Sunday, January 20, 2013

Peace, Even Now

I thought about throwing up last night.

The idea came to me upon an upset stomach at a party. Not like a ton of bricks, but not nonchalant either. The concept wasn't shocking nor was it sneaky. It just was. And the notion seemed as familiar as a birthmark yet as upsetting as bad news. I both wanted to throw up and hated myself for wanting to. So, I just existed in an awkward uncomfortable presence, desperate for the feeling to pass. After three hours, the desire hadn't passed, but my interest in taking that same familiar (and awful) road had.

I blame the Golden Globes. And magazines. And Eva Mendes. When Jeremy asked me, "When did it start?" this was the first thing that came to mind. So many beautiful, fancy people in one place. So much to covet. So much to be desired. But it's never that simple. And I can never really blame my situation on anyone else but me.

Finding myself in this tempestuous situation points every finger back at me. It wasn't the Golden Globes or my size -2 co-worker or Jeremy not affirming me or not having clothing that makes me look like J. Lo. The longing to pick myself apart in hopes of finding peace and contentment is an age-old conundrum. As if just a little more self-hatred ever leads to happiness.

The problem isn't comparing myself to beautiful people.
The problem is my longing to compare.
The desire to focus on my own dissatisfaction with myself.
Which usually happens when I'm not being gentle with myself.
When usually happens when I'm overwhelmed, tired, or stressed.
Which perfectly describes the last two weeks.

I don't really want to throw-up.
At this point, that's an easy out to cover a deep problem.
What I really want is peace with myself and my situation.

Yes, work has been stressful.
Yes, my mom broke her pelvis.
Yes, my grandmother passed away.
Yes, my dear friend is moving to another country.
Yes, my health hasn't be great.
Yes, our apartment is a mess.
Yes, my to-do list reaches to the floor.
But, none of these things give me permission to self-harm.
I can be at peace even now.

I can be at peace even now.

In the last year or so, Facebook changed it's format to sift through Messages they think will or will not be relevant to you. Now we have "Inbox" and "Other." I discovered this two weeks ago and found about fifteen unread messages from women thanking me for writing my book and asking me questions about their eating disorders and what recovery looks like.

It was both difficult and encouraging to hear their stories and to be reminded of where I've been and where I am no longer. At times like this, I feel like a fraud. What do I know about recovery? Who do I think I am? But some part of me knows that that's not true. Some part of me--even in moments like this--knows that I'm far beyond where I've been, that healing comes slowly and in waves, and that I can move forward. Whole.

So today, I am going to move my body in gentle ways. I'm going to wear clothes that feel good. I'm going to eat some fiber! I'm going to spend time with nourishing people. I'm going to go and sit with a good cup of tea and an Oprah magazine. I'm going to be kind to myself.

Because ya know what?

I wanted to throw up last night.
But I didn't.


Jessica said...

You go girl. You are strong and beautiful. I wish you growth and peace to keep on keeping on.

Anthony said...

I've been thinking about this blog for a couple of days now. I've shared it with a couple of others too. Thank you for reminding me.