I just thought I would write you a few lines to tell you how my psychiatrist’s appointment went last time. It was the most difficult session I’ve ever had with Dr. Saba. After he weighed me, I told him emphatically that I could no longer go hungry in order to please the scales. I weighed in at 175.6 pounds and my height is five feet, nine inches. Dr. Saba asked me how long had it been since I had stopped fasting. I told him three weeks, adding that I got worried about every morsel of food I was putting in my mouth. As I continued skipping meals and weighing myself repeatedly, my body began to fight back. Laura and her friend Diane found out what I was doing and became alarmed. Diane met me at Laura’s house especially to talk to me about the dangers in what I was doing, telling me she had a sister-in-law who was skinny like I was. When this petite person got sick, she had no reserves in her body to back her up. She turned into a walking skeleton, then she passed away. Going without food is serious. People in refugee camps turn to eating grass and dirt when the food aid doesn’t arrive in time. Cities come under siege in wars, and people have a history of eating each other when it becomes a matter of life or death. Fasting is a pathway to depression, Dr. Saba told me. He realized he had made a mistake in his dealings with me — trying to keep me at an optimum weight by nagging — but he wouldn’t own up to this, saying I had let all of this weighing get to me.
I realized, despite all my desires to conform and to please everybody, that this was impossible, and that I shouldn’t try to do it anymore.
We also discussed my latest obsession with current events shaping our world. I cannot trust the mainstream media in this country. No matter which news outlet you listen to or any news article you read, there is no way a person can really know the truth. The propaganda wars are a fog of white noise, an attempt of powers beyond our control to mold the minds of the masses. It is the corporate elites — whether foreign or domestic –who are the puppet masters, trying to manage the herd. Their’s are the loudest voices, and their lives — because of their massive concentrations of wealth — are so much different from our own. I can see political leaders at world summits, men who wield such power that they could order the murder of a fellow human being and never have to answer for it. The rich and powerful live by their own set of rules, and they make the rules for everybody else.
Dr. Saba said that our form of government doesn’t work in other nations who are different from us. But fortunately, we have freedom of speech and have no restrictions on what we can read. Instead of reading the news app on my phone, I could read Wikipedia on my phone. Instead of reading journalism, I could read the great books of civilization, and learn about the great ideas of mankind. They are people out there who don’t follow the news at all, and no person must make it so personal as I have been doing. I am but one person living in a small town.
So this is the jist of the conversation between me and Dr. Saba. When I picked up my script and made my next appointment in May, I left his office and got into Laura’s car. She had been outside waiting for me. I said, “Let’s go to Denny’s. I’m hungry.” When we got to the restaurant and took our seats in one of the booths, I told Laura about the session I just had. “Did you talk to Dr. Saba about me?” she asked. I told her that her name never came up. My stomach felt full after lunch, for the first time in a long while.
The next morning the sun rose and a blue sky prevailed, despite what the weather forecast predicted. I spent time walking around the track with my wireless ear-buds, listening to the band Blue Oyster Cult, doing almost five miles as I repeatedly walked past the flag pole, the stars and stripes flapping in the breeze. I returned home and washed a sink full of dirty dishes, feeling that I had achieved a small victory after all the mess was cleaned up. My depression was lifting, and I knew that this was the beginning of a bright new day.