2.25.2011

Look at You

The therapist asked me as part of our "getting to know me" survey how I felt about my body. I didn't even blink when I said, "Hate it."
She asked what my eating habits were. I said, "Out of control"
I stopped myself from getting a Hostess Cupcake out of the vending machine the other day because I went to the bathroom first and saw myself in the mirror.
I thought, I should only ever eat in front of a mirror.

I know it's not the food. I know that it's me and my brokenness. I'm finding this body image/weight thing is far more of a spiritual issue than anything else.

But still I eat. I eat when I'm hungry, I eat when I'm bored, I eat because there's food in front of me or when it's time to eat. I eat when other people eat, I eat in secret in my car and when I'm home alone.

If my body is supposed to be a temple then my body is in serious disrepair.

I mean, it's not a new issue. But it's a huge issue, because I feel huge.
There is shame attached to almost every aspect of my physical life and I just can't shake it. I feel isolated and alone in it. It's made worse when well intended loving people try to talk to me about it. Because while I might be a little sniffly but mostly calm on the outside inside I'm running around in circles desperately looking for a way out of this conversation. Instead of hearing the words "I love you and want you around for a long time" I'm hearing the words, "You're disgusting. I can't even look at you. How could you be so hideous and repulsive"
I can't even hear you anymore those words get so big and loud in my head.

I'm slowly but surely removing myself from video and photographic history because of how much I hate my body...then to add salt to an already seeping wound I feel so left out and invisible because I"m not in videos or pictures. Sometimes I feel like I just can't win.

It's a confusing hot mess in my head and heart right now and I feel all jumpy and exposed. I'm tired so easily because it is taking a lot of energy to stretch towards mental and physical health when I've had 31 1/2 years to learn thought and behavior patterns that are trying to kill me (melodrama much?).

It's definitely one of the things on the therapy docket, because I am clearly not able to take care of this by myself.

Now...where did I put that pizza?

1 comment:

jake said...

You don't have to do this by yourself, love.

And I know you can't always internalize this, so print it out and keep it around for when you can bear to read it:

I don't care if you are as thin as Calista Flockhart or as big as the momma in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." I. Love. You.

[Big empty space where your mind wants to put qualifiers, but notice I'm not.]

I'm not going the route of wanting you around for a long, long time. It's true; I do want you around for as long as possible. But that's not what bothers me.

What bothers me is this: More and more, I can see how this issue, among a few others, is throwing up this huge wall. It may seem like social isolation, and in truth, it is.

But that is not all it is.

I see it ever-so-steadily laying the foundation for a wall between you and the people you serve.

This is on a fast-track to keep you from your ministry. A ministry that I and others can see as the light in your eyes, the pep in your step, and the love in your heart.

You have a true gift and calling on your life. I know I'm not the only one who sees this. I also know that deep down, apart from social phobias, a horrible and totally undeserved set of past circumstances, and your weight -- You. See. It. Too.

Yes, physically eat in front of a mirror if that helps you and works for you.

More importantly, eat in front of a picture in your mind's eye of the Woman of God you know you are.

I love you. Whether you like it or not.