A letter to my sister 

When my sister expressed concern over what people would think of her weight, I wrote her a letter. This response is for all my sisters too. 

Your weight does not measure health, nor how much of a caring mother you are, nor how funny you are, nor how you are a great friend and sister, patient wife….. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re one of the most beautiful people I know. You are as beautiful now as when you were fire-trained fit!!! 

We have been trained since birth to think of ourselves as women who must look pleasing to the male sexual gaze. To think that that is where our value lies. And we have done our best to live up to those expectations. We apply makeup liberally, we convince ourselves that we are not pretty without it. We feel confident when we put it on, are slim, and with the ‘right’ clothing and jewelry adorned, we can be sexy. That mindset has been fed to you. Directly sometimes, subliminally at all times, that it results in….becoming yours too. So now we feel pleasure and confident when we fit this mould. We feel wanted, we think we belong. 

The antithesis to this, is learning how to deconstruct these ingrained thinking patterns. Understanding you did well learning what you were taught, but that lesson is not fair. It’s not fair that you feel ashamed of your body and worry about what your teacher would think. Your teacher was wrong because it is not serving your best interests, it only serves the violent and toxic patriarchy. Pull those thoughts away from inside. Watch them float away like clouds in the breeze. Invite your wisdom to become clear because the emotions were clouding it be justified. You are a person. Not an object to be used. You are valuable because of who you are. You have this caring yet funny personality. I laugh the most when I am around you. You stand up for what you think is right for all, not just one. You are brave and opinionated, yet open to learn and grow. You make mistakes, and you own them. You are meant to be human, not a perfect machine. 

So, let those toxic thoughts fly away and replace them with acceptance. You don’t even need to love yourself if you can learn to reserve judgment. I have many rolls on my body right now, it doesn’t make me any less beautiful. It makes it harder to move. I don’t feel so healthy with the junk I’ve been eating. That doesn’t mean I am bad or less acceptable. We are doing the best we can, with what we have got, at this moment in time. 

Xo

I want to vomit 

I haven’t had that thought in a very long time. 

I’m a recovered bulimic. I’ve never come back here to say that, but I guess it has only been recent times that I claim that with certainty. I am recovered, and I continue to work on recovery as that could change at any moment. 

Like now. 

This one thought has the potential to start a spiral of events that could lead to my downfall. The fact that I have worked on recovery for so many years means that the instant that thought went through my mind, I could see red flags. I stopped in my tracks and gasped, shocked at the words that formed a sentence that once was so familiar and necessary. 

Backtrack. What did we call it? Some sort of analysis. A chain of events that led to this. 

I know why. What once was PLEASE MASTER, now ABC PLEASE can indicate my vulnerability. The fact it is 1:42am and I am awake? The fact that I have had some alcohol? Little exercise? My emotions of frustration are high because I have tried to work today with children around and a puppy in 42 degree Celsius heat? The anxiety has intensified because I have so much to do and it’s getting to crunch time…. and it’s possible to get it all done…. but, kids. 

So here I am. Responding to that thought.  Analyzing why I am thinking this, and what can I do about it? 

I will sleep soon. I will watch one more episode of ‘The Newsroom’ and then sleep. In the morning I will do 15 mins of low intensity yoga. Just 15mins. No more. I will put a load of washing on, and I will arrange childcare for my children for today so I can work and not fall apart. I have been there for them near constantly over these holidays, and any guilt about this would be unjustified. 

‘It’s ok’. ‘Nice catch… good work’

Helpful thoughts. 

Recovery intact. 

Shared musings 

I want my feelings to spill on the pavement.
Out of me.
The shame inside is too much.

I need to get rid of this shame but keep from exposing this to anyone else.

The urge to secretly let it spill where no one can see is a convincing thought. Let out the poison.
Yes, dump it; so no one knows, just how deep the ‘you don’t want me’ goes. 

Wanting

Friday night, American honey on the rocks, listening to music, beautiful scenery, so peaceful…. Yet I feel so so alone. Like nobody wants me. 

I’m messaging people. I’m eating pizza. I’m intolerant to dairy and right now I don’t care. 

I feel abandoned. Why do I neeeeeed such a deep connection to particular safe people?

Why do I keep pulling…. I need you to care. 

I feel like such a reject sitting here on my own… Contemplating purging the pizza, thinking how disgusting I am. How no one really wants my company. Like I have to be someone else for acceptance…. And I just want to….. (Not wanting to trigger anyone) but I want to release the pain. 

I want to be stronger, thinner, more brilliant…. really i want to be reassured that I’m ok.

You are such an idiot. Why would they want to talk to you? No one does. They are too busy enjoying their own life without you in it. 

please dont hurt me.

Guilt 

Do you know what it’s like walking through life, picking up the guilty pieces and fitting them over the self hatred to impersonate confident brilliance?  

I am slipping. I can feel it. I am scared. 

The drinking has increased. I’m drinking on my own to numb. To get through. To cope. And the dink of choice is now always preferred on the rocks. Straight spirits. Fck soda and empty calories. The sole purpose is to calm. To separate me. 

My husband has noticed, and indicated his concern…. And then played the PlayStation. But now his concern has been stated, I feel the need to hide it. Or get help. I don’t know. 

I feel guilty because I did a radio interview on recovery a few weeks ago. Inspiring people to remove stigma and get help if needed. Now I feel like a fraud. I badly want to self harm, and I’m dealing with life by drinking. 

Not sure how this night will end. How will this guilt play out? 

Fighting for recovery 

Today I am finding it so difficult to look at my body. I pulled out a photo of when I was smaller. I used to think I still had big shoulders there. Now I look at it and see how tiny I was. Perspective huh?

So I’m fighting. If I feel like I look horrible in my swimmers… I’m going swimming anyway. I’m remembering what I didn’t have in that body. I didn’t have presence. I hardly lived in that body because my lens came from outside. It was like my ‘self’ walked outside the body and dictated everything from that perspective. 

I drink, and the urge to self harm increases. 

Fight. 

Fight for those girls you teach. If you cannot fight this, how are they supposed to? How can they have hope if you cannot beat this? Fight it for them. 

Self therapy; week 1

Today I got a heap of housework done. It’s school holidays so I am bombarded with children and forgot that I had planned to go to yoga today.  Gah! I’m out of routine and it’s hard to get back. Instead I have over eaten. 

I started the day off well after reading a purists take on food last night. Lemon water on rising. Mmm nice. I’m feeling healthier already. The warning bells have been ringing since last night thinking about following a healthy approach to eating. It is extremely restrictive. Restrictiveness for me leads to bingeing later… But if I can just get through my sugar detox then I’ll be ok right? Eat plenty of vegetables, eggs and a little meat and I’ll be so healthy. 

This train of thought is what my therapist would call my sneakiness finding a loophole. It’s written in my maintenance plan…. ‘Is there any thoughts or actions that are trying to find loopholes for weight loss’ … There it is written in black and white. 

So I had a latte a bit later after my lemon water. Dairy is a no-no according to this wellness consultant. But hey, I can’t jump into health to a different extreme. I need to find my middle ground for a while. Cement my feet mid see-saw and not undo all the difficult work I have been doing for the past few years. 

The seed that I planted last night about pure and restrictive eating had already affected my eating patterns today. Eating more and eating junk. Already I was worried I would never get to eat it again, hence the ‘fill up now’ reaction. 

So this week I am focusing on when going to eat; “you can have it if you want it, but do you really want it?’ 

I’ll keep the lemon water and increase preparing healthy meals. But that’s it. Do not plan to remove anything. You’re not ready for that.