Monthly Archives: September 2013

On Feeding Myself

I just bought ingredients, made a meal and ate it. Part of me knows this shouldn’t be a big deal, not worthy of a blog post, but actually, it is. For the ‘me’ who is living with disordered eating, for all those meals on all those days where I have let the Negative Voice take over and either starved or binged: marking occasions where exceptions occur is really important. I gathered, I cooked, I ate. The world did not stop spinning.

The meal itself was pasta with tuna and pesto, and a side of broccoli. It was walking through the early night under a dark blue sky to the supermarket. It was feeling the anxiety rise inside me every time I saw people approaching, for we are reminded over and over again, this part of the world is not a place where women should walk alone . It was saying to myself, well fuck that shit, I have every right to walk these streets and why don’t they ever write about the place where most of the violence really happens, the home, in every suburb?

In the supermarket, people gather alcohol, chips, dips- things to take to parties. The AFL grand final has just been played, the streets are colourful with the paraphernalia of opposing teams.  People are gathering in celebration or just because it’s what we do, as Melbournians, on this day in September. I am not going to a party but I don’t care. I am going to cook, and eat. I have every right to eat. 

On the way home the Negative Voice berates me over food choices. Pesto is full of oil, pasta is carbohydrates, carbohydrates are bad, fishing for tuna kills dolphins…She is desperate, grasping at straws, trying to rise against this unfamiler experience of me taking care of myself. I picked the can of tuna where the label says ‘responsibly caught’ but that is not the point: I have every right to eat.  

I’ve been thinking a lot about nurture lately, about my experiences as a kid but mostly about now, as an adult, how I can chose to care for myself. If that little girl  was standing in front of me, the one who needed love and protection and reassurance that she was absolutely not as hideous as she thought she was, what would I say? What would I do? Would I tell her she wasn’t allowed to eat?

The pasta water bubbles and I chop and grate and stir, and there it is, simple, a one pot dish. This is not hard to do and yet society makes it out to be. You must eat this food, or these ones, at this time only, cooked in this way, you’re doing it wrong, buy this magazine, watch this show. Maybe all those people on Instagram with their carefully crafted pictures just want acknowledgement that they too have managed, today, to feed themselves.

I eat the food, quickly, as though somebody might take it away from me at any moment. I eat it secretly, in my room, as I have been doing for years. I enjoy it though, and I enjoy the feeling of having made it myself. I won this round, Negative Voice. I have every right to eat. 

 

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School Holiday Train Rides

I love commuting in the school holidays- there are less sad looking adults in suits, and more curious little people making observations of the world.

 

Four year old girl dressed in pink everything: Mum mum mum mumumumMUM!

Mother: Yes, what?

Girl, pointing at me incredulously: That girl has pink hair, Mum

Mother: Don’t point darling, it’s rude.

Girl: Can I have pink hair?

Mother: Not today

Girl: Well, what about next week?

 

Going past Royal Park/ Zoo train station

Mum: Look boys, that’s the zoo, where the giraffes live

Boy 1: Ooooh

Boy 2: Hmmph

Mum: What’s wrong with you?

Boy 2, grumpily and loudly: I’m EXASPERATED.

Me: That’s a big word for a little person to use

Boy 2: I’m NOT little. I’m FIVE.

Another commuter (to me): You’ve been told.

 

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Well Hello, September

So, it’s been a while since I wrote. Things have happened. People have come and gone. I’m almost through my final placement, therefore almost a Fully Fledged Social Worker (TM). I’m shit scared, feel like I don’t know anything, hate that feeling. I must know everything and have all the answers ready all the time must be perfect always…Oh hey, Negative Voice. I’m actually going really well in the placement and hitting all the benchmarks easily and getting really good feedback from clients and co-workers and teachers, and part of me knows this- a small part of me, somewhere inside me- and the rest of me is like oh fuck maybe today will be the day when they all realise I’m a massive fuck up and they’re going to kick me out. 

Whooo! Anxiety! Fun times!

And I eat and eat and eat and make myself sick and wipe my face down with acidic toner that stings as it mixes with my tears. I say, no never again, never again, and within hours I’m there, but not really there, floating outside myself, watching myself as I do it all over again. Again.  And I wake up crying in the middle of the night, can’t breathe, my chest is tight. And the hours pass and the light comes through the window and (most days) I force myself out of bed to keep up the act.

How are you going?, they ask, not really wanting to know.  Tired, I say. Always tired.

It’s not all bad. If I can manage to stop and breathe, I realise that I am OK. The world is not as bad as my head would have me believe, am not as bad as she would have me belive. Things are getting done. Friendships are being nourished, plans are being made, the degree is so close to completion I can almost touch it.

Just gotta keep going.

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