So there was the wedding. And I will talk about it, because it was very beautiful, and my brother is now married, and everyone was happy and we danced and drank and cried a little bit. Cried a lot, actually. And then, more dancing. But today, I can’t really think about it, because celebrating, it turns out, is pretty bad for my new digestive system, and it is entirely possible that I am going to die. Imminent death is pretty distracting. The nice thing, however, is that it was worth it. I think. Mostly.
It started Friday, when we landed and I was so hungry and so happy to see Carrie, who was stressed like a person whose head was about to explode. So we took her out to dinner, and we drank a bottle of wine, and my stomach said, "Oh, you’re funny. You just wait, funny lady."
I ignored it, because fuck you, stomach. You are not the boss of me. So
when Ken got home, we took him out for drinks. And with every whiskey,
my stomach stored up a little more resentment. But I said fuck you,
stomach. My baby brother is getting married, and we are doing shots.
And then, eating onion rings bought from a questionably sanitary
all-night fried chicken shack. My stomach seethed quietly and sharpened
For breakfast: a latte. Then, another latte. And then soy chips, and
another latte. And then the rehearsal dinner. Drinks! More drinks!
Pizza! Hey, Carrie’s related to a guy who was on the Sopranos!
Calamari? Cala-MORE-y! Nom nom nom mashed potatoes, you are so nice,
and yes, Mr. Veal, I will eat you all up yom. And then, I will take a
fork and help decimate the dessert platter, and then I will go outside
and wish I were dead. But still I have to keep living, so I will have
another glass of wine, yes please, thank you. I bet that will settle my
stomach, which is currently fashioning a noose.
The day of the wedding, the champagne was broken out early, and then it
was steadily downhill from there. Drinks drinks drinks drinks,
happiness and crying, drinks soup bread drinks toasts to the happy
couple drinks salad chicken dancing dancing drinks. Cake! A dessert
table? A dessert table! My brother the pastry chef, he has provided a
table full of things that, oh God, are the best things I’ve ever eaten.
Drink? Don’t mind if I do! My stomach hired an assassin.
This morning, in the dark of the predawn, that is when my stomach made
its move. I woke up, and barely had time to think oh, holy God, to roll
out of bed and shoot into the bathroom and spend the next 45 minutes
regretting everything I had ever done and wondering if it was too late
to find Jesus, who I bet was under the couch cushions this whole time.
That 45 minutes of my life are among the worst 45 minutes I have ever
spent. I put my head down on my knees and cried a lot, feeling sorry
for myself. And then 10 minutes later I was back in the bathroom,
feeling sorry for myself again. And then again, and again, and again.
Of course I don’t get to feel sorry for myself–I am perfectly aware of
why, exactly, I was crying in the bathroom at 4 in the morning, and at
6, and 7, and 8 and 9. I am fully cognizant of exactly what happened,
and who, precisely, caused the chain of events that led to my
preferring death to this kind of deeply painful dishonor on every
level. I take responsibility! I take Pepto Bismol, which is all the
hotel had, and I smile through the cramps like such a brave little
toaster and I say my goodbyes to all the people streaming out of the
hotel, and I say fuck you, self-pity.
I knew what I was doing. This was my brother’s wedding, and I was not
going to worry about diets and protein, or turn down wedding cake
because I was trying to be good. And every step of the way, I knew that
there would be consequences. But I thought, before I embarked on my
Lost Weekend, that I was prepared for them, that I was ready to deal
with whatever punishment my body would mete out. The not-so-much is not
something I ever want to deal with, ever again. I do not ever want to
do this to myself; I can’t believe I did this to myself, and that I
could have been so stupid. I will never be this stupid again.
I’m going to be exactly as stupid again, and probably in short order.
Maybe even within the month. Definitely within in the year. That is
the thing about this surgery–it helps to teach you good habits, or
better habits than you used to have. It reins you in, daily, with the
tiny size of your stomach, reduced hunger, a blessedly reduced craving
for sugar. But it doesn’t cure you.
It feels like magic, the first 6 months, maybe, maybe a little longer.
It feels easy to do, but there are small slip-ups, here and there.
You’re eating a couple bites of bread, you have a sip of soda, you run
across a bag of chocolate chips in your cupboard, and suddenly half a
dozen are melting on your tongue. It is a little terrifying, how easy
it can be to start escalating that. Suddenly I can see myself going
from a corner of a roll to the whole bread basket, a bottle of Coke, a
sack of fun-size candy bars. How long is the memory of how I feel right
now going to keep me afraid to do this to myself again? How long before
I remember the consequences and think I am fully aware of the price to
pay, but still going off full-bore crazy again? It scares the shit out of me.
I hope that will be enough, but I am not convinced, and I am not cured.