So today’s post isn’t a fun one. Sorry not sorry. It’s a serious issue that I’ve been battling for a long time & I’m finally at the stage where I can confront it & start to deal with it.
* deep sigh *
The other night, I watched “Clueless” on Netflix. God, I forgot how cute that movie is. It’s a quintessential mid-to-late 90s movie. The fashion, the lingo, the ridiculous cell phones.
Watching it again was bittersweet for me. This is a complex issue so I’ll do my best to unpack it.
Okay, so my freshman & sophomore year of high school was similar to “Clueless.” Not in the rich, Beverly Hills, “you’re a virgin who can’t drive,” kind of way. But a muted, Midwestern version, for sure.
Much like Cher & Dionne, my best friend, CS, & I were inseparable. If we couldn’t talk in person, we were passing notes, calling, or paging each other. Again, late 90s. 😉
She was definitely more like Cher – label whore (I mean that in the nicest way possible), blonde, always with some guy, kinda ditzy, etc. I was more like Dionne – feisty, opinionated, feminist, loyal to my friends. I also have a nose ring. 😉
We were eerily similar to them in other ways. We did the crop tops, “short skirts with knee-high socks” look, lived at the mall, & obsessed with our looks. Her more so than me. She would put on makeup to go to the pool & was constantly fixing her hair. I think it was our sophomore year but for homecoming, I convinced her to be like, “Fuck it” & to go in each other’s dresses from the previous year, butterfly clip our hair, basic makeup, & that’s it. We were Audi in like 10 minutes. I still have a picture of us trying to look badass. 😉
We were also kinda bitchy. We weren’t like Amber who was more blatant about her bitchiness but we definitely delivered some one-liners that should’ve been said internally. Again, high school.
The main takeaway I got from watching it again was how serious they were about their appearance. I think just about every high school girl has some kind of self-esteem issues.
And this is where my can of worms begins to open…
My mother was overweight. She’s struggled with her weight for as long as I can remember. She’s shorter than me (5’2″) so I’m sure something like 30 lbs overweight is all it takes to look “stumpy.” I have a very clear memory of looking at her on the couch & telling myself, “I refuse to be fat like you.”
Yes, I judged her. Yes, I look the same now. So what the fuck happened? There was a major disconnect between my determined goal & reality.
I think I found the source.
In high school, I developed an eating disorder. It’s something I haven’t recognized until recently. I got glimpses of it a few years ago but I’ve been doing my research since COVID started. As this is all in the “new” stages for me (as in, seeing this truthfully for the first time), I’m not sure what I would’ve called it back then. Yeah, I didn’t eat a lot, I worked out a ton, toned up hard, but that was more because we didn’t have a lot of food. Whenever I was at CS’s house (which was at least once or twice a week), we ate all the time. So with that, I’m honestly not sure if that’s a “growing teenager” thing or “the beginning stages” thing.
Alright, keep that in your mind. Let’s add on the next layer…
Anyways, there’s a part in the movie where Cher is telling Tai that they HAVE TO work out to Tami Lee Webb or Cindy Crawford every day & read a book every week. She says this is to train their body & their mind. And with watching it, I said, “Fuuuuck… I used to do that.” I was beyond rigid with my diet & exercise until I snapped towards the end of my sophomore year. Then my house of cards fell down flat.
I also had her grey unitard but mine was solid black. 😉
Halfway through our sophomore year, CS was kicked out of our ultra-conservative, private school for having sex. I know. It’s laughable but when you go to a strict school that’s just this side of a monastery, shit like this happens. Zero tolerance for anything outside of what they deemed acceptable. No way in hell was I gonna admit my sexuality if they did that to a straight, white girl. Once CS left, my world changed. I felt lost.
Just to be clear, I wasn’t sexually attracted to her at all. I grew up very lonely & when she was gone, a part of me died. She was the first friend I felt was more like a sister to me. She was someone who honestly understood me & she was the first who didn’t judge me. We were kindred spirits. We had shared tears, dreams, & our day-to-day life. And it was gone overnight. I believe that’s when I abandoned all personal goals & ambitions gave in to the dark depression.
I knew I was “not normal” mentally & I knew she was struggling on some level too. And to go through mental bullshit with someone else is always easier. Trying to explain it to anyone who hasn’t dealt with it is a nightmare. I really felt the weight of it when she switched schools. Sure, we tried to stay in touch but it wasn’t the same. She made new friends & I felt like an afterthought. I’m sure she was going through her own issues so I don’t have any animosity against her. Wherever she is, I hope she’s happy. 🙂
Back to my issues…
I’m watching “Clueless” & realizing I see a shadow of who I used to be. Before the depression took over. Before I got lost. Before everything changed. And suddenly, I was really sad.
I saw when I stopped caring & started spiraling out of control. Up until that point, I was trying to keep it at bay. When she left, I was alone with my struggles & I completely gave up. I stopped dressing cute & trying to do my hair & makeup. I started slacking with my classes. I started to sleep & cry more. All I wanted to wear were hoodies & sweats. I would doodle little notes like “imagine” in my school books to get lost in my own fantasy of a better life.
It wasn’t long until the eating disorder creeped up. When I did eat, I didn’t want to stop. I would eat until it hurt, cry some, & eat some more. And when I’m upset, I tend to do the same.
I had found my moment, my ground zero.
Holy fuck. So now what?
Now, I try to deal with these demons. They’ve been hanging out with some skeletons in my closet for a long time. I’ve tried to ignore them but now I have to confront them. It’s time. I’m ready to face them on my own. And how do you confront your fear? You acknowledge it.
I see you, Binge Eating Disorder. You were hiding behind Depression but I see you.
This is a really rough beginning. But at least I found the starting line. ❤
I couldn’t decide which one I liked better so here’s all 3: