Bobbie. She asked:
“Can you remember a time perhaps when you were very young, when life as it was – just the fact that it was early morning or any old day in summer – was enough? When you were enough not because of what you looked like or what you did, but just because everything was the way it was. What if you could live that way now, and what if your relationship to food was that doorway?”
Then she posted a picture of her as a young girl, so happy and vibrant and free.
I didn't have that. My home was filled with bitterness and anger. My safe haven was my grandfather. The love between us was magical. I even named him his own special name, Peeps. He took me away from my tormented house and gave me freedom to be a kid. They were brief encounters, maybe just a few hours per day, but I still remember the excitement of going to his home and the anxiety of leaving. While there, we would talk, play cards (I am an indestructible poker player now), read the grocery circulars (It wasn't until I was much older that it occurred to me that my Peeps was illiterate). We would garden for hours. I have never before or since been so pleased to dig in the dirt, feeling like I was on my way to China. I never was so proud to be able to pick the fruits of our hard work: tomatoes, zucchini, squash, beets, carrots, you name it, we had it.
But my favorite thing of all, the moment that made me so happy, so vibrant and so free was swinging. Just me and him on a wooden swing, looking into the sky. We would watch the planes fly over and count the seconds between it and the next. We would cuddle and nap and just say nothing and everything in those times. It was such a simple thing to do, with such little effort, and it means everything to me. Even now.
It wasn't until Bobbie's post that I realized that when I lost Peeps, I started to loose me. I began to gain weight. I stopped being a good student. I stopped really investing the same confidence in myself. I always thought, till now, that my weight and confidence issues started later. But, now I am not so sure. When Peeps died, he was the biggest person I had ever known. He must have been 350 pounds, and 6'3". He ate horrendously, as many German-Bavarian immigrants ate: lots of smoked meats, bacon, butter. I have never seen anyone take down a cake like that guy. I wonder now if he was unhappy like I am unhappy about my size. I weep for not knowing and not asking. He was 68. I was 14. Too young and too soon for him and me.
The second post that got me thinking was Buzzy & Breezesly's Mama. But, it wasn't just the post, but a response by Chris. She said: "It (food) was your friend because it was convenient. I am just glad that for me, it was..or it could have been drugs or some other thing. Eating makes you feel less scared and lonely. I hope you get your finger on it. I know figuring it out was key for me."
Drugs or some other thing. I wonder sometimes if drugs would have been an easier vice. With drugs, they are horrid life changers. They alter everything you know about yourself and the people around you. But, you can stop. You can't stop eating. You always have to feed the addiction, feed the vice. It is a constant torment and struggle. How do you stop feeling comforted by food when food is well, comforting. When you don't eat, you get hunger pains. You eat, they go away... satisfaction. It is such a twisted thing.
I eat because I mourn the loss of who I should have been. I eat because I miss my Peeps, and all the comfort and confidence and flight he gave me. I am trying to be that person for me now. It is a struggle.
Thanks for all of you who make me think. Much love and I hope you all have someone to swing with today, even if it is just yourself.