an ordinary tuesday evening (with an eating disorder)

i hold the bottle of Tanqueray in my hands with trepidation. i haven’t drank since new years. i am not an alcoholic. i have never even felt the merciless vengeance of a hangover. even so, i never feel good after drinking. my peers think i’m just too uptight. maybe something’s wrong with me. i find myself standing alone in my kitchen, frustrated and exhausted, contemplating pouring myself a glass of gin to see if it would make me feel something. my roommate’s boyfriend offered to buy the small bottle off of me just the other day. maybe i should have let him. maybe i should pour it down the drain. or smash the bottle. i settle on putting it back in the cabinet. i drink my gatorade instead.

i go grocery shopping at Target. i never shop for groceries at Target. i don’t shop at Target at all, usually. feels like a luxury. it’s further away and most prices are slightly marked up, but it’s a nicer store. i decide that going to a different place for groceries could make the task a little less unpleasant. it does.

i am tempted by the candy isle. having restricted for so long, chocolate and sweets look more decadent now than ever. like an oasis in the desert, to be cliche. i want to buy some treats but i am afraid of binging. i’ve never binged on sweets before. my binges are usually a sample platter of many foods, desperate to find something that satisfies.

doctor said it was okay to spend a little more money for food that i am more inclined to eat. i buy non-cook foods that i can take with me to work or the lake or the library. beef jerky, string cheese, crackers, Luna bars, bananas. i buy some frozen vegetables and chicken nuggets and microwavable macaroni and cheese for when i want something hot that doesn’t take much effort. i pick up a can of organic lentil soup. it costs more than $2. that’s a lot for one small can. but it looks good. i like lentil soup. it reminds me of my mom. mom used to make it for me as a little girl. she said lentils were healthy and that Jesus ate them. i put the can in my cart.

the total is $45. my SNAP card is declined. twice. i use my debit card. the thoughts of guilt and scarcity and financial anorexia set in. i don’t have the energy or time for them right now. i remind myself to be thankful that i had enough cash to pay for my groceries. it will be ok. i drive away.

i listen to songs i’ve never heard before on the radio. i purposely miss my exit on the interstate so i can take the longer way home. it is getting dark on the road and the longer way is lit up. it feels less lonely. the traffic lights and shops keep me company.

i come home. i am alone. just me, my thoughts and my groceries. i am graduating saturday. i will be out of this apartment in a month. somehow i have made it this far despite myself. somehow my heart is still beating. yesterday makes me sad. but i keep waking up to new todays.


featured image via unsplash

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