Anxiety, Mexican Food, My Best Friend and the Freak Show

With the apathy I receive from my mother in regards to my eating disorder, it is nice to have someone that shows even the slightest interest or care. Being a senior in college, Emily, my best friend and I, have been glued to the hip since fourth grade. We are practically like an old married couple. I have heard over and over again from one lady in particular that, “You have to want to change. I can sit here all day and tell you that you have to eat, but until you go back into treatment or at least care, there is nothing I can do.” Unfortunately, I still feel “safe” and “comfortable” being right in the clutches of this tormenting hell. (I feel like I might have gone off on a tangent).

Anyways, yesterday, after work, Emily and I decided to go get our nails done. We hadn’t gotten them done in a while and hell, yesterday was pay day so why not. Afterwards we decided to go get dinner, and her favorite was Mexican, so reluctantly, I caved. 

We walked into the restaurant with our freshly done toes, and then it hit me. Not like a wave, not like a rush of wind, it hit my like a damn Ferrari speeding along the Autobahn. People. People Everywhere. This place was ridiculously packed. My eyes bolted from wall to wall, stopping on any and every face. I felt hot, dizzy, nauseous, I wanted to throw up, cry, anything. 

Emily could tell, she said we would run some errands for a bit, then come back when it was more cleared out. I nodded so quickly I’m pretty sure I gave myself whiplash. 

We spent an hour or so running around doing errands and buying stuff neither of us needed, a movie, a phone case for her new phone, another iPod running sleeve for my rough wear and tear. Then made the long, painful trudge back to the restaurant. This time it was a little more empty, I told myself I could handle this. 

As we followed the waitress to our table it was happening again. I made the safari through the chairs, bobbing in and weaving out of people, flinching from wispy pony tails, dodging purses, avoiding trays of drinks being sent my direction. The flood of dizzy nausea was filling like a water balloon. Starting at my toes to my knees, then my stomach, I was slowly filling with anxiety and jitters and the voice. Oh Lord, The Voice. She came back 110% percent. It only got worse when the waitress stopped in the very center of the chaos and gestured to a table in the dead middle of the restaurant, without realizing, I muttered the words, “Oh Fuck.” . My body was no longer filling with anxiety, dread, fear, guilt, shame. It had miraculously just topped itself off and at any minute now was going to come streaming out of my eyes like a car gas tank that hadn’t stopped on its own. I was in the spotlight, you know what I’m talking about, everyone was staring. The old lady over Emily’s left shoulder, the couple over in the corner, the petite blonde college girl, they were all staring in disdain, judgement written on their faces. It felt like a freak show, and here I was center ring, “Come one, come all, watch the fat girl eat her food. Watch and judge, for she doesn’t need or deserve food.” 

Emily could tell, I’d imagine my facial expression could have killed, my pores probably oozed mental freak out, and my eyes darting from face to face probably screamed “FUCK”. She looked at me and asked if I wanted to move to a booth in the back, my frantic nods and wide eyes immediately gave the answer. Em asked the waitress, who gladly agreed, and I curled into my booth, trying my best to not freak out. 

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