This isn’t a first but today I started crying in the middle of the grocery store. I shop primarily at the Super Target by my house and I was “okay” while I looked at jewelry, clothes, shoes, and housewares but as I was crossing from housewares to the food area I started to panic. I say I was “okay” before I reached the food section because I was still uncomfortable. I had eaten today and I feel like I ate a lot even though I didn’t eat a lot of calories and I can barely look at myself in the mirror my face is so fat, my body is huge, my legs are gross and I feel like I quite literally weigh 300lbs. So yeah, I was just “okay”.
But then I got closer to the food section-mind you, I was just going for trash bags but of course, there is almost no food at my apartment so the idea that I should be there to buy food like the dozens of other folks kept running through and panicking my mind. I aimed for trash bags first, on a scale of 1-10, this was about a 4 as far as fear. It’s located near food. It’s like I could feel the temptation to buy food but at the same time I could hear the louder “don’t buy it” voice.
To get to checkout and out of the store I had to then walk past all the other aisles of food. Bad food. I tried to go down one of the aisles to try and find something that was safe or that was possibly safe but when I got to aisle the panic was full blown. Food is bad, not good, bad. It is terrible. And honestly, I can’t believe that people actually eat and don’t experience (a) pain, (b) nausea, (c) purging after. I just can’t. That’s my current life, it has been my life for a few years and it has become normal.
So as I stood there in the aisle I went to grab something that I have eaten on occasion, often when I am in the middle of running season and need carbs, I went to grab Cheerios. Frickin Cheerios. I touched the box, pulled away, tried again and just couldn’t. It was like someone was inside of me scratching to the surface, screaming that eating wasn’t and isn’t allowed, telling me it was bad, that I need to protect myself that I am not hungry and that when people say they ate, they lie.
And then, the tears started.
It wasn’t like the flood gates opened and I was hysterical but I was in the middle of the Super Target crying. Staring at Cheerios, crying. I’m not sure if it was out of disappointment, fear, hate, anxiety or what but it was just too much. I got my wristlet, phone and keys and I nearly ran out of the store. No trash bags, no food, nothing. And even if I semi-think it’s normal not to eat. I know crying in the middle of the grocery store is not.
I cried in the car, I cried on the way home, I cried when I got inside my house. But you know what, I still feel guilty because I ate earlier. I feel guilty that I THOUGHT about buying food. I feel guilty about it all.
I ended up looking up the “recommended daily caloric intake” for both the US and Canada. I chose Canada too b/c quite frankly I figured the US would be wayyy off base and would overestimate what people need- hence, the obesity rate. Canada says for a sedentary 20-something you need 1900 calories a day. 1900!?!?!? I haven’t come close to 1900 in years. I am also not sedentary. But that just makes me feel worse because I have not been losing weight, I feel fat as a damn hippo and I still fear the return of the pain that started this whole thing.
So, I am back to crying in the grocery store.