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?
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:
"AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE NOT JUST FOR WOMEN, BUT FOR EVERYONE" CBS
A FILM THAT MIGHT RESCUE THE LIVES OF SOME GIRLS AGEs 12 AND UP"
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.