She hurled it at me, an insult, her ammunition. "You are so fucked up--go be with your fucked up eating disorder people." (And she's a doctor! Shouldn't she know better? But that is a whole 'nother story, for another day.)
I was shocked. But I was not hurt.
I think I would have been, a year ago, even.
My food stuff/eating disorder (why do I still not have a good name for this?)--the dis-ease--is so much about shame. It was also my deepest, darkest secret for most of my life. Getting to know my fellow eating disorder people, I see so many common threads. One is having everything so damn together on the outside while suffering profoundly behind that shiny facade.
I write about food. I work with food. I love food. An eating disorder seemed so incredibly, fatally uncool. Also, I knew better. I went to a girls school. On one hand, we were serenaded with an incessant loop of "love yourself, you are beautiful" messages. And on the other, the competition was insane, the cool girls were skinnyskinny without exception. And yet, to have an ED felt hugely lame, cliche. I wanted to be above such a thing.
|Epoisses from Burgundy. Heaven.|
I wanted to not care. I wanted to live my life drinking wine I could never afford (thank you, restaurant jobs) and eating\duck fat gougeres and pillowy gnudi and dark dark chocolate like nobody's business, and be thin as air. A reasonable wish. I also wanted to not be me, not live in my body. To escape.
That the shame is loosening its death grip--that is a miracle. I learned that having ED is like being an alcoholic, or being tall, or having a big nose. It's not something you choose.
Although our society is rigged against us. Us being women, or perhaps everybody. The toxicity--the little-boy-skinny models everywhere, the crazeeee foodstuffs galore, the ubiquitous subtle and not-so-subtle thesis that your self worth = your body--it runs deep. But I don't think I have this story because our culture is fucked, or because I went to an all girls school, or because my mom has struggled with weight/body stuff, or because I care more than the average Joe(anna) what other people think. I just do. I got it, it's part of who I am. And that's ok.
Maybe it's even good. I've learned a lot of compassion, including some for me. I've learned a lot about who I am and who I want to be. If I can help a person or two, it's so very worth all the pain.
I don't believe I'm particularly crazy. I am, indeed, crazy. But so are most of us. And if not: how boring. We all have our hangups, our shit, our issues, our flaws.The thing is understanding your own personal brand of craziness, accepting that, and having an action plan for living your life. Serenity prayer, babeeeee.