I haven’t felt hungry in over a week. Eating has been one of the hardest things. In the past days, several hours have been going by without me thinking about food or touching a morsel. I only really noticed how my weight had slipped off when I was dragging my suitcase through Stockholm, and the trousers that were usually snug were falling down past my hips. I had a horrendous struggle trying to lug over 25 kilos of luggage and keep my trousers up at the same time without flashing my underwear to all and sundry.

I was showering later that night and caught sight of myself in the mirror as I was changing. I was all ribs. It was an ugly, frightening sight that, in a previous life, would have left me elated. But that night, left me feeling ashamed, grotesque and fucking furious that I had allowed my grief to impact on my weight.

Today has been another day where my body has felt too stuffed with sadness to allow any feelings of hunger to emerge. It’s been another day where I’ve had to physically force myself to eat because I’ve lost enough weight already and loosing anymore would be disastrous. I mashed up my fish and peas at dinner until it resembled baby food, and ate it tiny mouthful by tiny mouthful. There was no moment of enjoyment, no second where I felt fulfilled. I was eating because if I don’t then life just gets more difficult. Just now I mashed up some Weetabix and, again, ate it tiny mouthful by tiny mouthful. I don’t know when I’ll feel hungry again. I don’t know when I’ll look forward to and enjoy a meal. But eat I must, and eat I will, even if it is in tiny bites, even if it is forced. I’ve got too much to live for to starve.


4 thoughts on “Ribs

  1. Grief has a massive physical impact on us…. it’s not just an emotional pain, it truly is physical. I’d always been an emotional eater, but then true grief struck and eating was not possible. For an entire week after my husband died, eating was not something I thought about and it was something I couldn’t do even when prompted by others. I survived that week on cups of tea and a few snake lollies thrown in here and there. I had someone say to me ‘not eating won’t bring him back’. It wasn’t about that….. I can’t really explain what it was, it was just something I couldn’t bring myself to do, it quite physically wasn’t possible. It was only after the Coroner released his body to the funeral home that I was able to face eating a proper meal. But my appetite, hunger pains and a desire to eat didn’t come back for a very long time. I had to make a conscious effort to eat, because my body wasn’t reminding me through hunger pains that I needed to eat. It eventually reminded me through the hip bones digging into the mattress when I lay on my stomach, it reminded me with the pressure in my tail bone because there was no padding left, it reminded me in my exhaustion. 23 months into my grief journey and some days I still need to make that conscious decision to eat. Be kind to yourself right now. Rest when you can. Eat as much or as little as you can. Heartache and grief have a massive impact physically.

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