So I know I have been away from the blog for some time now. Part of the reason is because I have been interviewing for the second Chicago workshop of The Body Image Project play which will occur sometime during the end of August for the Chicago Fringe Festival. Getting back to the field, meeting so many people and hearing their stories this time around has a different effect on me. I do so many interviews per week and the subject matter this time has been tough. A lot of new subjects that have been arising in some of these interviews have been dealing with eating disorders, molestation, rape, genital mutilation and so many more. It is difficult, because I am not a trained therapist, but I feel with these stories that people share, it is so crucial for them to get it out in the open.
I recently had an interview that took my breath away. I will not share the person’s name- but let’s decide to call them Molly. Molly’s story truly opened my eyes as to why this play and project are so important. I am doing this work to help people gain some sort of peace of mind and to truly see themselves as beautiful creations. I am doing this show to let people know they are not alone.
So I met with Molly, she is a really phenomenal human being. She is driven, she is gorgeous, she is strong. She recently told me she had an eating disorder- specifically bulimia. I have had friends and close family members that have suffered from bulimia and different eating disorders. Eating disorders do not care about who you are, what your status in society is, what race and age you are. Eating disorders can be venomous, not only your body, but to your mind. It truly takes a village of support or a trained professional to help combat the war on terror that occurs to your body when you have an eating disorder.
Something Molly kept saying is that her thoughts on food and purging were like a hamster on wheels. An obsessive merry go round. It pains me that we can live in darkness, terrorize our bodies and never ask for help. I related with her story so much, because not only do I currently struggle with food addictions, I was a full blown alcoholic in college. My addictions landed me in the hospital for seven days with North Philadelphia’s finest frights. Molly said, maybe something scary would have to happen so that she would stop purging. The thing is, I don’t believe in getting scared straight. After I left the emergency room in North Philadelphia, I went back into my tumultuous relationship with alcohol and with a guy who coddled me with charm as we continued to drink our lives away.
I am now 26, my body has gone through such a battle and I am finally beginning to live victoriously by quieting down those crazy thoughts in my head. Gaining peace of mind and truly believing in your self worth can take a lifetime. I write this entry to those who may be suffering with food addictions and eating disorders find help: http://www.oa.org/membersgroups/find-a-meeting/
You are not alone. I know that may seem cliche. There are over 40 million people in the world suffering with eating disorders- be strong, bite the bullet and find help. If you are scared to go on your own find a friend or call me!
How can we start quieting those voices down in our heads that tell us we are not good enough? By speaking louder and fighting back. We need to take control of our bodies. Tell ourselves we are beautiful every single morning and night when we look in the mirror. Seek help- therapy, group meeting etc. Praying- if you believe in God, or a higher power. Constantly meditate on positive thoughts. Write on your walls, scriptures or quotes about how beautiful you are and how you are such a phenomenal creation. The dark times can seem desolate, and hopeless- but if you can find a mustard-seed’s worth of light, grab on to it.
Actor | Playwright
Scriptures and Quotes to Meditate On:
- Proverbs 3:15-18 ESV / She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
- “To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.”
― Simone de Beauvoir
- You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself. Geneen Roth
- Psalm 139:14 ESV / I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
- Let me ask you something, in all the years that you have…undressed in front of a gentleman has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever walked out and left? No? It’s because he doesn’t care! He’s in a room with a naked girl, he just won the lottery. I am so tired of saying no, waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before, counting every calorie I consumed so I know just how much self loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to finish this pizza, and then we are going to go watch the soccer game, and tomorrow we are going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans. Elizabeth Gilbert
- Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson