Oh God. I can’t believe I have to write about this again. So much shit going on in the world, and here’s my blog piece about me. Me and my disgusting compulsion to throw up. I’m not even binging anymore. Now, I’ve gotten to a point where I simply decide that I didn’t deserve to eat dinner or lunch—that I magically surpassed some Pythagorean number in my head that even I don’t know—and now, I must rid myself of it.
I do it furtively. I’ve learned that I can do it so quickly that most people don’t even notice that I’m gone longer than any other average trip to the bathroom to pee. I throw up. Give my teeth a quick brush. Rinse off my face. And go back out into the world as if I’m not dying inside.
I tell myself it’s this extra weight. The migraine meds have added 20 pounds or so to my 5’1” frame, and all I can see when I look in the mirror is a bloated, overweight middle-aged woman.
I’ve stopped looking in mirrors. I don’t want to see what I really look like. Don’t want to see the thickness around my waist that has made getting into my size 2 jeans impossible. Don’t want to look in the mirror and see the fullness in my face—those extra pounds puffing up my cheeks, hanging jowl-like along my chin line.
I don’t even want to make excuses for what I’m doing. I did that last time. Had a million and one excuses for why I’m a 45-year old bulimic.
What I know right now is that I’m a 45-year old liar. I promised my love several weeks ago that I would stop. And then, some combination—the bike accident, the Binghamton shootings, trouble with a family member, worrying about money—and all of those genuine feelings that needed to be dealt with honestly got filtered into the “I hate my body” shit. So I started throwing up again, and lying to cover it up.
I found a box of old journals the other night. I started reading through them—my thoughts from 25 years ago—and I had to stop. It was too painful. Whole sections on my body, where I had measured each of my body parts: thighs, ass, stomach, breasts, arms, to see how “huge” I was. I did it as research, as the beginning of yet another workout program that would get me buff and perfect.
I have been buff and perfect—several times in my life. It’s hard to stay there when you have other things in your life to tend to. Buff and perfect is for someone who has hours to spend every day working out. At one point, I was running every morning and taking aerobics classes every night—but who has got that kind of time anymore. And more importantly, WHY would I want to waste that kind of time trying to perfect my body?
I am loved. I know I am loved. I even manage to convince myself on a lot of days that I love myself. But still far too many days find that old, evil voice in my ear telling me I’m fat and unworthy and gross.
You don’t have to tell me how self-centered and ego-driven and pathetic this all is. I know that. I can feel the tough love part of myself emerging. She’s pretty pissed that we have to do this again. Stop the vomiting. Replace the vomiting with messages of compassion and love. Right now, she’s not feeling much compassion and love toward me. She wants to kick my ass, tell me to quit being such a stupid bitch and concentrate on the important things in life.
Quit—literally—staring at my navel, wishing it back to the place it is when I fit in my skinny jeans. Seriously, Lorraine, so much important shit going on in the world and I have to take time out, again, to make you stop beating the shit out of yourself?
Are you fucking kidding me? You’re 45. This stuff is supposed to be done. Has been done. Was done. So why is it back?
Please, by all that’s holy, please, don’t let me be writing shit like this when I’m 55 or 65 or 75.
I want to make peace with my body. Not the temporary truces I come to all the time. But everlasting, loving peace.
And I guess, goddamnit, it has to start with me.
I love you, Lorraine. DO NOT THROW UP YOUR GODDAMNED BREAKFAST. This is day 2 of your one-day-at-a-time program, and I’ll be fucked if I have to start counting all over again.
- May 09
- Lorraine Berry lives in the Fingerlakes region of New York, although it's her transplanted home. On weekends, she can be heard throughout the area, cheering on her beloved Manchester City F.C. When not writing at Does This Make Sense? or Talking Writing, she can be found hiking with her two dogs, hanging out with her two daughters, eating what her beloved Rob has cooked for her, or teaching creative writing at a small college in the area.
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