It's time to turn your brain off
If there's one thing I've learnt on my year out, it's that sometimes, we all need to shut down.
There are two key aspects of the mental shut down which I now live by. The let out and the chill out.
After self-acceptance, the next and possibly most difficult step in loving yourself, is trusting yourself. But why is this so hard? There are many factors which increase the difficulty of this seemingly simple feat. Every day we are told to trust others' judgements of ourselves. We are told what and how much we should and shouldn't eat and wear, how we are supposed to act, what we are and are not allowed to talk about, who not to sleep with and who to tell about it, and who to trust.
This may contain spoilers.
As both a cinofile and an ex-anorexic, I feel it necessary to weigh in my opinion on the latest exposure of the hell that is living with an eating disorder; the hugely anticipated ‘To The Bone’. I am using my own, and friends’, experiences to evaluate the film not purely as a cinematic piece, but as a representation of anorexia.
I stopped wearing makeup a few months ago. The removal of stages in my morning routine was part of a natural gradual relaxation of anxiety, be that about my physical appearance or of my reception from other people. Wearing makeup, when I was almost solely surrounded by like-minded and free spirited close friends, seemed less and less important. Suddenly, I had broken the habit of painting my face in order to feel ok – not great, ok.
Between December 3rd 2016 and March 20th 2017, I didn’t take a single full body mirror photograph. That may sound like an insignificant fact, however this was the first time in a quarter of a year that I’d even really looked at my full body reflection, which to most people is an unconscious daily task. We use our long mirrors to see a reflection. We pick this image apart, prodding and poking and determining to change insignificant details.
Recently I found myself engaged in a drunken conversation with a friend about how great his girlfriend’s bum is. One comment he made in agreement was ‘yeah it’s huge!’ in a completely enthusiastic and positive tone. However, my brain instantly rejected this as a compliment and my internal response was of shock.
I counted. And counted. And counted. Until my mental mathematic skills were better than they had ever been. Until the numbers got smaller and smaller. Then I counted some more.
This one is for the nutty-natterers, my talkative twits, and those who think we’re mad.
I talk. A lot. My self-indulgent over sharing tendencies can make me appear self-confident, full of random snippets of knowledge, excitable and friendly. I am the kind of person who will send four messages in a row without shame. I am not clingy, I am not obsessed, it is just the way I converse both on and offline. It doesn’t stop me nervously tapping my fingers on the keyboard when someone doesn’t reply because of fear they don’t understand, but it is the way I am.
The metaphorical ‘first day of school’ signifies any nervously anticipated new start. Be that the commencement of a new job or stage of education, moving out or into home, a first date; the first step into the world away from the worn out favourite jumper of your comfort zone.
I’m Bea. Like the insect, the letter, the verb. Any jokes have already been made.