Still, I perceived my car to be at least emotionally safe, because there in its claustrophobic confines, I could host a casual paper napkin dinner party with Shame, later hiding all evidence, so no one ever need know, unless I chose to divulge.
But though my mind cries out for greasy culinary comfort, my spirit is sick of band-aid comfort solutions, which offer nothing more than a covering for my tiresome wounds.
Full embarrassing disclosure? It’s not as if I’m forcing myself into some great deprivation. I gorged myself on hot chip ecstasy for dinner last night, and the inflammation and pain triggered by deep fried starch, is not what my body requires again today.
Yet this is what it screams for.
This big body I walk around in feels safe-no longer objectified
, and comfortable. And though this has taken time, I’ve learned to truly love and appreciate the stretch-marked skin I’m in.
But lately this body has begun to feel restrictive. It doesn’t allow for the physical freedom I crave, and I don’t believe it reflects the personality it houses.
Over the last 12 weeks I’ve pushed my body to new physical depths and in the process blown my own mind. I’ve learned I am stronger than I ever knew. My body can move in ways I was never before aware, and I’ve discovered that pain doesn’t always indicate danger or trauma, sometimes it represents progress.
Sometimes pain signifies the pride of achievement. And whilst on some days it may hurt just lifting my arms to wash my hair, I’ve earned that pain, so it feels mighty good.
As I drove home after dropping the offspring at school; two cheery and eager to start their scholastic day, one sulky and sullen, clearly ready to be away from my directive words, I entered into a dialogue with myself around choices.
Yes, I suppose I could have the hash browns; they’re not evil. But they’re also not good.
And yes, “I can always get back on track tomorrow”, but I seduce myself with this line on far too many days. So what then, is holding me back from starting this day?
I asked myself how I want to feel, not just in this fleeting moment, but looking ahead also. The answer was: healthy and strong, free in my body.
Would hash browns help me achieve this? No.
I asked myself if this fried food was truly capable of offering the comfort I craved. Regrettably, it would not. How could it?
Emotions, I’ve learned, refuse to be satisfied with food, their appetite becomes insatiable if you repeatedly attempt to quell them with incompatible fuel.
I moaned to myself, unconvincingly, that I lacked the ‘willpower’ others have been blessed with. Until I concluded that I carried just as much as they, my issue was my skill in manipulating myself out of willpower and into the all familiar comfort zone of self-sabotage. Ouch.
Finally, and perhaps oddly to some, I enquired of myself what I might serve divinity, if God came to sup with me?
The answer, unsurprisingly, was not a quick, shame-filled anonymous deep fried fix.
It never has been, despite my operating in this default mode for so very long. I’d simply failed to recognise it as it manifested in masquerading forms:
People. Drama. Drugs. Health crises. Sex. Alcohol. Self harm. <Insert more here> The list is infinite.
I was now left with another choice;
What, if anything, to do with the revelations that flowed from my intrapersonal communication?
Would I honour the answers I had provided myself, or would I suffocate them in carbs and oil?
I drove home, passing two premises adorned by golden arches, not without some small amount of acknowledged grief, and stood in my kitchen, preparing for myself a big mother bowl of raw nourishment. Because no, it won’t offer superficial comfort, but it will offer my body the support it needs to keep making choices that will bring about holistic, long-term wellness in my life.
Nutritionally nourished, I now laze in my pyjamas, on un-vacuumed-cat-hair-laden-floor. Soaking in the teeny rays of sun that have graced the mat at my back door. Typing about my self-absorbed first world transient feelings on a smartphone, when I ought really to be studying. This and a few other
glaringly obvious incredibly subtle quirks, lead me to believe that I haven’t quite reached ‘enlightenment’ just yet. And if I have, it’s a lot less glamorous than the images my mind did previously conjure.
Perhaps though not enlightened, I am one step further away from Shame, and the power I’ve let it hold over me for far too many a day.
I’m one step further away from self-sabotage, recognising the difference between physical hunger, and emotional hunger, today choosing to be emotionally and spiritually nourished by the only one who has any real power to do so.
If you’ll now excuse me, I’m off to polish my halo- or at least my cutlery, for today I cancelled my reservation with shame. Today I’m dining with divinity.