It's not you. It's me.
Nope, this isn't some happy little Christmasy post. It's actually kind of sad (for me at least).
It's an explanation. And a goodbye of sorts.
I've had to say goodbye to friends before. Sometimes its a move, someone's dad got a new job in a new city. Sometimes it's going off to college and the gradual process of growing apart. Sometimes it's a fight or an argument. This isn't any of those times. I feel like it would be easier if it was. I feel like it would be easier to say "I'm sorry that you're moving 1000 miles away and that our friendship won't be the same" than to say "I'm sorry, but I can't handle this right now. I'm not strong enough". I've tried several times to get around doing this. I've tried deleting my Facebook. I've tried deleting my Pinterest. But that didn't really help because it didn't get to the root of the problem. The problem was still there, in real life and online, and I had to face it every day.
I know that I can't completely remove all the triggers from my life. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I struggled with drugs or alcohol than with food. At least then I could avoid the thing that triggered me. But no, I have to eat. I have to face my trigger multiple times a day- and there's no way on earth to completely avoid it. I can see a dietitian and a therapist and try to come up with ways to manage the triggers, but that's all I can do- manage them. I can't completely avoid them. To make things harder, we live in a society where weight loss and looking a certain way is praised. We live in a culture the promotes the idea of "skinny"- at all costs. Please know that I don't blame any single one of you for buying into what culture says about beauty. But, I don't have to listen to you promote it.
A year ago, I weighed 20 pounds less than I do now. Looking back on pictures from last Christmas, I look quite scary. In a lot of ways, I'm "better" now. I'm "weight restored"- thanks to two months of drinking Ensure like it was my job. But, I still have a ways to go. I still struggle with the decision of what to eat, how much to eat, and what I should or shouldn't do after I eat. I still have that obsessive little voice in my head telling me that I need to loose weight. I'm not "fully recovered". I don't know that I'll ever be in a place where I'm fully comfortable with how I look and how much I weigh. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to eat "what I want, when I want" without worrying about it. But, I do know that I can keep progressing towards that goal. I can keep fighting with every fiber of my being. Progress, not perfection. But, I've come to the point in my recovery journey that I can now see that surrounding myself with messages of body hatred from culture isn't healthy for me. Sure, some people can buy the latest fashion magazines and read fitness articles and not be affected. Some people can go to the gym and work out and not be obsessed or triggered by it. But, I'm not there yet.
I hope this comes out grace-filled and nonjudgemental, but I'm afraid that it won't be interpreted that way. I've made the decision that I can no longer continue to surround myself with triggering people. If you post (or continually talk about) about weight loss, working out, so-called "healthy eating" or "clean eating", "good food vs. bad food", shaming others for not working out, or anything of that nature, I can not be around you right now. A comment here or there is okay. I can deal with the occasional post. I get that sometimes these topics come up as a natural part of conversation. But if literally everything that you do is discuss these topics, I cannot continue to jeopardize my recovery in the name of friendship.
Would you tell a recovering alcoholic about how you went out drinking the night before?
Would you tell a recovering drug addict about how you occasionally use cocaine?
Some of you are very near and dear to me and this makes me really really sad. But I really really want to stay out of treatment. I want to be able to get a job and have a family of my own and live a life of freedom! I know that there is no way that I can remove all triggers from my life. There are things I can't control (like Facebook filling up my newsfeed with diet and weight loss ads, for example). But for the few things I can control, I have to control them. I have to put myself and my recovery first right now. So if you have been unfollowed or unfriended, if I suddenly stop responding to your messages, please know that I still love you. I still wish the best for you.
I hope that someday you'll realize that you are so very worthy and you're not made more or less worthy based on a number on a scale.
I hope that someday you'll see your beauty and you'll understand the idea of health at every size.
I hope that someday you'll know that being skinny won't solve all your problems and being at a healthy weight (or even overweight) isn't the cause of all of your problems.I'm sorry.