I wrote an article that published in the Huffington Post yesterday with the headline, “Bulimia is Everywhere.” Oh. My. Gosh – mortified! When I saw that line with my smiling face and name next to it, I about fainted.
I had submitted the article with a different title, so this caught me by surprise. I would not have chosen to say that, and I have been pondering whether I believe it to be true.
So, I wrote the editor to see if I could have it changed and was told that if I insisted I could.
But then I got to thinking: What was I so torn up about anyway?
Did that title actually draw out what I hadn’t had the courage to say? I could spout some stats about the prevalence of eating disorders here, but the truth is that when I really dug deep, I saw woven into the blog an acknowledgement of loneliness I have experienced along the way.
If an edited title like, “Bulimia is Everywhere,” happens to be part of the journey, so be it. For a part of my life, that was the truth. As I restricted, exercised, binged and purged my way through days and weeks on end, bulimia was everywhere. In some way, I had packed away the despair of that time in a neat little box stored in a dark corner of my heart.
Apparently it took just an edited title – which in reality was more fit for the publication than the one I had submitted – to shed light on that place which is now out on the shelf asking to be unpacked. Seeing it, I initially panicked. I felt exposed and way-too-in-your-face with something so taboo.
One of the biggest lies I grew up believing was that perfectionism would bring happiness, success, and fulfillment – all the goodness in life. Now, I suppose I am finding what I was looking for all along in the mess of it all.
In the mess, I can pick up the pieces, choose which to let go, and gather the rest as I move on – with clean closets and the dust swept out from under the rug.
This past weekend, my new friend Paul Young told me about a scene in a memoir by a woman who had struggled with eating disorders that brings tears to my eyes each time I recount it. She was downstairs binging on ice cream alone at 2am. Her husband came down to find her there. He took a spoon out from the drawer, sat down to join her, and said, “I never want you to be alone in this.”
How about that for choosing love? Love does not let people suffer alone. Love turns towards, seeks to understand, is curious, and in turn becomes the change agent, the transformer, the healer, and the possibility of of something new.