Note: This post originally appeared on Quaintrelle and has been cross-posted with permission.
Yesterday, I met with a wise woman from the pool where I swim. She’s one of the aquafitters, and is really lovely. I met her a few weeks ago after the blissful time where I am a fly on the wall of the commentary of the older women in the changeroom. They honestly have the most amazing and hilarious banter, and I feel like I’m in the presence of such warriors – the insight and knowledge gained there is absolute GOLD.
We met, we chatted, and I realized that I am not acknowledging the pain I’ve been through. The pain is serving me a purpose, and until I stare at it straight in all its glory, I won’t move on. I want to feel the pain in a weird way – because for some reason it needs validation. All feeling are so OK, but man, this pain, it wants to be seen, heard, acknowledged.
I realized this especially when I had a lovely visit from a family member wishing me a Happy Birthday today. She is such a good loving support, but she commented on my weight, and my ego flared. Honestly, I realized that it really fucking bothers me when people who have no idea what I’ve been through, and I mean really know the pain and suffering not only of Disordered Eating, but of what LED me to disordered eating in the first place. So when someone comments on my weight, I get straight up pissed off. What right does anyone have to make a comment on the results of my pain, the physical manifestation of my coping. Especially in their naivety… I think that as I acknowledge my pain, my ego flaring for this will pitter patter out. I don’t want to react so much when this happens, and it’s bound to happen! It comes out of concern, this I know. But that makes it no less annoying when the deeper issues are so much more hidden and relevant than weight. The weight is a symptom to an inner cause, an inner unrest.
So this new insight leads me to more self-therapy:
That is to observe my pain, to meditate on my suffering.
I did this last night and it was ok. I have been through some messed up shit. I’ve been bullied, I’ve had guys emotionally and physically abuse me, I’ve had parents who didn’t know how to love me, even with all their might and effort, I’ve been spanked growing up, I’ve been timid as fuck and grown up feeling like everything I do is wrong – that “I am wrong, I am bad.”, shaking this shit is hard. I internalize it and self-punish. I watch it. This is hard, this is really hard. I don’t want to face this stuff. But the pain wants to be seen. Just like I want to be seen, heard, acknowledged for my struggle.
Honestly, I’ve always felt like my shit’s illegit. Like, “there’s dying kids in Africa, Mel, camman get your shit together.” is my self-talk. But fuck, enough, I am allowed to feel my pain and to acknowledge it and to self-sooth and be gentle with myself. I deserve to wallow in self-pity for a bit as I accept this shit as my journey, and stroke my own hair. I’m crying now as I type. I am allowed to be kind to my process in healing, and deserve my own hug. I give it to everyone else who is struggling with ANYTHING but never to myself.
I am putting myself through the ringer, because I think my mind is trying to give myself meaner and meaner and harder and harder pain to face to test myself with my limits, “how far will I go before I deserve to acknowledge my pain? How much do I need to hurt?”
How many more 2AM hungry wake ups do I need.
How many more stress fractures?
How many more lonely nights, 8pm bedtimes of isolation?
How many more bloating tummies and heartburn-burps?
How many more tears?
How many more atoms of calcium to seep from my bones?
How many more days without a period, (I want a little Mel in form of my own child to one day be on this earth!)
How many more days without letting myself be around people, to travel, to WORK, to date!
I know I joke a lot, but I’ve had enough joking about my struggle. It’s real, and I’m validating it right here, right now. I’ve had enough.
There it is. I want this shit seen.
And then, I want to move the fuck on. I want to acknowledge the pain, look at it in the face, because man, I’m strong enough, and then I want to put it behind me and move on. I want to help others to acknowledge and self-validate what they’re feeling so that the shit doesn’t get swept under any rug.
And please for god’s sake, don’t comment on my damn weight.