Tomorrow is my birthday--43. I weigh the same as I did at 15. No, seriously. That's how sick I am. I can REMEMBER what I weighed every year since I was diagnosed as anorexic at 10 (I weighed 65, the same as my best friend Pam, who was three inches shorter). I'm tweny-one years into recovery from anorexia and bulimia, and maintain a normal weight, yet I still measure my peanut butter by the tablespoon and can tell you how many calories per oz. in any food, from bean sprouts to Tang. You should have seen my therapist taking notes when she brought up the subject of antidepressants of few weeks ago. I told her that everyone I knew on anti-d's has gained weight (or so they tell me), and I'd rather be depressed than fat. Scribble scribble.
Besides, I'm not really depressed. I'm mad. But getting less so.
Those close to me (within screaming distance) know I've had a difficult year, which came on the heels of a difficult year. No time to recover from one family crisis before the next. But conflict leads to change, right? In the past twelve months, I've taken up mountain biking with Biggy, overcoming the chronic pussiness that kept me from trying it when I was younger. I found a great therapist, who can sit in her Marietta office and smell bullshit from a farm in Jasper. I finished my second book, a difficult one to write because it tells the truth about how I failed my oldest child, Blue Magoo. And I've actually survived the loss of what remnants of innocence I had left. I'm a real grown-up now. Still alive. Still married. Oh yes, and sober. Maybe there was some redemption, then.
And in spite a few bad habits like weighing cheese, I've learned to love and accept my body--that aging vessel of my guts and passions, and to eat Publix fried chicken without remorse. More small steps.
So, tonight, if you're awake at 12:05, close your eyes and wish me a happy birthday; send good thoughts for the year ahead.