarettes. he finds them disgusting. he wouldn't date a woman who smokes.

i've been secretly smoking a cigarette a week, when i'm at the end of my robe and desperate for a vice, something to do with my hands, when i want wine, food, a sedative.

i decided i didn't want to hide so many things and left the (nearly two month old pack) in my purse, knowing he'd see it eventually. he threw a fit, repeating he hates cigarettes, they nauseate him, and he always decided not to date a woman who smokes.

i started to cave, as i've always done in the past. i'd suck it all down, reach for my wine, deaden the night and smoke on the sly, alone in my room.

no. not this time. my self-respect rose up in me, and i ran back into the den, in his old tattered robe and my hot pink fuzzy slippers and said, "you're not being fair." i think i almost scared myself.

"there is nothing wrong with my smoking one secret a week in my apartment, when i need to do something to make sure i don't drink".

"why", he glared " do you need to go one from bad addiction to the next? if you're not drinking, or taking a pill or eating, why must you smoke a cigarette? you need to do something healthy when you're longing to drink."

again, i almost caved. he's right, i thought. but he's not right for right now.

"you're right" i said. "it would be great to practice some way of coping. but for right now, if it helps me, it's not so bad to smoke one cigarette a week in my own apartment".

he held his ground, again saying that he'd stated how he feels, and he wasn't going to change his mind.

"so," i said, "are you going to tell your parents that we broke up because i smoke one cigarette a week?"

we both paused. you could feel the air change.

" i can't breathe," i wheezed, "my heart is racing. i have to lie down on the bed."

"i can't breathe either", he said.

We walked to the bed and lay down. and laughed.

"i don't need to smoke", i said "it's not a deal breaker. you mean so much more to me than a cigarette. i don't even really like them. it's just something to do with my hands. i won't smoke.:

"no", came his words. "you smoke your cigarettes as long as you need them. just don't smoke in the house."

we both exhaled.