Fish N Chips

I’d been thinking about it all day – it was time to break it – stop the cascade of feelings that were coursing through my body – stop this craving to feel good enough, to feel satisfied with myself, to feel fulfilled with where my life was and where I had taken myself to.

In the last 8 and a half months I had never been this sure, this certain that I had to go back and experience the other side, just for one evening, one mouthful of a hot salty chip and deep fried fish. Today was the day.

I finished my day, left feeling empty – not because of the task of the day, because of my inability to express myself, to articulate my frustration, to voice my certainty of my own worth, my own sense of self, my place in that space.

The need to FILL that space was overwhelming, was suffocating, was everything, was the ONLY thing. There was no time to feel, no time to reach out to a friendly space of understanding – outside of myself, or inside the turmoil of my own emotions and selves, fighting to be heard, fighting to be seen.

Yet my hands sent a message to one who might respond, might understand what I needed to stop this cascade. A simple message of HELP!! How long could I wait for that helping hand – would I be buried in food before it came.

My mind wandered back to the spaces that used to be comfort in these moments – or rather, spaces that I used to use as a pre-emptive measure to never reach these moments.

My hands found my phone, thinking about booking into a cinema, where I could sit in the corner and eat unobserved and keep my mind off what my body was doing with a movie.

My car drove past the turnoff – I missed the only session I dared attend without the risk of being seen by anyone I might know.

I would go straight to the Fish and Chip shop, or Red Rooster, anywhere I could get that salty hot taste. While my mind was so occupied, deciding which was the best way to break this curse of healthy eating I had dared to attempt, I found myself at the turnoff to my street, almost at my house.

There was no goodness there. Only this perceived version of health – only a danger of the feelings I was keeping at bay coming in to wash over me with such force that I would break.
A message came through – a short reminder to think about what the binge was going to attempt to protect me from. I knew it was asking me to search.

I found myself searching – but on the outside instead – risking looking inside would hurt me – I searched for what could be used to quench this threat of pain. I went through four items of food and was pissed that I wouldn’t push past this stupid limit of no cooked food. I got ready to leave the house, bag in hand – went

through the ritual of preparing my space to bring home my loot just like a junkie would.
With keys and bag in hand, I stood at the door and couldn’t leave the threshold from where some part of me knew I wouldn’t return – some part of me dragged me back – and the anger and frustration burst through me like a storm breaking. The hot tears stung my face as I decided to go for one more ‘within limit’ option and as I ate and ate and ate the tears flowed until the storm calmed.

OMG – these feelings – these feelings are what the weight and all that food was avoiding. The hurt, frustration, pain and emptiness. The endless emptiness.

The intensity of the feelings haven’t quite left. As I write this the tears still fall. But they haven’t broken me. There is also light, a glimmer of possibility that I can actually do this, that I am not only the selves (parts of me) that feel frustrated and empty, that I am also loved, loving and full.
I don’t know what to do with this – so I write. I write in the hope that some day I will be able to articulate the feelings that were left unheard and unseen today. To give voice to the little girl inside who used to know nothing better than to eat anything and everything to push down those feelings. To the part of me that choose today a different path and different food to help bring those feelings to the surface. To the one who was able to experience them and not break. To the one that knows there will be another chance to be heard – and that I am being heard now – by the most important person – ME.