Here lies the body of my dreams.
I have to admit, it died a long time ago, but I shoved its stinking corpse in the closet just in case I might be able to revive it someday. Just in case I could slide its stiff carcass into that secret stash of skinny jeans one day. No, not the terribly unflattering new-fangled kind, but the ones you hold onto in case you're ever skinny enough to fit into them again. Because you know... it's a possibility. Right? ;)
For as long as I can remember, it has always seemed like that next new "way of eating/being" was going to be THE way, the way I'd been searching for, but somehow missing, all the days of my life — and when I finally fell into it, I would swiftly (but oh-s0-naturally!) waste quietly away until I woke up one morning looking like god damn Olivia Wilde.
I would then proceed to float through my life like a wisp on the wind, bending over gracefully in my flowing translucent garments and tucking myself up into adorable positions just for giggles. I would be so light on my feet and in my life that nothing would touch me, I mean it would, but it would all be different... I would be free...free of that one broken thing on my list that ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS needed to be fixed.
And lord knows how I hate not to check-off a To-Do!!!
But it didn't happen. It never happened. Every "new way", was the same old way in disguise.
It's plain as day to see the eating disorder was about that, but not as plain to see with the absolute freak-show of "New Improved & Healthier Ways of Eating!" that would follow. The goal was to feel good, to be healthy, and to save the fucking planet for christ sakes! The intentions seemed good enough, and it's not that they weren't very real too, but the dream was always there... leaning aloofly in the background, smoking a cigarette (a vapor cigarette, of course - she's a health genius, remember?), and waiting for me to catch up to her.
But I will never catch up to her. Not ever.
Every "healthy way of eating" was a means to get to her... a fast moving vehicle that would finally let me BE WHAT I AM.
...You know, the REAL me, not this 154 pound butterball complete with weird irregular textures, marks and colorings. Not this awkward girl with awkward angles and curves. I'm supposed to be the wispy one, god damn it!! But I'm not.
I was sure she was in here, I thought if I could just throw her the right rope, she'd come climbing right out. Anorexic, Bulimic, Meat Eater, Vegetarian, Raw Food Diet, Vegan, High-Fiber, Low-Carb, No-Carb and Gluten-Free: one of these ropes has gotta be the right one! One of them is going to CHANGE IT ALL FOREVER.
Every one of them was measured against my nearness to her. Her "perfect" image. Not only is she an absolutely effortless knock-out, but she's socially and environmentally responsible, she's got a heart of gold people!! But not too gold, cause she's also a total bad ass, and she doesn't give a fuck what you think of her. But not too not-give-a-fuck because she genuinely cares about you and everything! She isn't the tiniest bit lazy either, in fact she doesn't even know what that MEANS.
Yep... an image. An all out, balls-to-the-wall, crazy train IMAGE of a being. All the "good stuff", none of the "bad stuff"... a full on logical fallacy.
Or in simpler terms: not fucking possible.
In measuring only the nearness to her, I was unable to actually really tell how I FELT in any certain way of eating. Because that was not being measured, because why WOULD it be when everyone says this is the GOOD & RIGHT way to eat?? Take their word over my own bodies word? Yes, definitely!! What would this piece of garbage know anyway - it's obviously defective.
Yes... I know, that is a sad and pitiful thought, and I'm sure it's a stranger to no one. The idea that your body doesn't know what it needs, that you can't trust it to let you know, because if you could then it wouldn't look like this, or BE like this. Besides, I thought I felt great every time. And of course they all feel good at first, because you're headed toward 'the image'. Or so you think.
Many of these wonderful ways really did make me feel good for a time. But the fact is that the distance between "I feel good" and "I'm BEING good" is too short a distance to measure.
It feels pretty good to think you're being good — yes indeedy. You're righting your inherently wrong self, you're doing your best to apologize for it with your new-and-improved ways, and everyone can see that now. It's a relief. My essential nature to fail has been temporarily suspended, so yah... I feel fucking fantastic.
But it doesn't last. Because the image never comes. The radically different life and self, the constant unyielding ease and effortlessness that the image promises... it never, ever comes.
Because you're not an image.
But I didn't see that yet, I was still hanging on a little bit as if I was. Still hoping for that next perfect "right way for me", that would nourish me, make me feel constantly amazing, turn me into 'her', save the planet and create world peace. Geezus, and somehow we make this sound like it's not a tall order?!
It's the exact same with all the psychology around it. The aim is to "accept it"... so that it will change. That's not acceptance, it's a just a clever workaround.
"Once you accept it, it 'shifts', and you start caring for yourself in more loving ways and that's when you finally feel so much better" ... hmmmmmmmmm, that sounds awfully familiar. The corpse is still in the closet. The image of the "finally perfected me" is still hanging there in the background, juuuuuust out of reach, but fully in view.
Same chase, new name.
So I went merrily along "feeling good!" until all my hair started falling out. That is what it took for me to wake the fuck up. Losing more than half of my hair, sobbing every time I took a shower for fear of what would happen next. The 'image' started to look less like Olivia Wilde and more like Gollum with the ring. It was terrifying... but it was good.
It was good because I had to get help, go to many doctors, have them be of no help whatsoever, and finally start putting two and two together myself... then finding a good doctor who ran all the right tests and told me I was pretty severely protein and iron deficient, which stunts hormone production and shuts down healthy thyroid function. The way I was eating was clearly not working for me... and I was the last one to know it.
Because it did not match my ideas of what was right. So I wrote-off all the signs except that one. My body didn't give one fuck about my politics. Nor did it give one about 'the image'.
So now I'm listening. Not to 'the image', but to experience as it actually is. So when I drink the green juice with chia seeds and flax for lunch, do I really "feel fantastic" or do I feel a little bit spacey, light headed, high on the not-full feeling, and totally anxious by early evening? How does it actually feel to have protein and veggies instead? (not what people say, what is the actuality of it?)
But here's the kicker... I will not tell you things like "I'm learning", with all of this. I will not tell you that things are now changing because of this. This is just the way it is right now. There is literally no more to it than that. This is where the story's at in this moment, and that's it.
To say that the dream is not still there in the background saying that even this next way that the doctor gave me will be the one, or that seeing all this clearly now will finally be the one, or that this "death of a dream" manifesto will be the one thing that finally changes it all forever — would be a bold faced lie.
The dream is dead because it was never ALIVE.
It will stay lifeless and inaccessible just as it always has. The corpse is still in the closet, but it's okay.
It's fine that she's in there. I know what she is. It's enough to know she's not real. She can never be more than an image, and there is no image that can hold the well of what I am. Not that body, and not this one. Not the hope for being better or different, and not the image of being good.
What I am is not broken, and it doesn't just look like "good". It doesn't need a band-aid, it doesn't need a crutch, and it doesn't give a good god damn about judgements of what is right. It is as it is... the whole messy lot of it. The entire spectrum and array. Every possible name and label. It's not personal, even when the story says it is — it's life. It's "nature". It's the way of it...
there IS NO STATE TO BE REACHED.
What could any "state" be, but more of what I am? You know this is true because you feel the lie of it when you try and cram yourself into one "box", one 'label', at the expense of all others. You know you're not good, without bad. You know you're not bad, without good. You know it's not possible to be one thing, and thought keeps trying anyway. And it's okay. That is also what you are. The 'trying'.
The truth is you don't have any qualms about looking any-way and every-way, because you DO ALREADY. It's plain to see. The story will keep trying to paint you into a corner, and it will keep failing every. single. time. It's built to fail.
How beautiful is that?? That every description that could be made of you could never, ever hold you. It can never even BEGIN to hold you, because you are not a description.
That's how free you are.
Free to be all of it. Whether thought says it's okay or not, clearly it doesn't get a say in it. Because you are all of it, and you know it. You don't need to "see that you're all of it" to be all of it, either. You already are. You always have been. ...and when I say "you" and "I", or "bear" or "sea", it means the same thing...
it means LIFE.
So, here lies the body of my dreams. The hope of being one way, to the exclusion of all others... of looking like one "thing", of becoming something else entirely, something other than Life as it is. She was a beautiful friend, and a wretched enemy, she was everything a well-written nemesis should be...
and I am nothing but grateful for our scenes together in this grand phenomenal play.
What I want her to know, is I love her. Just the way she is.
What she wants me to know is she loves me. Just the way I am.
What we want you to know is that you love you too, in every which way that you are. And thought doesn't need to catch-on for that to be true...
your BEING speaks for itself.