Sunday, January 24, 2010


It smells like skunk in my room. While I need to do a thorough scrubbing of the place (right now I'm cleaning out my email inbox) I think it's coming from the kitchen. I like to blame *that* place for most of the upsetting smells.

I've lost quite a bit, quite quickly on my citrus fast. Told myself I wouldn't mess around with laxatives and make myself more dehydrated than I already am.


As I was cleaning out my inbox, I came across a mass email invite for some kind of symposium about obesity. I've never been obese. I've never even been overweight. But I, like many people who read this blog, am deathly afraid that I will one day have thighs that are bigger than some people's waists. That I won't be able to see my feet.

I asked myself, as I envisioned these things.... "Well, what's wrong with being fat? A lot of people are fat and healthy. A lot of people are happy that way."

This was my reply: "That is the worst thing that could ever happen."

Then I thought about this statement. I say that about a lot of things. Dropping out of school. Getting stuck in a remedial job. Having to cancel my wedding plans. Moving back home. Being less than perfect.

All of these things equate to one simple thing in my mind: Failure. Perceived Failure.

And external judgment. I got back on my American medications and I finally feel a bit normal again. I can do homework. Eat without going insane. Keep food in the house. Go to school. Not wind up in the hospital once a month. My academic adviser asked me how I got through last term in hindsight.

Easy. It was either die or succeed. Going home was not an option. With my shield or on it.

I think, at least for me, there's some sort of disconnect. You are perfect or you are a failure? That doesn't even remotely correspond. I don't even believe in binary opposition in other aspects of life or theoretical philosophy. Everything works on a spectrum. Or more likely, a Euclidean space with an x-y-z axis. Finely plotted out.

Nothing can be so starkly contrasted as to say: here or there, up or down. What about the betwixt and between?

But yet, here I am with some sort of missing link in my mind, knowing that when it comes to myself I am the expert on catastrophizing and control.

Someone recently posted this video on my facebook, and though it wasn't his intention, it made me wonder how this related to me and this community.

Are we like these "deranged" penguins? Disobeying our instinctual survival mechanisms to rebel against food, nourishment and natural order? Even though we are inundated with knowledge that this "choice" "lifestyle" "disease" is devastating our bodies, why do we continue on this path? We share a disconnect. Something missing. Disoriented.


Anonymous said...

I wanted to cry when I watched that video.

...I don't know what else to say. How can I want to cry about a penguin running from life, but I think it's totally normal for girls everywhere to run from life? Disconnected, I agree.

Cally C. said...

Fat totally equals failure to me as well.
Everything you said hits home SO much.

Laura said...

I believe I share a deep connection with that penguin.

Anise said...

OH GOD i am that penguin. only i know i'm headed toward the interior of the continent, aka, instant death, which makes it worse. and all the normal penguins around me don't seem to be noticing.

your comment made me smile in an otherwise smile-free last few days. thank you times a thousand :D

are you really writing a book?? i want to help! yes please!

also when the eff are you coming back here? we need to have coffee or cocktails all the time.

in relation to your post, i have an intense and frantic fear of failure, which is, for me, in binary opposition to perfection. but i also have this completely complementary subconscious fear of success, so mostly i'm just fucked either way and i end up sitting around doing absolutely nothing because i'm afraid if i do something i'll fail, and if i don't fail, i'm afraid i'll succeed. so i'll never get anywhere and fail by default. it's definitely a no-win. (see also: my recent panic about my blog not being a perfect novel. as if a blog were supposed to be an effing book with plot arcs and character development and beautifully crafted sentences! i am still struggling with this.)

i'm wondering what your thoughts are on comparing yourself to others - and i'm not just talking in skinniness terms. is this true for everyone or just for me? i mean, i am having problems reading my favorite authors these days because all these amazing beautiful writers remind me of what I’m not, and what I ought to be but am not, and how I ought to write and think but can’t. and that's quite messed up, you know? and i do it elsewhere, with other people on the street and don't even get me started on facebook! so i'm wondering if this is intrinsically linked to eating disorders or not, because a lot of it tends to be about perceptions and failure and not measuring up, even though it's inevitably our own selves we're measuring against.

jesus you know how to get a penguin going, don't you? :D

xx x

Holly said...

Ummmmmmm, that video was super sad. Don't post sad penguin videos they make me cry.

Pasco said...

Yours is the first blog I've read in weeks.

I feel like puking

I want a giant icy continent to disappear into. That would be nice

R Harlow B said...

This was my reply: "That is the worst thing that could ever happen."

I think along the same lines... but when I put it into perspective i guess its not REALLY the worse thing that could happen, but at the same time it is (if that makes sense).

I'm glad to hear this semesters going better for you.


Ana's Girl said...

I've heard that citrus really helps you lose weight. Maybe i should try to eat more of that and less of the crap i usually eat...
I've often wondered why fatness would be the worst thing to happen, but i've never come up with a better answer than "it just would be awful." I guess we don't really need a reason for our phobias.
Aww... That poor little penguin... Are we really like him? I feel so bad for him, but should i feel bad for me?

throughraindrops said...

ive noticed over the past 7-8months ive been loosing the ability to see middle ground it is perfect or it is a failure there is no inbetween

penguin was sad okay ive had a weird day destruction of digestives and now im relating to a penguin if only people would stand still and watch me go


Ana said...

I'm going to post that video on my personal facebook, and I know I'll watch it about four million times. That's some deep shit.

tracy said...

That. Is. So. Sad. And i feel alot like that lost penguin. He is not a failure, but i am. i FAT failure.

tracy said...

That. Is. So. Sad. And i feel alot like that lost penguin. He is not a failure, but i am. i FAT failure.

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