Hidden amongst the recent chaos that’s my life – the Chinese curse, may you live in interesting times definitely applies – I had an anniversary. It’s been fours years since I started my blog, an odd and lovely accomplishment that, upon the thinking of today, threw some Barenaked Ladies into my brain.
It’s not the worst music earworm in the world (if you haven’t heard it, give a listen. It’s fantastic. Yay, Canada!).
My thanks to Tiara at Muted Mouthful for what’s coming next. “Allow Us to Reintroduce Ourselves” was a brilliant piece: as she pointed out, it’s possible the people who’ve joined me on my journey after that first, less than stellar post didn’t go back and read every essay I’ve written since the dawn of time.
(If you should find yourself so inspired, I ask that you pretend that, in the early years, I used proper punctuation and capitalization. I feel less e. e. cummings about myself in hindsight.)
So, following far too much ado, may I present…myself.
- My name is Michelle. It’s technically my middle name; however, it’s the name I’ve always gone by, causing no end of problems for people who have to record information in databases or on forms. I’ve been known to get testy at the ignorance related to the inevitable “but what’s your real name?” My pronouns are “she/her,” though I can drift into a collective referential “our” on occasion. I keep that fact to myself, mostly: this is really the first overt share re: that fact: I’m sometimes we.
- I tag myself as “Em” on social media, pulled from the first letter of my name, mainly to slow down the trolls I encounter when speaking truth to power.
- I started this blog to write about my mental health and my recovery from my eating disorder (it’s my third blog, though the Blogger site was recently deleted. Rest in unretrievable pieces). My primary focus was bulimia; I wanted to shine a light on that aspect of eating disorders. Our invisibility is fatal, and blowing out your esophagus is a hell of a way to die. I write about other things, too, driven or inspired by the random thoughts and sentences that pop into my head.
- Referencing One Week again, it’s been two years and one month since I last threw up. For context, before my most recent inpatient treatment, I’d have one or two episodes of vomiting every day, and that had been true for decades. My lost teeth will confirm that throwing up between twenty and forty times a day takes a toll. It can also make you broke. And bankrupt.
- I don’t yet own my brain, anorexia tempts me still, but I’m getting there.
- I sort-of don’t believe, but also sort-of do, so I’m Gemini, year of the Rooster, numerologically an eight (life path) and four (birthday number/mental balance), and, according to Myers-Briggs (not terribly statistically valid), I’m that rare unicorn of INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, and judgement). I have to say, despite my skepticism, I wear my M-B categorization proudly. In the new and trendy enneagram field, I’m a four, which kind of rocks (I definitely printed the report: I laminated the M-B).
- I suffer with multiple mental illnesses. The list includes major (intractable) depressive disorder, the aforementioned eating disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (with a “fun” sub-axial OCD), PTSD, body dysmorphic disorder, and a hair-trigger temper which is probably not pathological, but I still blame God. [i]
- I live and function, but it’s sometimes challenging: my life runs differently than the determinedly neurotypical. One of the issues of late is my inability to stay on task. It’s frustrating to hit eleven in the morning and realize you’ve started nine different things already.
- I recently abandoned most of social media, save Twitter, where I focus on politics and the politics-adjacent, with an occasional photo now that I have the iPhone 11 with its seriously improved camera. I’m not a delight on Twitter: I can be downright rude to the far-right, and I genuinely don’t care.
- I’m permanently disabled, not only because of the wonky brain but because of a congenital disability. [ii] Congenital hip dysplasia on the left, complicated by damage to my pelvis by a case of Legg-Calve-Perthes that occurred when I was around two years old. It disrupted the blood flow to the bones, causing damage during development and calcium acquisition (not to brag, but I also fractured my spine in the sacro-lumbar region twelve years back, further complicating things. Okay, it’s kind of a brag.) I receive the disability pension offered by the Canadian government but only recently applied to change my tax status and that retroactively. Fingers crossed for approval and a small pile of money.
- Lastly, like Ms. Tiara W., despite the apparent contradiction, I’m a private person. I share guts on the blog quite regularly, yet much remains hidden. I’m an introvert to the core and slightly mistrustful regarding the rest of the human race. I’d feel bad about my cynicism, but I’ve earned it.
Finally, in the spirit of asking questions (I always forget: this doesn’t mean I’m uninterested or incurious, merely that I often fail to come up with questions I like):
- Do you have a real, non-blogging name you’d like to share?
- What do you like about “From Famine to Feast” (and doesn’t asking that make my heart drop: I hate vulnerability)?
- What do you wish more people knew about you (for me, it’s that I usually know what I’m talking about. As Sherlock says, things would go faster if people assume I’m correct (no arrogance there))?
- What do you do for fun (I recently signed up for Disney+)?
- What do you admire most about yourself (I don’t like this one, it makes me uncomfortable)?
[i] I say “suffer with,” but Grammarly and Word want me to say “suffer from.” They’re wrong.
[ii] I had originally written “birth defect,” but the term is apparently outdated and borderline offensive. I don’t mind it, and I own it, but, whatever.