Last week I had a major meltdown of epic proportions.
I had purchased jeans on-line. I hate jeans shopping. I think I hate it more than swimsuit shopping. As much as I proclaim I am a dress girl all the way, there is this piece of me that longs to just throw on jeans and a shirt and look effortlessly cool and hip and comfortable. But usually when I put on jeans I feel dumpy. I carry the majority of my weight in my belly so jeans that usually fit my legs don’t fit around my middle. As was the case with this pair. I got them buttoned but my stomach was smushed up and over the waistband. I walked out to the living room to show Mr. Darcy and was laughing about how ridiculous I looked. He even remarked, “At least you can laugh about it.”
I went back to the bedroom to change and looked at myself hard in the mirror. I stopped laughing and cringed. I felt ashamed and for me, shame usually gets masked by anger. I started to internalize my anger, saying terribly mean things to myself about being ugly, fat, unworthy, unloveable. I tried to cover up my downward spiral by going about making myself dinner (I had gone to dance class after work so it was nearing 8pm). But then my internal fuckedupness told me that I didn’t deserve to eat. Look at how gross I am. Look at how pathetic. Mr. Darcy tried to be comforting but I pushed him away saying I was going into the bathroom to probably cry. I feel so silly crying about my body in front of him. I know he feels helpless. I know he thinks I am beautiful. But I don’t. And that’s the crux of the problem here.
So I cried and then tried to pull myself together to go watch TV with him on the couch. I looked pretty pathetic sitting there, curled up into myself, far away from any comfort Mr. Darcy might want to try to give me. He tried, bless his heart, and I started to try to explain. “I just want to be normal! I just want it to be easier to find clothes so I can look like everyone else. And this is why I am paralyzed with fear about finding a wedding dress. What if I can’t find anything? What if it’s all dumpy plus sized dresses made out of cheap material? I’m so afraid I’ll have a horrible experience shopping that I will be pushed to this place of self-hatred and I won’t be able to come back from it.” It poured out of me and I felt too raw to sit there exposed like that so I left and went back to the bathroom.
I like to have my breakdowns in privacy.
I sat on the bathroom floor and bawled. I felt scared that I couldn’t pull myself back from the crazy precipice I had found myself at. I couldn’t self-soothe. I couldn’t rationalize my emotional roller coaster. I couldn’t catch my breath. I had spiraled to the dark place. I felt utterly alone.
I suppose this all sounds dramatic and maybe I was being over-wrought. I can usually talk myself down from this mental state but for some reason that night I was unable to.* When I opened the bathroom door Mr. Darcy was standing there, leaning against the wall. I felt even worse knowing he’d heard me- that he’d stood out there waiting for me to be done, knowing that if he’d try to comfort me I would have pushed him further away. So he waited and listened to me cry even though it was hard for him to do so. He’s learned to give me space but not to completely disappear and I am so grateful for him. So thankful that he loves me even when I’m clearly acting like a lunatic.
My therapy appointments are focused on my body loathing because it holds me back from being fully present in my life. Because it’s the thing I always come back to when I feel low. It’s my shame epicenter. And goddamnit I am tired of it. Despite a lifetime of dieting and trying different work out regimes, starving and bingeing, hating myself for not accepting myself as is and shaming myself for not being “an acceptable weight”, I’m just SO DONE carrying all this around. It’s like a barrier between myself and the life I want to live. I want to be free. And so, I’m diving into the deep emotional work and I’m basically terrified about what I could discover. But I’m doing it anyhow because this isn’t how I want to live. Even if it’s just an occasional breakdown, those feelings live inside me just waiting for the opportunity to break out. Where do those feelings come from? And why?
I hope to find out. And I hope what I discover doesn’t break me.
*Turns out those crazy emotions could be attributed to whacked out hormones. Thanks PMS! But still, something has to change.