Thursday, November 11, 2010


Self-proclaimed sugar addict and self-help book junkie.

I suppose there are worse things to be. At twenty, I did not dream I would become the Old Mother who lived up the street chastising children for their candy consumption and then hoarding it all for herself. The one who walks gingerly while cats draw figure eights around her feet, drinking herbal tea, reading Charlotte Bronte and Byron Katie, smirking at the absurdity of the ignorant asses around her. No.

At twenty, I couldn't imagine feeling satisfied with my spreading hips. I couldn't fathom watching as my breasts quickly lose form and being comfortable with that.

There was never a moment where I could glimpse myself in the mirror and nod with pleasure-- if I was not built like the next spicy super model, that just would not do. I went to great lengths to starve myself-- thinner-- and berate myself-- smaller-- just so I could see the girl on the other side of the looking glass and not feel compelled to shatter her with my fist.

And yet somehow, without me knowing it, I grew up. The process must have happened so subtly that I didn't even notice the change.

Sometimes I surprise me.

Somewhere along the line of my experience, I became more turned on by making love than fucking. And somewhere in there, I quit hiding from my lover the pooch of my belly while on top of him. Somehow along the way, I began to look down at my flinging breasts and decided that they weren't so bad. Their loss of turbidity didn't knock me over nearly as much as I had imagined it would. And it startled me when the thought barreled through my mind, "This is me, this is perfect, and I love me precisely as I am."

The anorexic, the perfectionist, the self-hateful horrible bitch, these strangers whom I no longer cherished-- they were gone. When I realized this, it was a struggle. I panicked inside. Those girls who were me were missing, and I could not find them within... "Are they dead?" I asked myself, "Did they die painfully?"

This is the part where I flailed.

Eventually, though, the fervor with which I flung myself wildly and widely exhausted. For months, I think I curled up in a ball and slept. Life was too busy to wait for whomever I was now to make herself known. There were bills to pay, a degree to finish, and step-children to parent. There was a lover to quell and cats to feed and plants to water and a commute to drive. Too busy to notice that the larvae I was once had not died, but was hibernating. My body was my cocoon, whether I acknowledged it or not.

Only very recently did I begin to take note. Every self-help book I have picked up has begun to ring true, every day I feel less inclined to dress myself in a clown suit, and every time I see myself in the mirror without clothes on, I smile.

What we are not taught in high school is that who we are at the core will change. No, back then we were impermeable, impenetrable, and allowed to think that who we are then matters.

And that, my friends, is a crock of shit.

There are very few traces of who I was as a young adult in the woman I am now. I've shed the skins of an eating disorder, religious fever, and insecurity. Today, I become straightly giddy over chocolate, go out in public without doing my hair, without shaving my legs and armpits, without putting on makeup, and seek little approval from, well pretty much anybody. I unabashedly make reading suggestions of self-help books to my girlfriends who are struggling with shedding their own comfortable vices.

So I love sugar like a heroin addict loves getting high. I admit that being imperfect in the eyes of judgment is a perfectly sane place to be. But I do not scorn the me I was then. Without recalling who I was as a girl, I'd have little contrast to see how much I appreciate the growth read clearly within these now adult pages of my life.


  1. Welcome, and well said.

    For me it took the unreserved love and adoration of my husband to shed most of the self-hatred and perfectionism. If he was gone it would be hard to hold on to all those hard won victories but the way he has loved me has changed me and a great deal of it would stick.

    My husband always says, "I didn't design this body, I'm just using it." It is just the shell that allows me to experience the physical world. At my core I am a sensualist, food, sex, beauty, starving myself or denying myself really gets in the way of appreciating all the beauty and goodness.

  2. sound just like an old bloggy friend of mine. :) So glad that you are well and happy and writing.

  3. You know, Ruby, I am certain that part of my growth can be attributed to having a lover who can encourage me to just be.

    Elder, I might be. Who are YOU? ;)

  4. I thought, "Is that me? Did I write that?" It's nice to be here rather than there.

  5. totally something i could have written myself

  6. Wow. I could never have written this. I don't think I've changed much at all since the age of like, five. Sure, I've learned a lot and grown more and more confused and muddled every single year, but that's only the natural progression of things.

    Of course, this was beautiful and completely absorbing to read, but I relate to it zero. I wish I could.

  7. Just a few nights ago I lay awake in bed in a state of insomnia brought on by remembering horrid act I carried out when I was in my late teens. I was full of embarrassment, shame, self-loathing and regret as if it had just done it moments before.

  8. MG, I have moments JUST like it. Some of them even go back to grade school. *shudder*

  9. Me too - obviously - Brooke. I think I've nailed down why they pop up when they do. Ruby's post has me thinking about just that.