July 17, 2010

still "under construction"

just the other day, in a place i rarely frequent, i ran into a man i haven't seen in a very long time. he was my former religion teacher and became somewhat of a mentor to me. as he got to know me better - for he knew each of my siblings already - he learned of my long battle with an eating disorder. we conversed mostly about the toll my illness was taking on my spirit. he was a wonderful and very helpful friend. circumstances changed as they always do and we had not seen each other in years until i saw him again this week. the meeting was quite the ....

in all of the less than sixty seconds it lasted!

i was walking in the afore mentioned place and happened upon a friend who was talking with a group of people. as i started talking to her, the man noticed my face. we locked eyes and each showed visible recognition with a shared "i remember you" stare. then he totally did the vertical scan --- slowly examined me from head to toe. he then casually asked how i was doing and, after receiving my positive answer continued with what he had been previously doing.

i'll comment here that in the last five years that this man has known me i have gained approximately sixty-five pounds. in my earnest desire to recover from my eating disorder i had to make a deal with myself that, at least for a time, i would do my best to avoid thinking about weight. reconciling myself with food would be difficult enough without struggling with the scale. so as i learned how to feed myself and give myself proper nutrition without instantaneously taking it away, i gained weight. {well, medication has also been a factor in my weight. i've recently lost weight.... hopefully everything is evening out} .... anyway, we'll say i'm currently thirty or forty pounds heavier than the last time he saw me.

in that moment of watching him visibly inspect me, seemingly hundreds of thousands of thoughts and feelings filled my mind and heart. the overwhelming instinct was to meltdown right then and there. well, i didn't melt down.... far from it, actually. but here are a few of the thoughts that did cross my mind:

"oh gosh, he's noticing how fat i've gotten"

"wow, how long has it been since i've seen him?"

"i'm almost a completely different person!"

"hey! i'm doing pretty darn great! .... at least comparatively!"

"still, why did he have to look me up and down?"

"do i really look that bad?"

ok, so some of those thoughts were not very positive. however, as i have had the last few days to mull over what happened i have realized how much amazing progress i've made in my life emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. my concern is not completely obsessed with worrying what other people think...

i am g.r.a.d.u.a.l.l.y learning to accept myself as i am - to feel feelings and become aware of my true thoughts - and allow myself to be ok with the beautiful mess that is me.

ha ha

i'm not totally there yet.
will i ever be?

i have a lot more about myself i feel is

....... but you know what? i'm ok with that :)