Friday, 18 March 2016

Ramblings on Self Love, Social Media, and Pizza



At 31 I finally learned how to love my body completely. After a lifetime of eating disorder issues, various self-injuries, all of the scars, both physical and emotional, both deliberately inflicted and accidental. In this moment, somehow, all of the aspects of my self come together and I love all that I am. Perfectly imperfect.

This body has traveled the world. It has known fame (infamy). It has paid bills. It has made a tiny human. It has made me happy. It has made my lovers happy. It has been burned, cut, tattooed, poisoned, pierced and picked at (constantly). It has experienced pretty brutal infections. It has had three surgeries. It has been abused, raped, assaulted and neglected. It has been fed, overfed, starved. It is skilled in needlework and word-craft. It has been another's possession. It is finally and permanently my own now.

My scars and tattoos are all pieces of my story, and my story means everything to me.

I now accept my dermatillomania as an autism stim, and this acceptance has changed my attitude towards my skin picking in an interesting way. I am no longer shooting for total abstinence. I accept that picking is what I do, and my acceptance of this makes it feel more natural, somehow. And somehow this makes it easier to stop after a moment of picking, thus preventing my usual pro-longed picking binges after periods of abstinence. I no longer support the concept of being totally pick free as a goal for anyone with dermatillomania. Safer, gentler picking behaviour with good hygiene and self care is so much healthier than abstinence. Since I have stopped aiming for perfect I am hardy picking at all. Definitely not more than ten minutes per average day, versus four hours plus when I was aiming for perfect. Perfectly imperfect.

Eating disorder recovery. Ok, so I still struggle with my awkward relationship with food! I love food (especially pizza!), really really love food! And I love my body right now. For years and years I had a picture of myself in my head and a number I needed the scale to read in order to feel good about myself. But, somehow, I have been able to change both self-image and number so that they both fit my actual reality. And honestly, I'm not sure exactly what the number is now, and I don't feel a need to know. Because I am looking at my actual body and I am loving me just as I am, even as that changes. I accept my body and the organic, changeable nature of human flesh.

My brain-space still has thoughts about food and exercise, but these days I am managing to override them. I am accepting of food as a sensual pleasure as well as a base fuel. Though occasionally I go too far and binge eat all of the chocolate. So, that's a slight concern. But generally I'm doing well and I acknowledge this :) There is currently a 12 pack of creme eggs in the fridge. I'm using it as a resistance test.

This morning instagram informed me that someone had flagged my account as a possible eating disorder safety risk. I get quite a lot of this sort of thing. Particularly on facebook. Concerns about my being suicidal, on one occasion my self-injured leg was reported as a description of graphic violence ;) I'm not at all convinced of any benefit in this sort of reporting process. I'll quantify this as a person who, if I actually were at risk, would not be on social media. Social media is where I live! My safe space, it's where my people are <3 All these warning flags serve to do it to put a temporary barrier between the (potentially) at risk person and their support network. And I think we all know the numbers, or how to google them. We could all reach out to urgent care, suicide prevention lines or other services if we wished to. So yeah, I find the risk-flagging annoying. Please quit doing that. It would generally serve you better to call/text the person you are worried about. And my ED recovery posts are the last thing you should be flagging as an ED concern. So much pro-ana shit out there, so many 'healthy lifestyle' styled presentations of compulsive exercise as a positive lifestyle choice. My body-positive selfies are not the problem. Ever.

And pizza. I fucking love pizza. Especially bed pizza. I have only recently discovered the joys of eating in bed and it has blown my mind!

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