Sometimes I think I’m over it.
That it doesn’t matter how I look, or what size I wear, or what I grabbed to go from Chipotle on my way home from work because I’ve been pulling 13-hour days a few too many times this month, and sometimes you don’t even care that guac is a dollar more.
But sometimes I feel like I’ve been lying to myself all that time.
It can be any number of things that set the feeling off.
A glance down when toweling off after a shower, which even after all this time I studiously refuse to do, because the wave of sadness I get from looking at my new Buddha belly hurts more than I usually feel comfortable admitting.
Another goddamn rejection letter, when for some reason I really thought we were going to get somewhere this time.
Another lunch break sacrificed to a meeting or a project I don’t feel like I understand, or that I’m good enough to do. Hello, impostor syndrome, my old friend.
Whatever it is, it usually ends the same. Lying flat on my living room floor, staring at my bookshelf without any intention of picking up a book, wondering why my current lifestyle refuses to let me lose weight.
Yes. Yes. I know.
I know that diet culture is a cruel cocktail mixed by capitalism and the patriarchy.
I know that before I chose recovery I was no happier, in fact much less happy.
I know that I still reap the benefits of thin privilege in about a million different ways, and that my health is not in any way connected to the way my body looks.
I can rationalize my way through that. Most of the time I do. I can hit you with a Health at Every Size–based rant at the drop of a hat, literally or figuratively. Like, if you actually throw a hat at me, I will catch it and say “$20 billion annual profits of the US weight loss industry” in the same breath.
But some nights I don’t want to.
Some nights I want to wallow a little in the self-pity I try not to allow myself too often.
I want to acknowledge the weight of a small creature perched on my chest, pressing the breath from me and keeping me here on the floor, this small creature that does not feel exactly the same as my eating disorder did, but is close.
It is the whisper in the back of my mind that says “You failed at being thin. Just exactly the way you fail at everything else.”
I wish I weren’t writing about this. I realize that it isn’t helpful. But maybe the admission that I don’t always have it all together, that I’m not always here to be helpful, maybe that’s worth something. I don’t know. I’m not convinced my thoughts make sense, and I think it might be important to admit that, and edit a little less. Radical honesty does not always make for lucid prose.
But that’s all theoretical. What matters is tonight.
Tonight, I will let these feelings hang there, for the amount of time it takes to write this blog post. Because they are real, and they matter.
And then, also tonight, I will stand up, close my computer, and go do something else. I don’t know what. Sing along loudly to the Sweeney Todd original cast recording, or finally start the latest Toni Morrison novel, or watch the rest of Season Two of Orphan Black. Anything else.
Because my residual ED feelings are part of my life, but so are all these things.
And they are real.
And they matter, too.