Body image. It’s killing me.
Okay, not literally…yet, but it has made a good effort in the past. And the crazy thing is, I never thought I struggled with how my body looked. Yeah, yeah, I know…obviously I had to dislike something to develop an eating disorder, it really wasn’t like that for me though. I used to see those cliche pictures of a girl looking into a mirror and seeing a body reflected that wasn’t accurate at all, and I’d roll my eyes. I became exasperated with how the world saw my predicament.
Until I started looking through the eyes of the world.
I hate to admit this, but many of my actions have come from caring too much about what others think, or caring too little.
I started comparing my body to other women, and wondering why my jeans didn’t fit me like theirs did, why they had clear skin and I didn’t, why they were so at home in their bodies and I wasn’t…and why am I typing this in the past tense? I still do this, every day. I criticize every little “flaw” I have, and then I turn around and preach self-love. I see the hypocrisy, and I’m sure you do too. I’m really struggling with this, with wanting to look different, even though I don’t really want to. I think these thoughts and I have no idea how they were ever introduced into my stream of thoughts.
These thoughts are a huge roadblock to me, because when I really look deep into my heart, I see the root. The twisted gnarled root that is holding all of my negative thoughts and beliefs in place. I try to blame the growth of this huge menace on instances in childhood, on never feeling or being told I was beautiful or perfect. I know the truth though. I know that I don’t value myself, my life, enough to get past this. I see what I’ve been through (which in some cases has been self-inflicted), and I wonder where I even got the notion that I wanted to recover. Some days, I feel like the only thing keeping my head above water is other peoples expectations of me.
I can look at myself with my logical mind, and see a woman who is “getting back to health”, some days I even feel OK when I catch my reflection. Most days, I avoid my body, looking away when I do catch a glimpse of myself. I know I have work to do, and I don’t want to do it. I can’t bear thinking about eating more food. I can’t get over how hard it is for me to plan meals without panicking. I’m told it will get easier, after all it has gotten easier sometimes, hasn’t it?
I want to tell someone who will understand, just how hard this is. What hell my mind is all day every day, how much I hate myself. No one understands, and so I keep to myself, hoping this hatred against my body, my very being, will disappear. I want to get angry, and rage. I want to figure out why these thoughts keep invading my mind, and how to stop them. I want to fight, but Ed is telling me I can’t. And the next logical step is to talk back, to do the thing Ed is telling me I cannot do…until Ed tells me my waist is already too big, my acne is flaring up because I’m not eating healthy foods, my thighs are too big and I begin to believe his lies again.
I’m sick and tired of this cage. Of sitting next to my husband who is eating a delicious lunch, and feeling helpless, like I have no power over emotions and my lack of courage. Of feeling hunger, and reminding myself that I can eat in a half hour. I’m sick of feeling beaten down by something that doesn’t even have a physical presence, unless you count me. I still believe I am not Ed, I’m just trying to figure out who I am without him.