In 'The Power of Vulnerability' Brené Brown talks about foreboding joy, which, put simply is always preparing yourself for the worst, a ‘dress rehearsal for tragedy’. It is the belief that things can’t stay good forever, so you try to desensitise yourself to disaster by anticipating it.
Which is exactly how I feel right now. I look in the mirror and for the first time in my memory I like my adult body.
Maybe it’s down to the strength training I have been doing recently. I have been following a new programme, one laid out by someone else. It feels good to move my body, good to place my trust in someone else instead of trying to control everything, good to shift my focus to progressively building strength instead of constantly trying to get smaller. Or maybe it is that I have started to fuel myself based upon health and creating aforementioned strength. Or maybe these shifts have uncovered something that was there all along - my body has always been more than fine, beautiful in the only way it can be: me - the only difference is I wasn’t looking for it before.
But at the back of my head is a voice:
This wont last
You’re eating too much, you’ll gain weight.
And then behind this.
You don’t deserve to be happy. Good things do not happen to you. You’ll jinx it.
It’s self protection; if I predict the bad thing before it happens I’ll be ready for it when it comes. But actually that just isn’t the case is it? All that does is ruin the moment, sabotage my happiness and stop me from enjoying the present.
This habit seeps into others areas of my life too. Often I feel like I’m behind a screen, one I place between me and real life. People can’t hurt me here.
I am teaching yoga
They do not like this.
Or out with friends
They think I am weird and talk too much.
I detach myself in avoidance because it takes vulnerability to care. It takes courage to fully invest yourself in something without knowing what the outcome will be. It requires a bravery and an okayness with uncertainty that is just so against everything I used my ED for. It kind of reminds me of falling in love.
In ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ John Greene writes, ‘I fell in love slowly and then all at once’, maybe this; learning to be vulnerable and brave, letting myself feel happiness and/or to fall in love with my body; will be like that.