It’s a strange feeling when you’re so hungry, but you don’t want to eat. When your illness fights your basic needs. I know I needed to eat something though, so I sloped downstairs to the kitchen, not even bothering to turn on the lights. I look in the fridge; we have two ready meals: Spanish chicken, and a butternut risotto. ‘Ugh, I don’t feel like those at all’ I think to myself as I put them back and my stomach moans at the dinner that could have been. I give up, I’ll just have toast, it’s plain and it’s easy. What do you have with toast? Tea, of course. I fill up the kettle, finally feeling a bit more optimistic about eating, and lift the lid off the bread bin: empty.
This is one of my biggest problems with depression, all the little things pile up and you hold it in and soldier on until you’re stood in your kitchen fighting back tears about bread. I feel pathetic and childish but I really, really wanted some toast.
‘It’s okay, there’ll be something else’ I try to reassure myself as I open every other cupboard and drawer. There’s loads of pasta, but I haven’t got the energy or will to cook. There’s so many ingredients staring back at me but none of it looks appealing, or appetising, and I don’t want to cook anything.
The kettle finished boiling and I admit defeat. My stomach feels like it’s trying to eat itself but my brain won’t let me eat anything. It looks like I’ll just be having a cup of tea for dinner then. I can’t remember the last time I had a proper meal. I’ll keep skipping meals because I don’t have a desire to eat and before you know it my appetite will be gone and I won’t be able to eat much more than a biscuit without feeling sick to my guts.
Sometimes I don’t have the energy to cook, other times I don’t have the will to eat. Depression has a way of making us neglect our needs to the point where we train ourselves not to need them anymore. It could take me weeks to have a normal appetite again, but then the binge eating begins, I’m disgusted by the extra stomach flab, and I’ll starve all over again, punishing myself for ‘getting fat again’.
Update: it’s been about a month since I wrote that and I can say for certain that my appetite has shrunk. I’ve gone through another phase of accidentally starving myself due to depression, basically day after day of the above happening to me. I’ve gone entire days where all I’ve had is a cereal bar. I’m miserable, stressed, anxious and drained all the time. I’m slowly getting back into eating regular meals but it’s a slow journey and one I’ve had to do so many times before. I feel like I’m retraining myself to eat. Sometimes it gets too difficult and something as little and as basic as a yogurt will have my stomach turning itself inside out trying to keep it down as I battle anxiety and a ‘ohgodwhatthefuckdidijustdo’
I’m getting there slowly again. I had a small dinner last night and I did feel a little nauseous afterwards, but it was manageable. I’m going to aim to eat breakfast tomorrow morning – we have cereal going stale because of the amount of times I’ve skipped it.