The more I change on the outside, the closer my inside feels to the surface, and there is something very vulnerable about this. Even though being encased in fat hurts both physically and mentally, it can also be a thing of comfort. Something to blame when things go wrong. Something to hide behind. Something to keep you apart.
All my old coping mechanisms are left behind, childhood toys no longer useful. No more smoking cigarettes. No more drinking to oblivion. No more eating everything in sight. No more eating nothing at all.
I’m working on coping mechanisms that make sense and work without the destructive properties of the old ways. Like talking about things with people. Physical activity. Creative outlet. Helping others.
It is definitely better. Things are not perfect. Nothing ever will be. I tell myself this every day. Nothing is perfect and that’s okay. I find myself more sensitive in a lot of ways. I had more mood swings and temper tantrums before. But I feel things more keenly now. I let myself feel them by not dulling those emotions with the old ways.
So much of the person I am has been shaped by being overweight. I was the fat girl in high school when not many teenagers were overweight. Maybe by today’s standards I would have seemed pretty average. But I spent more time feeling shitty for being fat than any other feeling I can remember at that age. Boys didn’t like me- I was sure it was because I was fat. I couldn’t fit the clothes I liked. More misery because of fat. In my head, that was who I was and that was how people saw me. The fat one.
In my 20s I was the voluptuous, didn’t give a shit what anyone thought, party all night long, friends with everyone girl. I found other ways to drown my emotions. I could walk into any bar and someone would know me. I had a lot of boyfriends of questionable quality. I learned to deal with my weight by not giving a damn what anyone thought. I became very hardened to it. When you’re bigger, and flamboyant, people will say things to you that are mean and hurtful. I did my best to act like I didn’t care. I even convinced myself I didn’t care, that I was meant to be big and that the world should just let me be what I am and love me anyway.
I no longer think I’m meant to be big. But I still think the world should just let me be what I am, whatever it is I want to be.
I gave up the security blankets. They weren’t protecting me from anything. It was nothing more than burying my head in the sand. If anything, it makes you more vulnerable because you aren’t facing anything real. Hiding is a temporary relief at best.
And now, I’m learning how to actually feel secure with just me. I know it will take time. I will not give up.