I want to be free of this. I think. But I keep making pro-Gloria choices. Like skipping breakfast this morning. I’m wanting peace without the fight.
I think I’m still in denial. I am not completely on board with the idea that I have to gain yet more weight. It’s just cruelty. I don’t need to be any bigger than this. I shouldn’t even be this big. I hate it. And it’s so constant. I hate the whole ‘fat is not a feeling’ rubbish that’s going around. That is spoken by people who have no idea what is meant when it’s said. It’s true that ‘fat’ is not an emotion, and when I say I feel fat I’m not talking about emotions. When you say you feel hot or cold no one mistakes your meaning. You mean it physically and so do I. It’s a very physical, if irrational, feeling. When I say I’m feeling fat I am aware of the fat stores on my body like they’re add-ons – not actually part of me – and therefore unnecessary and to be eliminated.
Have you ever read Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams? If you haven’t you should. Anyway, I liken my hatred, or rather Gloria’s hatred, of the fat on my body to how the people of Krikkit reacted when they discovered the rest of the universe – ‘It’ll have to go’. Then they began a systematic, detached and brutal campaign to obliterate the universe. All while writing beautiful songs and generally being agreeable and lovely. Also unaware they were ultimately about to destroy themselves as well.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I get it.
Gloria is ruthless. Entirely without mercy. She would have gone straight over that student in Tiananmen Square. She goes straight over me. Passive resistance is futile. I just get steam-rollered.
Time to become a freedom fighter instead of a freedom conscientious objector. I’ll post myself a white feather as a reminder:
Gloria is not me.
The Mighty were kind enough to publish one of my posts on their site. I’ve enjoyed reading the inspirational stories they tirelessly put together and I’m thrilled to be featured among them. Thanks guys!
And if you came from there, welcome to my journey. You might like to read from the beginning to see where I’ve come from and where I’m at now.
I don’t know how to write all this. I’m still dragging my feet slowly. Still feeling stuck in mud.
Actually, it’s more like smothered. That’s how I’m feeling.
I have Gloria in my head, sneeringly telling me what a failure I’ve become. Constantly. In every area of my life. Because I am now a healthy weight. So I’d better restrict, exercise and lose it all before I really am just a fat nothing. How pathetically weak to feel and acknowledge hunger.
I have Tony outside my head. He’s being so supportive and protective it’s just as smothering right now. I know he’s trying to look after me, help me recover. But I feel so helpless. Dependent. Worthless. Labelled. That what I think and feel and believe don’t matter.
I hate how stupidly hard this is. I want to be free of it. Gloria tries to convince me (and so far, she has) that I will never be able to be free. And if I manage to escape, I’ll be nothing, no-one and nowhere without her.
I am fighting. I have been doing my best to stick to the plan. I have been trying to be independent in my choices. Making the right ones for recovery.
I am wondering if this smothered feeling is what a sprouting seed feels just before its leaves burst out into the light and open air. That gives me some hope. If I keep going soon I will reach the sun and wind and rain. And freedom. I will be able to say:
Gloria is not me.
Ok. I fell down. I stayed on my face in the mud for a bit, totally discouraged. I didn’t want to get up. It’s humiliating. I was running and winning and dancing but I tripped over.
It’s ok. Get back up. Choose to eat for health and energy. Choose to rest. But keep on going.
The only one in this race is me. I can only lose if I give up.
Oh, it’s frustrating and discouraging. Embarrassing sure.
But I will remember that God is the lifter of my head. He is the keeper of my soul. He loves me. As I am and for all I am. He knows my weakness and promises His strength. I will trust in that.
I read this Psalm and it was just what I needed to be reminded about:
Is anyone crying for help? God is listening ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, He’ll help you catch your breath. -Psalm 34 17&18
So. I’m catching my breath. I’m wiping the muck off my face. It’s ok. I fell down. But I’m getting back up.
I can do this.
I CAN do this.
Not only can I do this, I will. Got my fight back. So watch out:
Gloria is not me.
Last week was challenging. It was my first back at uni, I’d gained yet more weight and we had predictions of wild weather to make my boy’s life misery. Oh, and our car kept breaking down. Perfect storm for Gloria to try to trip me up. Trick me into thinking restriction and weightloss would get me in control of it all.
BUT SHE DIDN’T.
Oh, she nearly did. It was just a little blip.
BUT I DIDN’T STAY DOWN.
I was able to be real about what I needed to achieve. I had to get my head around my new units for study. I had to cope with feeling and being bigger. I had to be strong, physically and emotionally, so I could support my boy and I had to deal with mechanics not fixing our car the first THREE times they had it. This needs energy. Energy means food. Food means guilt and shame. Guilt and shame I just didn’t have time for. So, as hard as it was at times (food still is hugely evil), I ate. I chose to eat to give myself the energy to live.
I got through last week. And not by the skin of my teeth.
I ROCKED IT. Hannah-style.
I’m starting to realise Gloria cannot compete with real living. The counterfeit existence she offers is such a poor imitation. Like 97% fat free mass-produced mayo poor.
Uni looks achievable, Tim survived, and I think actually grew, and the car is now fixed (at no extra cost). Just thankful and prayerful.
Gloria is not me.
So many good, good, good things to write about.
I think, though I know I have thought this before, that I am definitely firmly on the road to recovery. And I, Hannah, am making the choices, taking the steps needed to keep going. The road is still a hill. I can see places where it will be steep, but I do believe the road is straighter and more solidly marked than it has ever been before.
I want to celebrate the wins I have had these last few days. I have taken over making my meals and I am STICKING TO THE PLAN. My choice. I felt hungry today, so I ATE SOMETHING. My choice. I made a new coconut and mango ice-creamy dessert, and I TASTED IT AT A NON-DESIGNATED MEALTIME. My choice. It has been so long since I have been able to choose to do that simple little thing. So long since I have let stray calories in.
What has happened to me all of a sudden?
I have come to the realisation that I, Hannah, am worth recovery. How? Three simple words: handcrafted with love. That’s me. Made by God to be loved by God. My value and worth to Him far outweigh any hate that Gloria (who is really myself) has for me. Suddenly Gloria finds herself de-clawed, hoarse and at a loss. I have finally been able to see her lies as lies. Oh, she still tries. I still have to fight her, it’s just my weapons are so much stronger than hers. Love beats hate. Compassion triumphs over despair. Truth overcomes the lie. And I, Hannah, can see myself living again. Not just not-dying. LIVING. LOVING. A fully functioning member of the community as I am meant to be.
If you are struggling with recovery, DON’T GIVE UP. TRUST YOUR TEAM. If you haven’t yet sought help DO IT. It is never too early to seek help for this, or any disordered eating. Yes, it sucks. Yep, it’s hard. There are times when you will drag yourself unwillingly through the motions just to shut your family up. Let their love for you speak louder than the tyrant in your head. That tyrant offers nothing but pain and emptiness, and leaves you a dry husk of potential unfulfilled.
My heart is full and I am so close to truly shouting:
Gloria is not me.
This pretty much sums up what recovery has been like the last few weeks. I keep going back to deuce. I’ll go well for a couple of days and get the advantage but make some dumb choices about food and exercise and end back at deuce or with Gloria in advantage. And so it goes. Seems like we’re pretty evenly matched at this game.
On a positive note, I made the decision to continue with my studies and enrolled for the year at uni. I will only do three units each session, I think I’ll be okay with that. The first unit is the English I failed last year. At least I already have the textbook. I have to say it feels really weird to be looking ahead. Good weird, I think. Scary weird, too. (That was definitely an advantage: Hannah day).
I started missing snacks and skimping on meals when Gloria won the advantage after too many comments on how well I am looking (I think it was three). Still really struggling with the weight gain. REALLY struggling.
Today I am especially grateful for three things: the sun is out again, we have no cheddar in the house, and I have people in my life who love me when I can’t love myself, including my Heavenly Father. And they all know that:
Gloria is not me.