Thursday, August 30, 2007

happy might make my butt look big, but you're miserable and won't go to therapy.

the fucking dress doesn't fit.

the dress i was planning on wearing to my friend's wedding this weekend in connecticut doesn't fit.

there. i said it. it's not because i have two little zit scars in my cleavage; or because it's black, and i'd really rather wear something a little more cheery and light for a late summer wedding.

the fucking dress doesn't fit.

the dress i put on layaway, and i never put things on layaway convinced that if i can't afford it one one fell swoop, well then, i can't really afford it, can i?

duped by the exotically beautiful salesgirl that oozed:

eet is soo pract-ee-kal, you vill vear it all zee time. black eez so basic and vorks for everyzeeeng.

yes, i agree. black is basic, and it works for everything, but only if it FITS, dammit.

oh, it fits, if you want to be literal about it. i can zip it up, and it looks normal, but it feels completely uncomfortable. i feel like a trussed chicken: BOUND. i wouldn't be able to eat a thing, sitting would be so-not-fun, and forget dancing! and if a girl can't dance and eat at a wedding, why bother going?

i've put on a little weight since i bought the dress a couple of months ago. i'm annoyed. i feel a little dumb. i feel a little angry. i feel a lot ashamed, and why? because i've gained about five pounds. five pounds, margaux, not forty. feeling annoyed, dumb, angry, and ashamed over gaining five, that's something to feel annoyed, dumb, and angry about.

particularly when i think about why i've gained five pounds:

i've been happy.

HAPPY, people.

i was more than a little sad for a few months there. so sad, and so heartbroken, that i veritably lost my appetite. that is, i can say without a doubt, the first time that has ever happened to me in my entire life. someone really should mark that down somewhere. etch a brass plaque and screw it to my ass:

because i am highly doubtful it will ever happen again.

i've never been one of those people who "cope" by not eating. "coping" for me, much of the time, has meant eating. not this go around. chocolate held no appeal. bagels, nada. ice cream, ehhh. cheese, pffft. i'd like to think this means that i've developed some new way of coping, that i just allowed myself to feel the sadness. i spent many hours curled up in a ball on my bed weeping. tears trickled down my face while i rode the subway home. i cried in the supermarket's frozen meats section. i wasn't scared of the sadness because i knew it wouldn't last. like all emotions, i knew it was temporary. i could go "there" without feeling like i'd never come back because i'd been to the abyss before and made it back. i could go "there" again with a sense of peace, so i didn't have to go to the refrigerator.

and the not-eating (not-eating much, i should say. i was still eating, just not much) wasn't about starving myself, or some fucked up, "well, if i were thinner, things wouldn't have turned out this way or that, this or that person might actually have loved me, and we could have lived happily ever after." nope, it wasn't about that either. i just needed to spend time digesting my emotions, not food. the ache in my heart overwhelmed the ache in my belly, and i just needed to give it its due.

so, there ya have it. i lost weight.

people started noticing. Friends Who Know expressed concern:

"i just want you to tell you that i've noticed that you've been losing weight."

co-workers shouted their congratulations across the office:

"you're looking good, girl!"

family members offered that familiar though confusing cocktail of envy, curiosity and concern:

"now what have you done to lose that weight? well, don't lose anymore... but you look great."

it started to scare me a little bit. i could see how easy it would be to step back into the hopsotch of disordered eating. with all of this attention and the loose-fitting clothes that i wore like sartorial trophies, why not keep it up? i distinctly remember being awoken in the middle of the night by hunger pains once during that time. it was a pivotal moment for me, and i think i knew it. i could stay in bed and try to go back to sleep, i thought, and choose to ignore the growls in my belly. if i keep it up, surely i would lose more weight, get more attention, feel "better," feel superior. i actually sat up in bed and said aloud to myself, "nope, we're not doing this. we're getting out of bed, and getting a snack."

peanut butter and graham crackers.

slowly, i started feeling better. i woke up one morning and realized i was no longer missing the dysfunctional rigamarole that had been my raison d'etre for so many months. i wasn't crying anymore. i was laughing a lot more. i was drinking a bit (sometimes a lot) more. i was kissing a lot more. i was dancing a lot more. i was happy a lot more. so, i guess it would stand to reason that i was eating a lot more.

so, yes, what this means is:

i've gained weight.

wow. i said it, and the world didn't crumble around me.

i've gained weight.

and i am still me.

i've gained weight.

and the people who loved me when i was five pounds lighter, still love me.

i've gained weight.

but - no, not but - AND, i'm happy.

the dress doesn't fit, but there's always another dress, and i really like the way i look in Happy.


cggirl said...

Wow. That post is fantastic.
I can so identify with a lot of what you say there and I'm sure i'm not the only one. I actually can't quite put into words what it feels like to read that, so i hope u can somehow just feel my reaction through cyberspace.

Thank you for sharing that, and I think you look beautiful in Happy :)

Anonymous said...

hi marg,
i actually shed a tear reading this post and totally know what you mean. keep the happy, it's worth so much more than a well-fitting dress. you will be a star either way at this upcoming wedding, black dress or no black dress. your smile will be the most important part of your outfit.

looking forward to hearing from you,

PalmTreeChick said...

I love it!! Yay, a happy Margrocks!! You're right, there's a million dresses out there but only ONE happy Margrocks!

Seriously, great post.

disordered girl said...

"i wasn't scared of the sadness because i knew it wouldn't last."

Thanks for this post!

vesta44 said...

awesome post, just totally awesome.

æ said...

I liked this post too.

I also lost my appetite for the first time in my life this year--the plaque looks great over the fireplace. And I feel/felt scared. It'd be so easy to slip back in and even made me doubt myself sometimes, thinking maybe I'd slipped in without knowing it (impossible! It's too hard to do "on accident!").

When really, it was exactly like you put it, that I needed to digest emotions (and my past) more than food for that time, and sometimes still. It's the strangest thing, because for me too eating has always been how I met those things.

Thanks for sharing this with us.


Laura Collins said...

Your attitude always fits, if you ask me!

em said...

beautiful stuff :)