The Illness of My Discontent Chapter 1 part 1
In the summer of 2015 I started back to school to work on my PhD. I hadn’t done a lot in quite some time so I felt really good getting into the program, registering, and finally beginning my courses.
I was at the time about 125 pounds down 5 pounds from my settling weight. I was losing a bit quite easily, and even though it wasn’t significant, it added up at the end of the month.
For so long my life hadn’t revolved around performance as it always had in the past, and schedules and routines were foreign entities to me.
I recall my first full week of school, and waking up to what I would name the maniac’s hours: the hours between 12:30pm and 6:30 am.
I was up by 1:30 am and ready to dig into my schoolwork. I discovered the 24 hour store had lattes that when I took with a doctor’s prescribed Adderall gave me this productivity and creativity surge along with an intense ability to concentrate.
Being Corey, and as I do, I name most things, so I called this mixture of Adderall and my latte the “golden elixir.”
I went one early Wednesday morning to the store so revved up and dying to dive into my books and writing. I could barely take the golden elixir and I was off working on something that had my mind and body concurrently engaged.
I can pinpoint my anorexia to that every moment that morning when I was completely satiated mind, body, and spirit.
I was so high by the propulsion of my activity and the words I was writing that didn’t seem like they could be mine.
I had battled a much smaller bout of anorexia in like 2008 and went down to only like 108 pounds on a 68 inch frame. People who loved me were frightened by my hollowed skeleton then, they nor I had any idea what was to come years later.
It is so easy as a writer to want to jump into the gory or the bad ass part of the story, but so many times people don’t take the time in writing or in medical recovery to look at the very beginnings of the disease and what seeds were planted.
I have tried writing this before but I rushed it, and this time I am going to comb through all the details.
What I remember about that day and the like days surrounding it, was the feeling of invincibleness I harbored and the cocksure attitude I had about yes having this all completely under control.
I was figuratively flying on the ceiling while I did my work, and I was so sure I was doing great work that would earn me the 4.0 GPA I intended to achieve.
It wasn’t about weight loss in those first weeks, although the weight loss went simultaneously with the achievements. I was just so empowered and so powered by my internal structures and my mind which was showing me for once in a long time just how powerful it truly was.
I have never been high on illicit drugs but I have no doubt this was somewhat similar to that affect.
It was highly addictive and the move I felt it, the more I wanted it. I soon realized that after a couple of years of not really having much to show for myself, I was cranking out the work, and when the grades started going in, it was a game changer.
Every grade I received just fed by fire and for one instance that grade satiated a part of me that was ever so quickly diminished by the next piece of work that was due. I once had a not very bright therapist ask me the most basic question. She asked me, do you realize how much you put into each grade whether it is 2 points or 200 points, and how small an amount of time that grade brings you happiness?
She surely had a point but nonetheless I was way to busy chasing my tail between my legs, and doing my work and neatly organizing my grades and feeling an empty yet full sense of accomplishment. I say empty, because nothing was ever enough to make me happy or pause, and I came from a family that expected the best out of me so they weren’t impressed and neither were my friends who thought I had a crazy maniacal brain. I couldn’t make myself happy for more than a Nano-second and nor could I make anyone else happy, so I just worked harder and that is when the ultimate sense of perfectionism set in for me.
Probably a month after courses started and I was already a well-oiled machine, I realized that to make myself and others happy, I had to branch and spread out my perfectionism. My body was the perfect temple for that, and I was already losing more weight working more and sleeping less, and soon I wanted to be perfect in every fucking way possible. Somehow I would get somebody to say something positive to me and about me. I didn’t lack self-esteem but I truly became obsessed with being the best in all facets of my life.
This is a theme I would say marked my entire life from time to time, and this time it would come as close to killing me as it possibly could.
BORN THIS WAY-2017