Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Freedom and the ED

As I move out of my addictions and into myself, there's evident change. I feel it in my body; i feel it in my brain.

i'm questioning my life-long belief systems in big and small ways;

for one thing, l'm not who i thought i was. for years, i scrunched myself into business suits, and headed off (way to early in the morning) to corporate America.

I binged, I purged, I starved, I drank and took drugs.

I bitterly informed myself that i had no other options or talents -- all i knew how to do, my only viable skill, was sales (eeeeekkkk).

I binged, I purged, I starved, I drank, I did drugs.

Believing i was naturally ugly, i broke the bank on hair straightening, blonde highlights, pedicures, make-up (i really spent here, sure that only high-quality expensive stuff could help the disaster that was me)

still, I was miserable. face-stuffing, toilet hugging, wine swigging and drugs.

i told myself i was a terrible writer and, therefore, did not deserve to write anything at all.

i broke my heart.

now, i don't binge, purge or starve. i'm clean and sober. the old beliefs quiver about their certainty.

corporate america? business suits? not unless Bill Gates decides to fund my project to build self-esteem in young girls. yeah, then i'd scrunch into that business suit. but only for Bill.

expensive make-up? can't afford it. this morning i said to my boyfriend, what if we scaled our lifes back as much as humanly possible and start enjoying our lifestyle instead of our things.

writing. i've been writing since i was little. when my mom died, i found notebooks filled with my childhood stories and ramblings. to deny my pleasure would deny myself. it doesn't matter what or how i write, it's something i love to do.

that goes to creativity. i've been saying for years i'm not creative. i love beautiful art and beautiful words but don't have a creative bone in my body.

why then y do i love the creative lifestyle -- inching through bookstores, book by book? losing hours in museums, in movies, in dreaming, in writing, in just observing?

why then do i design hair and make-up in my dreams, wishing i'd been a hair and make-up "artist"?

i'm letting that part of me out. it can live and breathe. i can breathe.

all those things i apologize for? i'm embracing them. my messy disorganized purse? it's charming. the stains on my shirt -- they're not going to stop, so i might as well laugh. it beats (for me) zipping up a business suit.

for years i was never late -- always early. i had to be "perfect", beyond reproache. now, i see my natural tendency -- it's to daydream, to lose track of time, to think of a million things i need to do before i leave. but it's disrespectful to be late. i work to be on time, but i want to shout it out;

"i'm naturally late, i'm naturally messy, i'm not mainstream, my hair is frizzy, i'm more liberal than i admit, i'm quirky, i'm super sensitive, i love my friends."

that's just the beginning.

one other thing i wanted to share. i've always believed that being beautiful is the best. if you're beautiful, you're set. people like pretty people. you have boyfriends and special treatment. people smile at you, studies say you get better jobs, and my mother would have liked you more.

i've believed this all my 45 years. until recently, i was thinking about Eve, my beautiful, wonderful friend. everyone agrees Eve is beautiful. she's always had boyfriends and special treatment. people smile at her. she lands every job. my mother would have loved her.

i'd start to notice that Eve flinches in her beauty. maybe, i wondered, she didn't want to get these things just because of her looks? nah. how could that be.

after too many flinches to ignore, i decided to have a conservation with her.

"Eve", I said. "you know, i always think that because you're beautiful, that's enough. as someone who never got boyfriends or special treatment or extra
smiles, i just assumed you have the best -- beauty. what better could there be"

"so, because I assumed that if you have great looks and a lovely warm personality, you don't need other things. i realize that in all our years of friendship, i've never told you how smart you are."

"Melissa" my 37 year-old friend answered softly, "no one's ever told me that i'm smart before."

in her voice i heard. beauty might not be the best. huh?

my heart is open. i'm more open. i think we're getting somewhere


  1. You write so beautifully; you are so open and honest. Don't find that all too often.

  2. What an amazing post. So inspiring!

  3. That was a really inspiring post :)

    I've always wondered if everyone in a business suit was secretly denying themselves the pleasure of being in a stained shirt and having frizzy hair and being late - I can't imagine it ever being fun or satisfying!!!

    There's a blog I read sometimes with the tagline - 'be yourself, everyone else is taken' :D it's easier said than done, especially when you're not quite sure who 'you' is, maybe we should be happy in uncertainty? *Wanders off talking to self about self* :P

  4. It takes a long time to just be okay with what you are, to go with the groove of where the river runs within. I was in my forties when the penny dropped, when I became me (whatever that was) and things seemed to fall into place a little easier.

    This is a really good post, full of personal peace and I am really, really happy for you. You know, though, that the difficult path that was unwittingly laid before you has probably made you an even more interesting person.

  5. I'm very happy for you. Being comfortable, to me, is the most beautiful thing. Not a face, not a body, but being comfortable. You are a beautiful writer, as well.

  6. Thank you for your sharing so honestly and eloquetly. You are a beautiful writer. And I feel from your words that you are a beautiful person as well.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts.