Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reason Number 311: A Well-Stocked Pantry

Sometimes it frustrates me that even after all these years I still wake up wondering whether my life would be better if I were ten pounds lighter, and frantically trying to figure out how to attain a greater lightness. This is indicative of my inability to sit with myself, to respect myself as I am, and to strive for improvement in areas that actually need it, because doing that is more difficult than going on a diet. I wonder what people who don't fret about their bodies do with their thoughts, but I don't envy them because I'm sure they have other things to fret about, and I maintain a general happiness in cohabitation with this preoccupation (rhymeskies!). I don't know this will ever go away, but maintenance makes me resilient. And there are times that are better than others, and those times are extra wonderful, but that doesn't mean I should give up when things are sub-wonderful.

I think I'm almost at the point where I can write about it, like, in a nonfiction way. I've yet to read anything that's captured how I feel about eating disorders, as most articles are full of generalizations about control, or theories on how recovery happens, or triggering personal accounts. Not that these things don't help some people, and it's also worth noting that nothing anyone can do or say to an eating disorder sufferer will make them want to recover unless they reach a point at which that life is no longer sustainable, and this often happens in a very tangible and tragic way. These are strangely contagious illnesses, too, and oftentimes I've found companionship with fellow sufferers has been painful, though at this point in my recovery that is a lot less true.

I will always maintain that the reason eating disorders are ultimately harmful is because of the toll they take on one's productivity and existence. You never regain what you have lost (PUNS!) in the process. And that having something(s) to live for and take comfort in--in an overarching, personally significant way--is the only way to climb out.

Recognizing that this is not about bodies, really, and coming to terms with the subliminal factors, is a trying process, but it's the best thing you can do. The translation of "my thighs are disgusting and need to be diminished" to "I am miserable about the fight I just had with my mother" is so crucial. This is something I need to work on. And often feelings about body parts are so deeply ingrained you don't exactly know what's bothering you, but in this case you just have to dredge and plow through the sadness and anxiety and self-hatred.

I will now step off my soapbox to say I've spent my entire life hating "Lady in Red" for what I thought was Chris de Burgh's faux-British pronunciation of "dance" but today I found out he actually is British, born in Argentina. So fuck me.