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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crazy Talk

I get awfully tired of being crazy.

I pick at the skin around my fingernails until they bleed and sting.
I obsess about the roll on my stomach and the width of my thighs; all the while hating and resenting every single thought that relentlessly plagues my mind.

I am not preoccupied with beauty. I have make-up that I bought years ago because I so rarely think to apply it to my face. I've not had a haircut since September. I don't own a straightener and I've never paid someone to colour my hair. I just don't care all that much what people think of my beige lips and stringy hair. It's not me.

But can I adapt that thinking to the shape of my body? Not for lack of trying. Do I actually consciously believe that my value lies in my shape and size? Not for a minute. Does my thought life reflect that? NO, NO, IRRITATINGLY NO. My mind has a mind of its own.

And I get so tired, tired, tired of it.

Sometimes it helps to remember that it's a "condition". And by saying that, I remind myself that it's not "me". But it sure feels a lot like me.

In the quest for predictability in an unpredictable world, my mind reverts to self-blame. Shame. When my family is in turmoil, my brain curls up and dreams of thinner thighs. When my job bores and challenges me, I dream of giving up toast forever. When I feel like life is monotony I get excited about the dream of "BEING THIN BEFORE SUMMER"! But I hate it. And I don't want it.

The sad part is that no one can save me. No one holds a cure.
I might be crazy forever.

At least that's the way it feels.

When I used to write about my eating disordered damaged mind, I imagined myself writing to masses of anonymous faces. Now when I write, some familiar faces come to mind, and I find myself worrying...... "what will they think?!" Will they pity me? Dislike me? Fear me? Feel superior to me? (And if you do, and if you are, then rejoice. I wouldn't wish this on my daughter's worst enemy.)

I do have moments and days where I don't believe that I'll have to be crazy forever. I had a break once, for five years. My mind was pretty clear. So.... it can't be impossible... Can it?

Other times, I think of it as a disability. That I'll have to live with, and live around. That I can still experience a whole lot of good living, even with the right side of my brain cut off and bleeding.

Anyway, if you are reading this and having strange thoughts about me, I think I can live with that. I wish I could explain this illness in a way that people would understand it. So often people assume it has to do with vanity, and that's an extremely limited viewpoint. It's like an addiction of any kind. So, unless you are willing to believe that people drink excessively, shop excessively, or become rage-aholics or workaholics out of a seed of vanity..... you'll have to expand your view of what causes people to numb themselves with their addiction of choice. Well, maybe it begins as a choice, but it soon owns you and leaves you with very little choice indeed.

Not that cultures who have no ridiculous standards for beauty and power have disorders like these. So, certainly, the eating disordered population (practising or just crazy) have succumbed to some sort of impossible ideals that their culture generates. So, in light of this, check out this event coming to the University of Winnipeg in May.

Filmmaker Darryl Roberts goes on a two year journey to examine America's new obsession; physical perfection. In America the Beautiful, we learn secrets, confessions, and strikingly harsh realities as Roberts unearths the origins and deadly risks of our neighbor's national quest for physical perfection. Follow Darryl as he asks Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Julianne Moore, Michael Beach and other celebrities and experts in cosmetics, fashion, media, and self-esteem the major question at hand:Does America have an unhealthy obsession with beauty?



Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"...CAPTIVATING..." LA Times

Screenings will follow in: Winnipeg - May 2 - 5 and 8 PM - University of Winnipeg - Arts Theatre - Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall

And sometimes, messages like this really help.


Karen said...

As somone who has left the grocery store feeling like a drug deal just went down, I get where you are coming from. And I do believe God is bigger than this twisted web/thorn in my side. However, there is this tension between actually letting go of it mentally, emotionally, physically and allowing Him to do what He says He will do...

Heather said...

Sitting here in silence because I have no idea what to say, but wanted you to know I was here.

I may have to take my fashion-obsessed 13 year old to that film.

Roo said...

"a womans soft tummy is a miracle of nature..."
loved that line.
and the video.
and you.

gophercheeks said...

I want to give you a super tight hug.

Thank you for your RISK.... I think that you are stronger than you give yourself credit. I love how you write about the 'touchy' subjects and my own truths come out.... how do you do that so well?
So many of us are right there beside you.... we all want freedom.

joyce said...

thanks. Heather, sometimes its so good and so brave for people just to say.... I have nothing to say.
roo- you have one of the nicest mama tummies. You are pure sweet.

GC I take that hug. And I take all the other good and affirmative and non pitying things you say. Yeah. I take it.

Karen= I believe that people do get freed. I believe God does that. I donèt believe that it means that will be my story, although I do have hope. I choose to believe that stinkinè thinkin; is not a God thing and that thoughts of kindness and grace are. I don't believe that God is withholding from me. I also don't believe that my personal happiness is a huge motivater for him. I am most sane when I lose myself in caring for someone else.

Depressing posts like these help. It's refusing to lie, or to pretend that my struggle is horribly shameful or that I deserve it or that it is a reflection of my failures.

Its an annoying disorder that I let into the door many, many years ago. Sometimes I can lockk it into its room. Other times it runs amok...

Anonymous said...

Joyce, that was beautiful AND makes a lot of sense.Katie

coffeeloves said...

no disclaimers needed for me.
this stuff is what initially drew me
to you, your blog, your life.
kind of having a yucky day today,
as i sit here i can feel my little rolls
rolling around.
i hope i can make the film.
this whole crazy mind -set of mine
getting really really OLD and tiresome.
smiles to you friend.

joyce said...

Thanks, C. I totally get the bit about this getting really old. There has to be another way.

wm said...

It's so very good to visit here. No strange thoughts...I just am a bit in awe of your courage and your willingness to lay it all out there so the rest of us can grow and be challenged.