Disordered Eating Has Turned Me Into a Criminal!

Disordered Eating Sucks!

Pam Lewis of Tropical Depression dressed beautifully when she had a healthy lifestyle
Pam Lewis of Tropical Depression when she used to eat healthy

I'm having an affair. The object of my affection comes in many different colors. One day it can be yellow, the next day it can be mocha, or maybe if I'm feeling nasty, it could be swirled. My new obsession has turned me into a liar and a cheat. Keeping up with my love isn't cheap and sometimes requires prophylactic care to avoid its ills. It can be soft at times and other moments hard as a rock. The worst part of this affair is the shame that is left once I'm sitting alone at the kitchen table looking at the entrails of a disordered eaters' snack.

What is it that has stolen my heart and left me with such shame? Cheesecake. That's right, cheesecake. Chocolate or yellow, drizzled in fruit (which gets scraped off) by the slice or purchased whole, it's cheesecake that's bringing my life to a standstill. My disordered eating has me living the life of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I started buying pre-packaged cheesecake slices at my local Safeway down the street. I had one too many stressors, one too many unreturned phone calls, one too many unanswered questions, and I fell mouth-first into my disordered eating vortex.

One of the specific issues that have become challenging is that finding suitable, affordable housing in Hawaii meant I would remain a renter. Sometimes working in exchange for board or just being agreeable to the point of subserviency. This has left me so wanting to be solely responsible for my decisions. Things that should be non-issues like air conditioning or other purchases have become giant headaches. I just want to be the captain of my ship, even if the sole resident of that ship is a fool. I look to cheesecake to help me deal with the reality that as a 52-year-old I have to have consultations before I buy something that might damage the apartment. However, I could buy cheesecake without asking permission, I could taste the cheesecake without needing to sign papers, and I could swallow the cheesecake without a video conference. Every aspect of the cake's future is up to me, unlike my life which seems out of my control. I could sit where I want while scarfing my cake and I can decide what kind of beverage to buy while I shove that cake into my pie hole. Disordered eaters are many times created by someone who feels like they are the last to have control of their own life.

As a single person, it might seem as though most decisions are mine to make, but that is simply not true. I am accountable to many people throughout my day. My day exists only by the grace of other people. As a renter, I'm responsible to several people. As a member of a sometimes intense family, I have to be ready at any time to reverse course if a family member decides they want closeness. The only thing that I feel like I am in control of is what I put in my mouth and the only thing that has made me happy in weeks is cheesecake. My disordered eating has me skipping three daily meals so I can eat two slices of cheesecake instead. It is a decision that can't be taken away once I have made it and it's a choice that is mine to live with that affects zero other people.

A nobake cheesecake with pink, turquoise coloring over a graham cracker crust.
Pam Lewis of Tropical Depression has nothing to do with this no-bake cheesecake.

When I decided to steal a piece of cheesecake the other day it was my decision. I didn't exactly steal it per se, but whatever you want to call it, it was mine per se to do whatever the fuck I per se did with it. I found a twenty-dollar bill on the ground of the Safeway parking lot on the same day that I stole my cheesecake, which seems As a believer in Karma I went immediately to customer service to turn in the bill. Instead of being secure in the knowledge that most people have no clue how much money they have in their wallet, I had to be honest which in the end means I'm more of a pain in the ass than I usually am. After a way too long discussion with customer service answering questions like, "What car did you find it next to?" and "Do you remember who was around when you picked the bill up from the ground?" Grilling me about the money I was trying to return was so stressful that I ended up buying two, get over yourself, two pieces of cheesecake, and a frozen pizza before heading for the self-serve checkout section of Safeway.

After scanning my pizza, and one piece of cake I noticed my second piece didn't beep when scanned. I tried it two more times and then turned the cake box over to reveal the bar code sticker missing. Because I exist in a perpetual flight or fight mode, having a free piece of cake staring directly at me, failed to put me in a grounded peaceful state. Similarly to how finding cash on the ground doesn't make me happy because I'm convinced I'll be punished if I kept it. The effort needed for a Safeway employee under the age of twenty-year-old to print and place a tag on my piece of cake could have taken fifteen minutes. The girl who was managing the self-service area would have had to leave her designated territory to help me, which could have sent that part of the supermarket into chaos. For these Safeways to run smoothly every kid must be playing their part to avoid any cogs in the Safeway machine.

With my brown bag open holding the frozen pizza and one piece of cake I quickly took the remaining piece of cake and put it under my armpit to avoid the machine scale asking too many questions. I took my receipt and continued to hold up my bag with one rounded arm and tried to walk normally to my car. Once in my car, I was now a thief. Disordered eating had me donating $20 to Safeway with one hand and stealing from them with the other. I had become Robinhood in my tiny little town in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Albeit a Robinhood who has gotten through life bartering for shelter and finding stress relief in the form of dessert.

PLEASE like, comment or share if this essay made you smile...or made you hungry.

#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #selfcare #selflove #anxiety #mentalhealthmatters #depression #motivation #health #wellness #mindfulness #healing #fitness #therapy #inspiration #happiness #mindset #positivity #positivevibes #meditation #mentalillness #psychology #wellbeing #recovery

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