Thursday, November 24, 2011

Past to Future

Two days ago, Mamsana did the most devious thing a mother can do to their child. She turned up with her car full of boxes.  In those boxes was all my "stuff". You know.. that "stuff" that you dump at your mum's house and just believe she will look after forever?

<<< after I slaved for 20 hours to make a Death by Chocolate cake for her birthday and everything....

Therefore, instead of the workout I was intending to post (that will now be tomorrow), I'm going to post about the hopefully therapeutic process of coming face to face with my eating disordered past. Not that this is Mamasana's fault. It's just a side-effect of dealing with a pile of boxes, some of which should have been labelled as belonging to Pandora.
1991 was an exceptionally bad year for me.  My Binge Eating Disorder was in full swing and basically dominated every waking moment.  During that year, and the ones immediately following, I journalled obsessively.  I filled many, many fat diaries with my thoughts and records (anyone with an eating disorder 'records' things - food, exercise, self-imposed rules, attempts at insight) as I sorted through my issues. In 1995 I left Dunedin and those journals were packed away and forgotten about, until yesterday.

To say that they make disturbing reading is a dramatic understatement. It is blatantly obvious in retrospect that I was truly unhinged and didn't understand my behaviour - remember, Binge Eating Disorder was not an official diagnosis back then. Included in my files was a pamphlet from the Otago University Clinic that described eating disorders.  My symptoms didn't fit any of them. I knew I wasn't anorexic, I wasn't purging so couldn't be bulimic. I wasn't obese. I was just eating a lot ('binge' was not in my vocab.) and couldn't concentrate on, or care about, anything except food and my weight. I concluded that I was just weak-willed and needed try harder and record more obsessively.  Even just seeing these journals again threw me into an agitated state but I was strangely compelled to look inside anyway, I suppose curiosity, self-flagellation, I don't know.  I sat there, in my box-filled spare room, surrounded by coloured journals and wondering how the hell I ever got into such a state, and puzzling equally hard about what to do with them now. Throw them away? 

As a Psychology student I find this record of disorder somewhat fascinating, but I'm not sure that it's personally helpful to keep the past alive in that way. I would be absolutely mortified if someone else read them.  I think I'm going to biff them.  I already did a quick pass and copied the poetry that was in there - it's poetry, and I was really into 'stream of random words' at that stage. I can't even understand them when I read them myself; they're hardly revealing or descriptive (some would say, much like every blog post on Sanaworld..).

What do you think? Have any other readers had to deal with this sort of lucid reminder of bad past times? I'm interested. How did you handle it?


  1. On the positive side - wowee! Look how awesome you are to have overcome that, pretty much all by yourself.

    Have a nice little bonfire and wave the past goodbye.


  2. I think you should make them into a book and make a sh*tload of money out of it.

    Or maybe I could do it for you ... The Diary of a Disordered Eater -- I bet it would be a bestseller!

  3. Tempting, tempting.. maybe I'll sneak them back into mum's garage and see if it takes her another 15 years to notice? (plan!).

  4. Yep, get rid of them!
    And no...thankfully I did not have that in my past.


I love to hear from you! Tell me what's in your brain, your heart or your dinner plate :D.