I’ve learned a lot of things throughout my life. Some I learned in my nearly three decades of attending school; some I have learned in my decade of teaching. Others, I learned in the twenty years of practicing and “perfecting” bulimia. These are things I wish I did not know.
I wish I didn’t know exactly how many minutes to wait after bingeing for the “best” purge, the one where I tasted bile at the end. I wish I didn’t know that eggs and fish are the worst things to come back up; I wish I didn’t know difference in texture between vomiting up milk versus vomiting up ice cream. I wish I didn’t know how bad it tastes to throw up water. I wish I didn’t think of Diet Coke as a vehicle for a purge–Diet Coke is amazing, and I wish I could drink it without remembering all the times I abused it for a purge.
I wish I didn’t know that “feeling”– the feeling when you wake up in the morning and remember you binged and purged the night before because of the sting in your throat, overactive salivary glands, swollen eyes, throbbing head. It all comes flooding back in that moment upon waking; it doesn’t let you forget. And then, the routine–pressing fingertips to eye troughs, rubbing temples, popping NSAIDs, making coffee, starting the sobriety counter over again.
I wish I could forget those things. My body does a better job than my mind. In just these weeks of not purging, my eyes look brighter, my face less swollen, my belly less bloated. Day 22.