Welcome home, Appetite!

Sometimes body parts go on sabbatical, head out to the beach or take off on a world tour. We like to call these “injuries” or “illnesses,” but we all know that’s an excuse for some part or other deciding it just needs a break. Even if its break is called a break.

I’ve been delighted lately after having welcomed my appetite back after a 28-year-plus absence. During that time, its job was (badly, and I mean really seriously extremely badly) done by some obscure chemical reaction involving antidepressants, my brain, and my gut. The faux appetite made me eat like six teenaged boys after running up mountains all weekend—but every freaking day.

I didn’t know until a couple of years ago that this was a common side effect of antidepressants; evidently, when I started taking the one I was on for so long, it wasn’t that well known, so nobody told me, and by the time it was known, everybody thought I knew. I’ll bet communication would be a really amazing tool if people used it.

No wonder I blew up to the size of a small pick-up truck.

It struck me a couple of days ago (now that I’ve been brain-chemical-supplement free for a couple of months) that even though I’ve switched my biggest meal from dinner to lunch, I can’t (not “don’t,” but “can’t”—an important distinction) eat as much as I was eating for a “smaller” lunch a couple of years ago. Come dinner time, a little cottage cheese and fruit, and maybe some fresh peas from the (miraculously) still-producing garden, and I’m generally pretty stuffed. Even after I’ve been climbing up and down ladders all day.

At first I couldn’t figure out what was going on; then I realized: my own, my very own, my very own and nobody else’s appetite had finally made it home. It hadn’t fallen off a mountain in Switzerland and splattered on the rocks or been run over and smashed by herds of elephants in India. It had returned to me.

No more ersatz overachiever “appetite.” No more compulsion to eat anything that couldn’t get away before I grabbed it. Even a much lower-volume siren song from chocolate. That last is jaw-droppingly amazing.

I haven’t had the heart to tell it I didn’t really know it was missing, that I thought it had just gone bonkers or bad karma from past lives had slammed into me; I’m so glad it’s back that I don’t want to upset the poor dear.

I do kind of wish it would tell me some of its travel tales, though. A 28-year world tour has got to be full of good stories, wouldn’t you think?

Posted by wordsmith

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