A great piece of comedy is a verbal magic trick[.] [D]ealing with a lot of the same areas where our defenses are the strongest—race, religion, politics, sexuality—but approaching them through humor instead of fight-or-flight adrenalin, we get endorphins and the alchemy of laughter turns our walls into windows, revealing a fresh and unexpected point of view.
Chris Bliss, Comedian
Humor. It is the most difficult way to approach a sensitive subject because it seems to make light of it, it flirts on the verge of offensive. But, if done expertly, it can be the most effective tool because it sneaks up quietly and slips into your conscience while your guard is down. “It’s just comedy. Nothing serious about it.” Then all of a sudden you’ve seen something big and important in a very different light, and it is now all too serious. But it is also now true and undeniable, because you laughed at it. This is what humor can do. It can allow me to help you see the blunt reality of your life with an eating disorder and finally decide to stop damaging yourself. By the time you’ve laughed, you can’t take it back or un-see the honest truth exposed and I hope it will give you the strength you’ve been looking for to change it. Walls into windows.
I feel like I’m sashaying saucily up to you: “Would you like me to seduce you?” Let’s see if I can. Continue reading “Walls into Windows: Beating EDs Through Humor”
It’s true; I have three pairs of Thanksgiving pants for the three different phases of my eating past. I can’t go back in time and change what I did all those years. My past is still very much a part of me, so I have to find a way to face it, forgive it, and find some humor in it. I truly believe that is the best way to make peace with it. Look back and laugh a little.
When I looked back, I was surprised to find I had somehow channeled my inner Goldilocks (I guess I can chalk that up to my natural blonde locks) when I found I had evolved through three very different types of Thanksgiving pants. I also found it ironically hilarious that Goldilocks begins her plunder hungry, looking for food, and the first thing she does is sit down and eat a stranger’s whole bowl of porridge.
I had to laugh, realizing that was a pretty fitting testament to what my ED-self might have done back then. Hide your porridge folks, Goldie’s hungry and on the hunt! And, in true Goldilocks-style, that is exactly where my twenty years of porridge-plundering began—with pants way too small in an attempt to hide my hunger. Continue reading “Goldilocks and the Three Thanksgiving Pants”
I imagine the path is similar for many and different for others. For me, my eating disorder was a seed I planted during puberty. It was a realization that I have a body that is not slender and beautiful like other girls, which somehow makes me different and less than other girls.
That seed was then nurtured by the stress of moving across country to live on my own for the first time, with no friends or acquaintances on campus, to begin college and start learning how to cope with all the demands of life as an independent adult. And as I was doing that, I found myself surrounded by throngs of gorgeous hourglass-shaped southern belles. This only continued the unraveling of my self-esteem, a pervasive waning of my confidence. Continue reading “The Black Vine in my Mind”
Kathryn Hansen spoke my language. As crazy as this may sound (as the author of a book about my own eating disorder) Brain Over Binge was the first time I had ever read someone else’s account of their own eating disorder. Her words felt like a jolt to my chest. I was shocked to hear Hansen’s inner narrative sound just like mine.
While I knew others suffered from eating disorders (although due to my own stupid, stubborn proud nature, I never read their stories when I was suffering), I did not know their inner demon (which Hansen calls the “animal brain”) said the same things to them as mine said to me. Turns out others faced that same all-too-smart, all-too-logical justifier of my every bite. Continue reading “Book Review: Brain Over Binge”
In that moment, when I’m about to do it. On a good day: I’ve fought it all day, likely knowing all the while, despite my best efforts, that I’m going to cave. On a bad day: I’ve been secretly craving it all day, knowing I’m going to push everyone and everything out of my life for that glorious hour to succumb to it. But, I know I’m going to feel like total shit when it’s done, questioning yet again why I keep doing this to myself. Why I keep dancing with this demon? So, I promise myself this will be the last time. Continue reading “I Can Promise Anything … Then”
Don’t they all look so perfect and slender? Their taut tummies stretched in a sexy arch. Their chests heaving forward demanding your attention. And, their thighs! You can actually see daylight between their thighs! I don’t think any outdoor breeze on earth has graced the skin between my thighs. And, I don’t have really large thighs! And, I also don’t spend my time on the beach posing. I spend it writing to help others who might be slipping toward a terribly debilitating eating disorder as I did, and this topic has been burning on my mind.
Can we talk about posers for a minute? Continue reading “Can We Talk about Posers?”
When the image first came to me, I couldn’t un-see it. It was there. Imprinted. Emblazoned on my mind. I was Sisyphus. Or had been at least. There was no other way to put it. But, I was no longer. And, now, a recovered eating disorder victim committed to helping others avoid that treacherous mind-altering path, I hope I can help you see it, too. Continue reading “Sisyphus”