Friday, 25 July 2008

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

So I tried.

A couple of weeks ago, I removed my grandmother’s ring from his safe. Last weekend, a visiting friend helped me take home a suitcase of clothes that’s been sitting there for a couple of months. (It’s a lot of Cannes ball gowns – not clothes I wear on a regular basis.)

I had quiet tears running down my face on the Tube, just looking at the suitcase and dreading the conversation I knew we needed to have, and dreading the weeks ahead, when I knew all kinds of small things would pain me. Everything would remind me of him, I knew.

And on Monday afternoon on the phone, just after spending the day in court with Amy Wino’s husband, and just before the Leicester Square Batman premiere, I blurted out the words I’ve been thinking for days:

I know you don’t want an exclusive relationship. But I do. And this isn’t enough any more.

There was silence on the other end of the phone. Finally he said, “Can we at least talk through this in person?”

He is a trained military interrogator. Um, no.

I don’t think you can talk through a feeling. This is hurting me. I can’t live like this any more. Remember that coffee we had on our third date? I told you then that I’d reach a point when you seeing other people wouldn’t be okay anymore, and I am long past that point. I’ve tried and tried to be okay with it, but I can’t anymore. I’ve been thinking about this for weeks and avoiding it because I don’t want to do it. But you being with other people hurts me so much that I have to.

I had tears running down my face at this point, and I ducked into a corner alleyway just off Leicester Square, wishing there was a THE PAIN STOPS HERE button, like my friend Laura and I used to joke about in elementary school.

"I need to see you," he said. And I believed him, because I wanted to.

So he cancelled his date – yes, his date – and I did my red carpet interviews and skipped the film.

And we met up outside St. Martin in the Fields and I cried when I saw him. And we went to a restaurant in Chinatown and talked about my interview with Christi@n B@le and the video he’d edited that day and finally he said: “I’m not going to be the one to start this.”

And so I did. And so we talked. And talked. And he asked me if this was something I wanted to do when I was struggling with my health (he knows about the binges, even if he doesn't understand them), and I tried to explain -- gently -- that this pain and this uncertainty and how this relationship was making me feel about myself was if not causing than certainly making the bingeing problem worse. And making it hard for me to recover.

And we talked some more and didn’t resolve anything. (Except what is there to resolve? He wants to sleep with other people and have me waiting for him, and I don’t want to.) And somehow we left and weren’t broken up.

And then we talked about it again on Tuesday, the same old stuff we’ve talked about before. And he talked about how badly he’s been hurt and then he looked at me and said: “I think I might be in love with you.”

And I felt like screaming.

I felt like screaming: “You tell me you think you might be in love with me and suddenly I’m supposed to be okay with everything?”

But we were in an empty cocktail bar in Covent Garden, and I couldn’t. And he asked me what I wanted – something he’s never asked me. And – because I have nothing to lose – I said: I don’t want to be with someone I can live with. I want to be with someone I can’t live without. And I want to be with someone who feels the same way about me. And I want to get married – not next week or even next year or even necessarily to you. But it’s something I want.

And there it was. Things I’ve never said aloud.

He told me how – for him – “I love you” was a huge deal. “I’m not 17 and I don’t say it lightly. For me it’s not a big jump from ‘I love you’ to engagement to marriage.”

I was worn out and didn’t feel like pointing out that he hadn’t said he loved me – only that he thought he might. (Wasn’t he saying the same thing in May, at his parents’ house? How if it was 10 years ago he’d probably be saying he loved me?) I didn’t point out that he might never stop thinking it and start feeling it, the same way he might never decide that he’d gotten everything out of his system (his way of referring to his, erm, extracurricular activities). I didn’t point out that if he actually did love me, he wouldn’t want to hurt me as badly as he is.

Before I could decide what to say, he said: “I need to switch off.” Code words for: Enough is enough. So again, we didn’t finish.

Stay tuned.

* * *

Oh, right. This is also a weight loss blog, isn’t it?

Hmmm, let’s see. I’m 12 stone 3 (171 lbs) as of this morning. I saw 12 stone 7 Monday after a weekend of heavy eating, so I’m actually OK with this. Current goal is to get under 12 stone – and, more importantly, not to binge. I haven’t since Saturday. Am off to a reception and a friend’s birthday drinks (though no alcohol for me – going dry for a few weeks) so more on this later…

Also looking for a good half marathon to do since apparently you have to fundraise for the Royal Parks one, and I absolutely loathe asking people for money.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Coming Out of the Dark

I’ve never read William Styron’s Darkness Visible, but I know enough about it to know I ought not try to top his descriptions of depression.

Anyway, depression -- mine, anyway – makes everything seem too difficult. Putting a dish in the sink (never mind doing the dishes), writing a blog post, changing a meeting time, returning a phone call? Too much effort. (Eating, however, is not too much effort.)

“You are depressed,” the cheerful round British psychiatrist told me last week after my 40-minute assessment. “And not without good reason.”

Um, thanks. I tried not to laugh when he made this pronouncement. Not without good reason? Why not just say, “Wow, your life sounds really shitty these days.” I love the English.

After my diagnosis, I then got to listen to him dictate a letter about me to the doctor he’d like me to see. (At the same hospital that treated Amy Wino earlier this year, of all places. “Same unit,” he told me, also cheerfully, when I mentioned it.) Tearful. Sighed frequently during our interview. Still hasn’t fully processed her mother’s death. Was treated successfully for binge eating at the Russell Unit last year but has relapsed recently. Has gained a significant bit of weight. She’s having trouble with her boyfriend – she says she feels bullied by him. For the record, the doctor also said I was lovely, bright and charming. I had to wonder if that’s just because I was listening.

Depressed? I’m depressed? I found myself slightly stunned by the diagnosis. I knew things weren’t right, but depressed? It makes perfect sense; I just hadn’t thought of it – or admitted it.

I’ve found myself slightly more prone to tears than usual in the past couple of months, but it wasn’t until this pronouncement that the floodgates opened. I cried more times in the 24 hours immediately following than I ever have in a day in my life. Not big snuffling sobs (well, no more than a couple), just a lot of quiet tears I couldn’t seem to stop.

I don’t see the second doctor until tomorrow. But this week I’ve managed to get in five cardio workouts (I’ve never stopped exercising, but my cardio has gotten rather sporadic), remove a ring I had stowed in BN2’s safe (call it baby steps toward removing him from my life – given how steamrollered I feel when I argue with him, and how angry he can become, I don’t want to be trying to get it back after the fact), and take some positive steps about controlling my eating. I was perfect during the week, but ate too much Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I had what my old therapist called a subjective binge – six biscuits, stuffed down my gob when nobody was looking. Sunday I had seconds on ice cream and later that night, at a minimart, plunked down a KitKat and a Snickers flapjack next to my tampons on the counter. I looked back at the candy bar selection in the shop, debating replacing or adding to my stash. Then I thought: “What the hell am I doing?,” put the Kit Kat and the flapjack back, and bought a diet Coke instead.

Weight on Thursday was 11 stone 13 ¾, but presumably has gone up since then. Sigh.