It’s late February and it’s still really cold in San Francisco, it’s 7:36am and the dew is just burning off my windshield from the sun that is freshly in the sky. Squinting, because I left my sunglasses in my car. I opened my driver side door and the white and silver Athleta bag filled with empty bags and wrappers, of cookies, a hunny bun, a protein bar, a protein cookie, cheese danish thing, potato chip wrappers, kinda cowered under the driver seat, but kinda glared at me too.

I did myself a favor and put them away last night, I’ve done this before. I know how it works, and although it’s been years, it’s like riding a bike. I couldn’t throw them away last night, because I couldn’t touch them, twice. I can’t handle picking up each one individually, like cleaning up little pieces of your broken heart all over the floor. Like, choosing a closed casket, because the damage is pretty bad. I knew if I could put my heart somewhat back together to deal with it in one piece, that would be better for future me.

Past me is always looking out for future me. I would look more into that but I don’t know how to phrase it without saying “I should look into that more.”
And I am just not ready for any more “should” right now.
All the personal development books I read tell me to avoid “should” but I’m not yet sure if I should or not.

Photo credit: @Keitth.Harney

Photo credit: @Keitth.Harney

This time wasn’t so bad. I took the bag out from under the seat, I stuffed it down there in case anyone walked by my car, they wouldn’t know what a failure I am, not that I now believe I am a failure, from failing, but because this is an old habit. I used to spend a lot of time hiding candy bar wrappers and such. I walked about 30 feet and tossed it in the dumpster behind me. It’s over.

I am not mad at myself. I can learn and reflect.
I don’t know how it is with drug or alcohol addicts, but when I binge, I don’t let myself know it’s bad when it’s happening. It just…happens. It’s like totally lizard brain. Some animals freeze in place, when they are this scared. My brain did not work. I don’t remember anything, just getting it over with. That’s all I remember.

I wonder, now, what the convenience store clerk thought of me? How big were my eyes?

Back in my car, the only self talk I had was “Get rid of it!”
I ate so fast, the muscles in my face hurt from fatigue.
This is so shameful, and hard to admit.
That’s why the wrappers needed to not exist. They are the remains, the bones, the evidence, the shame. I cannot see them.
I cannot tell myself what I did is ok if I see them.

And I cannot get out of it if I don’t believe that what I did was ok.
That’s the big difference this time. It is ok.

Years ago, when I would binge and purge a lot, it was never, ever, ever ok.

Restrict > Binge> Purge> Restrict>Binge>Purge

I spent some 15 years in this cycle.
Desperate attempts to stop the binge and the purge, but not the restrict.

We live in a society that nearly forces restrictive eating
especially to women
especially to young women
especially to young women who aren’t skinny
especially to young women who aren’t skinny who self shame
especially to young women who aren’t skinny who self shame because we are told our worth is dependent on how attracted a man is to us.

“We try hard to do some good. But we should try softer.” -Andrea Gibson

I am terrified of how powerful we are.
I am terrified of how in charge we get to be of our own lives.

This binge wasn’t about body image this time. It wasn’t shaming myself for being fat, or too big, or too much, or whatever I used to believe.

It’s about control. I am so scared of the truth that, I can manipulate my diet, and my weight.
I have the knowledge and, more recently, the emotional stability to be able to do that.


Asking myself (truly believing it):
You can be anything you want, what do you want?
It’s the most terrifying question I have ever asked myself.
I kinda would prefer to be a victim of fate.
I kinda would prefer to let things fall where they may.
Do I have the emotional stability to be able to know that I am completely and totally in charge of my life, and still not shame myself for not being perfect?
I’m not sure.

You don’t really have to ask yourself that, if you self-sabatoge. God, the subconscious is just so smart. Funny how the subconscious is still you. I’m not an expert at the difference. I don’t know who took the steering wheel, conscious me or subconscious me, last night when I had lots of free time and I realized could eat whatever I wanted, and I asked my body what it wanted and it said a salad, and I believed it, and somehow I made my way to the convenience store instead, and purchased as much junk food as my arms could hold, and started eating it before I was out the door.

I wanted to feel the safety of out of control.
What’s that country song?
Jesus, take the wheel.

Except, I believe we are all God,
collectively and individually.
And so I am Jesus.
Jesus take the wheel,
for me,
is just a shoving match,
back and forth,
with all the parts of me.

I don’t wanna take the wheel, right now.
I’m scared.
But I think I do soon.
And I think I will soon.
I just have to believe in my ability to steer.