The title is with apologies (and thanks) to Rachel. I’d always thought of that voice as the crazy PERSON who lives in my head, but really? She IS a bitch. (Rachel, if you read this, I tried to link directly to the post where you used that term, but I couldn’t find it.)
Remember all that stuff I wrote about the hypoglycemia and the thyroid stuff and the gallbladder stuff? Well, the upshot is that if I don’t want to feel like shit all the time, I have to make some drastic changes in what and how I eat. (Actually, I have to make more changes in the “how,” and just a few in the “what,” so that’s nice.) But one of the things I had to start doing was keeping a food journal, so that I could figure out what was going on when I was letting my blood sugar get super low, and then when I was knocking it out of the park.
But can I just say that the only time I’ve ever kept a food journal has been when I was dieting? And not just “dieting,” or even “Dieting.” But when I was D.I.E.T.I.N.G. That’s Dieting like a hard-core, self-hating, self-punishing, “you’re-too-fat-to-be-worth-the-space-you-take-up-you-cow-why-don’t-you-just-DIE” kind of Dieting. I used to keep that journal so that I could write myself nasty notes in the margins next to foods that I thought were “bad.” Notes like “THIS is why you’re so FAT!!!!!” with fat underlined 4 or 5 times, next to things like . . . eggs. Yes, eggs. Because you know, there’s FAT in eggs, and fat was BAD, and I should have just eaten egg whites. See? Crazy.
I actually think that all that self-hatred is what finally flipped me from starving to bingeing. I started not writing down certain foods, because I couldn’t bear to see them on paper. I couldn’t bear to see how weak I was. After a while, I got to where I would have black-out binges, much like a drinker blacks out. I couldn’t handle the idea that I had eaten something “bad” and so I would literally block it out. I have memories of “waking up” in my kitchen, having eaten TONS of food, and having NO memory of doing it, of looking at the clock and realizing that I had just “lost” 2 or 3 HOURS. It was fucking TERRIFYING.
Having come through the other side of all that, I don’t hear the voice very often anymore, and when I do I can usually shut it down pretty fast. But in keeping this journal, that Crazy Bitch has come roaring back with a ferocity that I cannot believe. The other day I found myself not wanting to write down that I had a glass of wine and a piece of cheese (and lemme tell ya, that wine and cheese tasted SO GOOD) after dinner. Because, you know: alcohol + fat = BAD FATTY (protein doesn’t count: we’re in Crazy-town here). But you know what the ironic thing is? Crazy Bitch would argue that I should just have the glass of wine and skip the cheese. But my DOCTOR told me if I wanted to drink, to MAKE SURE I got some protein and fat with the alcohol, so that my blood sugar didn’t skyrocket (and then crash 30 minutes later).
So here’s what I did (which seems a little weird, but bear with me): I started a journal to keep track of my journal. I put a calendar page on the fridge, and every day when I write down what I eat without leaving anything out or skipping food that I want or adding calorie counts next to it (because oh, God, Crazy Bitch REALLY REALLY wants to add calorie counts, pleasepleasepleeeeeeeease), I mark off a day on the calendar page. It’s like my own internal “Fuck you” to the Crazy Bitch: See, here’s one more day where you DIDN’T RUN MY LIFE, GODDAMMIT. And you know, it helps. Because as I mark those days off, I see the string of them grow. Two days sane, 4 days sane, a week sane. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to keep Crazy Bitch quiet and losing the battles.
I’ve spent a lot of time avoiding doing things that I knew would cause her to re-emerge. And honestly, most of those things I wouldn’t choose to do on a day-to-day basis anyway (like keep a food journal), but still. The fact that even taking care of my own health involves (at this point) doing things that activate Crazy Bitch means that I’m reluctant to do those things, and with good reason.
So in an odd way, I’m glad to see her: I’m looking at this as an opporutnity to dig her out of my psyche and evict her permanently, instead of just avoiding the things that I know will cause her to re-emerge. And there are things I still won’t choose to do on a regular basis (like food journaling), but that will be a much freer (and therefore stronger) choice because there won’t be the fear involved.
Pack your bags, Crazy Bitch. You don’t get to run my life anymore. I win, you lose, every damn day on that calendar page. Get out.