oh jules,

i don’t know if i should be writing right now.

or maybe this moment is exactly when i should.

i am on “dump train” as my friend calls it.

that dark place where binging takes over.

and it is really hard to describe this feeling. both before and after.

almost dissociative. as though i am leaving my body and my mind in search of food.

not searching for nourishment, not searching for reward, but searching for… harm?


at first it is a matter of resistance.

“just say no”

“choose healthier options”

harm reduction.

harm reduction.


… and so i put back the box of “granola” (harvest crunch – more addictive than crystal meth, quite possibly)

… i eat a real breakfast.

… but then i don’t stop…


i open and close cupboards.

take out a block of cheese. eat a slice. put it away.

take it out. eat 8 slices.

then the rice crackers. the salt.

and after too many “no’s” i finally eat a muffin (having managed to avoid them when they were hot and fresh).

then i eat 3.


and then it is the point of no return.

the point where i feel like my face and hands are tingling.

my stomach aching and bulging. from the portions and the wheat.

but i can’t stop.

i keep searching.

i eat by the spoonful. greedily.

i remember the chocolate almond bark that i hid from myself last time. i can’t forget.

i open the bag and eat half of it (a costco-sized half).


there is nothing enjoyable about this.


i am making birthday cheesecake.

it would not be a big deal if i just decided to splurge on a piece of cheesecake for dessert.

this is not a splurge. it is a binge.


but i don’t have the option of purging. or even the energy to run.


so i sit in the agony of self-loathing and the almost-dizzy state of the inevitable sugar crash.

and i wonder. “why?”


how was i able to be ‘fit’ for a couple of years?

and how have i swung so far, so quickly?


and i wasn’t healthy then. body or mind.

but i don’t feel healthy now. body or mind.


and what is it about this house – this place – that triggers me so?

is the boredom?

the access?


i used to teach this harm reduction strategy to the youth i counselled: “HALT! stop and do self care if you are: hungry, angry, lonely, or tired” — i would always add ‘bored’ to the list though I could never come up with a good acronym.


does this place represent who i used to be? who i am?

(who am i?)


i used to be so lazy. and really dislike myself immensely, especially my body.

then, recently, i found a lot more confidence, socially and physically. i learned that my body was strong. that it could learn new things and do hard stuff.

and now. i feel weak. in body and mind.

i can’t say no. i can’t push myself. i can barely hold on.


and when things get like this – i just want to let everything go.

i just stop caring. i enter the dark pit of dismay and deprecation.

i think – who cares about following dreams? who cares about people? (even these amazing little lives who i am ignoring. well, letting them hide behind a screen as i hide behind mine).


somewhere in the beginning and the middle – there were choice points.

a friend posted on Facebook: April 1 – perfect day for a reset.

so i wrote ‘choose’ as a reminder on my skin. a reminder that i am not a passive victim of fate but an active participant in my life.


and later, after all my choices turned into bad ones, my niece walked up with headphones in, asked if i wanted to listen to the song that was playing. she gently held the earpiece to my head as i heard the words to “try” play. she sang them aloud beside me: “you don’t have to try, try, try” and then sang loudly and clearly “do you like you?” — it was enough to make me halt. to bring tears to my eyes. and i asked her: “do you like you?” – to which she grinned and mouthed “yes!” – then she walked away to continue singing.

i want to be able to answer yes. for me. for her.


but right now, i feel itchy and miserable. and like a big pile of burnt sugar.

the sun is shining. i am alive. and so blessed.

and, i could go down and run. i could do one of the 15 workout tabs i have open.

i could meditate or read.

i could do SOMETHING for the next 15 minutes while the kids are quiet and un-demanding.


but instead, i will likely sit here and (s)wallow.

and wonder why i still go to this place.

what have i not learned?

what am i holding on to?

what have i let go of?


with you,



2 thoughts on “(s)wallow

  1. Oooooooo! Yes! Thank you. I have so much to write and hope to have the space to do just that this evening. Something is a brewing in me as well (as I go for food every time I go to write). There’s a message for me, and maybe for you too – trust! That person, yourself, the process, the beauty of the tapestry, the web being constructed. Part of my writing is back to Rilke and spoke to me of a few things… perhaps it will serve you well now…

    “believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”


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