Thursday, July 9, 2009

A piece of the puzzle

For pretty much my whole life I've wished I was smaller. I remember being in 6th grade and being weighed as part of our assessment, and I was one of the heaviest girls in the class at 110 pounds. Now, I was also the tallest person in the class, but that stigmata of being "the big girl" has remained with me - weighing me down.

Honestly, in a weird related note, I think that that's one of the reasons I like running so much. I feel like I get to DO something with the emotions. When all I want to do is run away from them - to stop feeling them - it helps. It helps to DO something. The need to do something is probably why I started eating my emotions.

My mom has said many times that when I was a kid and I'd be crying, they'd give me something to eat and I'd soothe myself. I can't really blame her, but what happened is that I learned to soothe myself with sweet things. In fact, I learned at a young age that over indulging on sweet things felt SO good. I went to a therapist years ago and confessed to her that I used to steal candy from my parents and from my sisters when I was little. I had such shame. I remembered crying to her asking "What kind of a kid does that?" And she said, quite simply, that it's very common. That kids who NEED more sweet things said to them, turn to sweets. That in their little kid brains, they figure that needing sweet things said to them or demonstrated to them and eating candies are the same. They both feel like love.

I grew up in a really fucked up home. The longer I live, the more I'm sure of it. And honestly, it breaks my heart more than just a little. The little kid me? She needed a lot of sweet things. In fact, she still does.

One thing that has plagued me for a long time is the idea that when I look at thin people, I figure that they have their shit figured out. I was talking to two of my friends earlier this year on a trip, both of them thin, and one said "Do you think that my life is perfect because I'm thin?" And logically, I know that the answer is no. But in my head, I can't understand how the answer isn't, at least a little, YES. It may not be perfect, but it's got to be better than mine.

I've spent a LOT of time wondering why that's the case. And I think it's that I eat, many times to punish myself. You were mean to a co-worker? Eat a blizzard. Your family is hurt because you're setting boundaries? That means you must eat burgers and fries. If I feel rejected, I eat. I eat because somehow I let that person get too close to affect me. I eat because I opened up too much. I punish myself for caring and then for being stupid enough to think that I wouldn't get rejected in the end.

God, I am so fucked up!

So I guess that I equate eating with unhealthy emotions. I equate being overweight with having been punished. So yeah, when I look at smaller people, what's happening inside my brain is: They have not been punished. Therefore, they must *be* better people.

It was that aha! moment that happened this morning. Out of nowhere was that realization of WHY I think that smaller people must have a better life.

And now that I see where I equated the two, I can go about re-learning that that is not the case.

Now that I know that I am clamoring with need for sweet things, I can go about getting those some way.

This morning, as I was running after reading an emotionally charged email, "Respect" came on my iPod.

And I thought that maybe that's what my body would be asking me for if it could. Just a little respect. It doesn't deserve to have my emotions taken out on it. It needs to be treated with respect.

I don't know what the answer is. But I know that I'm one step closer to figuring it out.

AND, despite me talking about it often enough on this blog and my other one, I have finally made the calls to start seeing a therapist that is recommended. The one that came recommended to me doesn't take my insurance. So I called her recommendations for others that might take my insurance...only they don't have openings. So I asked them for recommendations.

I will get this taken care of. I will.

1 Comment:

POD said...

I was raised similarly to you, in a large family. When something was wrong, afterward, we probably got a cookie. When things were going good, we celebrated with food. It's a life long tradition in many families.

I also think the media is responsible for the thin is better idea too. Do you see many fat people in commercials? Or magazines? Thin, fashionable...those people *seem* to have it made. Thin people are (just like) fat people that don't eat to solve problems or to numb themselves out. Maybe they pull out their hair or pick their noses to excess or exercise or vomit.

I find myself, usually when I am alone, moving into food zombie mode. I'm not punishing myself for being bad. I do that AFTER I realize I ate the pie. But I am desperately moving toward food consciousness so that I can catch myself prior to pie. I don't like to beat myself up.

I guess realizing that you use food is a huge step. I know people that don't believe food is an addiction but my food addiction is so close to alcoholism, 12 steps make sense but I don't use them. I try to fight it by myself and have been successful, however, I've also heard that addicts can't treat themselves. Who do you trust? The addict or your intuition or your consciousness?