I’ve been feeling a bit of malaise during the past couple days. I’m not exactly sure the reason for it — one theory I have is PMS-type hormonal shifts. Unfortunately, as I get closer to the age of menopause, my cycle is getting more and more irregular, so I can only diagnose PMS episodes after the fact. (My bleed will start, and then I can look back on the out-of-nowhere blue mood three days ago and say “That’s what that was about!”)
Regardless of the why, this blue mood is what I’m facing right now.
As someone who’s had a few rounds of clinical depression here and there, it can be hard to hold my patience and composure when I hit my blue days. I still don’t feel as if I have a lot of tools in my arsenal for when this occurs. I try to keep moving through my days and my responsibilities as best I can, give myself some extra forgiveness around my media addictions, allow myself some extra time to rest or sleep. And ultimately, I just kind of wait it out.
Luckily, tonight’s my first evening at home since my trip — and since all the pre-trip craziness to work — so I have a chance to give myself a little TV time and maybe an early bedtime. If I’m lucky, I’ll feel better tomorrow. If I’m less lucky, it’ll be the weekend soon and I can maybe take another look at what I’m feeling and whether there’s a way to ease the sadness.
Because I am aware that this may not be PMS at all, and might instead be the old forces of sadness and trauma that I gained all the weight in order to avoid.
A friend recently sent me a link to an unfamiliar author responding to that “Dear Fatty” letter some condescending fuckwad posted to Facebook in response to seeing a fat woman running. Other bloggers have appropriately eviscerated the aura of self-superiority and judgmental assumptions this letter (and other “thinsperation” pieces) is drowning in. Here’s the story from Jezebel, and I hope to have time during the weekend to go pull up some more relevant links and add them here.
This author, Alanna Fero, also points to some of those aspects in the “Dear Fatty” letter, but she also goes on to depict (with searing honesty) some of the traumas she has experienced with sexual abuse and harassment, the ways she has used being in a larger size as a mode of self-protection, and the ways that weight loss feels like an act of betrayal to her younger self.
Whenever I lose 30 or more pounds, which I have done at least a dozen times in quarter century between the ages of 22 and 46, I start to feel like I am abandoning my solidarity with my younger self, and with all the wounded kids in the world, with everyone who has ever lived in that bunker state. I feel like I am selling out the kid still inside every adult who has ever been attacked for the way they were born, or for the way they choose to make themselves feel safe in an unsafe reality. . . . Sometimes, when I lose enough weight that it feels like everyone I know is talking about it, I experience a panic not unlike when I was pushed to the ground or a wall or a couch as a young girl – and I am so fucking scared and angry, I just wish I had a German Shepherd handy.
Now, my story is not the same as Fero’s, but I have enough moments of sexual trauma and mistreatment in my own life to deeply resonate with the tone of what she’s saying here.
So, if I’m not feeling more cheerful by Saturday, I might be trying to figure out how best to face and unwind another layer of the trauma-body.
Man, I hope it’s just PMS.