I love birthdays. I love my birthday and everyone else’s birthday. I am always up for celebrating, even if the only reason to celebrate is because there isn’t a reason not to celebrate. My day is just around the corner, and being in a new place with exactly 3 friends, 2 of which have small children, well, let’s just say the options are limited for celebratory measures. Since I love feeling sorry for myself, I re-read what I wrote last year.
This is what I wrote a few days before my birthday: “Maybe twenty-seven can represent super-gluing broken pieces, smoothing over sharp edges, and not having to be quite so carefully kept.”
I frequently thought about these words over the last year. I was hopeful that day that I could celebrate turning 27, and in a magical case of symbolism, turn a new leaf and leave all disordered eating behind. I really thought I could let go at midnight and go on my merry way. Cold turkey is my favorite kind of turkey.
Today I “feel” fat. I thought for sure I must weigh more than when I turned 27. I actually weigh less today then I did last year at this time. And that just proves yet again that the number means absolutely nothing. I want to believe I spent the year “smoothing over sharp edges” and working on “not having to be quite so carefully kept,” but I spent the month following my birthday trying so hard and feeling like I was failing harder. I had support for the first time ever, and I couldn’t lean on them a lot of the time. I felt like a burden with elementary problems and unfounded crisis’.
Today I know I’m just having a hard body image day. I’m still working on the “being a burden” thing–but I’m thankful for friends who keep supporting despite my lack of information giving, and friends that know to ask me direct questions because otherwise it’s unlikely I’ll open up, when I need to so badly.
Today I don’t care about sharp edges. Sharp edges might be painful when you lean against them but they can also define beautiful pieces of art. Maybe the panic attack I had yesterday doesn’t appear to be a step forward, but it is. Hear me out: I was able to realize today, when I was still anxious, and started to think I was fat, that I’m feeling this way because of yesterday. I’m not anxious because I’m gaining weight (because I’m not), I’m anxious because … I’m anxious. Maybe it goes deeper than that, but the point is that it’s not because I’m fat, ugly, disgusting, gluttonous, overeating, on my way to becoming morbidly obese, or generally failing at life.
Today, and every day, I am a work in progress. That is okay. That is totally okay.
Besides, champagne and cake make life more exciting.