Friday, October 16, 2009

Dazzled

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 ;)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

1 comments:

Sha Sha said...

aw sweetie...

i totally understand your need to identify with a particular goal. we make stupid, arbitrary rules for ourselves just so that we can navigate through the daily bullshit of making basic decisions. so it follows that the need to "pick a side" would make sense.

i totally get what you're saying... and i'm surprised to discover that despite all the stupid rules i have to abide by just to get from A to B each day, that defining myself as a supporter of disorder OR recovery is actually not something i do.

ED sufferers are living examples of dichotomy and contradiction. we want ultimate control at the same time as wanting to relinquish all control to a higher power. they talk about black and white, all or nothing thinking... but it seems to me that we are black AND white, all AND nothing.

i hate being ignored... i want to be seen. and yet i am making myself smaller. somehow, i crave both invisibility at the same time as EXTREME visibility.

i guess what i'm saying is... i don't think you have to pick sides. and maybe, you don't really want to, that's what makes the decision so hard. because you believe in both disorder and recovery, as do i, as do most of us.

does this make any sense?

i know the need to define yourself. its a daily struggle for me as well. and what makes the most sense is for me to define myself as a highly contradictory, dichotomous, ambivalent entity. at least that way, anything is possible.

xox... thinking of you. when i first arrived in Edinburgh, i too struggled with the sights and smells emanating from the self-catering kitchen at the hostel. i lived on coffee and ryvitas with salsa. and no one bothered me about it because i couldn't have afforded real food even if i wanted it, LOL.

sorry to ramble... take care :)

 
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