I may *be* insane, but I’ll manage to not *act* insane. Good enough?
I have been an unholy wreck this week. Crying and anxiety. I’m restless. I want to claw my skin off. And the bulimic girl who lives in my head is disturbingly loud lately.
I weighed myself this morning. I always weigh myself on the first of the month. And only the first. The kinds of eating and body image disorders I have can make me obsess about the number on the scale. So in order to keep it in perspective, there is only one day that I step on the scale. And since my quit-smoking-weight-gain started, the week before weigh day has been overwhelming.
I gained another pound and a half this month. I weigh 157 lbs. That is 24 lbs heavier than I was on June 1st. I have been eating less and less and have still gained weight every month. (A friend said that sounded like its own special circle of hell. I’m pretty sure it is.) And I am so angry. And I feel so punished. And I am absolutely positive that I am going to be alone my whole life.
I don’t know how clearly I understood it myself, but looking back I can see that I quit smoking because I wanted to have a shot at love. I wanted to be able to be intimate with a man, which is hard when you have a fiery torch in your mouth and are exhaling a toxic smoke screen. But I wasn’t prepared to gain this much weight. And I am a former fat girl. The size of my body matters to me. I have spent years rigorously maintaining strict boundaries around my eating. Every day. No matter what. And that was supposed to keep me thin. It did keep me thin until six months ago. And I do not know how to love my body this size. And I don’t know what man would be interested in me this big. Because I think I am so ugly right now.
I’m telling you I hate my body. (I am writing this thinking You can’t post this, Kate! You’re supposed to be uplifting. Don’t tell them you hate your body! Don’t tell them anything is wrong. Just write something charming and spiritual. But obviously I am telling you. Because it’s honest and it’s my story.) And it occurred to me the other day that this emotional rough patch I have been going through is all about hating my body. And that the week before weigh day, how much I hate my body is all I can think about. And the other three weeks of the month I put it in a compartment and wonder why I am so sad and when I am going to feel better.
I have been making a lot of empty threats to God this week. And then sometimes just begging. Please make this stop. I am doing everything right. I’m doing everything I am supposed to do. I can’t take it any more. If it doesn’t stop I’m gonna…I’m gonna… something.
And boy does my bulimic girl want me to something. Laxatives, castor oil, throw up, starve. SOMETHING!
But the truth is I’m not gonna something. For some reason I realized when I put down sugar and stopped eating compulsively, that I had to stop hurting myself to spite difficult circumstances and situations. That circumstances and situations don’t care. That God isn’t an indulgent or exhausted parent who will give in if I throw a scary enough tantrum. And thankfully my boundaries aren’t just about not over eating. I may not under eat either. I may not purge or abuse laxatives. I may not honor my bulimic girl at all. I have boundaries around acting sane, even if I feel crazy. And God, I sure do feel crazy.
So maybe there’s an uplifting message after all. I have a commitment not to hurt my body, even if I hate it right now. I have a promise to keep my food boundaries, even if they are not keeping me as thin as I would like. (I mean, I hate having gained 24 lbs in six months, but I’m a 300 lb girl in a rented body. I pay rent on this body by keeping my food boundaries. If I were eating compulsively, I could have easily gained 24 lbs in two weeks. )
This is my prayer: Dear God. Please let me love myself and my body exactly as I am. Please let me know that I am beautiful as long as I am taking care of myself.