Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Weight present in everything

I have just a few days left of my semester, so I've been plugging away at my research papers.  I didn't work on them yesterday and I really should have, but I just needed a break after a pretty intense session with my therapist.  When I walked in there, I was really in a very upbeat mood.  We started talking about things that occurred since my last visit and everything was going fine.  Then we talked about my upcoming commencement ceremony.  And, all of a sudden, I became very emotional.  It wasn't about the fact that I would be graduating shortly.  That is very exciting and I'm certainly proud of myself for this accomplishment in my life.  The emotions came about because I was talking about issues surrounding the event.  I'm having a gathering after the ceremony with family and friends.  I mentioned the fact that I want to be able to lose 50 pounds overnight.  That's possible, right?  Right?  I shared how I know everybody loves me for me, whether I have gained weight or I haven't, but I just feel shame about my body right now.  Then I talked about the ceremony ... would I fit in the seat comfortably?  We'll be sitting for two or more hours on those folding chairs.  Would it support my weight?  It seems like the deepest hurt in me, the one that has always affected me the most, is about body image and weight.  It hurts that it seems like everything in my life comes back to weight.  Here's an example:  I have a chair at work that is set at the highest height because I'm tall.  All of a sudden, it's been inching down until it is practically on the ground.  Given I'm tall and I have knee issues, it is very uncomfortable for me.  Yet, I waited to ask for help because I was absolutely sure the problem was happening because of my weight.  I realized, though, that I had this chair at my heaviest weight of 420 and it supported me then.  So, is it possible that it might not have to do with that?  In fact, I had a friend sit in it who is smaller and it sank down for her, too. 

As I was talking to my therapist, tears were just flowing from my eyes.  It was obvious to her and to me that it really affects me greatly.  I have so much going on in my life and so many plans for my future.  After I clear my bachelor's degree, I will be applying to grad school with a very specific plan in mind.  Through a lot of work, my relationship with my mother has been pretty fantastic.  I have about a month and a half left of work before I have the summer off.  There's just a lot of good going on.  Yet, when I really talk about weight, size, body image, any of that ... it just feels like it breaks my heart.  I don't want to avoid having these conversations and doing work around it because that's the reason I went to see a therapist in the first place.  I feel ready to tackle these things.  It's just that the emotions go so very deep and, I believe, is the root cause of the depression I have been dealing with.  Having been a child who lived through physical abuse, being sexually attacked as a teen and just generally not treated very well in so many ways, it was food that I went to for comfort.  We all do whatever we can in the moment to survive terrible situations.  For me, the food may have made me feel better but it was also hurting me at the same time.  The tapes that have played these negative messages all of my life have to be changed and it does take time, I completely get that.  It is just heartbreaking to know that my body, my weight and anything surrounding that plays a role in my life at practically every moment.  It's fitting in chairs, comparing myself against other people, looking in the mirror, being comfortable in clothes, snide remarks from other people, happy events that get ruined by thoughts of my weight and so much more. 

I am moving forward, though.  Part of this process is being honest with my feelings and trying not to run from them.  It's talking with my therapist, even if I feel tears coming in.  Who knows, I may cry at every session I have with her and that is really okay.  If I need to cry, there is a reason and I don't need to shelter that.  This is really the biggest challenge of my life, one that has been present with me since my earliest memories.  No matter what size I have been, whether a 34 or a 16, it has still plagued me.  So I am doing my best to just dig in the closet and bring these thoughts and feelings out into the light.  God is always with me, no matter what I do or what I think.  I have a whole host of people that love me very much and I am so grateful for that love.  I get to continue working on loving myself, as I am right in this moment, and the person I will become in the future.  Easier said than done, but I am committed to this.


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