“Is that body checking?”
“No! I just need something to do with my hands.”
“If your rings fit looser…?”
The abrupt realization that I am body checking is much more confronting than I was prepared for. My wedding band sliding easily is the ultimate body check because there is nothing to lose from my fingers and if even my fingers have become thinner, than I surely must be thin.
I don’t know myself.
It’s an unconscious, all day body check. It’s reassurance, all day, that I have not suddenly become fat. Otherwise I don’t matter. I am just: matter. Matter that is taking up excessive space.
The ring on my right hand was made from a cats eye gemstone extracted from my late grandmother’s earrings. I never take it off. On my left hand is my wedding band, which I also never take off. Both rings were correctly sized for my 4.5 already skinny ring fingers. When they become loose, even if it’s because I’m cold and clearly has nothing to do with weight loss, I have a moment of excitement.
Last September, I took off my grandmother’s ring because I was afraid it would fall off. I resisted taking off my wedding band- it’s symbolic meaning to the rest of the world was more important than potentially losing it, and I felt it could be replaced. I can’t replace a stone worn by my grandmother. I was sad I had to do this but elated it no longer fit.
“I’m not calling you out, just asking a question.”
I am embarrassed that until the question was asked I was furiously checking, checking, checking and that was calming some anxiety but I had no idea I was doing it. I suddenly had to face reality: I am unable to recognize the severity of my eating disorder. Not that I am saying it is “severe” but that the question brought me to the present moment and forced me to recognize it’s worse than I allow myself to believe.
Of all the diagnostic criteria for anorexia I am unable to identify with the part that says; “denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.” Because, “low body weight” I believe to be untrue in my case. At my lowest I still had a BMI that classified me as “mild” and being consistently at the low end of “normal” after only gaining a handful of pounds never helps any sort of denial I might be in. Which I see that if I’m in denial, I can’t see this is the case. It’s like the notion that if you think you’re crazy, you’re in fact not. But if you don’t think you’re crazy, you probably are.
Enter frustration over reality.
Acceptance that my reality is not everyone else’s reality is VERY FUCKING HARD.
I feel sorry for myself that my mind is a giant lie.
Anorexia whispers; it’s not a lie.