From the age of one I loved fashion…whether it meant putting on mom’s pearls…wearing grandma’s high heels…dressing up in the heirloom wedding gown…I could literally sit for hours and try on different clothes…somewhere along the way though, my love for fashion changed… I began to despise clothes…
The other day I went shopping with a dear precious friend. Like I said shopping used to be one of my favorite activities (especially when I didn’t know what sizes were) but somewhere along the last ten years I grew to hate it. Sure I could pretend to like shopping with the best of them. To be honest I always liked the clothes on the rack, it was when I had to try them on that torture ensued. For any woman or man that has dealt with an eating disorder dressing rooms are not your friend. Here in the four walls of normally a blank room (or prison cell as I used to think) ED has you alone to talk as much trash as he wants (and believe me he does). ED used to belittle be in that room, almost to the point that I wouldn’t come out to show my clothes or that I avoided trying on clothes all together (it didn’t get any better once I got home though).
In the worst part of my Anorexia, ED was never happy with any of my clothes, no matter how little the size was or how loosely they hung. In fact, there were many times where I would spend so much time trying on outfits to go out that at the last minute I wouldn’t go out because I would be so exhausted from trying to get ready. And forget about shopping, I couldn’t make it through a trip to a store without a breakdown.
However, when I went shopping the other day I had an AMAZING time! Part of it was my precious friend I went with (it is so important to go with someone you love and trust and not alone), and the other part was I didn’t allow ED to take control. Part of recovery for me, meant that I had to gain weight, this meant changing sizes to be healthy, which meant I had to get new clothes that fit my healthy body. The first time I went shopping for new clothes I panicked! I didn’t want to be a different size (so for awhile I had some friends help me and I had clothes with labels taken out and wore “sizeless clothes”). Now that I am healthier, my love of shopping has been returned and it is SO FUN!
When I went shopping the other day I grabbed clothes from all different sizes depending on fit, brand, etc, it didn’t matter. Here is the thing, my worth once again isn’t how tiny (or not tiny) of a size I wear. ED doesn’t like my new attitude and of course he has a million lies to back up the fact that it is not true (however, I KNOW that is true!). However, even when he gets loud during shopping I remember how much fun I now have (and that I actually have energy to go out and shop is incredible).
Over the past year, I have learned recovery is A LOT of hard work and it isn’t always fun but sometimes it definitely can be. Friday I got to shop as a part of my recovery and buy clothes that fit my healthy body and I loved that. I’ve learned quite a bit about clothes in my journey with ED…and it’s days like that, (where shopping is fun and not punishment) I love being in recovery. Because the more I learn about myself and ED, the more I learn that MK doesn’t care about sizes (only if the outfit is cute;)) and even more , MK’s personality and who she is has NOTHING to do with the size on her jeans. So maybe the next time you go shopping you’ll remember that while ED thinks sizes are important my guess is that YOU DON’T. So try to listen to your voice because after all, yours is the one that matters… and my hope is that one day shopping will be as fun as it was when you played dressed up in mom’s clothes… and ALWAYS remember…
YOU are LOVED and YOU are WORTH it!]