Ella’s Mother and Technology: Part One

You know how parents say, “I’m going to miss it when [insert name here] stops saying ‘crash-can’ instead of ‘trashcan’ all the time*.”

Well, I’m going to miss it when I move out and don’t get called into the study several times a day to fix the computer for my mother.

I had a wonderful laugh this evening when I taught my mom how to use the floppy-disc icon for save in Microsoft Word instead of clicking through the file menu, and then had to tell her a few minutes later that it wasn’t necessary to print out the entire menu from the Indian restaurant in order to read it.

Safari also “broke” this morning because she had about twenty windows open and was running a gazillion other programs. Momentary panic ensued, and I was blamed for leaving tumblr open.

There was also discussion about how difficult it is to go through all of the copies of The New Yorker just to reread the Adam Gopnik ones. When I pointed out that she could go online and access them via a very quick search, she said that she can’t use computers while lying down and she can’t be sitting up while reading The New Yorker.

Oh, Mum.

She also didn’t know that cellphones had clocks in them or showed you the signal strength. She thought that they were “technical numbers.” Glad we got that one straightened out after six-plus years of cell phone ownership.

It’s little quirks like this that make me really love my mom.

(Also, she mostly doesn’t yell at me when I joke that I never need to put the dishes in the dishwater because every time I leave the room, a magical fairy cleans them up.)

I’m going to miss her so much next year.

*And yes, that kid was me. I was a very “creative” talker for a long time. I used too many big words incorrectly and could never pronounce the simple ones. I still struggle with library and specific.

In other news, my bedroom looks like a bomb of books went off. Looks like tomorrow will be a good day for recataloguing my library. At last count, I had close to three hundred books, but that was over four years ago. I’m a little scared to see how many I have now. I’m also in need of a new bookcase for my bedroom, but I haven’t been able to find the right one. It needs to be white and either modern and minamalistic or cute and antique. This should be a very fun shopping process.

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Ella’s Latest Transgression

I must apologize for it was I who lied about eating breakfast. I didn’t have the toast you lovingly purchased at the bakery yesterday. You bought me raisin walnut bread, my very favorite, and I left it sitting on the counter sheathed in its plastic bag. Instead, I found my brownie from last night, floating in melted ice cream and ate it and Welches’ Fruit Snacks on the floor of the bathroom, sitting on the bathmat with my towel draped over my head.

Instead of tasting delicious, the brownie was gross. It had soaked up the melted ice cream like a sponge while it spent twelve hours in the refrigerator, and it tasted rather funny. Refrigerated melted ice cream is never very good. But I ate it anyway because if I threw it out, you would find it and I didn’t want to have to break it into small pieces and flush it down the toilet. The nutritionist said I had to stop doing that because it hurts the drains, which is something I already know. But there are only so many places to hide. You always find it when I put it in balled-up tissues.

The Fruit Snacks were better, but I had to eat them quickly so you wouldn’t find me. When you don’t eat the small gummies deliberately by flavor, they taste rushed and bland. I had to chew them quickly and I think I swallowed one whole. Something caught in my throat and I had to cup my hands under the tub’s faucet to drink. But the water was hot and didn’t taste right. I know now that you should never steep gummies in water to make tea.

And then I didn’t tell you. Not at all. Because you would sigh and say, “Ella…” in that tone that means that you are very disappointed in me for not just doing what I’m supposed to for once because it is so very obvious that I’m being ridiculous. And I would tell you that “it’s a disease, Mum” to justify my deception.

But I am sorry for my transgression. Tomorrow I will eat my breakfast. I will measure the Grape Nuts while you watch, and I might even have two eighty calorie yogurts.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Dinner Table Conversations: Part Four

Scene: We were playing Loaded Questions, a board game that requires you to guess who gave what answer to a series of personal questions.

Mom (reading off of a card): “What historic event would you want to take credit for masterminding?”

Pippa immediately responds: Nine elev… Wait! No! Not that!

We all laugh, write our answers, and my mom makes her guesses.

As the dice are handed off to me, Pippa says: Actually I’d want to be responsible for Osama Bin Laden’s death, ’cause then I’d be like a super sloth!

Dad: Sloth?

Pippa: Yeah, sloth!

Dad, Ella, Mom: It’s sleuth!

One More from the Old Man

Ella’s still off at model congress so here’s another post from Mr. Ella’s father.  This’ll be short, as I’m leaving tomorrow morning for 10 days in California.  As always, I’ll depart with mixed emotions.  I genuinely enjoy many aspects of business travel — seeing new places, meeting new people.  My work requires me to spend a lot of time talking to college professors about teaching and learning. It beats flipping burgers.  American higher education is in rough shape, but it’s still something that’s done better here than most anywhere else in the world.  You can’t say that about too many fields.  And there’s always a certain positive energy on college campuses — thousands of people working toward a better future for themselves and others.  Sure, there are the slackers, the greek brats, the spoiled kids.  But despite all of that, the dominant mojo on your average campus comes from people working on getting better at something, and helping others improve.  How many other environments feel like that?

So why the mixed feelings?  I’m leaving my family behind.   Regular readers of this blog know that Ella needs a lot of support.  That’s harder to give from 3000 miles away. When Ms. Ella’s mom is parenting solo, she gets worn down, and everyone has a rougher time of it.  I hate being the cause of more hardship and friction, even when I have to be off doing what I do.  Ella will be coming home tomorrow from a major expedition and I won’t be here to hear about it.  And I’ll be even farther out of touch with Pippa than I am already.

So I think I’ll take my cue from our cats, who have commandeered Ella’s bed during her absence.  I can relax and take this in stride, trusting I can handle whatever tomorrow brings.  Or I can peer nervously forward, dreading whatever may be headed my way. I’m thinking Max and Zelda have the right idea.

one bed; three cats

Random 3rd Grade Ramblings

So, this is Eleanor’s mother, who’s been pressed into service as Eleanor’s substitute Thurs.-night-March-31st blog writer while she’s flying the flag at Model UN.

I’m fresh off a day of student teaching my inclusive class of third graders, so I thought I’d throw some random third grade happenings out there — for lack of anything better to say.  (I woke up at 5:55 am this morning to rehearse for a formal lesson observation on measuring angles, so my brain isn’t up for anything more profound.)

  • After flag salute this morning, one of my teachers gently informed me that I was wearing my sweater inside out.  I guess that’s what comes of getting dressed in the dark.  I comforted myself that I was in good company, since Jason arrived at school last week with his jeans on backwards.  (If you’re wondering how he got them on in the first place, you’ve forgotten the magic of elasticized backs.)
  • Annemarie was having trouble locating the word “hopefully” in the dictionary — a difficulty I was able to set right once I discovered she was looking it up in the “w’s”.
  • I learned that Connor thinks Columbus sailed to Mexico on the Mayflower.  Other ship candidates included the Pinto and El Ninyo.
  • Ten minutes is a long time to squat in the dark in a closet with 22 kids for a lockdown drill when the boy across from you is claustrophobic.  At least I wasn’t sitting at the other end of the closet, where Garfield was keeping his friends entertained with a steady stream of farts.
  • This past week, I’ve been getting an intensive refresher course in knock-knock jokes and bus driver riddles, as well as the lowdown on the relative coolness of various Lego Skeleton and Ninja weaponry. Nunchucks are clearly superior to shurikens, swords, and giant golden dog bones.

That’s all from crazy third-grade land.  I’m off to bed.

On an Eight-Year-Old’s Prophesy

I first learned about anorexia when I was eight. I was sitting in my first “proper” health class in the school library, and as always, I was fidgeting like crazy. Starving yourself to death? I thought, as the nurse explained the symptoms, How horrible. Who would ever do that? But despite that initial revulsion, a part of me kept whispering, It’s going to be you. It’s going to be you. It’s going to be you. I swung my legs back and forth and chewed my cuticles to bits as anxiety rushed over me. But even after my index finger had started to bleed, the voice wouldn’t shut up. You just know that it’s going to be you.

Eight-year-old me was right about a lot of unfortunate things, and sadly, this turned out to be one of them. By the time I was twelve, being “fat” had become an obsession. In gym class, we were told that if we could “pinch an inch” of skin on our hipbone, then we were overweight. I would grab my skin over and over, pulling on it, and holding a ruler up to it to check if it was over an inch. It always was. I know now that the test was completely bogus, but when a teacher tells you something, and the fifty kids in the room follow suit, it is hard to believe that it isn’t as certain as gravity or the First Law of Thermodynamics.

Starting in the winter of seventh grade, we had to make “fitness profiles” on an aging computer in the corner of the gym. As I balanced on an old scale, peering down to try to read the numbers, I thought, If I am over 90 pounds, there are going to be serious problems. Well, I was over 90 pounds, but I was also five-foot-two. But that didn’t matter to me. I just panicked. When we ran the mile, I pushed myself to go faster and faster. If I couldn’t do it in under eight minutes, then I would have to do extra sit-ups later and skip my dessert. It was minor, really, but the numbers were real and frightening.

Everyday, when I would walk down to lunch, trailing along in a line of excited students, I would feel the overwhelming urge to dump all of my food into the trash the moment that I sat down. It was scary, but deliciously so. It was like play with matches outdoors at camp: you’re on the precipice of creating something that you can’t control, flirting with it, but always stamping them out just in time.  Only I didn’t like fire, I just hated food. But I stuck it out and laughed with friends as I ate my yogurt and cereal. At home, I would eat a little bowl of ice cream every afternoon while lounging in the sun and reading, and I despised myself for it. The fear of getting fat was becoming all-consuming.

As my time wore on, my insecurities grew, and I started to stand in front of the mirror and judge my body. I’d hold my clothing taught around my torso and look at my stomach, sucking it in all the way and wishing that I could look like that all the time. My stomach was too big. I was too fat. I was too ugly.

I turned thirteen, and the anxiety got worse. Finally, I began to complain to my mother about it, pulling up my shirt to show her that I could “pinch an inch.” Ever logical and comforting, she would say, “No, you’re not fat. You’re just where you need to be.” But I couldn’t believe her.

On Saturdays, I’d shyly drag my mother into my therapy session to tell the psychologist how I felt. Saying it myself felt too scary, and I was petrified that she would think that I was shallow for being focused my body image. Talking about it in therapy never helped, though. We were too focused on my “bigger problems.”

Eighth grade passed, and it was more of the same. To a certain extent, being uncomfortable in your body is especially typical of a middle schooler, but my fears went beyond the norm. I started giving bits of my lunch away. Here, have my cookie. Here, have my drink. By the time graduation rolled around, I was convinced that I was a flat chest-ed butterball, when in actuality I was just around 95 pounds.

In high school, most of people start to shed their former insecurities. Girls emerged from sweatshirts, and boys began to wash their hair more frequently. My clothing choices improved, and I lost my boring haircut, but my weight concerns intensified. At lunch, I’d hand over my yogurt to a friend and only eat my carrots. I cried quietly in my room when I outgrew old clothing. I spent more time staring in the mirror.

Sophomore year, it got a little better. School was going well. I was involved in a million clubs. I had straight A’s. I had a monstrous crush on a guy. I spent hours doing fun things with friends. It felt like people really liked me, and I started to forget about being fat. By the end of the year, I was five-foot-four and 113 pounds. And that’s when things really started to go downhill.

Stepping back from the scale and hearing the school nurse announce my weight to anyone in the general vicinity was a slap across the face, a reminder of all of the worries that had been plaguing me for years, and it stung. It stung with the force of a hundred angry, angry bees. That summer I started to play what I called “my little game.” Everyday, I would see how long I could go without eating. Liquid was allowed. Making it to three o’clock was an okay day. Five was optimal. When I finally couldn’t wait any longer, I’d go outside and eat a yogurt, savoring it and making it last for half an hour. Sometimes, I’d eat an Italian ice, but only if I had done some exercise.

I felt so powerful, skipping meals. Once you restricted for a few days, the pangs of hunger entirely disappear, and it became easy. If I could rebel against my body’s need for food, I could do anything. August became September, and school started. I took three AP classes, stayed up to all hours to balance homework and extra circulars, and used the privacy of school to hide food from my parents. Once tight pants were now baggy, shirts hung on me weirdly, and my bras became too big, and I had to resort to wearing ones from middle school. I took pictures of myself each week, as my ribs began to stick out, and my collarbone made sharp angles on my chest. At night, I’d flip through the photographs, intoxicated with my “progress.” It was wonderful. But it didn’t last long. These things never do.

I left school and went to a treatment center for other emotional problems, and spent all of my time sleeping or freaking out. I hardly ate. In desperation, my parents tried feeding me three pieces of bacon and a bagel for breakfast everyday. Mostly, I balled it up in tissues and put in the trash. I don’t know how much I weighed then, and I really don’t want to know. It was probably in the nineties.

But my restriction wasn’t as secretive as I thought, and soon enough I was sitting in a doctor’s office and hearing the words, “anorexia nervosa.” In my head, I heard echoes of eight-year-old me whispering, it’s going to be you, and it was me, and I knew it. It reverberated all through my body, and if I had been alone, I would have laughed. I quickly got evaluated for an eating disorder treatment program, but other problems overshadowed the anorexia, and I stayed in another rehab facility. In February, I went the hospital. I was exactly a hundred pounds, a marked improvement.

But things got better. The world is never entirely cruel. My friends and family rallied behind me, pushing me down the path to recovery even when I was kicking and screaming. I began to work with a nutritionist. My goal was 2400 calories a day, and I had to will myself to eat, because eating was good, no matter what I thought. I started to see a new psychologist to begin Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which supposedly is the best type of therapy for someone trying to recover from an eating disorder. And supposedly became really, and I gained weight. I wrote a pamphlet about anorexia for health class, and smiled as I did it, because I felt like I was coming out on the other side. By the summer, I was 110 pounds. Amazing.

The end of the summer was hard, and I dropped seven pounds. But just like before, I pulled it back up in a few months. I had my head above the water, and though I was swimming for dear life, I wasn’t drowning anymore. I’ve been mostly stable since then. Of course, the obsession with being thin hasn’t disappeared, but it’s waned. I know now that skeletal is just as unattractive as obese.

Living with an eating disorder is difficult. Incredibly difficult. I can tell you the amount of protein and the number of calories in a disturbingly large number of foods. I can explain to you in detail how many infections I got as the result of malnutrition. I can show you pictures from when my feet and hands were perpetually red and purple. But I can also tell you this story. The story of my descent into the valley and how I’m climbing back up again. It’s a good story. One full of promise and hope and a somewhat happy ending.

On Sonnets and Hard Work

Last night, I had to write a sonnet. A sonnet, I thought, A sonnet won’t be hard at all. And at the time, it made a lot of sense. After all, I’ve written poetry before. I even won a contest for it in sixth grade. I write. I write A LOT. And writing isn’t exactly a challenge for me. This sonnet should take an hour tops.

So I curled up on my bed with my computer and started going through my mental catalogue of things that I had experienced that day. Writing about falling asleep in the shower was out. Not interesting. So was writing about the way I carefully observe my classmates and teachers. Too creepy. But writing about Eureka moments seemed like a great idea.

Everything was going swimmingly as I typed the first few words. I got up to feel some paper to determine exactly how I should describe it, and sat back down. I wrote about the way paper feels against your hand as you scribble on the page, capturing the way that it sticks to your palm and how your pencil can sometimes catch against a fiber. I had two lines. Then, I tried saying them out loud with em-pha-sis on every other syll-a-ble to see if it was in iambic pentameter. It wasn’t. I didn’t have ten syllables either.

I ran my hand violently through my hair and tried again and again and again. The process continued to repeat itself. Taking a few deep breaths, I pulled up some old poems that I wrote. Surely, I could just transform one of them.

A Childhood Summer

Summer meant golden sunshine and damp air

Running barefoot through lawns

As grass whipped in between our toes,

Parades of noises and color-

Flags, horns, and harmonicas

Up and down the street,

Cloud spotting,

Colorful orbs of water in balloons

Lobbed at each other,

Flips on the trampoline-

Front ones, somersaults, and back ones, too,

Hiding behind trashcans in

The first purple whispers of darkness

Playing flashlight tag-

But most of all it meant freedom.

Summer

Remember the summers of old?

The tall glasses of lemonade

With water beads pouring down the sides?

Or maybe the summer dresses with the skirts

That spun out around us as we whirled

Around and around the backyard

‘til we collided or just toppled over from dizziness?

What about the corndogs that we ate at picnics:

How they stained our fingers and face shiny with grease?

What about the way we laughed,

Long before you had to restrain yours to a girly giggle?

Maybe the time we sprayed Mrs. Hirsh

With our neon plastic water soakers

And she screamed shrilly at us as we jumped her fence and ran?

Do you remember what it was like to be a child?

You didn’t have to care about how you looked or what you ate.

We were golden with innocence then.

And even if I couldn’t adapt them, summer was a great topic. Good things always happen to me during the summer. I could write about the beach or Puerto Rico or the time I ate the most delicious pizza in a strip mall in the middle of West Virginia.

It did not go well. By this point, I was done. Really, really, really done with the whole shebang. I started to cry and do my normal rolling about on the bed, but I was not going down without a fight. I have never let creative writing kick my butt before, and I wasn’t planning on starting then. Gritting my teeth and wiping my face on my sleeve, I sat up. And my mother helpfully suggested that I write about how much I hate sonnets. So I did and got a little further.

Sonnets Suck

Five iambs per line we are told to write,

But under ten syllables you should stay

You must avoid the topics banal and trite

Or the teacher’s eye will turn away

Avoid the red pen for its marks your grade does fear

But it wasn’t working, and my thoughts started racing. And once again, I began to cry. Like if-I-keep-sobbing-this-hard-I-am-going-to-throw-up crying. I cried over how I couldn’t write this sonnet no matter how hard I tried and how I was an awful writer who would never make anything of herself. I cried over how jealous I was of my friends. Jealous of the way that they are living the life that I have always wanted to live. The life that I imagined having and have been working towards since I was in sixth grade. And I cried over the way that I can feel the medication messing with my brain. The way that I can feel the chemicals and hormones markedly shift with every medication change. The way that I sleep through first and second period everyday no matter how hard I try to stay alert. The way that my eyelids only open halfway and keep drooping even if I sit upright in a chair.

My mother brought me ravioli, but the tears didn’t stop. Each sob made my whole body convulse, and I kept gagging. She came in again and yelled because she was so worried. I continued to bawl. As I went to click on my internet browser to look up some example sonnets, my finger slipped and opened up iChat instead. Normally, when I do this I just instantly quit the program, but Audrey was on. And her screen-name on my buddy list was a Godsend. I’ll just talk to her and everything will be alright, I thought. “Hi,” I typed as I sucked in big breaths, holding it for three before exhaling. Instantly, she responded. Thirty minutes later, the blubbering had stopped, and there was only the occasional tear. Talking to her helped so much.

Slowly, painstakingly, I wrote my poem. I muttered the iambs to myself and used my fingers to count out the syllables. I must have looked like a first grader anxiously trying to do math. And after every line I paused to talk to Audrey. And by midnight I was done.

Afternoon Fog

A Pearl gray adorns my window, dampening the day.

B Clear whispers of sunlight soon shall slip past

A So heavy thoughts of death won’t weigh.

B Silvery images of joy contrast

C The leaden darkness of our woe.

D A bird sings tunes of frivolity

C Quick! the tabby cat turns to his foe.

D His view is low in quality,

E But together we peer out wistfully

F And pray the charcoal haze will lift.

E He keeps his haunches raised, tail flicking eagerly,

F Paws tucked under, eyes looking for a shift

G Here she is! Her virgin rays do slice the morn.

G And from our dreary doldrums we are reborn.

It isn’t very good, and the lines have anywhere from seven to thirteen syllables, but it’s all mine. I wrote a sonnet despite the emotions, and you can’t take that away from me.

I’ve always believed that if you work hard enough, you’ll get what you want. Two years of babysitting bought me a whole new wardrobe in France. Hours of studying bought me perfect grades in school. And yesterday, it bought me a sonnet.

(P.S. Today in class, my AP English teacher said that I had some of the best descriptive language.)

Air Like a Swimming Pool

Today, it was warm enough for sun dresses and sandals. Naturally, I wore a scarf and a coat to school. But tonight I wised up. I put on my purple dress, strapped on my favorite sandals and marched out the door with wet gold fingernails. Pippa, my mother and I rode the train into the city to get Pippa’s  hair cut.

With Pippa’s blond hair now shorter and straighter, my parents and I journeyed further into the tangle of gray buildings for tappas. I ate brussel sprouts and thought about how strange it is that I love brussel sprouts while most people hate them. But then it occurred to me that I am neither most people nor a good representation of the average man’s tastes. I tried to keep this mentality as I moved through the meal. The more I focussed on the details, the less I thought about the panic that ensued when I accidentally stuck a cheese rind in my mouth.

We left the restaurant and marched out onto the street. I felt the the wind rush around my legs. It wasn’t cold, and it wasn’t hot. You know how once you jump into a pool and adjust to the temperature, the water feels perfect, and you never want to get out? Well, the air oddly made me feel like I was swimming. And as we walked down street after street, looking for a movie theatre that was showing Jane Eyre, I thought about how wonderful everything felt and how every time that the weather improves, so does my mental health. I felt hopeful because now that spring is coming, things just might be looking up. After all, Euphoria on an Island happened when the weather was beautiful.

But the walking continued, and because I am me, and because this is what I do best, I began to go into full on freak-out mode. By this point, we had been searching for that Jane Eyre theatre for quite a while, and we had all but given up. My head hurt from the medication, and I was exhausted from having interactions with people from six a.m. onwards. And as soon as I started my weird mewing/moaning noises combined with hand flailing, I was a lost cause. My father had to get on the subway with me to head back home while Pippa and my mother followed behind.

But I calmed down somewhere in between climbing onto the subway and sitting down in the train station, and we all headed home without incident. Times like these make me wonder what’s really going on in my head: why is there a switch that seems to get flipped from functioning to freaking out and why does it happen so instantaneously?

But all of the earlier shenanigans don’t matter now. I’m just sitting on the couch with Pippa and Dad watching Lewis Black and Bo Burnham, and all is well on the western front.

When Nutella French Toast Goes on a Soviet Trip Into Space

Today, I went out to brunch with my family. We piled in the car and drove to the restaurant. After discovering that we had to wait for thirty minutes, wandering into an Italian deli, and explaining to my mother how earthquake magnitudes are measured, we were seated. I love the smell of pancakes and bacon and all of the happy morning chatter. I had an apple soda in a mason jar, which reminded me of being ten and having picnics in my neighbor’s tree house. If there were pieces of turkey a in cigar box, brought into the tree house by way of a pulley, the memory would be complete.

I sat in the booth, one arm hugging myself and my other hand tracing the groves of the jar like it was Braille, and tried to decide on something. It’s okay. You can eat anything. It’ll all be fine, I kept repeating to myself. A private little mantra. Just do what you practice in therapy, and it’ll all be okay. After trying to estimate the number of calories in several things, shivering at the idea of eggs (I haven’t had an omelet since I was eight, and I certainly don’t plan on starting now.), and contemplating putting my head down on the table and refusing to speak to anyone until I calmed down, I chose something. Nutella stuffed French toast with strawberries. It was something that I knew I would enjoy even though I can rattle off the nutrition facts off the top of my head. (200 calories for two tablespoons of Nutella, and half of it is from fat.)

Then, it came. And when it was right in front of me, looking me in the eye, I thought, Man, this looks really, really good, and not, How many calories does challah have? Because if there are at least three tablespoons of Nutella, and the chalah is about 200 a slice, then… I picked up my fork and knife and dug in. Actually dug in. Like I’m going to eat all of this and complain if someone takes it away from me before I’m done, digging in.

And it was great. The Nutella reminded me of France and how I once ate a heaping spoonful of it while reading all of Life of Pi in one afternoon. The stawberries reminded me of summer and the time I ate an entire carton all by myself underneath the deck when I was nine. (Pippa, if you’re reading this, sorry for blaming you when Mom asked where they all went.) And the challah reminded me of the bakery we used to go to when I was little and lived in Washington.

Pippa talked about how she was going to dye her hair and accidentally said, “Hair is just dead brain cells.” Then, she smacked me when I laughed. I deserved it, but it did hurt. Halfway through the meal, my  dad made everyone tell a joke. When Pippa said, “knock, knock,” I responded, “come in!” After that, I told the joke that had been making my dad laugh all week,”What’s the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts? Beer nuts are about a dollar fifty and deer nuts are under a buck.” Sadly, until a few days ago I thought that the joke was about how deer droppings looked like nuts.

For some reason, after telling a lame joke off a Dixie cup from her childhood, my mom decided to talk about Vladimir Komarov, the first Soviet to travel into space more than once and the first human to die during a space mission (when the Soyuz module crashed after re-entry on April 24 1967). Obviously, this freaked the beegeebus out of me. I do not like heights, and I do not like airplanes. The last time I flew in an airplane I had to be heavily medicated, and I still panicked and ended up accidentally slapping my father. Thus, I do not like thinking too much about space travel. So for the next hour and a half, my food triumph was ignored, and all I could think about was dying in airplane crash. Thanks, Mom.

Happily, I’ve mostly gotten that whole incident out of my head and am now celebrating my food triumph. Because that’s the right thing to do. I’m not planning on becoming an astronaut, so I don’t have to worry about that, right? Yeah, Nutella stuffed French toast with strawberries is so much more important.

On Breathing Too Quickly, Crying, and Freaking-Out

I’ve been having a lot of trouble with sleeping lately. Ever since Miles died in his sleep, I’m scared that the same will happen to me. I made the doctor who is monitoring my anorexia spend extra time checking my heart a few weeks ago, but the knowledge that my heart is perfectly healthy hasn’t helped the anxiety.

For the past week and a half I have had a panic attack every night. Sometimes, like last weekend, it has lead to extreme detachment. Other times, it leads to me being convinced that I have died. But mostly, I’m sure that if I go to sleep and therefore loose consciencousness, I’ll die.

Logical? No.

Easy for people around me to deal with? No.

Enjoyable? You’re funny.

Remember this post, The Medication Adventures Continue? Well, my mother discovered that if I take the medication at eight, I am knocked out by ten. While this has helped me get more sleep, it hasn’t stopped the anxiety, as proven by yesterday’s attack when I attempted to walk out of the house while crying, making weird noises, flailing my hands, and marching. (I know that this makes me sound deranged. I swear that I am not. I’m quite normal most of the time.)

Here’s to hoping that tonight is better. I mean, it has to improve at some point, right?