Neefer Sews, Crochets, Crafts, Swims, and Blathers about Kids

Acorns to Oaktrees

January 27th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Why do I need to be beautiful?

So today was Body Image Day at group. We do body image on the last Tuesday of every month, and food logs on the first Tuesday. We talked about mirrors. Mirrors are the enemy of those afflicted with an eating disorder. I suppose that no one really sees what she wants in the mirror. When I used to look in the mirror, I hated what I saw. It wasn’t just that I was displeased with … oh … I dunno … my unruly hair, for example. No, I hated what I saw. And then I would start to berate myself for being so weak, for eating, for being stupid, for being such a total loser, and then I hated myself.

On the advice of my therapist, I stopped looking in mirrors. Now, I pretty much only look in the mirror when I’m brushing my hair, putting on makeup, waxing my eyebrows, or fitting a garment that I’m making.

I don’t check to see how my outfit looks.

I really try to avoid looking at my reflection in windows. It only leads to self flagellation.

I don’t know that the two are related, but I was looking in the mirror the other day and wondering why I thought I needed to be beautiful. What would it change? I’d still be married to the same guy. I’d still have two great kids. Diego would still be dead. My brother and his family would still be living very far away. Ha, all my brothers would be. My sister would still have her struggles. My parents would still be old. I’d still have my cushy job. I’d still get paid great for my cushy job. I’d still be popular, well liked, with lots of friends. I could go on and on.

Maybe the turning point for me was “Diego would still be dead.” Somehow I thought that everything would be better if I was thin. Oh, beautiful = thin. My marriage would be better. I’d be a better parent. I’d be better at my job. I’d be more respected. I’d have more friends, and they would be better friends. Everything would be better.

Except that Diego would still be dead. My being thin won’t make that any better. My being fat doesn’t make it any worse.

The eating disorder does make it worse. Instead of just being sad that Diego is gone and mourning him and having my heart break for my brother and SIL, I get to hate myself, too, for being so shallow as to think about how fat I am when I was trying to comfort people and help. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s ED talking when that happens. And it’s ED’s way of sticking around.

I’m really good at self flagellation. It’s a tough habit to kick.

Santa Cruz Sunset

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