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Anatomy of a Binge

It is Monday morning, and I am working, or trying to work. As usual, I am struggling with depression and a mental fog that surrounds my brain. In addition, technical problems are coming up. Just what IS the difference between _cdecl and _stdcall anyway? My VxDs are not working, and they are due within days. I pore through the manuals, but have difficulty really paying attention to what is happening.

11:30 am. I feel hungry, and decide to go for lunch. I have it planned out; an apple, and I buy a sandwich at a sub shop that my food sponsor has persuaded me to consider abstinent, for now. On the way the idea strikes me to buy a milkshake, something I cannot consider abstinent, yet partake of once a day on average.

I head to a pay phone and start phoning people. On the third attempt I reach someone. We chat; she gets frustrated, saying that I do not seem to have the basic willingness to recover. She asks if I can promise her I will not have an milkshake. I am silent for a moment, then say No, I can't, I'm sorry. She replies, why did you call me then? I have no response.

What am I feeling as I head to the shop, where in the end I buy a milkshake, and a cookie to boot?

Want. I want the food. I hunger for its sweet taste, the coolness of its texture pouring down my throat, the feeling of calmness, peace, and relaxation that flows into my body and soul as I luxuriate in its presence and its all-loving adoration. A goofy grin is over my face as I ingest it; a feeling of almost dreamlike contentment.

Also, there is the spirit of rebellion. I am tired, sick to death and tired, of rules and regulations and principles telling me what is good and what is bad. Who cares about my health anyway? What does it matter if I live or die? I no longer give a damn. All I think about is the craves I want. If I become diabetic, (maybe I am already) if I stay obese, nothing matters. I will brook no opposition to my hungers. I want it and I want it now.

Part of me wants to cry, to break down and sob desperately right there in the middle of the sidewalk. On occasion, even in public places, I have tried this. Yet I do not cry. I cannot. Tears do not come. My body may shake with a crazed sound that resembles more a hysterical hyena than a sad human, but no tear makes its way down my cheeks. I feel robotic, even inhuman.

Without food, what would I be? Without food, what would I have? Emptiness only; the black pit of despair that comes when a constant craving goes unfilled, when a desperate need goes unmet, or when a hunger for love goes unsatisfied.

For at the root of it all, I am desperate to be loved. I feel unloved. I feel alone, unwanted, without solace, without comfort, without hope. Deep are the wounds that rend me in twain and gnaw at me like a bleeding ulcer; hidden are the sights that torment my mind and drag me, endlessly, through the dark secret areas of the imagination.

And at the bottom of it all, lies the primal scream of a single, glistening, unshed tear.

Oasis, Sept. 10, 1996.