Day one: Ugh. What shall I do with this angst if not to chase it away with a quick jump on the worth-o-meter? What the hell am I going to do with an entire year of 'not knowing' how I stack up against humanity on that all important...yeah, you get my drift. The absurdity and the obsessiveness of my weighing has gotten me nothing good. I'm trying a new way. I'm trying the way of recovery. I admit a blog is a bit, well, what is the word, self-indulgent? Probably and also kind of not terribly private. But you know what? I am kind of sick of the shame surrounding all of the myriad of self-injuring behaviors many of us engage in and then feel a deeply disconnected because they're not polite conversational topics. Well, fuck polite conversation. If it's your life and your soul you're fighting for, the gloves come off. They better, anyway. The whole thing starts a shame spiral that reminds me a lot of a toilet. And none among us wishes to live in a toilet or disconnected from our fellow humans. We wish to love and be loved. I think that's pretty universal.
So, I don't know about the rest of you, but I kept thinking that there was somebody keeping score all the time. Like walking through my life and inside my head and in the bathroom when I was weighing myself. This entity walks with a clipboard and a pen judging just about every corner of my existence and then writing it all down. How clean is my living room? NOT-check. How dirty is the area behind the washing machine? HORRIBLE-check. Oh my, how little you cook at home, hmmm. BAD-check. Hmmm, how ill-behaved your children are--BRATS-check, check. How much is that face sagging--A LOT, etc. How incredibly exhausting trying to keep up with this phantom judge of EVERYTHING in my life. The one thing all of these facets of my life seemed to have in common was that none was good enough. None measures up on any accounting. It was enough to make me scream out -- SHUT THE FUCK UP whoever you are!
Thus the blog. I wondered, are there others out there suffering as I have been? Are there others who wish to stop? Mine is not a political problem. I don't think 'The Man' is keeping me weighing myself. I don't discount there are social and cultural factors that definitely feed the insane perfectionism that paralyzes a lot of us. But for me, at this point in my life, it's deeply personal. It feels like it's something only I can manage with help from my higher power.
I was run out of OA in 1982 by a bunch of very large women. A funny image visually, really. But I was a very petite anorexic. I hadn't had time to marry any abusive alcoholics yet (apparently that would come later), or default on a mortgage, or gain 50lbs during pregnancy (that, too, was to come later). They did not like my presence there. I just didn't fit. I doubt the same thing would happen now but it has kept me from seeking out the help that a 12-step food/body image related program might offer. Instead I go to Alanon. Now I'm going more than ever. The thing that I'm taking away from the meetings so far is 1) the importance of self-care 2) and the importance of practicing compassion for myself and others in all areas of life. It's amazing how not blaming a victim for their own circumstances can actually help them get out of those situations quicker. I saw it this morning with my 5 yr old. He bit his tongue really hard while walking around the house eating a bagel and cream cheese (against my direct request to sit at the table and eat his breakfast). He yelled out in pain (sort of muffled from the mouthful of food) and anguish. Instead of launching into my normal diatribe about the importance of table manners, I took a 3 second break from nagging to create a space of compassion. He was in pain. I know that pain. It's awful. Sure it was his own fault but what kind of monster would I be to point that out while he's now there eating a bagel, cream cheese AND BLOOD sandwich. In that place nobody hears anything except their own screams. There are no lessons to be taught in that space. Just solace to offer and first aid to be administered.