Saturday, July 20, 2013

the glutton

These are the words trapped in my head. I don't need anyone to do anything about them. I just need to get them out where I can see them. I need to do it here where fewer people - but still some people - can read them. Here there is plausible deniability. Here there is veiled anonymity.

Bacon is sizzling on the stove. I can smell it from where I am in the living room. I need to go check on it. Turn it. Keep it golden, never black. I am torn between the gagging feeling in my throat that indicates words that need to come out, and knowing the bacon needs turning.

I will turn the bacon. Drain it on paper towel. Fry an egg in its dripping. I have already sliced canteloupe to have with them. I tell myself that is balanced. I will drink lemon water with it. I  tell myself it's a diuretic. It will help hide my shame.

I have eaten almost all day. Not non-stop, but not stopped for long. I was going to stop at 4. Do a purge - epsom salts and lemon juice and olive oil. But my gut already hurt, and I didn't have the courage. My gut no longer hurts. But I don't purge - I eat more.

I have been alone all day. My Man was gone long before I woke up this morning. I don't know where The Little One is - he hasn't been home for days. I tried texting friends, but no one was available. I tried making plans via Facebook, but nothing developed. I had a day to do anything - go to the beach, read, explore, adventure, take steps to move from this life I am surviving to one I could love. I ate. I shopped for food, and bought food, and ate.

I know a woman who cuts herself. Although she is ashamed of the action, she takes great pride in the beauty of her tiny perfect parallel cuts. I have seen them. They are beautiful. I gorge myself, and feel shame both for the action and for the restult. I wish I could hide my hulking, pallid, distorted body.

I don't want to be naked in front of My Man. I hate when he looks at my body with hunger. I feel ill when I imagine how it feels to touch the oozing softness of my belly. I sleep on my stomach to make it smaller, at least for the night. For those hours, if sleep comes, my bloated abdomen is under control. I get dressed in the dark. I don't look in the mirror until I am clothed.

I am now typing and eating and editing. This is not a cry for help. I don't want to read a book you read. I know I need to talk to someone. I just want the words out of my head. I want to not be alone. And with every bite, I am building my castle walls.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

shades and spectres all around

On Sunday morning the first thing I read after a lovely and too-infrequent sleep in was of the untimely and sad death of Cory Monteith. No, I didn't know him. Yes, he's 'just a celebrity' whose performances I enjoyed. He's also the 'nephew' (in the most modern sense) of someone I value and respect, a local boy, a son, and an uncle. And he was the place I'd hung my hope.

As the mother of an addict, I know deep in my bones that the only options for my son's escape from addiction are death and recovery. And 'knowing' Cory's back story, knowing his struggles as a teenager, his bout of homelessness, his history of addiction, and his story of overcoming, hearing about what a gentle soul he was, his creativity, his humanity, his compassion. Hearing his willingness to re-visit rehab this spring to continue moving forward in his life, I pinned my hoped for The Oldest on him. If he could make it, The Oldest could. The Oldest could overcome adversity and addiction. The Oldest could steal a joyful life out of the jaws of addiction and death.

And then I woke up Sunday morning. And Cory was dead. Still, I clung to a thin and desperate thread - maybe it wasn't drugs that killed him. Maybe his heart gave out for other reasons - maybe I could still believe that drugs are beatable. Today a preliminary autopsy report says that Cory died with both heroin and alcohol in his system.

I never met Cory Monteith. And, today it hurts to look at pictures of him. To see how charming, how well and whole and healthy someone can look even while addiction steals them away. I can't imagine how his mother, who just last month lost her long-time partner and Cory's step-dad, will survive this hit.

Today The Oldest texted me that his 31 year-old cousin had a massive heart attack last night and is being kept alive by machines. The same age as Cory; a fit, hard-working husband and father of two young sons, who has "worked and partied" too hard for too long, according to my son.

It is hard, most days, not to see death everywhere. Too often, lately, it seems that drugs are death's mistress, seductively enthralling young men to their deaths. It's more than a mother should have to take. My heart tonight is with Cory's mom and with my former sister-in-law. I fear for us all.