Dear Diary

April 2, 2014

Evening our keels.

Ruby

When I was around 10, I wrote in my diary that I’d never weigh more than my mom. She was skinny and narrow-shouldered and short, with bony elbows and prominent cheekbones. She ate gluten-free and exercised a lot and would often complain about her weight or her looks, and I would reassure her that she looked great.

I settled on a number, and I made a promise to myself, in writing, that my weight would never surpass it. But I was just a kid in middle school when I made that promise. I hadn’t hit puberty yet and I didn’t know that one day I’d grow tall and broad-shouldered and thick.

Between the ages of 12 and 13 I had bulimia, but I hid it so well that nobody knew. After a year of throwing up, I realized it wasn’t making me any skinnier, so I stopped. Then we moved to the States and food was everywhere, and I started gaining weight.

Candy was really what did it, and the CVS right around the corner that supplied it to me. My friend Owen and I would go and buy tons of candy and eat it day after day, and it wasn’t long before I hit my self-imposed maximum weight.

On and off, I stopped eating. I exercised compulsively even though I didn’t really know how to exercise. My “workout” consisted of stuff we did in gym class: jumping jacks, running up and down the stairs. I counted calories obsessively. I self-harmed when I thought I’d eaten too much.

I was diagnosed with EDNOS: Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I thought that was what they called you when you weren’t skinny enough to be anorexic. I kept binging and starving and not talking to anyone about it. I wasn’t throwing up anymore, and I wasn’t losing weight. In fact, I kept getting bigger and bigger, until I couldn’t fit into my mom’s jeans anymore. I was heavy, bloated like a corpse, and covered in scars.

I hated my body for betraying me. Punishment was the only form of control that I felt I had over my it.

I’ve never opened up about this as much as I am right now.

This week I had a psychotic or spiritual experience, I’m not sure which. I became unstuck from time, and I was a little child, and I was with my mother, and I was a chubby baby and she loved me anyway. And then I was old and unattractive, married to Peter, and we were still very much in love. That all lasted years, but in reality I was gone only 15 minutes.

When I came back to the present, I realized that my life and my existence were even bigger than the seemingly huge numbers that I had let define me. I realized that the people who love me do so without taking my body into consideration.

I understand now that my parents didn’t raise a body, and a body is not what Peter fell in love with. My body is a spaceship that my mind travels the universe in. My body is an avatar.

These epiphanies came all at once, and they did what no amount of therapy or hospitalization or pills could ever do. They made me truly accept myself, all at once, just like that. ♦

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20 Comments

  • sungiant April 2nd, 2014 7:57 PM

    Ruby i’m so glad you can think that way about your body now!! it is such a great feeling to be able to not think so much about food and body. <3

  • janevtiamat April 2nd, 2014 8:31 PM

    “My body is a spaceship…” That line is so wonderful, and it makes me feel so good about myself. Thank you!

  • vintagebarbie April 2nd, 2014 9:00 PM

    I love how much you opened up about this. As someone recovering from an eating disorder, I really connected with it.
    http://howfittingblog.blogspot.com

  • GottaBeClaireG April 2nd, 2014 9:18 PM

    I connected with the last one on a exponential level. thank you

  • krevlorneswath April 2nd, 2014 10:12 PM

    Caitlin, I always love your work! Where do you get materials? I love collaging but can’t always find things to collage with.

    • Caitlin H. April 4th, 2014 2:13 PM

      Hey you!! I get a lot of images from old magazines like national geographic, weird books (look in charity shops/the houses of the elderly) (i found my nat geo’s in the back of my nan’s wardrobe). collect random bits of paper, people from leaflets, be on the lookout all the time!

  • honorarygilmoregal April 2nd, 2014 11:22 PM

    “I realized that the people who love me, which is what matters most, love me without taking my body into consideration.”

    Probably my favorite line from Ruby’s entry <3

    Have an awesome spring break, Britney!

  • rhymeswithorange April 3rd, 2014 12:00 AM

    Happy for you, Ruby!!
    I used to be very critical of my body too, in middle school. I gradually stopped weighing myself and being harsh on my body. The entire thing for me was solidified when Tavi wrote that, by not thinking about being skinny all the time, your mind is free to think about SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT THINGS.

  • TessAnnesley April 3rd, 2014 2:50 AM

    Everything Ruby writes gives me so many feelings

  • Christie April 3rd, 2014 4:31 AM

    these are so real and coherent and they make me happy.

  • Shanlew April 3rd, 2014 7:11 AM

    These are all so relevant as usual. Naomi I was in a similar situation with housemates I could not stand for what sounds like similar reasons so I moved myself out of there on Monday and feel so much better than I thought was possible a week ago and stronger now too. What you wrote about London is so incredibly true and I really miss it.

  • Pattymafu April 3rd, 2014 10:48 AM

    So Glad for you Ruby! I feel identified with everything you write! xx

  • mangointhesky April 4th, 2014 6:27 PM

    All of these were so good. I always feel inspired to start a diary after reading Rookie’s diaries, but somehow I never seem to get around to doing it. *-*

    http://theneonpapaya.blogspot.com

  • K8 is Gr8 April 4th, 2014 11:45 PM

    I am sososo very happy for all of you!

  • Berries April 5th, 2014 8:15 AM

    Naomi you are my lost twin-sister I swear. Living with roommates can be very hard sometimes and I had my fair share of diappointment and fuckery. I tend to feel that I am not really on the same page anymore with my roommates, for several reasons. I will move to a room at the end of the corridor within a month. This will not fix everything but some of my biggest problems will be partly solved by doing that.
    but really of course I need to move out. But I still love them. Or I just love company you know?

  • Berries April 5th, 2014 8:19 AM

    ”the shit I’ve gone through has made me quite good at not taking any shit.”

    This really made me think because I still haven’t figured out how to do that.

  • EmJ April 5th, 2014 2:15 PM

    Thanks to Ruby so much
    And congratulations

  • aichalechat April 6th, 2014 8:48 AM

    naomi will you marry me ?

  • Faith April 6th, 2014 12:53 PM

    Ruby, that was beautiful and inspiring and so, so brave.

  • Aurora April 13th, 2014 4:52 PM

    Ruby, thank you so much.

    I’ve always loved your posts on here; we’re the same age and you remind me a lot of myself.

    I’ve always had unhealthy eating habits, and after a few years of binging and purging and exercising obsessivley, I managed to stop. A few weeks ago, I redownloaded a really triggering app (for me anyways) that helps you count calories.

    After reading your post, I went and deleted it again.

    You’re an inspiration and I’m extremely proud of you.