Sometimes when going about my day I see almost a ghost of myself doing the same thing weeks, months or even years ago. It’s like I’m remembering what life was like then, but I feel the same way I used to for a brief moment, almost like a ghost of myself from another life has passed through me.
When out for sushi for lunch with friends at work I suddenly realized that I not only wasn’t tracking what I was eating, but I had no idea what anyone else had eaten either! I remembered the impossible math that my mind would have to do whenever going for sushi, the stress, the guilt, and 80% of the time the purging. I sat there in my chair thinking about how awful it used to feel to go to sushi. It was fun and I really liked going but I really did feel very awful. Now, I am able to sit here and enjoy my meal with a fairly clear mind.
Sometimes after yoga at night I’ll step into the shower after dinner and a ghost of myself is pacing the bathroom going from the toilet to the scale with the shower on singing so that Carson wouldn’t suspect I was purging. I feel the desperation, fear, panic, and disappointment and then wave it out of my mind continuing with my night.
When eating alone I can see the ghost throwing out the food I was supposed to eat and telling everyone I ate it. I see this shrinking violet of myself bringing safe foods to parties, avoiding social meals, calling in sick to work because of Christmas dinners and bake sales I was trying to avoid. Now, as I walk through life I get excited about the group lunches at work, the tasty new foods at parties and being able to spend time with the people I love, whether food is there or not.
Sometimes I wonder if these ghosts will follow me forever, reminding me of how far I’ve come and how much happier I am now. Part of me hopes so, but another part wishes they would stay – they seem familiar and comforting somehow, like memories of who I was and reminders of why I can never be that girl again. There was so much sadness and anger in that girl, so much fear and hatred. I mourn that girl and feel bad for her, but I am grateful that now I can see myself separately.