I have something to say.
I’ve needed to say it for some time and because this is my blog, I’m going to say it here. Even if I’m talking to myself, it will be out there. It’s going to be messy, poorly written, and not exactly perky and upbeat, but I want to get it out of me. I promise a photoful, pleasant, cohesive post is on its way!!!
I am recovering from an eating disorder. And it sucks. Perhaps one of the worst parts about it is that no one truly knows about it. I was in total denial/oblivion/ignorance about it and when I finally figured it out, no one was around to talk to. And ironically, because I never got to the point of seriously endangering my health–by which I mean my body did not stop completely functioning and hospitals/nutritionists, etc were never involved–but psychologically, I screwed myself up royally. Self-esteem, body image, relationship with food, all changed for the worse and I have been trying to change it back on my own and it’s hard. Maybe I sound like an angsty overdramatic whiner when I saw I’ve been at it “on my own,” but I didn’t know how to talk about it with anyone and I didn’t really think they would believe me anyway. What did ignoring the problem get me? A lot of pain, a major breakdown, and a reputation for being “the girl on a diet.” Oy.
Some people think I’m rigid to the point of being irrational. Some see me as so chill I’m almost dead. Depending on you ask, I’m probably 25 different people. But I’m pretty sure that can be said about everyone. Here’s what I know: I’m a perfectionist, and it’s a blessing and a curse, but it’s a part of who I am. I work well under pressure and can be the calm one. But when I get stressed, it’s like a tiger on crack has been let out. I’m sarcastic, and a little proud, and a super-introvert. This is who I am for now; but I’m only 20 and I have no idea who I’m going to be tomorrow, much less in 10 or 20 years. So it bothers me when someone puts me in a box and says “this is what you are.” People get annoyed and judgmental about the way I eat, but then won’t allow me to change my ways when I try to. I have been trying to learn how to let go more, but if the people I’m close to don’t change the way they see me, it only makes the problem worse.
Hence, the issue with food. It is a big freakin’ deal for me to eat gelato and bread and pasta dishes without intense feelings of guilt and self-loathing. I’m not too modest to say that I am damn proud that I came here and for once didn’t hold myself back for fear of weight gain. Yes, I still think about calories and exercise and nutrients, but that’s so deeply ingrained in me, it may never go away. And that’s ok, because I’m learning how to hear that voice and not let it dictate my actions. It’s incredibly painful for me to look back on the days where I only “allowed” myself to eat a set number of calories a day, or when I celebrated the fact that I could see my collar bone sticking by depriving myself of food even more. It makes me so sad, and it makes me feel worse when I think how hard it was to feel like I was completely alone.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I’m going to go home and fall back into the pit of obsessiveness and forget everything I’ve learned here. I’m afraid that people will never let me be anyone other than the rigid, calorie-obsessed girl they see me as.
So yeah, sometimes I don’t want ice cream because I’ve eaten a lot that day and it’s cold out. And I can’t stand deep-fried food NOT because it’s calorie/fat/whatever-laden, but because it tastes like cheap greasy chemicals and makes me want to throw it back up. Some don’t like chocolate, some don’t like melon – neither of which I can understand. BUT I can respect it. And it’s all I want in return.
And yes, some days I feel fat. Huge, ugly, and generally unattractive. And it takes everything I have to remind myself that starving myself won’t lead to anything good. In fact, it quite often leads to a binge, which makes me feel fatter, and then the sick, sick cycle continues. Took me a long time to figure that out, and an even longer time to act on it. But it’s never to late to start over.
I’m sorry if anyone finds this post insensitive or selfish or inappropriate. This is my space to talk about stuff, and this has been bubbling up in me for so long, I needed a medium to “scream it from the rooftops”, if you will. I’m sick of people judging me for what or how or why I eat something, and then trying to tell me who I am because of it. The former is no one’s business but mine, and the latter is no one else’s job but mine. And if this whole thing sounds radical or crazy or stupid, maybe it is. Doesn’t really matter, though. I’m just me. I take chances, make a lot of mistakes, and sometimes it gets pretty messy. Just trying to make Ms. Frizzle proud.