I’m going through a break up.
It’s not one of those, dated you for a few months and hoped you were the one but always had suspicions you weren’t, breakups. It’s not one of those 6 years 7 months and 19 days break ups where you built your life around someone only to discover that the hopes and dreams you envisioned and worked on bringing to fruition are now not what you thought they would be, breakups. No, this break up is quite different than those, although my break up shares common threads with the aforementioned heartbreaks; it shares similar pangs of hurt, similar losses, similar pains, similar “I can’t get through this” thoughts, and similar shattered visages of the future.
I went through a break up once when I was 23 years old – 5 yrs and 9 months ago. The actual break up happened on my birthday. I’ll spare you all the gory details (even though you know I actually do want to spill my tale of woe, as most people do about loves lost and relationships which ended badly to anyone who will listen.). It wasn’t pretty. It lasted for 12 hours and by the end I absolutely knew that my life was over. I called my best friend and she said, “I’m proud of you, Mallory.” I thought – “proud of what?” I wouldn’t allow any kind of positive thought to grace my shattered psyche. First came the nightmares, then the absence of any feeling at all. Then anger, and then excruciating pain. I think I am still getting over that break up to this day. I still dream about this dude, this dude who was so clearly wrong from me from moment one, who I shared nothing in common with, whose family hated me, who I became so obsessive over that I nearly landed myself in the hospital – I still dream about him on a weekly basis. The dreams vary of course, but somehow this boy I knew and loved always finds his way back into them. What does this tell me?
1: I’ve never loved anybody in a romantic sense since. It’s true. What can I say? I’m a late bloomer.
2: I choose to protect my heart. When I do allow myself to feel and love and breathe in time with someone, I really let myself love. It’s all encompassing and all consuming for me.
3. I’m an addict at heart. And by association, I bear some natural co-dependent tendencies which, if I don’t reign in, seek to kill and maim.
So now, 5 years and 9 months later, I am going through another break up which upon much thought ( I have a lot of spare time on my hands right now ) feels quite similar to that other one. While there is no other human involved, and it certainly isn’t as tangible or easy to explain to others or universal as that one was, it certainly seems to take the proverbial cake, in my opinion.
I’m going through a break up with food. Yes, that’s right. Food and I are now ex-lovers and ex-best friends. I’m sure it makes sense what I’m saying to some, but I’d like to take this time to express the gravity of this break up on my heart of hearts.
The first night home from the hospital I had a dream about food. Pizza, chicken strips, french fries and ranch dressing (not the out of the bottle kind, the homemade kind you get at restaurants.). I woke up sad and empty. I remembered how much I love pizza and ranch and all things fried. When I say love, I mean love. Unrequited, head over heels, can’t stop thinking about you for even one second love. This has been my relationship with food for as long as I can remember. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake in the morn and the last thing I think about before I drift to sleep. And not just any food, or any amount of food. Huge quantities of specific kinds of food which I have taken for my own over and over again, as long as I can remember. Extra large pizzas. A whole container of sour cream and a whole bag of chips. 4 burritos, 2 quesadillas and an extra large Pepsi from Taco Bell. Onion rings, French fries, 2 cheeseburgers, 2 chicken sandwiches. And that’s just scraping the bottom of the barrel. Huge amounts of food which I always ate in one clean sitting brought me the same types of feelings which one might have after great sex ( I do kind of remember what that was like… I think), a long embrace from the one you love, or… Well, the drug of your choice.
Yes, you’ve heard the similarities, I’m sure: Food addiction is akin to other addictions : drug, alcohol, gambling, shopping, sex. To this I say: YOU’RE DAMN FUCKING RIGHT IT IS. I never knew how true this was until this experience.
I feel like there is a big gaping whole where my heart (or stomach) used to be. I feel like I have nothing left to live for. I feel like I want to give up. I feel like I want to go back. I feel like I’m missing my other half. I thought I was lonely before… Well, apparently I didn’t know what lonely was.
Without food, who am I? What is my purpose? What do I want? Who do I want to spend time with? Oh my goodness, so many unanswered questions.
This break up is brutal. I’m one week in. The first several days was coming off anesthesia and adjusting to being home from the hospital. Well, I’m home. Now what?
I remember what it was like after that other break up. This is worse. Yes, I’m still eating. Yes, I’ll be able to eat more and more in the future as time goes on, maybe even a piece of pizza or two. But it won’t be the same. It will never be the same. I’m in mourning.
Of course there is that guiding light, those thoughts of hope that surface from time to time. ” It’s good that things aren’t the same. That wasn’t who you wanted to be. That wasn’t you. You have so much love to give. You are strong enough to do this. ”
I cling to those thoughts as I cling to the pillows on my bed as I write this.
Breaks up suck. And I need support. All of it I can possibly get.