Introspection on depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and life.


Introspection on depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and life.


I read this post of Lindsay’s on Rachel Held Evans’ blog today. I’m left with an odd feel­ing of empti­ness.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Isn’t that how the say­ing goes? But what about when it’s not just one but many, and the mes­sage is so con­stant, so pow­er­ful, so over­whelm­ing that you didn’t even con­ceive that it wasn’t true for 10 years or more?

Write your pain in sand and your joy in stone.

But how? How? The painful words are already carved so deeply in my heart — they were so often repeat­ed that I began repeat­ing them to myself, in an effort to silence my pain and inval­i­date my own expe­ri­ences. In an effort to con­form to what was expect­ed so maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much any­more.

Perfect love casts out fear, and you are loved perfectly by God.

Then why am I still so afraid? Why won’t it go away? I don’t want to be afraid.

Just ignore her, she only wants attention.

What’s so wrong with atten­tion? Does my wast­ing body not tell you about my wast­ing soul? Do the scars on my arms and legs not tell you about the scars on my soul? For the girl with the words, the girl who was going to write books some day, I nev­er ever had the words for the pain. And I still don’t, even though I’ve long left the starv­ing and cut­ting.

Why so downcast? Put your hope in God.

But I can­not see Him, I can­not hear Him, and my under­stand­ing of Him makes me afraid and con­fused and angry. I do not want the abuser God, and I can­not see this God of love you tell me I should already know.

It’s not a big deal; you need to let it go.

But how? How can I let it go? I can’t even get a grip on it for long enough to let it go. If it’s not a big deal, then why does it all hurt so much? What the hell is wrong with me that I can’t stop the hurt?

I remem­ber the coun­selor I went to when I was 14 and anorex­ic. She was short and thin with blonde wavy hair — beau­ti­ful, well-dressed and poised. And I was tall, fat, with a mess of brown curls and sec­ond-hand clothes that I hadn’t picked out, awk­ward and gan­g­ly and untrained in pro­pri­ety. She was all I want­ed to be and couldn’t. She intro­duced me to pro­tein shakes, and I would be so anx­ious after see­ing her that I would eat noth­ing for days, just drink those pro­tein shakes. I’d be lucky if I could eat a meal or two before my next vis­it with her, when the cycle would start all over again. I remem­ber so much shame, hid­ing it all from her smiles and attempts to bring me out of my shell. I told her what I thought she want­ed to hear. We had intel­lec­tu­al dis­cus­sions, but any­time we got close to what mat­tered, to what hurt, I couldn’t share with her. You’re being paid to care about me, I thought to myself. And besides, I’m not allowed to think what I think and feel what I feel. I can’t trust you.

I’m too much. Too much. Too much and not enough.

You don’t need to be afraid of the things that scared you when you were five.

Every­one needs to hear this, of course. It’s true. But how? How do you stop?

I remem­ber when food would turn my stom­ach. My dad, unable to under­stand what I was unable to artic­u­late, would push food at me all the time. Bowls of pop­corn on movie night — if I couldn’t fin­ish the bowl, he was upset. Sec­ond help­ings at din­ner. He thought he was try­ing to help. I had to take notes with me in my lunch box from my mom, notes that my friends had to sign say­ing I’d eat­en my whole lunch that she had packed to the brim. I was thank­ful for the few friends who would split my lunch with me and sign the note any­way. They must have seen my silent pan­ic and despair every lunch hour. The few friends who seemed to under­stand what I couldn’t artic­u­late.

I have no wish to be a woman of val­or. I have no wish to be strong. I just want to not be afraid any­more. I don’t want a sin­gle word or a sin­gle phrase or a beau­ti­ful expe­ri­ence of a friend to trig­ger such fear and doubt and pain. I don’t want to. I don’t want it.

Food isn’t a prob­lem so much any­more, aside from fear of new food and fear of eat­ing in pub­lic. Tonight, for instance, I shall enjoy a feast with clos­est friends. And I will smile, and the pain will lessen and life will seem a lit­tle sweet­er. I’ll feel like the teenag­er that I nev­er got to be.

But the pan­ic. The depres­sion. The sad­ness that I’ve spent my whole life fight­ing, always fight­ing.

I still don’t have the words.

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