Out of Control
It was beautiful this morning. We had a cloud cover left over from last night's thunderstorms, and everything smelled incredible. I love the smells of freshly washed grass, flowers, rocks, even mud. The air at 7800 feet might have less oxygen than Las Vegas has, but it's incredibly clean--no asthma problems today. I ran my usual circuit. It takes about an hour to run a nice slow six miles. When I was finished, I found the dread returning. I did the circuit again. That felt better. I was really tired, but I ran to the golf course and circled it twice. Finally, exhausted, I jogged home.
Darrin was just pulling up for lunch as I reached the house. He asked me if I'd gone running twice. "Sort of," I said. "Sam, have you been running the whole time I've been gone?" I admitted I had--four hours. I did take small breaks, sort of. I saw tension building in Darrin. He knows that when I start running like this, it's because I can't cope with the things in my life that are stressful. Darrin is already a little upset that I was asked to fill a major calling while he's a Bishop. This just added to that. Then he asked me, "When did you eat last?" "Last night, with you," I told him. He got even more angry that I hadn't eaten before I ran.
I walked away to take a shower. Darrin followed me. I sat on the bed and removed my shoes and socks. Darrin caught my foot and turned it over to show me that the bruising was worse--spread over the entire sole of my foot. "Didn't you feel this happening?" he asked me. I shook my head. Then I did something I have never done in our entire marriage. I started to cry, stormed into the bathroom, locked the door and told Darrin to go away and leave me alone.
I showered and dressed and found Darrin waiting for me, calm, but still angry. "I don't want to talk about it," I said. "We have to. Right now." I tried to walk away, but Darrin caught my arm and added, "Please." We sat on the bed and I couldn't stop crying. I've never just sat and cried in front of him, but I couldn't even talk. Finally I was calm enough to discuss things with him. Darrin said, "Why didn't you eat this morning." I confessed that I just couldn't. I didn't want to. The problem is that after not eating for four or five days, endorphins kick in that bring a wonderful sense of control and relief. It's an amazing sensation, and I wanted it badly. If one runs a lot during the first couple of days of starvation, the sensation occurs sooner. Darrin knows this. He knows exactly what I'm doing.
"You can't do this, Sam. It's been almost a month since you've done this to yourself. Last week I saw you eat regular meals for the first time in almost seven months. You can't start this again."
I listened to Darrin, but the truth is I CAN do this. It's one of the things I do well. I'm VERY good at it. I knew that wasn't what he meant by his words, but it's what was going through my head anyway. Darrin said he was extremely angry at our bishop for laying at my feet the very thing that would stop my progress and add stress and complications to my life. I told Darrin that I was sure that wasn't the bishop's intention. Then Darrin dropped a bombshell on me. "When were you planning on talking to me about the times you've been crying after we have sex?" I tried to dodge him, "That's a little off the subject, isn't it?" "It's all related, Sam, and we both know it." Nope, the dodge didn't work.
I gave in. We talked about the stupid sex thing. We talked about all my idiotic hang-ups with running and eating. I felt worthless and miserable. I wanted to die. And for the first time in our married life, I wept the entire time. I couldn't stop. So I was embarrassed on top of everything else.
I don't think we solved anything. But at least we had full disclosure. I can't hide anything anymore. I still don't want to eat. Darrin made me promise not to go run again today. But I'll probably take a walk later this evening. I am totally out of control again. I don't know what to do, and honestly, I don't think I WANT to do anything about it. I just want to run and keep running, and I never want to eat again.