Someone Stop the World, I’d Like to Get Off

Trigger Warning!! This blog post deals with cutting, anorexia, bulimia, and social anxiety which may be triggering to some…

earth-cd321c592915ddb9165e20d1053edce9ee78cd3b-s6-c30All I can say is that today has been an interesting day with its ups and downs and unexpected turns of events.

My day started out by heading out to The 82nd Annual Plaza Art Fair which is perhaps the one art fair in the Kansas City area that always try to make it to. The main difference this year was I was going to the art fair alone since my roommate backed out at the last-minute, so I was on my own this year. As usual parking as a nightmare and given how little I actually drive these days dealing with the traffic, parking, and the crowds triggered a rather nasty panic attack. Locked in the parked car after finding a place to park it took a while for the panic attack to subside, but it eventually passed.

The fair was already really crowded by the time I got into it and I noticed tons more security people this year compared to previous years. Have I mentioned that I suffer from social anxiety? While the crowds this morning weren’t as bad as Saturdays I’m sure, there still was a lot of people and I was by myself without anyone to help me ground. I seem to be able to handle crowds better if I am with someone, but alone I quickly become overloaded. I managed to walk down the side of one row and was working my way back up the other side when another panic attack hit; by that point I had hit my fuck it point, headed back to the car, waited for this panic attack to pass, and left the fair. The fair was a wash in my mind; I have two panic attack limit for things and I hit that limit within the first 30 minutes of getting to the art fair. Maybe next year…

Lunch with My Daughter, Ana, and Cutter

Jerusalem_photo1-601x400Not having seen my daughter in a week, I had arranged to get together with her today for lunch at Jerusalem Bakery, which is one of the best Middle East restaurants in the Kansas City area. What I hadn’t thought about was that it was warm today so I wore a sleeveless top and I have 11 fairly fresh cuts on my arm (see Revelation for more about that incident). Also what is it about socializing around food all the time?

We went through the buffet line, got something to drink, and found a booth to settle down into to visit. My daughter made a comment about the fact that there was actually some food on my plate; or perhaps more accurately, more food than she would have thought. To be honest, it wasn’t much food at all but for me it was a lot. That was when I explained to her, that while I do have an eating disorder, it’s a myth that people with anorexia never eat. Of course we eat, if we didn’t we’d be dead (okay, yes, the death rate for anorexia is in the 50% range but I digress).  I did admit that what she saw me eat would be all that I would eat today; that didn’t sit well with her, but I’m not going to lie to my daughter either.

self-harm.jpg_e_be4a040f41dfb65a155b3b24351d007cDuring lunch I noticed my daughter every so often stealing glances at my arm, which I had been consciously trying to keep the cuts hidden as much as possible (apparently I did a poor job of that all day today, but more on that in a moment).

“I hope my cuts didn’t freak you out too much,” I said as we were leaving the restaurant.

“They did at first,” she responded. “Why do you do that? When did you do those?”

Trying to explain cutting to people is hard; most people won’t understand the reasoning behind it and as someone who cuts, I find it difficult explaining it to people (although I have tried in blog posts; Revelation, 30-Day BPD Challenge – Day 11, I Didn’t Make the Cut, & Bad Night). What seemed to upset her the most was when I mentioned that I still have my scalpels which she wanted to know why no one has taken them away from me. Try explaining to someone that cutting is better than the alternative and it only adds to the confusion; add that my therapist wants to get me away from cutting but isn’t in a hurry to yank it away from me since it is serving a need/purpose. Yes, cutting is a difficult conversation topic on many fronts…

Wasted, a Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Shakespeare_and_Co_bookstore_in_Paris_Img01After lunch, I set my sights on one of my most favorite things to do; go to the bookstore! Yes, I can spend hours and hours browsing in a bookstore so it was off to the first of three bookstores I planned to hit today. The first was Barnes & Noble in the Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS. While I love Barnes & Noble, getting a café mocha to sip while browsing the books, I have this aversion to paying full price for a book. I did find a couple of good books, but the cheapest one was $26 and I couldn’t bring myself to pay that for a book, so I left Barnes & Noble empty-handed, but I had expected that to begin with.

Next stop was Half Price Books, which is perhaps one of my favorite places (mostly because you can get a book without getting a nosebleed in the process). Lately with all the demons I am battling, I seem to be spending a lot more time in the psychology/self-help section of the bookstore. While browsing the eating disorder section (which has tons of books on over eating, but like two books on anorexia and/or bulimia) I came across Wasted a Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher so I decided to pick up that book.

For some reason today I totally failed in the clothing department; I didn’t think to wear something with sleeves to hide the cuts on my arm and I wore clothes that accentuated my size. I wore black skinny jeans (which are already too big for me and we just bought them), a form-fitting red and black sleeveless top that hugs my 24” waist, and black & pink Vans (yes, I rock the Goth look most of the time). Throw in pink highlights and I was apparently exactly the cashier’s type at Half Price Books; actually I fit in well at Half Price Books and Guitar Center perfectly…

Now I know I’ve been losing a lot of weight lately, but to me I don’t see it and do not think of myself as skinny by any definition of the word, but then I handed the book to the cashier. That started a whole conversation about Ana, the book, and that I can beat it. Ouch, Ana crashes my book-shopping big time and let’s bring on panic attack number three for the day…

The Tender Cut

self harm mainAfter the first Half Price Books, I headed over to another one that was somewhat on the way home. Again, I found myself in the psychology/self-help section when I came across The Tender Cut, Inside the Hidden World of Self-Injury by Patricia and Peter Adler. Since I’ve been struggling understand and explaining cutting to those in my life, I decided to pick up this book too.

As I went to buy the book, I wasn’t thinking about the cuts on my arm so as I handed the book to the cashier she saw not only the title of the book, but all the cuts currently visible on the arm handing the book to her. I saw her eyes go from the book, to my arm, back to the book, and back to my arm a couple of times before flashing me a sympathetic smile. The other day I stumbled across a video on YouTube about using makeup to cover up cuts on one’s arm; at the time I didn’t think much about it but then I didn’t have any visible cuts…

Today has been somewhat of a roller coaster with a number of panic attacks, Ana butting into things where she’s not welcome, and Cutter was front and center a good part of the day too. No wonder I’m crazy, I’ve got all these different people in my head trying to run my life and my own voice in my head is getting lost in the chorus of others who’ve taken up residence…

Peace, love, and contentment,
Izzy

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