Magic in Misery

A little while ago, a friend of mine told me that I should write more. I just laughed, because right now, the last thing I feel like doing is writing. I had started a new blog in the early fall, but quit because it was making me depressed. My words didn’t feel like my own. My voice was nowhere to be found in that space. Last night, I started reading this blog… The one I started many moons ago and abandoned because I felt like it was no longer a reflection of myself. As I read, I realized, this blog, these words, this voice that I’m hearing here, this is me. This is exactly me. I started this blog when I felt completely lost in life and well, surprise surprise…lost again and so I’m back here. Back to where I started.

When I find myself feeling lost, I write about the good things to keep reminding myself to keep going. No matter how hard today is, I will get through it. I always have. I went back to work recently, and that has been a saving grace of sorts. It has reminded me that I actually love what I do, and it turns out, I’m really good at it too. I’ve also started running again, and that too, has saved me. But with the good, comes the bad. I found myself turning to bad old habits, mainly an eating disorder that I’ve struggled with since I was 14 years old. This is the 3rd time I’ve gone through this, but I think this time, I’m smart enough to know better. I have experience. I know the signs, and I know what I need to do to get myself out of it. When it started, I immediately knew where it would take me. I’ve been there, and it’s nowhere I want to ever go again. I was letting the upset of past events fester and instead of dealing with them, I started eating them instead of eating food. I haven’t ever really discussed this ever. I have mentioned it in the past, but never actually told anyone the horror of what I’ve done to myself in the past and what I’m always afraid of doing to myself in the future. The fact is, that I don’t believe it’s at all believable. If you know me, you know I love food. I talk about food basically all day long. I live for it. In fact, I have been quite chubby a lot of times in my life. When I’m happy, I don’t have food issues at all. In fact, I go to extremes. I love going out with friends and eating and drinking beer and just being me. When I am sad or upset, I instantly start denying myself the thing I love. It isn’t at all about vanity. I couldn’t care less about what I look like. It’s about control and distraction. Instead of dealing with things, I focus on numbers on a scale and how long I can go without. In the depths of it, I will only eat specific things, at specific times and only with specific utensils. It’s crazy-town and scares me to death. When this started again, for the 3rd time, I caught myself eating my 1 slice of turkey with 5 cherry tomatoes in my car alone. I looked up, and I saw a restaurant that I have one clear memory of. It’s the restaurant I went to after I was in the hospital having a miscarriage. I was having that miscarriage because as my doctor told me, my body was too sick to carry a baby. I got help after that, and then I had my youngest daughter. So, I guess sitting there, on that day, on that lunch hour, I realized I was all done with this again, before it even really started. There was no way I’d ever put myself through that again.

I guess what this means is that I think maybe I’m getting better at being me. Even in all the chaos of what’s happening in my life, I can at least say I know when to call myself out on my harmful behaviour. This morning, I went running and when I got out of the shower afterwards, I looked in the mirror and I was actually happy with what I saw. I didn’t say, “5 more pounds to go.” I’ve lost almost 20 lbs in the past 3 months, a lot of it from very unhealthy behaviours, but that’s OK. I’m done now. I’m not going to eat my flavourless egg white pucks or 5 cal. jello anymore. I won’t make myself sick from the guilt of eating a real meal, like a real human. I’ll drink a beer if I want to without feeling bad for drinking empty calories.

Years ago I wrote that above all else, I just want my kids to be happy. I don’t care what they do, where they go, or how much money they make. I just want them to be happy. I can say that all I want, but as we all know, actions speak way louder than words. So, I’m going to be happy. Even if it feels like the hardest thing in the world right now. I guess that’s why I’m starting to train for another marathon. I saw this picture, and it pretty much sums up why.

running

In the most uncertain of times, I will choose to keep moving forward, with a smile and the belief that good things are coming if I just keep going.

 

2 thoughts on “Magic in Misery

  1. I feel as if there is so much to say! But when I go to write it here, I realize that feeling is less to do with words and more to do with an appreciation of reality and truth and proof of your growth, as well as just plain love and understanding. (I miss you.) I’ve got an eating disorder too and I think body dysmorphia (I have no clue what I actually look like because what I see others don’t or don’t want to say) and while I see it and admit it, I also admit the only thing keeping me from becoming obsessed with how much I weigh and how I look in my clothes is a complete lack of willpower—right now I’m eating what I want when I want even though it pains me and I feel awful. Apparently, my reserve is depleted. That’s from denying myself joy, I’m told. So I have to find some, to create some, and to try and stay focused on that instead of obsessing and compulsively doing dumb things. It’s hard. Really fucking hard. So I wish you all the best as you resolve to be happy and focus on the good. I’m here. xoxo

  2. Oh Steph, I’ve known that about you for a long time. I can relate on so many levels with what you go through. So many things you’ve said to me over the years have made it very clear that you have some food and body issues. I get it. I watch a lot of women in my life suffer with the same issues, and say nothing. In the end, I know it doesn’t help to point out something that we already know about ourselves. I find myself so irritated with anyone who blabs on about their new trendy diet. NOTHING about your diet is healthy. It’s not healthy to eat a pound of bacon instead of a slice of bread. Like for real. I want to scream at everyone in a fit of rage…BREAD ISN’T THE ENEMY YOU ASSHOLES!! Nothing about restriction or food categories can ever fit into my life in any normal manner. I can’t just follow the crowd and hop on the Keto bandwagon (Side note: Didn’t they just scientifically prove that it’s the most unhealthy diet you can be on?) and maybe I’m kinda jealous about it. When I do, I get sick again. Everything I do is extreme. There is no happy medium with me and I HATE IT! Tell me to cut carbs, and I start all over again. Before I know it I am existing on a protein bar that I cut into three for each meal of the day. I’ve lived it before. The whole diet culture breeds eating disordered thinking. I’m so sick of it. I’m sick of how triggered I get at everything. People assume that I’m just filled with rage and anger (maybe? ha ha), but it’s because it triggers me. Their diets cause me intense anxiety. I actually threw a ladle on the floor in disgust when I realized it was the weight watchers brand. HA HA! Are there any people in the world who just eat normally in a healthy manner? Who don’t talk about replacing their pizza crust with cauliflower (WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK)? Who don’t talk about calories or carbs or fat? People who go outside for exercise in nature, not some strip mall filled with machines? Where are they? I need those people. I need moderation. I have to teach myself to be level headed, moderate and rational. Mission impossible, it seems. I miss you so much. I really do. You’re beautiful. I’ve always thought that. Hopefully one day you’ll believe it. xo

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