There have been many ups and downs in the last two weeks. I feel a little exhausted.
I am struggling with food, going from dieting to binge eating, back and forth. It was just the same last year. What saved me then was a sudden ‘new’ feeling of liking myself. It came BEFORE the last phase of weight loss. Weight loss is a consequence of feeling good about myself, it is not the solution to make myself feel happy (remember that!). It was just the same in the very beginning, almost three years ago. I have accepted that I probably won’t lose weight while I feel as I am feeling now. I’m trying to maintain and not allow myself to drop back into a full-blown eating disorder. But it is a very fragile situation right now. I am afraid of my own brain that is trying to trick me. I’ve read a few books on the subject and am convinced now that I trained my brain into binge eating in my teens. I know that I’m not utterly powerless, that I can change and un-train myself to a certain degree. But I will probably always be vulnerable to it.
Naturally, as I go from bloated after overeating to normal to losing some weight and back again, my self-image and confidence change all the time. My mood changes all the time. My sense of identity changes. Am I a dancer or a hopeless bumbling amateur? Am I a pretty young woman or an ugly aging blob? Am I fat, normal or thin? As I said: Exhausting. The worst is that I can’t take myself seriously in ballet when I feel fat. I used to be really fat, but acted (and felt) like a dancer. And all my teachers witnessed my weight loss. Yet I feel ashamed to go to class now if my thighs seem larger than before or my stomach sticks out even when I pull up. Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t skip classes. I just felt horrible and danced ‘small’. At the moment, it’s better and I’m stuck at: average-looking, ‘still young’ , serious adult ballet student. Who knows how long it will hold…
Then there is a Big Thing: Dinah and I met! We met a week ago for a walk near where I live. She took Tippy, and Sissy and Mother came with her. It was almost two years since we had met. She looked tense and shy and very skinny. I felt awkward and the whole situation seemed absurd. We’re sisters! We lived together for 25 years. And now there we stood, We talked a little about ‘safe’ topics, animals and computers and plants. I had worried about what I should wear, something loose or close-fitting? Trousers or a dress? Everybody keeps saying: just be natural, be yourself. But that is the difficulty: I don’t know myself who I am and what I’m like. I change all the time. Well, I don’t think the clothes made a difference. The difference is in my body. The last time Dinah met me, I was about 30kg/60lb. heavier. Mother said that she bore it quite well. She had been pushing herself to meet me because we are going to Valais this weekend and she wanted to come with us.
We’re going to Pyne, like every year. I wrote about it last year and the year before. It’s a place we love very much (hey, I just noticed that this fact unites us…). Dinah didn’t come last year. This year, there was talk of me staying away, but that was in January. Luckily, Dinah didn’t seem to consider this anymore (and my parents were nice enough not to suggest it). If she wanted to come, she’d have to be able to live in the same chalet with me for three days and spend hours in the same car. She worked with her therapist on overcoming and managing her fear. She took a first look at me from a window at Easter, when I came home for breakfast. And last week, she met me. That’s a huge progress, and it’s unexpected and sudden (for me. After all, it has been two years!)
It still isn’t entirely clear if she will come, but we’re positive. It’s going to be uncomfortable for me as well. I feel ‘evil’ and big and domineering and loud and all the bad things she thinks about me when I’m with her. I see myself through her eyes and hate what I see. But I can recognise this and work against it. And if she comes, I’ll have to go to the dinner on Saturday night. Father belongs to a kind of rifle club and student fraternity and they have a little party on Saturday. I didn’t go for years. I’d much rather stay at the chalet with Dinah and eat Pizza and watch the Eurovision Song Contest like we did three years ago, that was fun! I hate social situations with lots of strange people. But I’m willing to do it to help Dinah, and maybe it will be fun, who knows? I do want her to come. I want us to get along well enough that I can go home more often, maybe stay the night there or a whole day, or go on holiday with the entire family like we used to. She doesn’t have to love me, just tolerate and accept me.
Just like last year, I am trying to bring my best self away to Pyne. My best clothes, best music, best thoughts and best frame of mind. It’s a pity that I’m in this crisis and haven’t been able to enjoy the weeks leading up to it. Still: I’m looking forward to Pyne so much! There’s a lot to organise and pack. I haven’t travelled at all lately, so I’m not used to it anymore. I’m going to miss ballet class, but will practice on my own. But I’ll have serious cross trainer withdrawal… Sissy will stay here and come to feed Gina. Okay, I’ll stop writing now, I’m rambling.