Because fear makes the wolf bigger than he is…
Just in case you don’t already know, I am the yellowest coward of them all. And since I’ve decided that I am going to go ahead and publicly document my experiences as a woman living with eating disorders, I thought the first thing I should do is share what scares the hell out of me about it.
First, I am afraid of not following through when it gets trying, or boring. That when it comes to the point of finding something about myself that I don’t want to acknowledge, instead of accepting my humanity, honoring my life, and sharing it with you like a gift, I will come down with a terminal case of the fuck-its. And worse, that the day someone asks “Are you still writing that blog?” I will make up some paltry excuse about how it didn’t work out, but it wasn’t my fault.
Second, I am afraid of boring you, annoying you, and/or being rejected by you. I worry that I will tell you about the gross, pathetic, and wicked parts of myself, and instead of gaining some insight for yourself, you will despise me. And it will be more evidence that I am broken. That my thoughts and feelings are grotesque and unnatural. That there really is something fundamentally wrong with me. I’m afraid that in order to avoid that humiliation, I will mince words, beat around the bush, soften, stretch, and smooth so as not to offend you or expose myself. In other words, that I will lie. See, I have discovered that the best way to save face is not to save face. It’s to admit, to honor, and if necessary, to apologize. It is to surrender to the truth. Yet that is never my first instinct. So I am afraid that to please you, I will dishonor myself.
But most of all, I am afraid of losing control of my food. And only slightly less, of doing so in front of you. I fear that this blog might some day include “relapse installations.” But that’s a ridiculous fear, really. Because if I lost control of the food, there would be no blog. There would be no examination of my soul. Hell, my bills wouldn’t even get paid. (No, that is not hyperbole.)
A friend warned me before I started this that I would get a lot of difficult feedback if I chose to write this blog. And she was right. I have already received a personal message (from someone I like, by the way) explaining that I don’t actually have eating disorders. I’m just eating the wrong foods. I just need to become a vegan! (She was more specific, but that was the general idea.) Now, I know that her message to me was an expression of love. And I am overjoyed for everyone who has a relationship with food that works for them (like I do now). But I do have eating disorders. And the body image disorders that come with them. Of course it is about my food choices and how my body reacts to sugar. But it’s also about my head and my heart and thoughts that I have been thinking so long that I cannot even distinguish them as thoughts. This person also explained that if I ate her way, I could eat all day long and not gain weight. This is not welcome communication! It is DANGEROUS for me! I’m a fat girl. I could take up any excuse to quit the solution I have found and go off in search of something “better”. Something flexible that let’s me feel like I’m normal around food. But, hello! I weighed 300 pounds! Do you really think that if I am going to eat all day long, that I want plants and seeds? What I *want* is to get a pizza, a cake, a box of ice cream bars and a shit load of chocolate. I want to lock myself in my house, and binge eat myself into a food coma so I’m too fucked up on sugar to feel the pain and discomfort of my life, where I am constantly making mistakes, saying stupid things, and embarrassing myself.
My fat girl does not like being human. She is not good at it. She would jump through hoops for the chance to get her cake back. (She could get real agile for cake.) What has worked for me is rigid structure. Incredibly inconvenient and worth every single obstacle I have had to maneuver in the past six years. I do not want people to explain to me that they have the answer to my food issues. I’ve found the answer to my own food issues. That is not why I’m here; to talk about diet, food, or weight loss. Nor am I here to promote my way of eating. I am writing this blog to find some peace around my heart and soul issues. I am writing to tell the truth and get the poison out. I am doing this, terrified as I am, because I don’t want to have secrets anymore. I want to stop feeling ashamed of myself all the time. Secrets and shame have been feeding each other all my life. And it’s me they have been eating.