Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “self-hatred”

I suppose “better late than never” is a saying for a reason…

I was in the shower today, and I realized that for the first time in over 3 years, I forgot to write a blog.

Obviously, here I am, a day late. Writing because I have a commitment. But I have to be honest with you. This scares the crap out of me.

I fear the first chink in the armor. I fear the first mistake. I fear the first slip. Because I fear that snowball effect. I don’t like knowing that I forgot to write a post and the world didn’t end. It would be so much easier on me if everything had bigger, scarier, more life-changing immediate consequences.

I am so incredibly afraid of my own lack of character. I am terrified that if I let my guard down, I will revert to being the kind of person I have been. The kind of person I was ashamed of.

I feel like the words I am writing here are not enough to explain to you the terror I am in. I sometimes wonder if anyone can understand what it is like to hate yourself so thoroughly and completely that you don’t even know that you hate yourself until it stops.

I fear slip-sliding back to that place. In tiny movements. In nearly imperceptible increments. An insidious regression.

I have gained so much peace in the past 9 1/2 years, since I got my eating under control. Even when all is not well, I am well. Even when I am in pain or unhappiness, I am still strong in my heart and soul.

But today, I am afraid. Not of what I am, but of what I know I am capable of being, because I have been something else before. And it was a terrible way to live.

I am also reprimanding myself right now for my perfectionism. It’s a kind of sickness for me that is also tied in with my eating disorders. It is the M.O. of The Good Girl who wants to please everyone but herself. But on the other hand, that same perfectionism is the very thing that can allow me to say “F*** it! You’ve already ruined everything,” when I slip up, like I did last week when I forgot to write a blog. My perfectionism is the back door to my laziness and resignation.

Forgetting to post in the past two days was, without a doubt, an honest mistake. I have had a lot on my mind lately. And Easter yesterday made it more complicated in my head. So far, in 2015 I have had a lot of malice pointed in my direction. And it has been taking its toll on me. It makes me tired and has me distracted. I have accidentally hurt myself more in the past month than usual. It takes a lot of patience for me to let things go again and again and again. And then messing up on my own, especially something so important to me like this blog, makes everything feel so much more overwhelming.

And I am embarrassed to have screwed up. I don’t like coming here and saying that I have a commitment and I failed.

Needless to say, I am putting an alarm on my phone to remind me to post to my blog every week from now on. I don’t want to let this mistake become a regular occurrence until I just stop blogging and the whole thing falls away.

I don’t want to be cruel to myself. I don’t want to blow this out of proportion, either. But the fear of regression is real for me. I don’t want to wake up one day hating myself because I let my commitments break apart one by one. It took too long to live a life I love to let it go without a fight.

When you say womanly, you mean hot not fat, right?

Yesterday I spent much of the day in bed. Crying. Because I hated my body.
Today, I put on a sexy dress and some knee-high boots and went into the city to meet some people. I didn’t hate my body so much today. I wasn’t in love with it, like I have been before. But I could see that to an outside observer, I am really lovely.
My dismorphia has been coming in waves. And I have just been trying to keep my head above water and not get swept away in the current.
I have been comparing myself to me a year ago. I keep thinking that being 12 lbs heavier than I was before I quit smoking means that I’m 12 points (units? notches?) uglier than I was then. But friends and strangers keep complimenting me. One of my neighbors actually asked if I had started working out because I look so good. So healthy. A friend of mine said that she could see that I had gained a bit of weight. But that she thought it made me look more beautiful. Less drawn. More womanly.
That’s the consensus. Healthy. Womanly. I am a sensuous woman. I like the idea of being round, soft and warm. It fits nicely with the kind of wife and partner I would like to be someday. Nurturing, loving, empowering. And I know that I am beautiful, and sexy. These are traits I learned to own when I got my food under control. Well nourished, well rested, with strong integrity and a good amount of genetic luck.
So why am I having such a hard time with my dismorphia lately? I think a lot of it is that I am not in control right now. And that scares me. I have no idea when the weight gain will stop. I have no idea how much more weight I could gain. I don’t know how long it could be before I feel happy and comfortable in my body again. 3 months? 6 months? A year? (Oh dear God, please don’t let it take a year!) I don’t get a say about my body right now. I am in free fall. And I am having a hard time trusting that this will end well.
Maybe it’s just because I spent my first 28 years in a body that I hated. I have a lot more experience thinking I am ugly than I do knowing that I am beautiful. I have been experiencing a lot of those same old feelings of body shame lately. I noticed today that when I am out in public, I have not been breathing. That I have been keeping my neck and shoulders rigid. I am waiting for someone to make a comment about my body. I’m waiting for someone to tell me I’m fat.
I, of course, am not at all fat. There is nothing unhealthy about my weight. At 145, I fall well within the normal range for a woman my height. (5′ 6.5″) My 12 lb weight gain comes from doing something very healthy. Quitting smoking. Plus all signs point to much of the weight being temporary. I have gone up one pants size. Now an 8 fits me comfortably. A 9 in juniors sizes. This is a normal size.
I wish I felt like a normal woman in a normal body. I wish I knew for certain that I would stay a normal size. I wish I had some idea of when the weight gain would stop and I would get some measure of control back. I wish I knew how long before I stopped being uncomfortable in my own skin.
I’ll be honest, if I had known that this was going to happen, I would not have quit smoking. But what’s done is done. I’m no fool. I can see that there is no turning back now. I’m already in it. At this point, the only way to the other side is through.
Here’s another thing. I have a reputation among certain people I know for being non-judgmental. The one who accepts herself, and therefore them. The person people can come to and tell their secrets and failures, without fear of being shamed. I am the woman who teaches people to love themselves by example. Because I learned to love myself. And here I am hating myself. Being ashamed of my body. And I feel like I am letting everyone down. Like I’m letting you down. And I am embarrassed to admit that. I want to be better than that. I want to be stronger than that. I thought I was made of better stuff…
And maybe the most difficult part of this whole experience is not knowing what the lesson is. Or if there is a lesson. Maybe I’m supposed to have some room for the self-hatred. To let it in so it can flow back out again. Maybe I need to stop resisting hating my body. Maybe I just need to hate it until I love it again. Not hurt it or abuse it. But hate it. Think it’s ugly and let that be ok.
Or maybe I should ignore it. Perhaps I need to stop caring about what I look like for a while. Stop looking in the mirror. Stop dressing to be cute. Stop worrying about whether or not men find me attractive. Because I do worry about it. Which is kind of ridiculous, since I have not been dating for a very long time now.
Or maybe the lesson here is that I just have to keep doing what I am doing. Longer. Just keep managing my self-hatred. Keep putting it down. Keep finding some way to love myself one day at a time.
And there is one more possibility that has occurred to me. And it’s that I have had this self-hatred for my whole life. And that I ate it. And when I stopped eating it, I smoked it. And now that I am not smoking it, all there is to do is feel it. And maybe if I feel it for as long as it takes, I will move through it. And I will be able to love my body because it is mine. Not because it used to be fat and unhealthy and now it is thin and healthy. And not because I managed to make it a shape that I think the world will find appealing. But simply because it is the only vehicle for the life that belongs to me. Because it is me. And I am worth loving.
As always, you can share my blog any time you want. I’m on twitter too @onceafatgirl5

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