Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

Spent the whole day downtown with my company, working on finding a good downtown press rep, reading through the script we’ll be producing in December, grant research and applications, making personnel decisions, etc. I like days like that. You know how summer camps, or maybe, if you were a dancer, an intensive, where you have accepted that your whole day will be devoted to one thing so there’s no anxiety over anything. You can’t eat until it’s eating time, you don’t have to rush anywhere because there’s nowhere else to be, and everyone just sort of does their own thing but you’re doing your own thing together.

I restricted this morning, which led to me getting quite “empty”-feeling by mid-afternoon. I almost left my friends’ apartment for lunch, but I didn’t. I did have a snack at their place, though, which I was proud of. We had sushi tonight, and I ate a lot. Because my mind is a bit in ED-land, it gave me some anxiety to eat a full meal. And then, of course, I bounced back the other direction and considered bingeing on my way home. I didn’t. So that’s something to be proud of.

Iphigenia and Other Daughters, by Ellen McLaughlin

Something wonderful about my company is that I trust them. However, I’m used to staying quiet, holding myself in, keeping opinions to myself so as not to offend, not to cause rupturing. Yet, in the last few months, because my contract is signed, it’s been some years of friendship and collaboration, and also, I think, because I’ve progressed a bit in my own recovery, I have begun to speak my mind.

And I have opinions. Not always, but often. And of course, working with a company that’s finding its footing requires decisions and conversation– a terrifying thing for me. And although I speak up now, share my opinion, disagree often, I still feel like a bitch when I do it. It’s like having a differing opinion, or an opinion at all, is distancing. If I’m on the “losing” side, I feel stupid. If I “win,” I’m a bitch.

It’s just so much easier to keep quiet and not make waves. To blend in to the background.

Yet, just as much as keeping my true feelings in comforts me, one of the reasons I love the theatre is its transparency. Perhaps it is simply that, like the privileged therapy room in theory, it’s a place where you can bare your soul and be crazy and scared and angry and joyful with no repercussions. If I leave all the business aside, that is a pretty miraculous gift.

I just love it.


5 thoughts on “Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

  1. I love days like that. Sadly, it’s been two months since I’ve had one of those, and I don’t see any in the horizon, either. -jealous-

    If you have something to say that you feel strongly about, say it. I know exactly what you mean, either being the bitch or being the stupid one, but it doesn’t matter. Reading your blog assures me now, that keeping quiet must have kept you from releasing pearls of whisdom to the world.

    I used to be like that, but ever since I started opening my mouth, people have been coming back for more.

    On a different note, I see that you’re trying to recover from your ED and I applaud you for that. I’m nowhere near, nor do I think I’ll ever be. How do you do it? Is it really possible to shut these voices in your head? How do you keep yourself from lapsing back into the evil cycle? I would really, really, really love to know.

    Be safe ♥

    • Thanks for reading. Yes, the blog has been a great way to remind myself that speaking up is HELPFUL, though hard. And no matter how I feel, I haven’t lost any friends yet (maybe made more) by speaking out.

      I’m about a year and a half into recovery, so I’m at a relatively stable place. I feel incredibly lucky to have that. My therapist, honestly, is a major reason I’ve gotten so much better, as are re-starting anti-depressants, and as much as I hate my nutritionist, she’s helped me too. However, for me, I honestly think that I only have recovered as much as I did because I STOPPED. I cut out significant activities in my life, moved in by myself, and gave myself permission to completely explode, screw up, and subsequently forgave myself. Previously, I’d been so caught up in “life” that I didn’t have “time” for recovery. Even though it was the last thing I really wanted, I was forced to realize that if you want to recover, you have to make it your top priority. I’m certainly not saying it’s easy, but for me, it was a major sacrifice that I was lucky enough to be able to make.

      Unfortunately, you’ve “met” those voices and they tend to stick around. You can never “unknow” a calorie count or forget that one weight that you LOVED to be at. Those things are still hard. However, it has helped me to look at my own emotional history, and make my ED about my feelings rather than anything else. I say to myself, “This weird eating shit is a SYMPTOM, not a lifestyle.” I’ve been clinically depressed almost all my life– and the ED happens to be the way it manifests itself RIGHT NOW. Later it will be something different. I think of my ED as a phase; passing.

      The biggest way to keep me from relapsing is by forgiving myself. I don’t make plans anymore, because I know that I will often be disappointed. If a plan does go awry, I breathe, talk myself off the ledge, find something else to do, and FORGIVE myself. I fight to give myself compassion and understanding, and the knowledge that if I just listen to myself on the inside, instead of just the chatter in my head, things will fall into place. My brain has gotten me into trouble before– I am trying to train it to calm down and trust the rest of me. Again, it’s one of the hardest lessons. But I think if you start to go day by day, breathing through the hard things and letting them go, so that the next day is fresh and new and holds none of the pain of the day before, the slow process of recovery can come.

      You WILL figure it out. I know it seems impossible now, but things change. Always. My hope is that you find a clearer, joyful path soon. I know exactly how you feel, and it’s literally the hardest thing in the world. You are amazing for even reaching out. Take care of yourself– my heart is with you. 🙂

      • You’ve “met” those voices and they tend to stick around. You can never “unknow” a calorie count or forget that one weight that you LOVED to be at.

        I get it.
        BUT I REALLY realyreallyreally believe that our perspective changes. We may hear the voice but it sounds like a bitchy stupid girl rather than anything serious. We know the calories, but they matter less. Or suddenly we can’t remember when 10 extra calories here or there was a big deal. Suddenly that weight we felt was ideal? We’ll forget about it because we will only remember how..tired we were.

  2. Im glad you fought the urges to binge but the restriction is never good :/ we know that!
    I’m glad you find so much comfort in your company. You sound happy and optimistic in this post. Keep it up 🙂

  3. Kudos for putting your foot down about binge eating. I know that is difficult – but so worth it!

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