June 25, 2012

Square one

Today has been a very strange day.

I woke up absolutely ravenous, not entirely surprising since I ran 9 miles on Saturday and attempted to take a short walk around my neighborhood yesterday and ended up walking about 15 miles, around the meadows and to the university and back. I've been doing really well with avoiding binges - six days strong! - and keeping my eating in check, trying to listen to my body for hunger cues instead of eating on a schedule or to meet a suggested limit. I've been hovering around 1350-1400 calories a day, which I think is good, and I haven't felt deprived or had the urge to overeat. But today, as soon as I woke up, I was super hungry. So I had two pieces of fruit with my Greek yogurt instead of one, plus a serving of almonds when I got to the office (I keep them there to avoid excessive at-home snacking).

After teaching this morning, I headed home to tidy up a bit before my pre-moving inspection (the apartment manager walks around and suggests how to clean better in order to get back more of your security deposit). I was gathering clothes to donate when I heard my phone go off - three text messages, one after another, rapidfire.

I know it's exceptionally late for this, but I just wanted to apologize ... I didn't mean for things to turn out the way they did and hurt you. I should have tried harder ... I am sorry for my actions.

I didn't recognize the number, and my heart started fluttering, both terrified and overwhelmed at who it could possibly be (or at least, who I hoped it was).

It wasn't him.

It was Bobby.

Still shocking, still entirely unexpected. And very, very strange. The conversation was brief and sort of awkward, not unlike our short time together. I told him I was moving back to Chicago, and he said maybe we can meet up sometime when you get back. A nice idea, I suppose, but I'm not entirely sure how interested I would be, even as friends. First, because we didn't have all that much in common, and I don't know how well we would have fared if we stayed together, long or short distance. And second, because I'm absolutely head-over-heels smitten with Matt - all I can focus on lately is how good it will feel to exhale deeply, step off the plane, and finally be in his arms again. Things started with Justin before they ended with Bobby, so to speak, and I think that speaks volumes about how attached to Bobby I really was. I feel really awful looking back on it, and I think that what I really wanted was some Chicago to cling to, something constant to ease the transition as I moved across the country for a new job in a new place. If I do see him again, it would only be to apologize. Neither of us was entirely innocent with how things got so messy and then ended, but I still feel guilty about the whole Justin situation.

It was, again, a very brief conversation, sort of surface-level. And it was only the beginning of my afternoon.

Halfway through the conversation, my phone rang. It was Benjamin, one of my new roommates in Chicago. A Parisian, his English is very good with a few flaws when it comes to idioms; that, paired with a lousy connection from his pay-as-you-go cell phone, meant it took me a few tries to understand what he was trying to say. What he meant was, I have to tell you something, are you sitting down?

There was a fire ... someone in the other apartments ... cigarette on a couch ... every apartment is damaged or destroyed ...

Benj and our third roommate, Kabir, were both safe - in fact, the inside of the apartment is entirely damage-free, with the exception of a few things that were being stored in my room that the firemen knocked over and broke when they came in through the fire escape. Benj said it just smells like smoke, but the rest of the place is a mess.

I'll have to assess the situation when I get back to the city this weekend, but after reports from Benj and Lorelei, the friend who lived in the room I was prepared to rent, I am not sure we'll be able to stay in the building while it gets repaired.

I panicked, my heart rate skyrocketed, but I didn't even think to binge, and that is something to be proud of. Try as I may to become more spontaneous, I'm still very addicted to the structure that comes with obsessive planning, and having things set me back at square one (especially, say, three days before I'm supposed to be moving across the country) is usually a recipe for disaster.

Eating incredible amounts of junk food doesn't make my apartment any more habitable, but the high from binge eating is a welcome distraction from the disaster at hand. If I'm high, I don't have to focus on anything but the pain in my stomach and jaw. With enough calories fast enough, I can fall asleep and not have to feel like I'm drowning in my sea of conscious worries: the perfect job that someone else got, the great apartment that burned down, the family issues that are worrying me sick.

I'm doing my best to stay focused, present, positive, and grateful. Waking up hungry is frustrating, but for now, I have enough money to take care of that hunger. Getting unexpected messages from former flames is heart-rending, but I also am lucky enough to say I've known these men and had these experiences that have made me who I am today. And hearing about the apartment is stressful, but there are a lot of places to live in Chicago. I'll find one. I'm going to worry about one day at a time. Things will work out for the best, they always, always do.


Anna said...

Mary I am thinking about you and really hoping you are finding ways to avoid binging! I have faith in you! Boo on the fire!!

A said...

I love the strong, hopeful tone to your message. It sounds like you have a lot going on...and you are staying strong. So. Awesome. !!

Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! said...

I just love your writing!
I hope everything works out with the apartment situation in Chicago.

Kelliann said...

Mary, your strength is inspiring. Although this seems daunting, perhaps there is an even better place for you to live on the horizon. Breathe deeply. Things will work out!

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry about the apartment. Will your renters insurance cover the cost of a hotel room until your place is habitable again?

Bluezy said...

I like your current approach on eating. Good for you not letting it bring on the binge. I have dibe the same with my drama of late. You know when all is caught up like that, to binge just makes it even worse. At least not to binge is something to feel great about.

Your mileage is awesome. Even walking you are rocking!

Hope things get better for your Chicago move and thankfully your roomies are ok.

Ann said...

Mary - I love your plan! Staying healthy, keeping active, avoiding binges. Lady - you are a STRONG STRONG person! Just remember to take time for yourself and take care of yourself! You deserve to be happy and healthy!! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, what a whirlwind of chaos (or as my husband would say, a clusterf*** of crazy) that has descended on you in the last couple of days. I'll be hoping for the best for you and for all of it to come about smoothly.

I know it will all work out for you. I believe that firmly.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

So very impressed Mary! The text message alone would have sent me into a downwar spiral!