Bella, where'd you go!?
I have to email a few of you because I always bite off more than I can chew and get really manic and get my whole to-do-list done and then I realize I'm not crazy later and don't have the energy to take care of a months worth of work in a week. Neglectful. Tut tutting myself. So, they're coming. And I do love to hear from you, so feel free to send me emails, I miss getting them from readers.
Conversation I had in my head earlier today (not even exaggerating):
"Oh I'll just go into the shop and get my favorite sandwich, that will make me feel better"
"No. You have no money. Your bank account is 1/12 of what it was a month ago. No."
"Oh the Wellcome Collection. I'll just stop into the cafe and get a cookie. It makes me feel good to be in there."
"No. Stop thinking about it."
"Oh if I walk by a Subway, I'm totally getting a sandwich. It's like the only quasi-American food here."
"Kay... but there aren't anymore Subways on the way home."
"Fizzy cola from the corner sto..."
"OK an italian restaurant right next to my flat. If I'm really good, can I come back later this evening and get a take away?"
"Really? What counts as being really good?"
"Anyway once you get inside, you won't want to get back out. There's no food in the house. Trap!"
Yeah. It was a real back and forth thought process. Have you ever realized you're talking aloud? That was probably how it went. Didn't even notice, but half of it was probably mumbled with strange people wondering where my bluetooth was (THANK GOD for bluetooth, before that they knew I was just a crazy fuck).
So, very little food in the past 2 days. But now my stomach looks flat so I'm not tempted to microwave the last remnant of food I have.
P.S. Took out the naval piercing. It was painful but I was too embarrassed and cheap to go to a piercing shop and have them do it. More on that later.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Bella, where'd you go!?
One bottle of pop,
Two bottles of pop,
Three bottles of pop,
Four bottles of pop,
Five bottles of pop,
Six bottles of pop,
Seven, Seven bottles of pop.
Fish and chips and vinegar,
Fish and chips and vinegar,
And pepper, pepper, pepper, salt.
Don't chuck your muck in my dustbin,
My dustbin, my dustbin, my dustbin.
Don't chuck your muck in my dustbin,
My dustbin's full.
Ah, another artifact from my childhood. At first glance, nonsense sung in rounds...
and yet, you realize it accurately describes the actions you are thinking in your head,
"Drink, Eat, preferably in large quantities and over seasoning." Whether that happens
or not is a matter of placing yourself on the spectrum, and oftentimes particularly
changing depending on mood and even time of day.
Oh, by the way, my dustbin *is* quite full and has started a new pile of shopping bags, cartons,
and empty containers. What a sad state.
The irony of the situation: even though we've all become bonded over the internet,
the whole ritual of the thoughts, the actions, gestures, and afterthoughts are
quite private. No rounds to be sung. We sing alone. In silence.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This food looks disgusting. I can't believe I ordered it. What is wrong with Chinese restaurants in London? That aside, I don't want to eat this. But a problem exists. It seems so simple.
"No Savory! Listen to your stomach. Throw that God-awful food away, with its mystery sauce and gross gross mushrooms that look like little skulls (no really, they do... don't even have to try on this one)"
But then I realize, I throw it away and it doesn't matter. I'll still go find something else to stick in my face. Granted, it might be my rations for the next 2 days worth of dinner instead of attempting delivery (let alone garner the motivation to go get a take away)... Then I will have thrown away a fucking expensive, albeit disgusting, dinner AND still managed to spend more money on the replacement dinner.
There's no saving face here. It's eat this retched shit or think I'll be good, wait for a few hours and then eat a half-frozen pizza, having no choice tomorrow but buy more food. Obviously this "don't spend any money on food" plan was a failure.
My grand plans of not spending money in general have been a failure. You know what I bought yesterday? A laptop. What am I typing on right now? My perfectly good ONE YEAR OLD laptop while the new one sits in the package under my desk.
Shit. I have a problem.
Then I get so pissed when people are like "Oh oh shopaholics don't exist" and at the people who whine "Oh EM GEE! I have SUCH a shopping problem. Like I totally just bought so many outfits! My mom is going to freak!!!!!!! lawlzzzz wut shud i do!?"
Some people, aka me, actually buy stupid ridiculous things like 3 desserts, a laptop, 10 sweater jumpers, or getting impulsively pierced (yesterday I walked around until I found the first tattoo shop I saw and got my naval pierced... I want it out now). Hating the act and loving it at the same time.
Worst of all, I totally realized I didn't have enough cash to pay the stupid delivery guy (he was rude so I didn't care about him), so I just grabbed what I had and a bunch of change and was really relieved when he shoved it into his pocket and ran off to his douche-y little motorcycle.
I think I'm going to put the Chinese in the fridge. The mushrooms are seriously freaking me out.
Monday, October 26, 2009
"Sometimes I can really see how book-smart people aren't actually people-smart at all."
-- [Not Quite] Bella
If you aren't following this brilliant blogger, why the fuck not?
[Not Quite]Bella's quote is referencing how she spouted off a bunch of bulimia facts whilst joking with her bloated, stuffed non-ED friends after eating and no one batted an eye. This is definitely a thread that is woven by many in their conversations with others, I've noticed.
"I'm going to drop you breadcrumbs... are you going to follow them?"
Why do we do this? I do it all the time. Let me think if I can remember the last time I did this. Oh. Easy. Last Thursday during a discussion seminar. We were talking about shopping.
This deserves a new paragraph. Our professor who prides himself on being important and an expert on the subject (not of being important) discussed the idea of shopping as something that is done out of love. You usually shop for other people. You pick out things with care and thoughtfulness in mind. What do your children like to eat? Would my husband wear this shirt? The nature of shopping is an act of love even if one does not enjoy doing it.
Here's where I come in. Have I ever gone to the grocery store since I became really ill and looked at a bag of carrots and thought "I would buy these because they are tasty." No. I think, "Fuck. I hate carrots by themselves. I can't get any dressing, that would make the carrots like worthless. I've gotta get the carrots and fuck I've gotta eat them in like 3 days. Just tell yourself they're low cal. They are healthy. Bullshit, it's not healthy when I'm just eating carrots. Fuck I'm fucked."
Pick up a cake. "Ah, here is a nice treat because I have done so well today! I deserve to reward myself."
"Shit. I accidentally walked by cakes. Don't lie. I did it on purpose. Look at the calories. How much would you *not* have to eat to be able to rationalize that? Where do you think your body will pack the butter and sugar onto first? My stomach or my thighs? God, just fucking pick up the cake and those cookies over there and go back over and get some hummus for the damn carrots because people are starting to stare. Just don't come back to the store with a credit card."
That is shopping with an eating disorder. Well, one experience. Shopping is hate.
So of course I open my big fat lip-glossed mouth and make a brief but potent mention of this. In hind-sight I should have said alcoholics or something, but nothing quite fits like ED. I even binge-clothes shop (completely different blog entry and shout out to Lulu, I binge shopped 2 days later!). Moderation is not our game. We are black and white.
No wonder we are scattering breadcrumbs, nay loaves of bread for our loved ones to see and put pieces together. We wonder if anyone will catch us at our game, as we let our guard down for one bit because being clever and secretive is so tiring, and the nature of our constant participation in this act of perpetuating hatred... cannot forever continue, can it?
I think a good word for people who are really sucked into the ED world, stuck amidst this spectrum between love and hate is simple:
Our world is about commitment. It is about something bigger than ourselves. Fervor, sacrifice, and oftentimes physical violence is involved. It's all very religious in nature. But that's for another day. Another time.
Sprinkle your breadcrumbs, playing the game of getting caught.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Nothing exciting to report except that you lot are adorable. But that was obvious.
...Now a word from our resident personal-life coach: Do something unexpected tomorrow. I'm going to tell my professor I'm a fucking lunatic (ED excluded. To the external world that part of me is perfect), which has never before been revealed. I'm shattering my own carefully-constructed persona. We'll see how it goes. But I've not gone to school for 2 weeks and we've only been in session for 3 so... it's possibly a necessary self-intervention.
And the new craze hitting the streets! The 5 Day Cash Freeze Diet! Folks, my plan is not to spend *any* money until Saturday (minus lunch Wednesday when I may buy a sandwich only because I am working an 8 hour day and if I don't have one small joy during my day as a retail bitch, I will break down and leave tear stains and mascara on my pillow). The food I have isn't terribly healthy, but there isn't a lot either. I hate spending money on food. It's so... fleeting.
Breaking news: I have a tummy ache. I blame booze and chewy candy. Hiss.
That's it for the 2AM edition. I'll see you again to recycle the same garbage at 4AM, 10AM, and possibly 6PM with some different catch phrases to make you think the stories are different, new and/or more relevant.
I'm Savory, and that's the News.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Intake: 12 cigarettes, 2 cups of earl gray, 8oz squash mixed w/ 52oz water, 1 diet lime coke. 1 sparkly bleach-clean bathroom. 1 pair of ultra skinny jeans (size 8... can't convince myself to wear size 6), 1 fabulous black dress (size 6). 1 awesome introduction to Topshop with London jet setting gal pal.
I've noticed that a dedicated and very bored psychologist could probably accurately track my manic and depressive cycles over the past months based on the tone of each previous blog post. You never know what to expect with me, do you?
Well it's a good day today. Minus a massive headache, I'm well. Thought about writing something philosophical, but fuck it. I've got a plastic glowing Halloween pumpkin and an alarm clock with bird perched atop (yes, it chirps the alarm... *and* the bird moves around; so exciting and frivolous) to keep me occupied. Hooray for new toys, especially the former, which came as part of a surprise care package. The later was me being wasteful. Naturally. I now have 4 alarms.
Word of sagely advice to pass down today. As I was walking home this afternoon (yes, I'm aware that was like 10 hours ago), I was thinking about what I should make for dinner. Then I realized I wasn't at all hungry. I wondered about dinner because it was the routine.
So. Don't eat until you're hungry. I'm not going to. I'm still not hungry. I just have a headache.
P.S. Shame on the UK for not stocking clove cigarettes or swisher sweets in corner stores. What kind of establishment is this?! For now, I'll just have to switch to my other favorite, Lucky Strike: "It's Toasted." Enter Don Draper.
Friday, October 23, 2009
It's time to be better about a lot of things.
Number 1. Stop skipping school. It's a vicious tornado of self-loathing and moping in bed.
Number 2. No more food is allowed in the room. Eat it in the kitchen. A) It gets munched mindlessly whilst watching TV B) The room smells gross later when not eating. Eat in the kitchen, none of my flatmates believe I eat anyway... which is unfortunately far from true.
Number 3. Count calories, fat content, and portions/ratios again. Write it all down. I'm trying to maintain weight, but I don't want to live on Percy Pigs, squash, and guacamole.
Number 4. Read and comment on blogs. Every day. Starting tomorrow.
Corollary to Numbers 1 & 4. Take the ritalin and do the assigned reading for class dammit.
Number 5. Buy a scale. This seems counter-productive, but aside from the facts that I moved to another country, had zero cash, and went off my meds, I started binging when I lost track of my weight. Perhaps it might be useful to stick to a happy-comfortable-safe number if I know what that number is without going to the dreaded Surgery.
Number 6. Keep the damn room clean. Do the laundry. Scrub the toilet and clean the sink/shower. A clean house is a happy house. It's true.
Number 7. Save and record receipts in the handy Piggy Bank themed "Money Planner" that hasn't been used. Speaking of which, stop buying stupid things.
Number 8. Always look pretty.
Number 9. Figure out a sleep schedule and stick to it, no matter who is online or what kind of sparkly thing is on the internet. No more of this sleep at 4 AM and wake at 11AM (Oh, funny story as an aside. I, for some reason that I now don't remember, kept taking multiple doses of Prozac the other night, followed by some Trasadone and Topamax, and then more than a few Ambien. I woke up what I thought was 9:00AM with my mom screaming on iChat because I guess I had slept a full 24 hours after popped all these pills while talking to her, rolled my eyes, mumbled something and craweled into bed only to wake at 9:00PM. Oops).
Corrollary to Number 9. Stop fucking around with meds and drugs.
Number 10. This could be any number of things, all of which sound very vague. Be a nicer person? Go out and do things more? Make an effort to be happier? I'm just going to go with... Channel that impulsive, ambitious, aggressive, irritable, perfectionist energy into something less destructive (i.e. eating, shopping, cutting, sleeping). Maybe doodling. Binge doodle.
Loving you all more and more every day, even if you don't know it. I have the amazing ability to skim through my reader so I at least know the first paragraph of your current lives every now and then.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I can't stop shoving things into my mouth. It's so bad that I pulled out a box of scones I had thrown into my waste bin the night before and ate it (disgusting, but there was only paper in there but still I fucking dug through the trash to get my food).
Yeah, I totally wasn't going to tell you all about that. But who else can I whine to? "Ew, I'm eating food again... and now I can't stop. And I threw carbs in the trash so I wouldn't eat them but then I felt guilty for wasting food AKA I wanted to eat them still. Whine." Yeah, no one else in the world would be sympathetic of that. I don't even really think you should.
The only solution I can see is going back to safe foods. "What?!" You say. "You have been stocking unsafe foods!!???!" Yes, I for a brief period thought I could keep carbs and sweets in the fridge and cabinets without eating my grocery list in one weekend.
When it rains it pours.
I'm also binging on clementine oranges so I guess my safe foods aren't really safe.
Also in the extreme arena is my adoration for super skinny, not-busty-and-proud Olivia Wilde. If she can be a sex symbol than I shouldn't be so upset about the way I'm distributed and stop this vicious cycle and just like the way I look. Except get thinner. Ha.
Yours in pie-eating-contests,
Friday, October 16, 2009
Fuck me. I can't even take my own sappy post advice for 5 minutes.
You don't know hatred and longing until you live 1 door down from the communal kitchen with a bunch of international kids who love to over-spice everything in a room without a fume hood.
Also, I've made a grocery list for tomorrow (to spend my last £20) and aside from the bag of apples and oranges I plan on getting, NOTHING on the list is healthy or respectable. There are 2 week old cucumbers in the fridge because I know I'd rather go hungry than eat them.
I'm just going to balloon back up to my high weight and start over. There's nothing admirable about loathing your body for being disproportionate, when fat or thin. I just want to gain weight to get something to put in my bra. Right now, I'm pretending like that's all that's going to happen (ignore the cottage cheese thighs, the stretch marks, the poochy tummy, the muffin top, the legs that make sizzle noises because the stockings are rubbing together...). No, somehow none of that will happen if I only gain 5 pounds because it will all go to the right place, I won't cringe at my sight, and suddenly I'll be gorgeous despite the fact I've already seen myself at that size and thought I could do better.
Basically to go against what I said before (rapid mood swings!), and not know which one I truly mean, life is futile. You are born, you get fatter, older, and inevitably kicked in the teeth... then you die. But in a kind of "life as adventure" kind of way, if you want to take a positive spin.
Let's just do something mindless instead. Kay?
I'd start lamenting and apologizing for being such a terrible blogger and virtual-friend but I seem to do it on every belated post, so it might start to lose meaning and sound insincere. Know that it's a vicious cycle of neglecting you, feeling guilty, avoiding blogger due to said guilt, and continuing to neglect you. It eats me up more than you probably notice my absence ;)
Recently, I took off the necklace I've worn every single day since the week I started blogging. I never took it off... not even parading around in costume, going to fancy events, getting engaged. It's been there for the whole lot and any sparse pictures that may have gotten snapped. When my collar bones seemed particularly noteworthy a few months ago, I decided to memorialize the necklace's importance via photograph.
The chain has gone from silver to brown but the pendant still retains most of its original spark.
I said I would never take it off. Of course the little fairy dragonfly has obvious symbolic implications (which I will always deny to TR, though he sees right through it) but it would become so much more than a gentle reminder of my dangerous pact with myself and maniacal need to push things further.
It became about remembering everyone there scattered around the globe, thinking the same things I thought. Hating every inch, longing for something better and perfect, if only to compensate for something else. My pendant was my daily struggle and a tangible connection to all my readers I couldn't hope to ever meet.
I'm trying not to hate myself, but it's hard when you're taken off medication and you know the impulses, the thoughts, and the actions are going to inevitably follow. It's not a sad thing because there's no safety net to catch me here. No one would ever really notice if anything happened to me, and for the first time, that's scary not comforting.
You won't believe how extraordinary it feels to feel less and less of your bones, try and be hopeful at the sight of a 1.5 inch increase on your waist (though you secretly know both triumphantly and defeated that it's almost all bloat and water retention). There's a tinge of sadness walking by women who are thinner than yourself, feeling jealous that you hadn't achieved that kind of tiny and once again reassuring yourself it's not a pretty sight.
I don't know what will happen with the necklace. If I'll just replace the disgusting chain and put it back on, its comforting wrap reminding me of my shared bondage to a loathing master... or if I'll manage to ignore the pleas of my naked collar and carry on forward.
I have no assumption that recovery is possible for anyone. You can't recover from something like this. Maybe you can change your behavior, maybe you can move beyond the pull of desire that's taken you here in the first place, but you're always addicted. Always unstable. Always eating disordered. It's alcoholism (despite my former attempts to deny this) except it sneaks up on you. You don't have the simplicity of "one drink" to tell you when you've cheated or failed. The voice gently brings you back in before you even know you've slipped, because we're surrounded by propaganda to slenderize, cut back fat/carbs/sugar, rejoice in shedding weight, and without all that what are we? What do we have in our culture to really root onto? If you try and ignore the shouts to lose weight, hate XXXXX about yourself, you become the outsider. More unsettling than it was to be sucked into the ED world. It's black and white world it seems, and we have to fight to stick in whatever gray spot we can find if we want to avoid the beast.
I'm really glad to read over your successes and continued perseverance, but I can't bring myself to individually cheer people on or condemn the practice. I'm a hypocrite either way. My support is always here, and I don't know which way in the spectrum of "fucked up" I'm moving towards. But I suppose I need to figure out what to do about my necklace before I can manage to pick a team to start following.
I hope my readers can confront their ideals of beauty this new week, whether it is achieving a new goal, reflecting on a current predicament, or moving toward something challenging or unprecedented. Beauty is in everything. I don't really care if that means being comforted by the warmth of consistency or marveling at what lies beyond the safety of routine. Be dazzled either way. There's no point in being stationary because of fickle emotions. Shed that feeling of self-doubt and empty longing--with me--to experience the thrill of pushing yourself for something without judgment or condemnation. Find something that makes you happy and don't feel any guilt that may accompany it.
Sounds absurd, and also a bit unreal, but we don't have to hate ourselves or long for punishment in our desires to achieve these goals. It just seems like a good strategy, in hindsight, to push toward something for which we feel undeserving.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Some people might call me obsessive. TR specifically things I have "phases of fads" ...
Case in point. Two days ago, I was determined about going to Burning Man next year, but I only care now because I've reminded myself. Another example. I started carrying around my old sketch book and doodling. When it falls out of my bag onto my floor, I'll forget about how meticulously I was documenting the world and not draw a single absurd figure for the next few months.
Last week when I was applying for jobs, I got it into my head that I should become an exotic dancer. After much research, walking by my local Spearmint Rhino, and "How to Give A Proper Lapdance" queries later I decided this probably wasn't going to happen. Actually, I think it was the horrible "audition" dream I had during the weekend that turned me off from the whole thing, but that aside.
Oh my stripper name by the way? Mallory Moxie. Don't steal it if you become a successful dancer (unless you want to help me with some personal funds).
But what did this whole lesson in futility teach me? Yes. Yes, I'm finally thin enough to strut around on stage and know that despite how fat I think I am, measurements don't lie. And men like tiny and outwardly confident.
It doesn't matter though. Because I can morph and slenderize my formerly pear-shaped self to a more suitable celery me, but that's not what men want either.
Man, in all his urge to conquer nature, wants something that none of us can achieve no matter how much we starve or run or fight. And guess what? I want it too. And you all probably do as well.
I want to be tall(er), and keep my 24" waist but push the weight from my 1400g brain matter into my boobs and butt. I want perky and round and tight and firm.
I want to be a Barbie Doll. Unless I get a disposable income and some serious time to myself, that is not going to happen.
This revelation has made me wonder to myself, "What has been the point?" Yes, part of it has always been about pushing my limits, destroying myself, and painting an outward image of my inner fucked-up self... but I never wanted to be ugly. If I wanted to look like a monster, I would have just started slashing my face instead of meticulously finding new spots to mutilate.
If I wanted to look bad, there were far easier ways to do it.
I've rid myself of both the good and the bad fat, knowing that some omnipotent ruler in the sky is laughing at the sad paradox of it all while he blows up balloon planets and releases them into other galaxies. I can't be a sex symbol, I can't be my own definition of beautiful.
What do I do now? This, ladies and gentlemen, has been my conundrum. Unfortunately, I don't have an answer. But in the event that I decide to go in a different direction, a "healthier" direction, I clued in my GP. And weighed myself.
Eight stone. It's so much harsher over here.
I have to get some bloodwork and things done so she can see what kind of state I'm in, but I haven't decided if I want to go along with the referral to the ED Unit (especially because I don't know what that even means in this country)... I don't know.
It's all very confusing. Someone just pay for me to get implants and this whole mess can go away. hah, kind of.
Monday, October 12, 2009
1) I don't like Jaffa Cakes despite how much they are adored on blogger. Hooray! It is a bit sad that I sought them out after hearing so many woeful stories about them though... I'm a sucker for sabotage I guess.
2) Buying clothes where you buy your groceries doesn't make sense, and as such you should just expect similar customer service.
So I got a job. Yay! In retail... which means I have to spent my first week's paycheck before I've even started working on going out and getting "smart" black clothes. Here's where H&M would have come in except I have no sense of direction and walked a strange way that led to nowhere interesting. Navigated back and decided to pop in at the little M&S.
I thought I knew a little bit about British sizes but it all got very confusing very fast.
"Excuse me... what number is the equivalent of a small here?" (I keep seeing 12, 14, 18... which seems HUGE but that's all they have so I decide I must not understand the sizes)
"It depends on how small you want to go." (WTF does that even mean)
"Blah blah blah 6 is the smallest we have here blah blah"
"OK so a 6?"
"NO NO That's like really skinny."
OK fuck you. Obviously you're telling me I can't get into a size 6, which I know is not as small as it goes (I'm aware of the magic UK size 4).
"Erm, right. So I should get like an 8?"
"Size 6 is tiny. Like runway small. Catwalk."
Now that I'm embarrassed about how fat this woman must think I am, holding onto loads of depressing black clothes in sizes 8 & 10 because I figure I must fit into that since I'm a whale but everything else looks too big, AND everyone's just heard about how I have no idea what size I'm supposed to be buying IN A F-ING GROCERY STORE.... I slink over to the check out and try not to let my things touch the dirty food conveyor belt this girl obviously wants me to put them on.
Get home. They all fit. Knew it.
Obsessed now with finding this size 6 so I can see if I'll rip out the seams by looking at it.
Now I'm stuck with stupid clothes that don't fit me right. Not that anything ever has fit me right since I've come to the conclusion that if you want to look good you need plastic surgery and a good tailor.
I don't remember what I was ranting about. It's not important. One of you lovely ladies need to point me in the direction of some real shops. None of this grab a jumper and a sammie on the way out business.
Gah. I'm frustrated.
In other news, shoes are officially your only friends. I have never ever had a bad experience trying on shoes (except those weird wide ones that I'm POSITIVE somehow make feet look fat). This proves that shoe shopping is the only joy left in my world and explains why I have more pairs than outfits to match them up with.
That said, I am longing for some new boots. Because no one can tell me how damn thin I have to be to try on a boot. And if my feet are big, well fuck, it usually means I'm taller. So there.
Go buy some shoes for me. I'm out of money ;)
Friday, October 9, 2009
Sorry I've been absent. Things have been swirling around in my small brain and I can't multi-task apparently.
Read this. Specifically the Doc Hammer interview. It's not just because I would trade in my best friend for several hours of "me" time with him.... yes, I understand my ideals of dreamy are not the norm.
But something about how brilliant he is in an arrogant but truthful manner that shows you how transparent everything really is, and how fucking sad the state of things are. He always makes me want to try harder and be better. Which is pathetic, I understand.
I'm not ready to talk about that which I am tip-toeing around and being completely roundabout uh about. I still have lots of self-contemplation (hopefully on Museum Mile) to do, and a better physical tolerance to the car exhaust and cigarette smoke that permeates here.
Blah, it might also help to know I'm totally off my meds. hah. That probably erased any trace of legitimacy I might have previously had in the aforementioned paragraphs. But other than shitty withdrawals, I think I'm lucid so just trust me.
I hope you all are doing well. Go watch some cartoons. Good cartoons.
P.S. Read Shrinking Kitty's latest post. It's equally brilliant except it makes me hate Doc Hammer a little bit for being a man and painting women with lovely proportions... Ah, equilibrium.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
"It is crucial to notice the language we use when we talk about bodies. We speak as if there was one collective perfect body, a singular entity that we're all after. The trouble is, I think we are after that one body. We grew up with the impression that underneath all this normal flesh, buried deep in the excessive recesses of our healthy bodies, there was a Perfect Body just waiting to break out. It would look like everyone else's perfect body. A clone of all the shapeless, androgynous models, the hairless, silicone-implanted porn stars. Somehow we, in defiance of nature, would have toothpick thighs and burgeoning bosoms, buns of steel and dainty firm delts. As Andy Warhol wrote, 'The more you look at the exact same thing... the better and emptier you feel.'" (47)
"I ignored my parents, full of delusional certainty that one day soon I would walk back into the house, tall as a magazine model, cool and collected, a new woman, you've come a long way, baby, and then they would see. Then they'd know they'd had me all wrong, I would sweep into their perfect white living room and sit down on the couch, crossing my (magically long) legs and give them a bored stare. Then they'd be impressed.
"I fell for the great American dream, female version, hook, line, and sinker. I, as many young women do, honest-to-god believed that once I Just Lost A Few Pounds, somehow I would suddenly be a New You, I would have Ken-doll men chasing my thin legs down with bouquets of flowers on the street, I would become rich and famous and glamorous and lose my freckles and become blond and five foot ten. I would wear cool quasi-intellectual glasses and a man's oxford shirt in a sunny New flat... As soon as I left my hometown and lost a few pounds." (91-92)
"You begin to rely on the feeling of hunger, your body's raucous rebellion at the small tortures of your own hands. When you eventually begin to get well, health will feel wrong, it will make you dizzy, it will confuse you, you will get sick again because sick is what you know." (111)
"You become fearless in a very twisted way. Reckless, careless, a cartoon character spinning its legs in glee as it falls from a cliff, splats flat, bounces back up. You sneeze, and your nose, cocaine torn, spatters blood. This pleases you, just as the small knives of pain please you when you run, the stabbing pain of each step, just as the worried, muted words of friends please you, just as your own voice pleases you when you say to them, I just can't stop. You've made a decision: You will not stop. The pain is necessary, especially the pain of hunger. It reassures you that you are strong, can withstand anything, that you are not a slave to your body, you don't have to give in to its whining.
"In truth, you like the pain. You like it because you deserve it, and the fact that you're putting yourself through pain means you are doing what you, by all rights, ought to do. You're doing something right. It's hard to describe how these two things can take place in the same mind: the arrogant, self-absorbed pride in yourself for your incredible feat, and the belief that you are so evil as to deserve starvation and any other form of self-mutilation. They coexist because you've split yourself in two. One part is the part you're trying to kill--the weak self, the body. One part is the part you're trying to become--the powerful self, the mind. This is not psychosis, this splitting. It is the history of Western culture made manifest. Your ability to withstand pain is your claim to fame. It is ascetic, holy. It is self-control. It is masochism, and masochism is pleasurable to many, but we don't like to think about that. We don't like to think that a person could have a twisted autoerotic life going on, be both a top and a bottom, and experience both at once: the pleasure of beating the hell out of a body shackled at the wrists, and the pleasure of being the body and knowing we deserve each blow." (123-124).
"My life revolved around meals. Never believe an eating-disordered person who says she hates food. It's a lie. Denied food, your body and brain will begin to obsess about it. It's the survival instinct, a constant reminder to eat, one that you try harder and harder to ignore, although you never can. Instead of eating, you simply think about food all the time. You dream about it, you stare at it, but you do not eat it... Food is the sun and the moon and the stars, the center of gravity, the love of your life." (151)
"I have a remarkable ability to delete all better judgment from my brain when I get my head set on something. Everything is done at all costs. I have no sense of moderation, no sense of caution. I have no sense, pretty much. People with eating disorders tend to be very diametrical thinkers--everything is the end of the world, everything rides on this one thing, and everyone tells you you're very dramatic, very intense, and they see it as an affectation, but it's actually just how you think. It really seems to you that the sky will fall if you are not personally holding it up. On the one hand, this is sheer arrogance; on the other hand, this is a very real fear. And it isn't that you ignore the potential repercussions of your actions. You don't think there are any.
Because you are not even there." (237)
"I am alive for very menial reasons:
1. Being sick gets singularly boring after a while.
2. I was really annoyed when told I was going to die and rather petulantly went, Well fuck you then I won't.
3. In a rare appearance by my rational self, I realized it was completely stupid and chicken-shittish of me to just check of life because it ruffled my feathers.
4. It struck me that it was entirely unoriginal to be starving to death. Everyone was doing it. It was, as a friend would later put it, totally passe. Totally 1980s. I decided to do something slightly less Vogue.
5. I got curious: If I could get that sick, then (I figured) I could bloody well get unsick." (277)
"Eating disorders, on any level, are a crutch. They are also an addiction and an illness, but there is no question at all that they are quite simply a way of avoiding the banal, daily, itchy pain of life. Eating disorders provide a little private drama, they feed into the desire for constant excitement, everything becomes life-or-death, everything is terribly grand and crashing, very Sturm and Drang. And they are distracting. You don't have to think about any of the nasty minutiae of the real world, you don't get caught up in that awful boring thing called regular life, with its bills and its breakups and its dishes and laundry and groceries and arguments over whose turn it is to change the litter box and bedtimes and bad sex and all that, because you are having a real drama, not a sitcom but a GRAND EPIC, all by yourself, and why would you bother with those foolish mortals when you could spend hours and hours with a mirror, when you are having the most interesting sado-masochistic affair with your own image?" (280-281)
Saturday, October 3, 2009
What the fuck is wrong with me? It's all so clear now.
Thank you Lulu. You didn't do it intentionally--or perhaps you did... you sly thing--but you have definitely have made me come to realize the error in my ways.
I have been lusting after the momentary, futile highs and cravings of British treats. Did I forget I'm in the middle of a shopping wonderland? And more importantly, that I'm actually one of the sizes for which designers fashion stupid things like "Jeggings" in mind?
(side note, I secretly want designer jeggings and I don't judge you if you do too)
For every "pey-h" every "quid" every "tenner" I've spent on pre-packaged mush, I have missed out on the opportunity to rub those precious golden coins and pretty papered notes together for a new pair of boots. This year's winter coat.
Not even food can satisfy me the way a clothing store can. Truly, I liken it to the feeling of chasing after a new boy. Except more fulfilling.
The anxiety, jitters, butterflies. They are all there as you ride the escalator, passing displays and wondering where you might wear that sharp little dress. Everything will be better once those gloves are in your hands, and nothing feels as nice as carrying your spoils out of the store in pretty bags. The more the better. The heavier, the bigger, the bulkier, the sweeter.
Why did I ever give it up and switch to food? Oh, that's right. Food allures you into thinking you need it, it's good for you. It's economical because well, you have to eat something right? Spending money on clothes is wasteful; food is essential, they tell you. But, why would you ever spend $10 on a bad meal to-go when you could have a nice bangle from a vintage shop?
Food is fleeting but fashion is forever.
I am the grossest person alive.
Managed to stay away thus far, but yesterday I walked into NO LESS than 4 different grocery and food stores. As long as I have been awake, I think I have been stuffing some kind of cake or candy or drink or sandwich into my sodding mouth.
This is not the worst part.
My dress ripped last night. I don't know if it's because I'm fat or because it's vintage, but I was wiggling it off my hips and the waist just tore. I have to sew it up and take it off again to see which it was. Do you ever replay events or conversations over and over again in your head? That's what I'm doing. Obsessing about this skirt. This stupid fat fatty fat me and my skirt that screamed as its threads were pulling apart that I was not deserving to wear such a slimming and obviously fashionable garment.
Maybe I'll eat so much that I can't look at food again after I'm finished.
It's horrible because Thursday I was admiring my spine and today I'm sure that my frame has all but disappeared.
Today I'm going to sit here in the dark with my food and our shared shame.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I walked into the Wellcome Collection today. It reminded me how to tell a piece of art from a piece of bullshit.
Art isn't about form. Function. Color. Contrast. Complexity. Meaning. Devotion.
For me, art is that sinking feeling you get when you look at something truly astonishing, beautiful, horrific, or upsetting. It moves you in a way that you can recall that same emotion when you think back to the memory of the piece. Art is instinctual.
Today I saw a piece that stuck with me. I'm disgusted and sad and yet, I want to see it again. But not look at it.
This very well may be triggering, so I'm linking the sculpture.
"In this work lies an interest in a representational possibility of the emotional landscape of the body becoming manifest in its surface. Visually, the way in which the flesh grows, erupts and engulfs the body can be seen as a metaphor of the way in which we become incapacitated by the emotional landscape in which we live and over which we have little control. Of course, the body also appears to be suffering from some kind of malignancy, as in cancer, but, for me, the image of the figure, coupled with the title, leads one into an open contemplation of the plight of the individual." -- John Isaacs, 2003 (wax, polystyrene, steel, expanding foam and oil paint)
I read the description over and over again. And then I wrote it into my planner. All the while avoiding glancing at the massive, faceless menace to my right.
And then I realized why it was important. What this meant to me.
Replace the words "flesh grows, erupts and engulfs the body" with something like "limbs weaken, protrude and collapses the skin..."
This wasn't about being obese. This is about us. It's talking to all of us who can't have a normal conversation about chocolate because something else in our life is so out of balance we have turned inward, away from the chaos of the world, and toward the comfort of food and controlling it.
The title of the piece: "I Can Not Help The Way I Feel."
It's almost every anoretic, bulimic, EDNOS, compulsive eater's biggest daily battle. It's not my fault that I'm sick but I will still feel guilty about it.
I'm going to try stop being hard on myself for craving British sandwiches so much this weekend and focus on getting some coursework done. I can't help if that doesn't go as planned... but I have to accept whatever happens, embrace it, and move on.
I hope each of my readers can re-direct his or her desire for comfort and control toward something productive, even if it's just an attempt. We are more than what we feel, and we are more than an artist's wax rendition at a curio museum in Bloomsbury.