Monday, November 12, 2007

The Pill That's Hard to Swallow

Okay, here's me being very real.
Yesterday afternoon was yucky. I mentioned in my last post that I have been taking medication that has made me gain weight, given me mood swings, and acne. Well, yesterday, I set out to Union Square with the last $50 of my Birthday money (yes, my birthday was in June-- I realize I'm strange) to buy some clothes that would fit a little better.

After hours of hunting, countless dressing rooms, and a lump in my throat, I came back empty-handed. But let me give you a little back story, first:

The Freshman 15 is a pretty common occurrence. I'm not exactly sure how much weight I gained in college, but it was more than 15lbs, and it was for more than just my freshman year. I really struggled with "the new me", and was plagued with awful thoughts about the way I looked, my self-image, and my worth. Everything I wore was chosen to cover up a body I was ashamed of, and to hide myself as much as possible.

After college, I slowly lost the weight, and began to actually feel comfortable in my own skin. I felt healthier-- mentally & physically, and finally re-learned what it was like not to hate my own body. I even discovered that I had a "style" that I actually liked, and didn't have to buy things
for the way they covered & hid me. It was very freeing.

Well, fast forward to yesterday, in the dressing room at Banana Republic, trying to squeeeze into a pair of jeans, and realizing that I don't wear that size anymore. I must have tried on 50
different items yesterday, and all those old messages about my worth, my value & my body started screaming in my head again. I realized that I would have to start buying things for the way they covered me, and not because I liked them. It felt like a door closing on my identity, somehow-- like I had lost all that healthy freedom I had gained these past 7 years.

To make matters worse, I went straight from my unsuccessful ventures downtown to meet some friends for pizza. The lump I felt in my throat made it difficult to thing of swallowing pizza,
so I ordered a salad instead. When the waitress brought the salad, she set it in the middle of the table for us all to share. I explained that it was for me, and she exclaimed "WOW! This is all for you?! You must be hungry!" I swear, the whole restaurant heard. Somehow, I didn't feel quite so hungry after that.

I realize that my dress size does not define me. I realize that my worth is not based on my weight, and that my identity and style does not come from the clothes that I wear. At least, I'm trying to believe those things...

I kept telling myself, each time I stood in front of one of those awful full-length mirrors in the dressing rooms, that every woman in America feels insecure about her looks-- that our culture (and the Devil) has set an impossible and ridiculous standard for us to live by, and that I don't have to buy it. I kept reminding myself that I had a hot husband at home, who loves me and thinks I'm beautiful.

I'm trying. All those voices in my head tell me that I am worthless, fat, and ugly. They are wrong. They are wrong, and I don't have to believe them. I know what truth is, and I know that's not it. I am going to fight very hard to live in truth...


Grace said...

oh man, Christine. Thanks for your honesty and "going there" in this post. I wish I could say something to make you feel better and to make those darned thoughts go away. And it wouldn't hurt to be able to fit into your clothes again. But (sigh) I have nothing to offer except to say, I feel ya'. Those damned pills from the pits of hell!

keokex said...

CPK, thanks for sharing with us about those messages you're hearing. I never have thought this sort of thing would be something you struggle with? I really don't think of you as having body image concerns. So, reading that comes as a surprise to me. You do have really great style and I would definitely agree with you that all those negative haunting thoughts are just simply drug induced crazy lies. It would be so great if I could permanently tune out my own haunting messages. Thanks for letting us walk this with you. :)

ChristineCPK said...

Thanks, guys-- you're great! I should print out your comments and tape them on my mirror ;)