copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
On February 15th, Barry boarded the plane. He was deep in thought and noticed few of the people around him. The prior evening had been exceptional. This sensitive man celebrated Valentine's Day with friends, with family, and best of all with himself, a person he had grown to love and respect, an individual he barely knew for all of his life, himself.
More recently, Barry had become a more balanced individual. He is now constantly on the move, not merely in a physical sense, but in a more real manner. The successful businessman, the sensational father, the phenomenal friend, the scholar who climbed the career ladder well, in the not so distant past, never felt truly fulfilled. Now, he thought of himself as a work in progress, a being who has transitioned beyond his wildest dreams. Yet, he trusted there were still many roads to travel. He wondered; would he make it. On this day, unbeknownst to him, Barry would find his answer. Yet, he would also be prompted to ask more questions.
copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
The holiday season is the best and worst of times. It always was. The food is phenomenal. The feelings that fill a heart, mind, or is it my stomach can cause enormous misery. For a person immersed in the rituals of bulimia the latter weeks of the year are better than all others. Opportunities to indulge are ample during the holy days. The selection of food fare is far superior. Scientific research on food reaps ample rewards. The secretive practice of self-imposed solitary confinement causes much angst, or could, if one were not able to find an escape in food.
Copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
She heard it said every time the topic was brought up. The words flow from their mouths as the food did from hers. Terminology spills into the sink of the uninformed and ignorant just as her fare did almost immediately after she swallowed it. Resembling her refusal to digest what she ate, they reject what is offered to them. Bulimics do not do as they do so that they might feel in control. While marinating in a myriad of feelings and flavors, a binger that purges is not exerting his or her desire to control. She cannot. She knows this all too well.
© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
As we stood face-to-face and quietly discussed my years of anorexia and bulimia, I was reminded of what I always knew and yet, was too distracted to acknowledge aloud. It was not that I never spoke of it before, I had on many occasions. However, this conversation helped me to realize the heartache my illness [and I unintentionally] caused more deeply.
Once you label me, you negate me.
~ Soren Kierkegaard [Danish Philosopher]
An article in the New York Times grabbed my attention instantly. It appeared in the health section. The title, One Spoonful at a Time. This writing was heartfelt. Author, Harriet Brown tells a gripping tale. It took me to memories of my own struggle with anorexia and bulimia and how these affected my family. In this exposé, the dilemma of how to treat the condition was thoroughly discussed. I wish to share my response to this situation and story. My personal experience of this is vast. I hope my thoughts, realizations, and rejoinders on this topic will be helpful to those grappling with similar issues. I trust that the effects of anorexia and bulimia are trials and tribulations for all those afflicted by these.
The subject of weight alone is a sensitive probing. An individual need not starve, binge, or purge in wrestling with weight. On the same day another New York Times essay loomed large entitled "Big People on Campus." This commentary contemplated the plight of being "fat." I was once that too. Many may muse in this moment, all anorexics believe they are chubby, and while that may or may not be true, I actually was at times in my life. My weight rarely was stable; nor was I when reflecting upon it. However, my weight was never the issue; it was a distraction, a symptom of what was within.
They watch my weight and say that they are worried. They are awaiting my passage. They believe I want to die and think I am working towards this vision. I am not; I never was.
As did many, I commented in a place or two. Then I stumbled on an observation by Rees Chapman. This person’s remarks hit me where I lived, not in the Zone© by Dr. Barry Sears, as the writer mentioned, but in the zone. My zone encompasses years of struggle, and an ultimate realization, a resolution. Mine was not one of those you make on New Year’s Day; nor was it one that was left my the wayside.
My resolve lingered; I think it will last for a lifetime. Actually, I know it will. In truth, I did not consciously choose to change the way I interacted with food; I did not think I could. I committed to nothing, I only thought about it, as did Chapman.
She has to admit it to herself; there is no denying it, she is “bulimic.” What does that word really mean?