Monday, 28 December 2009

On The Rack

Tortured by his enemies, a film I once watched showed a man tied between two posts which were then gradually pulled apart, thus ripping his whole body in half.

Nice start huh?

Thought I'd jump in headfirst before I got cold and ran out on the balls of my feet.

Medieval England practised "Stretching" as a form of torture on a hideous frame known as 'the rack'. It was often used to punish or to extract information from a victim.

I'm not great at history, but even the narcoleptic kid wakes up for the part of the lesson where the teacher tells about torture methods.

It's that morbid fascination thing.

Not to sound too melodramatic, but the image of someone being pulled apart has floated around my head over the past couple of days.

I feel as though parts of me are engaged in a game of "tug of war", and while that conjures up images of happily exhausted, muddy heaps of people who have engaged in the battle of the rope, for me, it feels as though my two teams, who are unfortunately, both inside me, are actually going to rip me in half.

It's a tug of war with a hell of a lot at stake and another part of me watches with some degree of horror as the stubborn struggle between me and me reaches a ridiculous intensity.

On one end of the rope, Desperation pulls me towards the gym to work my body into a frenzied, sweating, mechanical state where I no longer feel anything except a physical exhaustion and a terrible desperation to deplete my body in a any which way.

On the other end, Depression pushes me down, won't let me move, pulls my energy away from me so I have to step further back to retrieve it.

And as they pull, I am torn.

Desperation to lose weight is screaming in my ears.
"You must be in control".
"You only have this".
"If you allow yourself an inch, you'll be sure to take miles and miles and it'll be unstoppable".

Depression whispers,
"Don't bother".
"What's the point?"
"Nothing matters".

Yet another part, cries at the pain of being torn so violently. It feels as though I am on a rack.

I end up in the gym but the inside is weary and tired from the fight.

It would seem that I am able to cope when depression is not begging me to stop and when I am winning what I know is an unhealthy battle against my weight. Which is absurd!

This is not how it's meant to go, surely?

I suppose that when you are on a rack, if the force is only pulling you in one direction, it ceases to be torture.

The lesser of the two evils (in terms of short term outcomes) is the force which drives me to starve and exercise.

It's when that force is opposed by the dreadful weight of depression that it becomes so painful.


  1. You have two very strong forces at work. Neither of them working for your good. Your battle is real and painful. Somewhere there has to be a healthy answer. A healing. A way to control what happens to your body in a safe way. Safe hugs to you my friend. I'm standing behind you.

  2. Praying for you. There is a better way. I, too struggle with depression. Hang in there!

    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

  3. Wish I had the magic phrase that would set you free.

    I've struggled with depression and there are days when it all seems pointless but there are people who care about me worth trying for. I try hard to remember they care for a reason. Maybe I just don't see the point but that doesn't mean the point isn't there.

  4. Hi there-

    powerful sharing of intense inner turmoil, pain and feelings of being torn and tortured within yourself. I am SO sorry you are hurting. :-(

    I fought against myself - I wanted parts of my truth to NOT be true - the pull of that was harsh - really harsh. Over time I stopped fighting against my own truth and the pain turmoil calmed, the pain lessened, I could untangle - having lived in a knot for so long, I untangled. I pray for your untanglement today.

    Love to you

  5. I so get this. I also watch a tug of war going on inside of me. I know what I need to do for myself, but I do the opposite so much of the time, and then I pay the price: self loathing, weariness, more depression.

  6. Yikes. You paint the dance so perfectly. Too perfectly. the inner torture, the pull, the exhaustion, the fight - I wish I could help you -free you - Like you - I battled, I fought - I thought the enemy was body. I'm praying for you and always in your corner ok.Sarah

  7. Such brutal honesty . . . such gut-wrenching pain . . . . and what incredible inner strength you are showing to allow us to see and hear some of the torture . . . . .

    Listening always, my friend, with so much empathy, admiration, and love . . . . .

    Always holding you in heart . . . .