What EDNOS Feels Like

It feels like buying food.

That’s all. Buying food.

And you didn’t buy a lot of food: a little bit of gnocchi, some salad, garlic bread that came with the gnocchi, and a chocolate milkshake, because why not. It is 10:30 at night, and you haven’t eaten anything all day, and you’ve been working like a motherfucking motherfucker, and you deserve GrubHub.

So an hour later, when the too old, kind of creepy delivery man comes and you ring him into your building and he climbs the stairs and hands you your food, you’re horrifically starving. It’s just buying food. You attach no meaning to it. Not yet. You’ve rung yourself up on your GrubHub app. You get your food. You tip the guy. You deserve this.

But they sent you more gnocchi than you bargained for. A nine inch tin pan full. And it’s crammed to the brim, overflowing with succulent tomatoes and delicate spinach and gently sautéed onions and, well, gnocchi. And the sauce. So much cheese. And you look at it. You stare the gnocchi in the eye. You can eat this. You haven’t eaten anything all day, but you’ve treated yourself, right? You can eat this.

So you take a sip of the milkshake. Sort of a gateway food. The milkshake will make you hungry. The milkshake will make you want more. So what if it’s 211 calories with 55 calories from fat? The milkshake will make you want to eat. And you need to eat. So you do so. You drink the milkshake. You take one little sip.

And then another.

And then two more.

And the chocolate hits your stomach like Miley Cyrus leaping on to a wrecking ball and there it is, there you have it. It’s not the sugar that hits you. It’s the milk. It’s the nutrition. And then you take a forkful of gnocchi dripping, dripping with cheese sauce, and it doesn’t taste like nutrition. Not anymore. All you can taste is the cheese and all you can think about is how milk isn’t really nutrition for humans; it’s nutrition for baby cows. And you’ll gain so much fucking weight from the cheese. So you try and separate the gnocchi from the cheese, because fucking cheese. Fucking cheese. You grab a napkin and wipe every individual piece of gnocchi clean, wipe all the cheese away from it, and then you have all you need. Carbs. Carbs are good. Carbs will give you energy. Dairy is nutrition for baby cows. And you are not a baby cow.

You don’t necessarily eat that much. You finish your cheeseless gnocchi and you are happy. There is no cheese in you. There are just carbs. You curl up next to your unfinished milkshake and smile happily. You didn’t eat the cheese.

But then the rumblies come. The stomach cavity earthquakes that threaten your hold on reality. You’re curled up in bed and holding on tight to your grey sheets and panting, begging yourself not to do it. Don’t do it. You deserve better.

So you don’t do it. Not then. You go to sleep with a stomach full of puke in the making and you wake up twelve hours later and it isn’t better, no, it isn’t better, and you gasp as you get up and you feel the little bit of cheese that you ate inside you and you cannot breathe so you get up and you run across the living room to the bathroom and you don’t even have to stick your finger or some other large implement down your throat because it comes, it comes like a rush of water from a dam years closed, and as you close your eyes and let twelve hours of rotting food pour through your system on its way out, you sigh.

Because you didn’t binge. Of course you didn’t. You bought twenty four dollars worth of food (including tax and tip) and you didn’t eat the cheese, so you’re fine. It’s just the stomach flu. Or something.

But it’s not. It’s not the stomach flu. It’s something so much worse.

So what does EDNOS feel like?

It feels like buying food.

It feels completely normal.

Don’t let society fool you into thinking it’s a beautiful girl puking gracefully into a toilet and wiping her mouth afterward.

It’s just normal.

© Chapin Langenheim, 2019

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