Meet ED. He’s a complicated guy. A friend. But kind of not. He’s brought some advantages into my life that I really love. And some fairly dark, hard things too. In some ways, he’s been extremely helpful. I have welcomed his arrival. But he has also (possibly) attempted to destroy me. Maybe. That’s ED. That’s the kind of guy he is. It’s a complex association. Fairly dysfunctional. But I’m totally into him. Don’t want to let him go, no matter what he does to me.
We’ve had two very intense relationships during my lifetime.
I met him when I was in my mid-twenties. Young, but still older than most who meet him for the first time. Guess you can call me a late bloomer. I had just learned that my new husband didn’t love or want me and I was totally crushed. That’s when ED stepped in to fill the gap. He introduced me to his friend, Restricting. And to their mutual friend, Excessive Exercise. Next thing I knew, I was running 13 to 15 miles every morning, walking for an hour every night, doing another hour of general exercises, all while counting the number of croutons and cherry tomatoes I was allowed to have on my salad. I had a 30 minute window of time in which to eat each meal. If I couldn’t eat within the window, I didn’t get to eat. The rules were rigid, but they were for my own good. ED assured me he had my best interests at heart.
The last time I weighed myself during that first relationship, I got down to 84 lbs., but I lost more after I stopped weighing.
I felt so powerful with ED by my side! If I hadn’t broken my hip running when I was in my mid-30’s, who knows what would have happened. But that injury effectively ended my ability to fraternize with Excessive Exercise and when we parted company, it became extremely difficult to keep the weight off, even though Restricting was still in my life. I was eating 500 calories every other day, but gaining weight. Sadly, Restricting’s friendship alone wasn’t enough for me anymore. The pounds accumulated in spite of our partnership and everything unraveled.
My relationship with ED was in shambles. I wanted him back, but didn’t know how to reach him. He moved away and left me all alone, breaking my heart nearly as badly as my husband had.
Then, after 22 years of marriage, my (now ex) husband told me he had fallen in love with another woman. This, along with several other traumatic events (loss of job, church, dog and failed suicide attempt) brought ED back into my life. At long last! It was so good to see him again! And I reestablished close contact with Restricting too. Together, they introduced me to a new friend of theirs…Purging. We became inseparable.
With Restricting and Purging on my team, the pounds fell off. I was ecstatic! Something good was finally happening in my life! In short order, the tiny person I had long felt hiding inside of me was back.
ED likes me thin; skinnier the better. And I like myself that way too, so we get along famously. But by the time I hit 90 lbs., I was encountering some physical difficulties I didn’t experience when I was younger. This time, probably because of Purging, I would frequently find myself unable to stand up or to remain standing. My muscles simply didn’t respond to the command of my brain. A couple of times, when I let my dog outside to do her business, I drunkenly staggered into the yard and fell unceremoniously to the ground. I was too weak to stay upright and my muscles weren’t working. Each time, I eventually managed to crawl back inside the house. But I didn’t yet understand the impact of my relationship with my new friend, Purging (I later learned about his cohorts, Low Potassium and Low Sodium). My hair fell out too. And the muscle cramps were unbearable. But ED and his friends were my best buddies. You do what you have to do for your friends. You don’t kick them to the curb just because things get a little difficult.
At some point, Restricting and Purging introduced me to Binging. Not BIG BINGING. Binging, Jr. With Binging, Purging and Restricting by my side, by taking supplements, I was able to (mostly) make it through the day without medical intervention. There have been a few scary ambulance rides and overnight hospital stays. But ED and his friends are sticking with me. Whether I like it or not.
And I do like it. But I don’t. It’s complicated.
I need to be as far away from overweight as I can get. ED’s helping me with that. I pray he doesn’t let me down…I need him. No, ED doesn’t make my problems go away, but he does make me able to face the next day. He gives me the ability to tolerate myself. And the ability to tolerate being alive.
Honestly, what more can you ask for from a guy?