Thursday, May 04, 2006

She's So Heavy, Part 2

Around the end of first year, I met Bob Pearson, who became the alcoholic crack-head pathological liar I have mentioned in this space before. Not knowing his secret identity, I fell for him and fell hard. My weight stayed pretty stable. This was my first year of Thin, running around in long johns under ripped jeans or too-big dresses and ratty cardigans.

He and I moved in together in September 1995. He started drinking in October. October third, to be precise. I came home on my birthday, expecting to be taken out for dinner, and met an incoherent, belligerent, unintelligible boyfriend who ripped into me for reasons unfathomable then and now forgotten. For years afterwards my birthday sent me to bed.

As you can imagine, things went quickly downhill. There was lots more drinking, and so much fighting. I remember taking the streetcar to our house with nausea roiling acid in my stomach. Not knowing whether you’re going to open the door to a raving lunatic who hates you or to someone reasonably sane but who still probably hates you is a little wearing on one’s nerves.

I got depressed again. Food became repulsive. I would put it in my mouth, chew and then try to swallow. Sometimes I just gave up and spit it out. After a while I didn’t even bother trying. At the nadir, I felt like a champ if I’d managed to eat a bagel with cream cheese or a small bowl of spaghetti in any given day.

Spring came around. I weighed 103 pounds. I went to therapy.

I hoped I would just fade away.

I saw a baby psychologist for a while. I didn't want medication. I got too bad for him and was transferred to his supervisor. Karen. I saw her every week. Decided to take meds. Saw Karen and the psychiatrist each once a week. They put me on disgusting protein drinks and old people shakes. Tried prozac: a twitching insomniac. Tried Zoloft: so nauseous I could barely function. Tried suicide: they changed my medication.

I stayed on the medication floor of the hospital (not the mental ward) for 5 days. The nurses at the hospital clucked or spit, depending on disposition. None of them would believe my shrunken 21 year old self was a day over 16.

Now, I’ve spiraled pretty far away from weight. But I wanted to give a picture of what was happening in my life. Most people I knew didn’t know this was going on. First, I’d cut a lot of my friends out of my life, partially because Bob had convinced me they were no good, partially because it’s too much effort to maintain close friendships when you’re that depressed. Second, I was what they call a high-functioning depressive. I was going to all my classes and pulling As during all this. Most of that was escape, I think. It was a blessing to think about something else for a little while. And miss a class? That meant staying home.

2 comments:

R said...

Yup, I remember not being able to maintain any relationships. Still reading...this is crack for me.

Asteroidea Press said...

Hey, glad you like it.