My dear sparkfriends, you may remember 6 weeks ago when I posted my blog, Stopping my Slow Suicide by Spoon, www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
. I stated that I was going to find a eating disorder specialist for help.
Well, my insurance doesn't kick in till November 1. I did get a recommendation for a specialist, and I will see if they are on my plan when I get the paperwork. So, I chose a free option and began to attend Overeaters Anonymous meetings.
I found a wonderful group of people in OA. Understanding and acceptance. It is wonderful to be able to talk about compulsive eating and all its weird behaviors and be understood. Tonight, I received my 30 day chip. Each meeting, I find it easier to share and communicate to others and myself. I am still finding my way, but it is wonderful to have hope.
On another topic, I attended a free writing workshop run by a MFA professor here in New Orleans. We studied creative nonfiction, and she asked us to write about a memory of the lunchroom or cafeteria. What came to my mind was a merging of the OA meetings and my omnipresent ruminations on female beauty. Constructive feedback is always appreciated.
Till later, sparkfriends. Here is my memory......
I was a revelation of 2nd grade beauty. Sun kissed blonde hair teased to 80s perfection and frozen in time by Aqua Net. One of my five older sisters had been my beautician, and I was confident I was just like them – a magnificent Grigsby girl.
Sandwiched between 5 older sisters and 1 younger brother, I lived in my imagination. That day, with my new outfit from the Knoxville mall and big hair, I was consumed with wonder that I had ever questioned my beauty.
I strode into the lunchroom heads above my classmates, but not caring for the first time. I scanned the noisy cafeteria for my older sisters, finding them in a sea of laughing teenagers, each sister more beautiful than the last. And finally, I was like them, belonging in beauty.
I happily chose a green plastic tray and milk carton. The tasty smell of greasy pizza floated around the large cafeteria. I pointed at a pepperoni rectangle and went to the cashier. The buffet line opposite me fed another blonde 2nd grader to the cashier with me. We saw each other with wide eyes as the cashier loudly proclaimed, “TWINS! YA'LL ARE TWINS!” as she began to laugh.
My twin had my special, non hand me down, straight from the big city outfit! I stood there, suddenly too tall, chubby and awkward for the tropical print halter top short set. I hung my head and stared at my matching gel shoes. Beauty dissolved as I paid for the food and ran to the corner to seek comfort in the pizza.
Comfort that grew uncomfortable over the years as weight became another factor in my anti-beauty arsenal. The red faced 2nd grader and I share much for I still search and rarely find the smiling, confident Grigsby girl. I am a woman comfortable in discomfort, sheathed in fat and confident only in my unworthiness. I hear the smiling girl whisper to me, connected by this pen, laugh with the laughter and accept your powerlessness. The secret to learning to fly is accepting the possibility of the fall and trusting the sky.