I’m feeling better on the depression front. Depression ends much of life’s momentum when it’s in the ascendancy so it’s good that it ebbs and flows. And since, to paraphrase the immortal Timmy, it’s currently flocking the other way, I’m writing again.
When I can get a word in edgewise. Depression’s wane gives my eating disordered thinking the opening it was looking for. It’s not that it’s absent when I’m in the pit, it’s just that its efforts are half-hearted. It’s been popping up with more verve and enthusiasm of late, letting me know that as a specimen, I remain sadly wanting. Recovery is push and pull, forward and back. Depression is ultimately despair but in the early days, the lessening of inside snarling about fat thighs, saggy hips, and multitudinous imperfections is a relief.
Sometimes, I feel like Owen Grady. Had I been asked; I’d have selected a single neurosis rather than a multiplicity.
Though if I’m being completely honest, I leave space for my eating disorder’s existence. * Part of me is unwilling to erase every trace. That decision will no doubt bite me in the ass: hanging onto the Infinity Stones “just in case” lead to death for half the universe. Though my consequences may not be of that level. But I hang on regardless of caused distress: something might happen, and I might need her. What if I get enormously fat? What if I need the bulimic skill set for some reason?
It’s not that I’m pro-eating disorder – and yes, that’s a disturbing thing. “People should be free to embrace the beauty and dedication of the eating disorder acolyte” or some crap like that. Complete with twisted manipulators who take advantage of the ill. This is not that. I like lots of things about recovery. Less hair on my stomach. Not vomiting. Less lying. A slowing down of my dental loss.
If I’m going to be a crone, I’m going to be a crone with teeth. Metaphoric and literal.
It’s the body acceptance that continues to stump. I want to be tolerant. I want to love. I want to care about strength and grace and flexibility. And sometimes I do. But the inside voice still whispers about thin.
There’s a large part of me clinging to the idea that I need the perfectly airbrushed, significantly underweight body of a preteen model to find peace in this life.
That it’s a large part seems a little ironic.
I consider the persistent clinging pathetic and infuriating now that I’ve passed the mid-century mark. Enough with this crap. It’s embarrassing. It’s like living with a Real Housewife. Act your age, I say to myself while obsessing about the over-fifty reality of the Hollywood set. Maybe if I changed some of my persistent inputs? If I could astral project, I’d slap myself silly over my hesitation to heal. That it would impart a rosy glow to my cheeks would be a win: I could skip trying to decide between powder or cream blush for a day.
It’s also boring. And not special at all which is the thing you cling to most in the early days, the specialness of it all. Look at you, starving yourself, throwing up.
The eating disorder wanted to skip eating for a week or so in favour of meal replacement bars. She’d quiet if I caved. It’s not the winningest of strategies but my ongoing thigh-hatred had me considering. I could do a week. Or two. Unfortunately, Amazon didn’t have yoghurt-covered NutriBars and I’m not giving up if everything isn’t exactly right.
Refusing to crash diet makes up for the secret I didn’t share.
I told my psychiatrist I wanted to come off one of my meds; after nearly three years, the side effect had become too much. True story. Also true is that the drug needs to be consumed with three-hundred-and-fifty calories and I wanted to be able to shrink the size of my dinner.
Or skip it.
Issues. Persistent, difficult, annoying, and so very boring. What I wouldn’t give for a nice alien invasion. Of the intergalactic kind. It would be a nice distraction. It would smack my self-centeredness right off the table and liven up boring. Though I’m not sure about the altruism of wishing a global disaster on billions to deal with a personal problem and show off. In my imaginary invasions, I shine.
I’d like to shine. I’d like to be able to say I won. But I still struggle even after mostly giving up the worst of the behaviours. The beliefs that drive an eating disorder, the conviction of fundamental uselessness and existential worthlessness persist, and I’d like to see them shoved aside.
Not believing in your fundamental and intrinsic value opens up space for all kinds of problems. For everyone. And most of us fix things poorly.
I’d drastically change the education system if I was in charge of the world.
Do you cling to something you say you want to let go of? Why do you think that is? What do you think it would take for you to let go?
* Anyone who says they’re being completely honest is lying. It may be unintentional; it may be by design. But lying they are. – things I’ve learned over the course of my life, true even for me
** This title is perhaps one of my worst. I need a magic title generator. It would be a great add-on for Word, in case there are any coders reading. I hate coming up with titles.