At our Thursday TOPS meetings we draw a Pledge for the coming week. It’s usually something healthy and weight-related we’re called to do every day—a reminder to keep proper nutrition and management at the front of our minds. The penalty for not fulfilling the Pledge is a dime. Not a huge deterrent, just a nudge.
This current bout of depression started its dive two weeks ago. On my way down I jettisoned any semblance of control as the darkness took over my eating. I bought what was cheap and could numb the pain. I included fruit and vegetables, but that was like throwing a life-preserver to someone bitten in half by a shark.
The illness and the distorted thinking twisted me in knots of self-loathing. I felt hideous inside and out. It was intolerable.
So, when I weighed in today I knew what the scale would say. I tried to remember that it was just a number, not an indictment.
In the meeting we talked about our goals and vision, why we continued to attend the meetings, and what we wanted. I felt defeated and helpless against the constant cycle of compulsive eating, shame, and celery. I hated myself.
Then, one of the women drew out our Pledge for the coming week. “Every day, tell yourself you are worth the struggle.”
There were so many ways my twisted brain wanted to argue with that statement. But I just took a deep breath, came home, ate too much, then sat down at my work table.
The only positive voice in my head—when there is one—is baritone and British. I thought I might just listen to that affirmation if I could imagine it in the Voice. So I made a piece to stick on my bathroom mirror where I would be sure to see it every day. Many times every day.
When I read these words, I know they’re not just about obesity and compulsion. They’re about poverty, madness, and loneliness. They’re about getting up after falling on the ice for the umpteenth time. They’re about laughing when it would be much easier to cry. They’re about taking a deep breath and looking up at the stars instead of keeping my head down in the cold. They’re about Remembering who I am.
And if I need to hear these words in a British accent to believe them, then so be it. We do whatever works.