Monday, February 13, 2012


Sometimes (i.e. rarely) I feel like I have very little say.
Other times, I have much I could say, but I'm afraid to say it.

It's nothing controversial.
Nothing scandalous.
Nothing out-of-the-ordinary.
Just the same self-hatred that I still don't know what to do with.
Don't know how to feel about it.
What to change.
How to be better.

I'm afraid to talk about it because sometimes it feels like it's all I talk about. I suppose that's what I should've expected when I "signed up" for an eating disorder almost six years ago. Healing from this demon takes time (7-10 years on average). Helga's been louder than usual lately. She's quite an impatient twerp. She's that nasty voice in my head regularly reminding me that I am nothing. That I really "should" stop talking about this. "I mean, aren't you over this already? You are so weak," she says.

I'm reminded of what I read in When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies lately: that women tend to use their bodies as a metaphor for their anxiety. So when we are critical of our outward appearance, we're often feeling unsafe, unheard, or attacked in our soul. I get that.

Yesterday, I sat at the Estee Lauder make-up counter seeking the "beauty" products that would make me look just perfect on my wedding day. What I found was that the most expensive make-up applied by the most experienced make-up artists could not make me beautiful (according to Helga) and I felt like somehow I had failed at doing that one thing that women are supposed to do in our culture: be beautiful.

So I left attacking not only my face, but my body, my value, my work ethic, and my heart. And I cried. Because I felt empty. And it took awhile to recognize this wasn't only about my reflection, It was more so about my soul.

Any good therapist would probably say, "Well, Heather, give yourself a break. You've been going through so many changes lately: graduation, engagement, holidays, stress of not having a job, wedding planning; it makes sense that your old habits of coping (eating disorder) would flare up again."

And they have. And they are. And bouncing back, getting back on the horse, standing up again, feels dreadful. And familiar. And old.

And at this point, the only thing I can think to do and the only thing that ever really "works" is to keep breathing. To show up. To do my balanced best. Which really gets old that apparently those are the only things that help. But they're true. So I do them anyway.


It's nice to know I am not the only one with a Helga... (thanks, Em)

All the Beauty
by JJ Heller

I know that she's a liar when I look into her eyes
But I believe in every word she says
She's out to start a fire burning everything I have
I can't put it out 'cause it's all inside my head
And then you sing
I hear you sing

You call me lovely
You call me friend
You call me out of death and let me try again
You call me beloved
You call me clean
Then you show me all the beauty that you see in me

I still hear her whisper and sometimes I hear her shout
You're not good enough and you will never be
But if I focus on your singing I can start to tune her out
'Cause you came with a love to set me free

I know that you love me enough to die
And I will try to see the value that you place on me
And you say I'm worthy


EMILY STAR said...

The idea that the feelings about our outward appearance are much more deeply rooted--ya nailed.

I appreciate you writing, and I send people to your blog. So keep it up Heatherbo! :)


Caitlyn Brianne said...

Thank you