Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I Am a Masterpiece. I'm Just Still a Work in Progress.

I received an e-mail asking if I would write more about my problem with self injury and my eating disorder. I was also asked about if I remember what started it and if I look back is there something I could have done to stop it or if I can use that information to help me stop now.

Well, here's my take on it...

My self injury started around fifth or six grade. One of my brothers had a soldering iron and I had had a horrific day. I remember thinking I somehow deserved the bad day and the idea of the iron popped into my mind. I, one way or another came to the conclusion that I had to use the soldering iron on myself. I guess as some type of penance. I recall being of a younger age breaking my own toys because I didn't deserve them or making myself sit in my closet (I was afraid of the dark) for reasons I no longer recollect. I just remember feeling that I deserved the punishment. I guess I'm not sure when the “I'm a horrible person and need to punish myself” feeling started. I've always been very sensitive and causing disappointment or anger to anyone was more painful than any spanking I received. Emotions hurt me deeper than anything and I found the best way to cope with emotions was by injuring myself. Physical pain was something I learned early how to cope with. It was easy to switch my brain to focus on the physical stuff. That horrible day after school I burned marks on my abdomen and went to my room to sit with the physical pain. Giving my brain a break from the tsunami of emotions crashing in my skull.

I'm not certain I would have (because communication in my household was not something that happened) talked to my mom about what I was feeling and there was no way on God's green earth I was taking this information to my father (our relationship was a complicated one) It's never easy being the weird kid but being the weird kid and the fat kid (check it out! I was an overachiever) made things more difficult.

As far as the eating disorder, that started around 7th grade. I remember shoving my fingers down my throat after lunch. I had already convinced myself that I didn't deserve lunch. Why? Not sure, had something to do with not having many friends like my brothers. Someone sat at my lonely little table. I was busy sketching in a notebook. They said “Hi” offered me a french fry. I accepted then felt enormous pangs of guilt after I started chewing. I excused myself to the restroom and the rest is history. The purging started because I failed at my limitations. It was meant to undo something I didn't deserve. The eating disorder seemed to become a part of the self injury and they would ebb and flow and sometimes replace the other as a coping mechanism.

I don't see myself doing anything to change that behavior that happened because it has already happened and not having a time machine makes that even harder. I just have to keep working on me. I'm always a work in progress so don't expect perfection. That stuff doesn't exist.

Which reminds me, as we embark on a new year we expect the invasion of new gym memberships, diets, and a plethora of other promises that will soon be broken and abandoned. The habits that we promised to leave behind were indeed released but left nearby. These things are easily picked back up (we as humans are creatures of habits) We dance around the fact that the habit has been released letting our brains fill with magical sugar plum fairies. We look but don't touch. We become those people we use to roll our eyes about. We have well planned schedules, meals, even family time is outlined in details. We have control of our lives, finally! Then February rolls around and we hit the snooze button too many times and have to skip devotions, exercise, time with our creator, etc. It's easy to fall back into the soft cushy arms of laziness. It beckons us to rest. We've done so well all last month. We deserve a break. So we do. We gather up our former patterns. We only released them after all. They are still there. Releasing is not enough. That's right. I said it! You can release anything. It may fall behind the bed or land in a corner with the dust bunnies. We tempt ourselves with this now forbidden fruit the very thought of it causes a craving, your mouth waters, you try to resist, and before you know it that decadent habit that doesn't serve us is back. Chill! You're human. Get back on track to being a better you. We all trip and fall.

The greatest glory in living
lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.” 
― Nelson Mandela

So this new year, arise!