I nearly had a breakdown at work on Tuesday - nearly. I overcame it by eating a bowl of porridge (damn fucking weak).
I sat at my desk, mid-afternoon, feeling the anxiety building up in me. My head was reeling, I was so hungry - no I wasn't - I just thought I was hungry - all I'd had was juice and a bowl of vegetable soup - I wasn't hungry. Then the panic set in. Panic about what I'm not sure. I had to get rid of the fat - but how? How! Shit, shit, shit.
I was sitting at my desk completely still and yet completely frantic. I had work to do; I had to eat. I stole off to the kitchen and made myself a bowl of porridge, taking it back to my desk to slowly feed it into my body as one would feed a pooly child their medicine.
The highlight of my day is often - believe it or not - lunchtime, when I get to stroll around the City with my two best friends in the office, Rob and Rihanna. It's the highlight of my day for the laughter and banter and gossip. Yes, lunchtimes make me smile, even if all I have is soup. But on Friday, with both my firends out of the office, I wandered the noisy streets alone... trying to find a soup that I could eat... wringing my hands, scruitinising the food nutrition labels, walking in and out of every eatery... until I found my way back to the office empty handed.
I felt sad... that I was still so controlled by... whatever this shit is
So, Saturday is Rob's birthday. A number of work people with a number of his friends from uni and home, all in one of Chelsea's hotspot nightclubs. Harry, of course. Harry.
The object of whatever this shit is not Harry, he is just my little excuse to be extreme in my restriction and exercise. I've put "Harry" on a little pedalstal to give me something to strive for, something to convince myself that all this hunger and hours in the gym are necessary. Because I cannot lose the game of Harry, I will not lose. I will not lose. I enjoyed playing this game too much.
"An investment banker is at stake."
That is how I persuaded myself to buy this £160 dress yesterday.
I'm stupid and materialistic and immature.
And yet, for this guy, or for whatever I have decided he stands for, I throw my money away on an expensive new outfit, on hairstyling, waste my hours away starving, sweating in the gym.
And what if Harry doesn't want me? What if I go home alone?
I don't know, I don't know. I've put everything into ensuring I look flawless this coming Saturday. It has to mean something.
This all HAS to mean SOMETHING.
And how did I become so reckless with money? The girl who comes from simple roots, who grew up on the humble streets that have been burning in the riots last week.
I started working part-time when I was 16, I've never not been earning money since then. I couldn't.
I grew up without a penny for frivolous things, I was never allowed anything nice, anything beyond basic necessities.
And so now that I have a good job and earn enough money, when I want something, I buy it. I dress myself in clothes that make me look like I come from the wealthy side of London. I even lost my accent, polished my vowels up, softened the image. I feel disconnected from the teenage girl that stood at the bus stop, one of the locals. I feel completely out of place, I stick out like a sore thumb there now, I see poverty, I see the rioters in their hoodies and trainers, I see the girl at 16, I see the girl at 23 - unrecognisable and alien.
My home is Central London now, places dripping with wealth and glamour, Oxford Street and Kings Road, Cheapside and Bank, a home that's a thousand miles away from the place I grew up, an outer London Borough dripping with deprivation and violence.
I am not ashamed of my roots, I am ashamed that I have so proudly cut myself from them.
I've put so much pressure on myself for Saturday now. This week is going to be tough, I intend to juice fast which is just as well because I wouldn't let myself eat even if I wanted to.
This pressure is ridiculous.
All for one investment banker,
all for the Game,
all for the fun and adrenaline of putting on a show and rolling the dice
and I know what the stakes are: shattered glass everywhere
Hillary Clinton meme
9 months ago