I am having some major issues with my inner critic today. You know that little voice that tells you you’re weak, worthless and unloved? Yeah, that little voice just got about 10 times louder.
It’s strange because it used to be this loud constantly, I didn’t even really realize that it had lessened in intensity until it came back full force. I can’t imagine how I could have possibly even been able to think straight, but then again I guess I didn’t. This voice tells me everything that it wrong with me and reassures me that it can be fixed, but only if I do what it says. I know this is sounding a little schizophrenic and some days it feels that way, but this is something else entirely. This is a voice that we all have inside us, offering it’s unsolicited opinion about all the things we thing, do and say.
“You could have done better, why didn’t you spend more time on that chapter?” that disappointed and frustrated voice whispers after you get a lower grade than you expected on your exam.
“Why would you wear that?” it hisses when you overdress (or underdress) for an occasion. It reinforces the embarrassment and shame you already feel.
“Look at her body, I bet she wouldn’t have eaten those chocolates.” the disembodied voice sings as it taunts you, making you feel guilty and ashamed.
“Get up you lazy piece of crap” the angry voice shouts, pushing you out of bed or off the couch even though you are exhausted.
“It hurts because it’s supposed to you idiot! You deserve this pain for what you did!” it chastises you for the food you ate earlier making you swear to never deviate from it’s plan again.
“You could be worth something, if you would just listen to me” it whispers into the quiet places of your mind planting itself deep within your heart.
This voice used to be ever present, always whispering, hissing, screaming, crying or taunting me from within my own mind. I couldn’t focus on anything, I couldn’t read or watch tv, have a conversation or play a game with my full attention because 80% of my mind was trying to satiate the voice. It took that much energy to listen to it and try to decrypt it’s messages and even more energy to push it from my mind. I spent years trying to please this critic, I did everything it said but it’s demands just got more strict and more painful.
Since working hard on weight restoration, stopping purging and reclaiming my life the voice has shifted to the background for the most part. It still whispers it’s opinions in my ear but it’s easier to push it aside and move on with my life.
Last night was a completely different question. I was at choir and the new girls were pulled into the changeroom to try on concert dresses. I knew this would happen soon but I was expecting it to be more in the form of telling someone my size or discretely being measured. When the 4 of us were in the changeroom dresses were handed out, passed around and tried on. There was one girl who is naturally thin and petite – none of the dresses would fit her. The other 3 of us were asked to try on a few dresses consecutively which rocked me to my core. I know what size I am and as much as it upsets me, I can keep it disconnected from other people’s bodies and prevent myself from comparing myself to them and to my old size. Having my size uttered out loud in front of these other girls was mortifying. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that this was not my size!! That I’d spent the last 9 years between a size 2 and a size 4, that it wasn’t my fault I was this size and hoped I wouldn’t be this size for much longer. Instead I stood there, paralysed as the voice within my soul got to work tearing me to shreds. I made it through the last hour of rehearsal and cried the whole way home, stopping along the way because my sobbing was interfering with my driving. When I got home I buried my face into my husband’s chest and cried that messy cry that wails and has big gobs of snot running down your face. He calmed me down, had me put my pyjamas on and set me up with a snack and a funny TV show.
Today I woke up with hot puffy eyes glued shut with the crusty stuff that can only come from a heavy cry the night before. The tyrant of a voice is still in my mind; telling me to restrict, lie, throw out food, exercise and do whatever I can to change my body size – trying to convince me that I am “less than” and only it’s plan will save me. I am moving through the voice today, sleeping in when it tells me to get up and walk the dog, eating breakfast when it tells me not to, breathing deeply when it tells me to panic. I know that this voice is out to ruin me, it pretends to be my friend offering the possibility of reprieve from this pain if I only do as it says, but I will not. I will not starve, I will continue to eat. I will not restrict, I will eat the same amount and variety that I have been. I will not exercise out of fear but curiosity and the want to explore the way my body moves in space. I will not bend, I will not break – I will live free from this voice and I know the only way to do that is to ignore it’s tantrums and wait for it to fade into the background again.
Stay strong loves <3