Whatever happen…

Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.

– Dear Sugar

How painfully, brilliantly true for us who have eating difficulties.

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“The body says what words cannot.”

The body says what words cannot.

-Martha Graham

What are you trying to express through your body that you cannot find the words for, or have learned that to express it through words is unacceptable?

One of my fears of recovering and letting my eating difficulties go is that no one will support me anymore, because I won’t need it. I learned somewhere in my life that people will not treat me gently unless I am sick. This was a reaction to my experience of anger being dangerous and life-threatening–both other people’s and my own.

My father hurt dogs when he was angry. Though he never hurt me physically, I learned that anger can cause immense physical pain. The few memories I have of him being gentle with me were when I was sick. Two of the times that I was the most sick (very, very, very sick) was when I had whooping cough at age 4, and coxsackie virus shortly after.

In both cases, I could not eat. When I had whooping cough, it was too painful to swallow, and I would cough until I threw up because I couldn’t breathe quite often (an association with throwing up that created physical ease). With coxsackie virus, the blisters in my mouth would bleed constantly and made it too painful to eat.

Looking at the timing of things, I am beginning to see the complex purpose of being sick. I was a very quiet baby and toddler, with one exception: when I was two, I had the most magnificent tantrums, in private and public places alike. My mom would have to leave the grocery store because I was so disruptive. My parents got divorced when I was three, and the tantrums stopped abruptly. Maybe it was the terrible twos. Maybe it was distress due to their relationship falling apart. In any case, a child views herself as the center of the universe, and thus the cause for everything that happens. Perhaps I learned that my anger and expression of intense emotional distress split up the family. Perhaps through sickness almost immediately after, I learned that being sick brought gentleness and reduced conflict.

Disordered eating is a coping mechanism that has allowed us to survive. Its purpose must be honored and respected. Then, when we realize the ways in which it was essential for our survival, we can begin to see how we still use it, develop other coping skills, and deal with those issues directly.

Keep at it, my woman warriors!

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From Being in the Way to Finding My Way

I stopped weighing myself about 6 months ago. It was a huge step for me in a healthy direction, and I am so glad that I had reached a point where I was able to. My dietician has taken blind weights since then. For the first time since I stopped weighing myself, I learned that I gained weight a few days ago. It is so upsetting. As much as I wish that it wasn’t, that I was more “evolved,” “recovered,” etc., it is, and I’m not.

 

I am a person that values the internal. I value friendship, honesty, integrity, and humor in other people. Yet when my mind comes back to the reality that I’ve gained a little weight, I feel like I’m sitting/standing/lying here, being slain.

 

I sat down to write in my journal about all the things going through my head yesterday and I was shown clearly why I blame my body for every “bad” thing that has ever happened to me: because in my child-mind, taking up (more) space is the worst thing EVER.

 

I wrote down the voice of Inner Critic/radio station YCNW (You Can Never Win):

 

“Don’t take up space. Don’t be an entity. Don’t have boundaries around you.”

(Hello dysfunctional past relationships…)

 

“It is dangerous to take up space, be an entity, get in the way, be in opposition of power/anger.”

 

“The more space you take up, the more danger you are in – more surface area to be hurt, more to be noticed, more to be in the way.”

 

“The heavier you are, the more difficult to move, the harder to get out of the way, the more trouble disappearing, blending in, hiding.”

 

“The more invisible you are, the less space you take up, the less of a target you are.”

 

“You are worthless because you can’t make yourself disappear—you keep getting bigger. What you should do is get smaller, less dense, less solid, less defined.”

(This is ED, trying to rescue me from Inner Critic)

 

“If I am a defined identity, and the bigger I am, the more that can be destroyed. The more space I occupy, the more conflict I can run into; I want to erase myself and my lines.”

 

“I have always felt over exposed, too visible. I don’t want to be in opposition.”

 

Until recently (the past few years when things drastically changed in my life and I began recovery) I have always been terrified of conflict. This feeling intensified exponentially because I always avoided conflict – I never faced it, moved through it, and saw that it passes.

 

In the passages above, I can see why I have blamed my body for every uncomfortable thing that has ever happened in my life (i.e. every conflict): my body is the mechanism through which I define myself as a separate entity from everything else. From this creation of separation comes the possibility of opposition. And for a person who for over 20 years was deathly afraid of opposition, it is understandable why the blame should be placed there. It makes so much sense why I believed that my misery was because of my body, and I believed that bending my body to my will would solve all of my problems.

 

What kept coming up over and over was the notion that my life’s purpose was to not be in the way. For a long time, that was the motivation for the choices I made in my life. I am still struggling with it a lot, though I’ve made big strides.

 

My recovery is about learning who I am as the Subject of my life (not the Object of others’), who I am as one who views, not one who is solely viewed, one who has opinions and preferences that are authentic and different than others’. It’s hard to believe that I am just learning what it is like to truly inhabit my body – to live in my own mind, not others’.

 

It is the most shattering and rewarding process, and I love it and fight it at the same time every day.

 

 

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“A Madwoman, a Food Terrorist, a Lunatic…”

“Diets are based on the unspoken fear that you are a madwoman, a food terrorist, a lunatic…The promise of a diet is not only that you will have a different body; it is that in having a different body, you will have a different life. If you hate yourself enough, you will love yourself. If you torture yourself enough, you will become a peaceful, relaxed human being.”

Geneen Roth, Women, Food, and God

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50 People On ‘The Secret I Am Terrified To Tell’

Thought Catalog

1.

throwaway215091:

Two and a half years ago I was in dire financial straights, so I sold my home to keep my struggling business afloat. I neglected to tell the owners that they have an 800 sq. ft. bunker on the property that I built about seven years ago. The bunker that I’ve called home since I sold it. The entrance to it is well-hidden, but I still come and go very early/very late in the day.

I’m a single man who keeps to himself. I’m now in a situation where I could move somewhere else, but I love this hidden paradise so much.

2.

Tomgoldaccount:

I cut off all contact with everyone I know and moved to Kenya, I tell people a fake name and a fake background and have made it appear to my family that I died on boat trip in the Pacific. No I am not…

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I am finding this to be so true.

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Smooth Seas

Smooth Seas

Suffering: Nature’s way of strengthening.

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