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Fighting the Good Fight
Beating Disorders

I spent lunch in a tree, writing about how good I look.

That won't surprise many of you.

But my reasons why might.

This morning was the first time in . . . Well, since I can remember . . . that I looked into the mirror and was happy with what I saw.

It was a very good feeling to look at myself, just woken up, shirtless, and smiling, and say, "Wow, I look good." I've never actually said that before while examining myself.

Since I was about 6 or 7, I've been unhappy with my body. This lead to an eating disorder that I recognized the warning signs of around my sophomore year in college, and decided not to seek outside treatment for. I made the decision on my own and without help or bothering to get advice or even talk about it. I made the choice based on a general distrust of anyone who deals with issues of the mind and a general faith in myself, combined with a strong feeling that if you can't help yourself, no one else can help you, either. I never bothered to name the disorder, and I won't bother to. It's unimportant. I've done all right with it, in the long run.

In my senior year of college, though, the disorder was compounded by an addiction, another issue I chose to deal with on my own, and which I conquered through replacement and an application of the virtue of moderation (I began by DP around this time).

Self-image issues aren't always on the surface, and this particular one didn't stop me from putting on the act that you all know so well. I'm a Chaote: what you see is what you get, but you're seeing and getting what I want you to get. "We are what we pretend to be," after all. The second half of that quote, of course is, "so we must be careful what we pretend to be."

Underneath a lot of me is a generally insecure, shy, sloth-like person who gets embarrassed and sometimes even gets spooked. Most of you just don't know that person, and you won't get introduced, either. He's not my favourite person, and he causes more problems than he's worth. Fortunately, he's so small that he's easy to ignore. He doesn't manifest publicly very often at all, generally only when I'm alone or when I'm standing in front of that damn mirror.

There's a reason that I own a total of two mirrors, only one of which is uncovered. The other mirrors in my house are Tina's, and I don't look at them if I can help it. I wouldn't own any if I didn't need them to put in my contacts. I only look at my eyes in mirrors.

The Magician, the Fool, the Priest, the Rogue, the Bridge-Builder, and even the Mundane are a united front against this weakling. They know that their own survival depends on beating him into submission, and they do it often. He's easily beaten, when he's recognized. Sometimes he comes disguised, though, and sneaks out. Always, though, he's beaten back.

In short, today was something of a victory for me. If you've ever not been happy with how you look for an extended amount of time, you know the feeling. If you don't, I'm not sure how to convey it.

Let's call it "freedom".

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Updated on 06/29/2005. Site Credits / Email Me!
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