I wasted my best adult years because I mistakenly believed that I’d be special if I could just transcend the need to be in a body.
If I had succeeded, maybe I’d be dead. I wasn’t particularly alive during those years, though.
Over the last few years, I had become more comfortable with being in a body. Sleep issues, aside, it was going pretty well. I liked my body much of the time–I even felt proud of my quads.
I don’t know exactly what “caused” it–the medication I’m on, the cumulative effects of having a drink every day, or some kind of depressive crash after living months (years?) in an aroused state because of anxiety–but I stopped working out in the last two months. I was kind of a gym rat for a year and a half, and now I don’t have any desire to go.
The longer it goes, the more daunting it is to think about going back and being a beginner.
I told myself that it was okay as long as I didn’t beat myself up about it, that it’s probably more important that I’m okay with not going to the gym than it is for me to go to the gym.
My weight crept up, then down again (as I took advantage of my daughter’s lack of eating when she was sick and “forgot” to eat)…then back up again. I’ve been craving carbs a lot, and my self-discipline is all over the place (but, on average, worse than it had been in years).
I obsess over my belly–which is only perfectly flat when I’m within about 6 lbs of the weight at which I went into residential treatment. All of the mirrors there were from the chest/shoulders up, and I found that very helpful, so when I need to, I know not to look at my stomach. I realize now that I’ve avoided looking at my body more and more as the weeks went on.
I really don’t know how I just lost my desire to work out.
On Friday, I accidentally got a good look at my belly after my shower. I have a belly, and I’m not okay with it. I don’t have visible quads anymore, and I’m not okay with that, either.
I saw M that night.
I think I look gross in the belly, and there’s no muscle definition elsewhere to compensate for it.
It made me feel self-conscious about my body during sex.
That made me less able to get into a state of flow during sex. In fact, it lessened my desire to have sex.
That’s all it takes, I guess, to trigger my fear of abandonment.
My ex and I had major issues with sex. I think it was a couples’ problem, he thinks it was something wrong with me and my job to fix it; he left me for someone else, citing his wife’s frigidity as one of the top two reasons.
The takeaway was that my partner of 19 years wasn’t willing to stick around and work with me on it, so no one will stick around if I’m not sexual enough. This is how I felt when I was 18 and he wouldn’t be in an exclusive relationship, and I’m ashamed of my arrested sexual development.
I can’t think of a time that I turned down sex in the context of a “relationship” (my sex drive shuts down adaptively after a breakup, though, so it does ebb and flow overall), but there are times that I don’t feel up to a marathon. I don’t even know why…like, if I can stand being long enough to be naked and have sex for ____ (minutes, orgasms, whatever), then why wouldn’t I be able to do ___ more? I don’t know. I just know that I didn’t have as much drive on Friday.
It’s probably because I was self-conscious, and maybe I lacked the kind of energy that it would take for me to stay present for hours.
I got worried the next day that I came across as preoccupied and/or cold, so I explained it to him a blurt-y text. He responded well, and I moved on rather than risking a conversation that acknowledges the elephant in the room.
A year or two ago, I may have pushed myself to keep at it…more likely, I wouldn’t have considered what I was or wasn’t up for Friday night. It’s an improvement in terms of me accepting and taking care of myself, maybe?
I don’t actually know if it’s a positive indicator that my “relationship” with M is intimate enough that I feel I can be that vulnerable, or if it’s that I’m just ready to get on with being abandoned in a way that’s true to myself.
L’amour or depression? You decide.
I don’t think I ever followed up, but we didn’t really come to a resolution to my unhappiness with our relationship status. We seem to have different expectations for what happens once you “go official.” For him, putting a label on it entails an increase in the demands on him. I’m not 100% sure what that means, but I guess it doesn’t matter right now.
For me, a label actually takes some stress off of me, because I can get rid of the list of things I have to do when I’m in an ambiguous relationship:
-Avoid talking about him. “The guy I’m seeing” is a long intro, and I usually get asked how long we’ve been seeing each other. I get squirmy when I find myself providing excuses.
-Watch out that you don’t do anything too couple-y. Don’t, for example, post a cute picture of us at a wedding on FB. It’ll lead to questions in the comments. Also, an un-tag would be a humiliating, overt rejection.
-Be careful what you say when you’re together, especially when you’re in physical contact and feeling giddy.
-Manage the little voice that says “If he really liked you, you’d be a couple,” “if it hasn’t happened now, it won’t,” and “you’re contributing to the culture of non-relationships.”
I call it the elephant in the room, but don’t think there’s much to say about it at the moment: I have to basically “love it or shove it.” I’ll try to be happy enough with what we have, and if I can’t, I’ll get to the point at which the certainty of being alone feels better than the colluding to maintain the “non-relationship” status.
Back into the body…
I do consciously wonder if I would be attractive if I stay “skinnyfat.” I’m finding myself toying around with the idea of using that fear to get myself to go back to the gym. It’s a better option than “re-read Wasted for the 13th time and start mentally berating myself any time I eat carbs until it’s no longer worth it to eat carbs,” but it’s not exactly healthy.
There are other body “things.” I had, until two nights ago, been having more sleep troubles, but the last two nights were glorious. I’ve also been getting a lot more migraines, and the only possibilities I can come up with in terms of causes are perimenopause-induced hormone fluctuations (although it would be rather early for that) or the diet soda I’ve been drinking for a couple months now.
So, here I am, living inside a body that does most of what it is supposed to do…but I still feel trapped that I have to be in one. I don’t feel special about it, I don’t want to fight being in a body. It’s just a problem that needs to be solved by either not giving a fuck, or by going back to the gym once, and then creating forward momentum.
Maybe I should just pick a day.