What do you think about sympathy?

My mother once told me that self-inflicted wounds get no sympathy. She was probably trying to inspire a stiff upper lip as I faced unpleasant consequences, but it’s a philosophy I’ve never been able to get behind. Our most grievous wounds are often self-inflicted (unless we’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a natural disaster or alien invasion) and they need all the sympathy in the world.

I’m lying on my couch doing nothing much because the Gravol I’m taking is making me tired and uncoordinated. I didn’t realize diminished coordination was one of the side effects; I don’t appreciate it because I’m already somewhat of a klutz. It’s frustrating; I try hard to have physical grace. I like working on achievable goals. There’s no point in trying to root out that sarcasm gene.

But I digress.

I’m taking Gravol because I’m greening out. I enjoy saying it that way: it makes me feel dangerous. I recently learned the phrase “key bump” from an American politician. They should avoid jargon if they want people to believe they aren’t a cokehead.

But I digress again.

Some people don’t believe that you can get addicted to marijuana. Some people don’t believe there might come a day when reefer madness sends you reeling. Those people are what I like to call wrong. You can get addicted to marijuana. Then again, you can get addicted to almost anything. The physical withdrawal might not be as severe if you’re addicted to Juicy Fruit instead of Ativan, but the emotional consequences are still unpleasant. [i]

I like marijuana. I like it a lot. I often use it in place of alcohol when I’m out with friends. My eating disorder liked me to eschew alcohol – too caloric – so I never really developed a taste. I also use it in place of the numbing benzos I no longer take. Talk about lateral movement. It’s funny how you can delude yourself into thinking you don’t have a problem. Even when you know you do.

Maybe CHS (cannabis hyperemesis syndrome) is God’s way of telling me to slow my roll. Or not.  

I like being numb. The world is a hard place, bright and full of pain, and I prefer to view it from a distance. My head is also bright and full of not only pain but thoughts that cause harm. I like it when this drug or that makes it go away. I’m not, however, a fan of uncontrolled vomiting. That’s what we’d call “ironic” given my history with bulimia.

Nausea leaves me incapable. I’m not the stiff upper lip type when it comes to the small stuff. If we’ve got protruding bones or major injury, I’m you man. Paper cuts and hangnails, however, lead to much whining. Nausea and cost aren’t the only reasons to moderate my usage, however.

(I find it annoying to pay for the things I want. Give ‘em to me. I need them.)

If you’re numbing all the time, you have a problem. It means you’re not living your life. I’m not living my life. And while things are hard right now, what with my mother and her terminal, metastasized lung cancer, and my dad and his congestive heart failure, I think being present has become important.

I want to escape. Not only because this is hard and I’m a bit of a coward, but because it hurts and doesn’t stop. It’s big pain and little pain. It’s a clock counting down in your head. It’s bearing witness and holding space for difficult conversations. It’s breaking and trying not to break and breaking again. It’s little deaths and a thousand cuts.

I will step up. I will endeavour to be present. It’s likely my anxiety will increase (my depression’s already on it). I know changing my usage is possible: I’ve paused before: this isn’t the first time it’s turned on me. After a week or two of abstinence, however, I always return to the quiet. I let the addict back out.

She’s going to be disappointed this time. I think. I hope.

The occasional weekend and nothing more once my stomach settles, I’m thinking. Because if you substitute the word “wine” for “weed,” the use thereof seems a lot more problematic.


[i] It’s possible you might experience a physical response to a sugar detox. I’ve never done it, so I have no first-hand knowledge.


Header credit: HumanWindow

11 thoughts on “What do you think about sympathy?

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  1. It’s as if this post was written by someone I know. Only they don’t admit to having a problem. This post made me sad for them and glad for you because – as always – you come out with it. You acknowledge the good, the bad, the ugly, and then you make a decision based on all that. What makes you move past the denial phase?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry. It’s hard when we can’t wave our magic wands and fix the people we care about 💖
      One of the fun things about having an eating disorder is that you get good with denial. Once that veil is lifted, however, it becomes nearly impossible tokeep it up. So, while I can lie to others, it’s harder to lie to myself, even if I don’t want to admit to the truth that I know.
      But, I’m tired of the nausea. I’m tired of the negative impact on my skin and on the bags under my eyes (vanity is a really good motivation.) I was tired of the money, tired of being less than functional because of choices I keep making. There’s so much that’s hard in my life now, and continuing to harm myself (an old pattern, a bad habit) is getting in the way of the things I need to do.
      And, like the eating disorder, there’s an element of self-centeredness in the choice that doesn’t sit well, doesn’t necessarily represent who I want to be.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It’s so true about decision, and I so often fail to look ahead. Things are going well though: nature cooperated and sent some sun which always helps the mood.

      Liked by 1 person

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