Happiest families are the best.
It’s a crappy picture, yet, something about it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. As much as I hate to admit it I am, in fact, from this great state, Wisconsin. Although as I’m here now, I feel about as disconnected with it as ever. It’s not necessarily a bad disconnect, it’s more like hanging up on bad phone call and realizing, “whew, I thought that’d never end”
The end, actually is a beginning for me. As stupid as it sounds to most people, driving five hours across Michigan to simple have dinner with my mom and burn shit with my sister was about the best therapy I could have ever asked for. Being here, it’s teaching me that the person I was when I was here is an entirely different person than who I am now. I’m happy about that, I really am.
I’m able to enjoy the simplest things in life like bad fortunes in fortune cookie and burning shit, but at the same time I can’t stop at that. I must adventure on to find out what life is really all about. It doesn’t stop after you come to a conclusion after reading your fortune cookie, it begins when you realize you don’t need a fortune cookie to tell you what you want in life.
What is it that I want? Acceptance, worldwide acceptance of everybody for everybody. In other words, just let me be me and you be you and live on. Who’s to say that what makes one person happy is wrong? My sister likes to burn shit, hell, so do I and if I could do so more often I might get out aggression. I have a friend that likes to sing at bars, good for her.
Me. I like to adventure, both physically and mentally. The only way to push your comfort zone is to accept that the comfort zone you’re used to is only there because others have conditioned you to be that way. Like saying you’re afraid of skydiving, how the heck do you know unless you try?
Personally, I love skydiving. It’s almost like setting your body free in the air.
When is it okay to be yourself?
The answer is always, although, those struggling with our bodies, our identities and especially our diseases aren’t very optimistic at times. Take for example this morning, my “chubby buddy” came out to visit in the mirror this morning. Instead of letting my buddy (fine, I admit, it’s me, just through my chubby goggles) stay with me all day I took some extra time to put on something that I absolutely felt comfortable in my skin and body in. I didn’t like the fact that I hated the way I looked, but I did like the order in which I handled it:
- Realize that what’s in the mirror is only a reflection of an image
- Even if the reflection is bad, it doesn’t mean it’s real
- Nothing is permanent, nothing lasts, things can change.
So, I changed, but it made me wonder, who else goes through this and how does this disorder actually effect my life and daily basis. Of course I know from a personal point of view, but what does the CDC say about this? Below are cold hard facts with my personal experience responses in bold. Just remember, 99% of statistics are made up :-D
Eating Disorders Statistics
• Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression. (Yes, I’ve got manic depression disorder, and I strongly feel that it’s chemical, does that mean that the eating disorder is chemical too?)
• Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment. Only 35% of people that receive treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialized facility for eating disorders. (35% is probably because it’s hard to get into a facility. I tried and was rejected because I was “too sick”)
• Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S. (I feel very disturbed that there are so many people that adopt this as a lifestyle, and to have all three of those, I wonder if they counted me three times)
• Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. (probably because the more serious illnesses are placed into locations where they are in straight jackets and we get to roam about the streets)
• 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. 22% dieted “often” or “always.” (Maybe that’s a good sign that those that “always” diet don’t realize that diets don’t work)
• 86% report onset of eating disorder by age 20 (of course, teenage years are hell); 43% report onset between ages of 16 and 20.
• Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents. (Chronic….)
• 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. (So, I’m part of a very special group of 5% people, I think in the law industry we call them “life-ers”)
• 25% of college-aged women engage in bingeing and purging as a weight-management technique. (It’s temporary “management”)
• The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old. (just depressing)
• Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives. (I don’t care what happens, I will never smoke. Period)
• In a survey of 185 female students on a college campus, 58% felt pressure to be a certain weight, and of the 83% that dieted for weight loss, 44% were of normal weight.(On my campus, I feel like I can be myself, but then again, I kind of feel like I can be myself anyways)
Men:• An estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.(Poor dudes, you have to wonder why they care so much in the first place?)
• Men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because of the perception that they are “woman’s diseases.” (It’s a human disease, not a gender based disease. This is silly, dudes, really.)
• Among gay men, nearly 14% appeared to suffer from bulimia and over 20% appeared to be anorexic.(Not to sound biased or anything, but there is just as much if not more pressure on the gay men than there are on straight ladies. The problem is that the picking pool for them is smaller and the competition is more.)
Media, Perception, Dieting:
• 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 5 years. (It’s a marketing gimmick, all of that nonsense is just nonsense)
• 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders. (this is how it goes, you see progress and it’s like a little hit of a magic drug, just a little more.)
• The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females. (I’m not part of that 5% nor do I think that 95% of the population would be attracted to it)
• 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures. (Magazines are evil, unless you use them to reflect how wonderful you are because you’re not afraid to be yourself, besides, most of those models are making silly faces and getting groped anyways)
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape. (Perfect doesn’t exist)
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991). (I blame this on parents….)
For Women:• Women are much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. (There is lots of pressure on us not only to be beautiful, but also be to submissive and hand over control to the males. Many times I found myself running to the comfort of the disorder when I let somebody else, usually a male, tell me what I should be)
• An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime. Research suggests that about 1 percent of female adolescents have anorexia. (The number might be higher if more women weren’t in denial)
• An estimated 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.(it’s sad, I can walk through a store and almost spot a disorder from ten miles away. I have the urge to go up and hug people sometimes, but I’d probably get arrested)
• An estimated 2 to 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period. (the period around the holidays I’d think, then, the magic of bikini season comes around then we have to find mechanisms to try to make up for our binge-eating.
• About 50 percent of people who have had anorexia develop bulimia or bulimic patterns. (Hooray, I’m a halfer)
• 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems. (My heart has stopped a few times and I have also thought of death, but neither one will be the death of me.)
Although eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder, the mortality rates reported on those who suffer from eating disorders can vary considerably between studies and sources. Part of the reason why there is a large variance in the reported number of deaths caused by eating disorders is because those who suffer from an eating disorder may ultimately die of heart failure, organ failure, malnutrition or suicide. Often, the medical complications of death are reported instead of the eating disorder that compromised a person’s health.
According to a study done by colleagues at the American Journal of Psychiatry (2009), crude mortality(oxymoron) rates were:
• 4% for anorexia nervosa
• 3.9% for bulimia nervosa
• 5.2% for eating disorder not otherwise specified
Back to my point of view, since everyone loves it so much:
Here’s your chance, make a difference be it through helping those you think need help, helping yourself or even just becoming aware of how the media can hurt more than help.
I’m going back to playing with legos, they’re nice and organized and never once have I felt like I wanted to look like a MiniFig
“if i needed you, would you come to me?”
It’s a simple question, but not such a simple answer.
A common person would say, “well, it depends, do you need money? If so, then no.”
A heartless person would say “I’ve got my own demons to deal with.”
Me, I would say “Eh, I don’t have much, but what do you need?”
And thus is the definition of a ruse.
I care too much, I give too much credibility to those that perhaps don’t deserve that much. At the same time I have to look in the mirror and realize that the face staring back at me might need help when she doesn’t deserve it either. It’s a ebb and flow. I’m the biggest proponent for saying that we all make mistakes, but if they are mistakes that are obviously self destructive, then, vaya con dios….I’m not helping you.
I love, I love without boundaries. I love those that have hurt me and those that I have never met. At the same time I hate. I can hate those that I love and those that I’ve never met. I have a broad spectrum of emotions, which is healthy. I can be hurt by those that love; I can be loved by total strangers. It’s the way of the world. There is a population that changes every second, who’s to say who likes/loves/hate/encourages/dissipates/enrages who.
This is where I stand right now. I realize that the only cheerleaders I’ll ever have are my own. There isn’t a moment that i can’t make a statement against somebodies belief, love, affliction, that will turn them against me instantly. It’s okay though, I can promise you no different. If you say that Viburnums are the weeds of the world and if you say that the color brown is meant only for poop, you’ll have me to deal with. For these things I’ll be the cheerleader to the death. I’ll fight for what I think is right.
I don’t care though, we can fight. You can tell me that the only acceptable color is red and the only acceptable shrub is the Abelia,…your preference is yours….not mine.
And here I sit, broken hearted…wanted to poop but only farted.
See! Some would say bad taste. Some would say par for the course, considering the messenger.
What I really want to get across is that we all live in our own mutiny. We have our own crew that want to throw us over, but it’s up to us to keep them under control. (rough comparison is that if you have a belly ache and you feel like you’re going to blow donk, you tell yourself “please, don’t blow donk” and before you know it you feel better.)
I shrug and keep upon my trek, what else can I do.
I’ll admit to a few things, hoping to make karma on my side…
1)I don’t like the Stones album “Goats Head Soup”
2) The song “boy named Sue” could be any American adolescent
3) Anybody that thinks Pete Townsend is authentic deserves to accept the fact that Happy Meals are made from 100% authentic black angus beef
4) Those that believe in Hunter S Thomspson have to take a reality check and know that if you’re going to live like a proper dysfunctional writer, Ernest Hemingway is the way to go.
5) There are never enough trains leaving the station, especially if you’re hoping for somebody to be on one of those trains.
6) The shadows of the past aren’t dust stains, they are imprints of history that should teach you about the future. If men have laid down and let their bones die in a certain area for a certain cause, you should take notice that they are not alive anymore and the cause is probably moot.
7) In dealing with family matters, listen to side two of Led Zeppelin II and realize that a long term healthy relationship has to be like the song ” Moby Dick”, not in a perverse sort of way, but in the way you realize that it’s going to be long and sometimes boring, but it’s always going to be good…….even if you HATE drum solos.
8) “and if the damn breaks open”, it doesn’t really matter, what’s going to happen is you’re going to get wet. Wanna argue? Watch “O’ Brother Where Art Thou'”
9) “If I could just get off of this LA Freeway without getting killed or caught”….need I say more. Anybody that has tried to get from point A to B in LA in a hurry has only two things stuck in their mind….may I miss traffic and may I miss cops….it doesn’t happen.
“Beauty is not caused. It is.”
I spent a sufficient time in my life in the garage to know my way around a paint gun. I used to watch my dad paint cars, sometimes after working ten hours at a “real” job just to come home and work in the garage on other peoples cars. He’d take other peoples boo-boos, such as deer vs. Firebird and make everything all better. A little bit of pounding, a little bit of paint and voila, beauty is restored.
People are cars aren’t the same, you can’t pound your body into being beautiful and you sure as heck can’t walk around being airbrushed all day. The thing the is confusing to me, however, is how we find this acceptable in a media rich world. The fact that we can take a picture of ourselves and use different filters to make our image look black and white, sepia or even hi-def is one thing, but the ability to transform ourselves into something that we’ll never be is disturbing.
As I was looking over catalogues of beautiful women this morning trying to figure out what my winter style was going to be, I couldn’t help but be fixated on their legs. For one, it’s winter, shouldn’t they be wearing pants? And secondly, where the hell did their upper thigh go? I mean it’s one thing for a little touching up of a cellulite, but to remove an entire hunk of leg? That’s ridiculous, not only do I feel hurt for trying to be stuped into thinking this is what I’m supposed to look like, I actually feel bad for the models that have to be “okay” with the fact that even though they are beautiful, they still aren’t good enough.
I took a moment to try to airbrush away my legs. . . I didn’t do a very good job. But I also took the time to put myself through a few different filters. What I realized is this:
It’s not what you look like, it’s what sort of light you look at yourself in. If you look at yourself in a positive light, you’ll always be beautiful.
“Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.”
I found myself taking more time than usual to get ready this morning, which doesn’t say much except that I actually payed attention to what I was doing. It wasn’t a matter of me trying to impress the world or even try to look good in case I encounter somebody that needs impressing, it was just to do it. I’d take time to dry my hair perfect, wear a cute outfit (or at least I think it is) and put some cute little curls in my hair that bounce down by my face.
I did not, however, put on makeup. Screw that, I thought, I just took that much time fixing curls that will be humidity ridden and limp within an hour. I gave up on trying to boost my ego through physical appearance and just went about my day. My quest for acceptance from the public for my attractiveness is long gone, and I could care less if I ever need to try to attract anybody for any reason ever again in my life.
It’s not that I don’t care, I’ve just realized it’s a losing battle. There will always be some sort of “beauty” that I lack. Nice figure, nope. Nice face, eh, if you like a weird freckle and some bad teeth. Sexy legs? Ha, if you get into bruises, lots of scratches and bug bites then we might be onto something. All of these things are me though, and that’s okay, I think.
As Socrates said while associating beauty with tyranny, it’s true. You can let your “beauty” rule your life and let it sink tyrannical claws into you. You can find yourself falling to its strength and spend an hour a day fixing your hair or even two hours working out to make sure your body is “bikini ready”. With that time, is there nothing beautiful that doesn’t come easy?
Are sunsets not beautiful? On a perfect night on a perfect beach the least tyrannical specimen of beauty is the sun sinking low into the horizon and the world illuminated with a fantastic civil twilight. Is it not beautiful to watch a bee bounce from blossom to blossom happily working its day away? It only gets to you if you fear the bee of stinking you, just like fearing the sun for burning you, just like worrying if one day you’ll wake up in the mirror and there won’t be enough make up to make you “beautiful”.
Your body will give out one day and you won’t be able to run three plus miles to keep those perfectly toned legs. Your hair will thin and you’ll have to either accept the loss and get a wig or even worse turn to third world countries selling you their hair just to help you feel better about yourself.
Giving power to beauty is giving yourself over to a tyrannical presence that is out of your control.
Come along and be ugly with me, it’s not so bad.
I don’t even remember where I was trying to take that now that I think about it. It’s tough, after my 30th birthday I’ve found myself in a field of liberation surrounded by a very scary forest of trees with nooses, monsters and potentially deadly substances. I’m not going back into the forest, not ever, but at the same time when the going get’s tough, it’s a lot easier for me to turn tail and go back into the woods to hide until the “tough” goes away. I’ve found myself in a unique position though, this is only during interpersonal relationships. If I’m faced with “tough” in work or school or even traffic I say “give me tougher!”
I’m not a perfect person, but I do have some traits that some would see perfect, but other would see as flawed. Such as (and I’m going to use bullet points, it makes it look organized).
- Chocolate Donuts – I freaking love them, especially the slightly old ones from the gas station that are almost stale but not quite. Don’t give me that Krispy Kreme nonsense, give me a good cakey donut. Some people would say “Heck yeah, those are the shiznit!” Others might say, “you’re so weak to let yourself eat something that’s so bad for you!”. It’s rough when both of those people are you.
- I have a big butt, and I cannot lie. Perhaps it’s my lordosis or perhaps it’s the donuts, but my booty sticks out far enough to knock stuff over at times. Of course this isn’t really a wonderful trait, but hey, it gives me an extra cushion for sitting. Some people would look at is as “daaayyymmm, that’s a ghetto booty!” or some would say “Ugh, she’s fat, she’s got an ass the size of a semi”. I don’t mind my butt, it’s unique considering nobody else in my family has one.
- I take life seriously, but not too seriously. When there is a hurdle I tend to giggle my way over it instead of finding the most efficient or documented way over. I’m not really one to plan strategically over the hurdle, but I’d rather wing it with my knowledge of what the hurdle represents as an obstacle. Sometimes, it’s too tall for me no matter what and I’ll never get over it, but at least I’ll approach it with a smile and a joke. Some people would call this poor planning, I just call it healthy humor.
- I enjoy beer, and some people will be pro and some against, I know that for a fact. The problem with this is that perhaps some people would say I enjoy beer too much. It’s true, at times, but then again I only enjoy my beer too much when something is making me not enjoy life too much. It’s not an effective way of dealing with hardships, but then again, I don’t have hardships everyday. Bad day calls for a good beverage and a fresh start in the morning. The noose pulling you back to the past can be snipped with a good beer, it can also be tightened with too many beers. Beware.
- I care. Too much at times, but at least I care. I can look at relationships with family, friends and work and see that I care too much for those around me. I worry about what’s going on in other peoples lives just to see if I can help somehow. I also put myself in other peoples shoes a few times just to see how my life could be better or worse. It doesn’t much get me anywhere, but at least I can say I care. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to love, and perhaps I love too much. It’s better than being a cold hearted jerk.
- I’m a cold hearted jerk – ha – to contradict myself if I feel I’ve been wronged, I’ll get over it but not without having some input on why I feel I deserve better treatment. It all stems from the feeling of every single person deserves respect, and when I feel disrespect I get disrespectful – but only to a tasteful degree. Some people would call this a bad trait and I should be more easy going, but actually they’re wrong. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to stick up for yourself and know who you are and what you represent. I represent the respect that I feel that I deserve.
A little bit goes a long way, and although I feel that even in this last week I’ve gained 15 pounds (really) and pretty much lost all sense of self confidence in my appearance, I’ve also gained about 15 pounds of wisdom. Life’s short, my friends, eat donuts and drink beer.
(but not krispy kreme and budweiser)