Keeping it Short...
Levity and Brevity
Before I begin I want to apologize for my extreme neglect to my blog recently. These past few weeks have just been absolutely crazy in terms of work and even now I don't have that much time to write. Composing an entry can take me up to 2-3 hours and for this reason I have decided to really try and keep it short today. I also am considering attempting to write briefer entries because of a suggestion I recently received. My mother brought to my attention that not only does it take me a long amount of time to write my entries but to read one in its entirety demands a lot of time on the part of my readers. With these thoughts in mind I am going to work toward sticking to my goal of brevity. However, brevity and time are not the only things inspiring me to write today. Recently I have had some negative encounters with others because of the level of levity I take when thinking about and discussing my eating disorder. Of course I understand that anorexia nervosa is a serious and a potentially fatal illness (I have had over a decade of experience with it so it would be nearly impossible for me to not know these facts). But, my experience has also taught me that taking it too seriously and thinking about its risks all the time will only lead me down a road of hopelessness and depression. Similarly, working hard to actively fight it everyday- challenging eating disordered thoughts, drinking supplements and eating things I don't want, and gaining weight- will only cause me to be upset and unhappy.
My approach may be off putting for some and even challenged by many (as I have learned recently via critical correspondence with friends and acquaintances) but quite frankly, it works for me and that's all that really matters. I may not be a "healthy" weight and I definitely don't eat as much as I should, but all in all, I am relatively happy and at the end of the day happiness is all I am seeking. I don't dwell on my illness and the negative impacts it has had on my life. It has caused too much sadness and pain in my past. Why would I want to think about and relive that agony on a daily basis? Likewise, choosing to actively fight in the hopes of achieving "recovery" (whatever that means...it seems that no one can really agree on a definition) is not one of my top priorities. I'd much rather go about my life, enjoying what I have now, and having fun, than putting forth intensive effort toward something I am not sure I really want. We all have challenges, sadness, and painful situations and experiences in our lives. Some of these situations are chronic- anorexia nervosa, diabetes, death of a loved one. These things are with us all of the time and have the potential to affect us every moment of every day. They can be all consuming and prevent us from living the lives we want. My approach to dealing with my chronic illness is by making light of and adding levity to the situation, because if I didn't I would be trapped in cage of misery and helplessness. Some people may think that incorporating levity is inappropriate and I will admit that sometimes it is (such as at the funeral of a loved one who just passed away.) But in general I believe that adding some humor to otherwise depressing circumstance is often the only way to cope and continue living your life.
"Life is too important to be taken seriously!"
- Oscar Wilde
I absolutely love this quote by Oscar Wilde. (In fact it is hanging on my refrigerator in my apartment.) Life is of the utmost importance because we only get one. It is our job to make the most of it for our own sakes. Of course some things in life do need to be taken seriously- work, paying bills, school, etc. But, in truth, so many of us opt to approach things in a serious way when in reality they don't need to be taken so "seriously."
This is my opinion about my illness. Yes, I am underweight. Yes, for all intensive purposes I restrict on a daily basis. And yes, ultimately I will need to change my ways if I hope to get married, have children, and live a long and prosperous life. But for the time being I don't find a need to think about my eating disorder in a serious manner. I am not in an acute medical state. I am not unable to fulfill obligations and perform my daily tasks. And I am not distraught or bothered by the way I am living my life right now. These reasons allow me to engage in levity when thinking and talking about my eating disorder.
But perhaps more importantly, this levity helps me to cope with the reality of it, enables me to move forward with my life, and be happy! No matter the difficult situation- illness, arguments, loss- levity can act as a fabulous tool for dealing with hardship on a daily basis. Dwelling on it and taking it so seriously often makes the difficulty harder to deal with and manage. I hope you can take my approach, and add a degree of levity to your life, especially when facing upsetting or painful circumstances. I think you'll find that once you stop looking at the issues in an intense light that you will be able to better enjoy the important thing that we call life!
Don't worry be happy,