OK, here is the rundown of today.
I started my morning today by taking a picture of my body in the mirror and then comparing it to a photo that I look in the exact same outfit 43 days ago.
Let me just say that before I took this picture, I was feeling really good about myself. But after seeing this new picture, I literally felt disgusted with how I look.
It was hard for me to even get dressed and start my day after that.
Now that Ed was very much awake and rampantly running outside of his little box that I for so long had kept him in, I pretty much let him run the show for pretty much the rest of the day.
I compared these two pictures for minutes straight-and that might not sound like a long time, but when your staring at one photo, a few minutes feels like forever.
When each of those minutes is filled with seconds with self loathing, it feels like eternity.
After school when I came home, I was so exhausted and I needed to sleep. My eyes were literally closing as I was sitting in class today.
But, what did Ed and I do?
We went and took more photos of my body in the mirror with my phone. So many photos we took. So, so, so many.
I was like a zombie on autopilot just torturing myself.
Eventually, I told myself that maybe if I sleep, my self judgement won’t be as harsh and demeaning when I wake up.
Well, I woke up, and and I am sure not to anyone’s surprise, my judgements on myself were just as bad.
I remember just saying out loud, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
But I didn’t only mean the pictures-I also meant my new body. I didn’t want it anymore.
This was a dangerous statement to leave my mouth, and the minute I said it, I knew I didn’t mean it.
Of course I want to do this. I want to be free of Ed.
I want to be free to love myself and accept myself.
I just don’t want to trapped inside Ed’s vicious cycle of it all, and that is when I realized that if I want to continue on in my recovery, these photos have to go.
I realized today, that these photos that I take of myself and my body on my phone, have the potential to become as dangerous to my recovery as a scale could be.
By taking these pictures of myself and my body, almost on a daily basis, and then carrying it around with me all day is like carrying a little pocket sized version of Ed with me at all times.
As long as these photos are in my phone and accessible to me at all times, Ed is accessible too.
Having these photos to look at, and then use them to compare myself to how I looked a month ago, or even three months ago, is like giving myself permission to enter a dark cold room with no windows of light, and the only thing I can see is Ed.
I am stronger and better than this.
I deserve to let myself feel good.
So, I am going on a 30 day photo cleanse.
First, I will erase all body photos that I have of myself in my phone.
Second, I will not take any photos of my body, either on my phone, or with other people’s phones, or any camera for that matter, for 30 days.
Friday, July 12, will be the end of these 30 days-and I am hoping that I will feel so good at that point, that I won’t even want to take a picture of myself-but who knows, I will have to cross that bridge when I get there.
But for now, these 30 days seem like a very long time.
I feel the same way I felt when I gave up my scale; that I am running from the truth.
But you know what? Maybe that is OK for me right now.
Because obviously, I am not totally ready to accept this new truth about what my body will become-and even further, I am not so sure I even know the “truth” about my body.
I might see it how it actually looks like in reality, but I might not.
So for now, I just won’t look at all.
I am doing this photo cleanse (I hate using this word cleanse, because it can seem so triggering, but I don’t know a better word), because I am choosing to not let Ed take over me.
I want to see what I feel like based on the way I feel, and lets be real-the way I look in the mirror too (because that I cannot give up just yet)-but this time, once I leave the mirror-it’s over.
There are no photos of the way I look in that mirror to haunt me all day.
I got so scared today that I actually thought about ways to restrict again, because of these photos.
Going back is not an option for me, and these photos are not an option for me anymore either.
One day, I know I will be able to take a photo of myself, and say “Wow, I look incredible and I love every inch of me.”
But that day is not today.
So until then, here is where we stand : 30 days of no body photos.
Time for Ed to crawl back in his box.
I am actually excited to see how I will feel even after just one morning of not taking a picture of my body.
Maybe it will be good, maybe it will scary-but whatever it is, I can handle it.
To be able to decide to do this photo cleanse, just shows me how dedicated I am to winning the freedom I deserve to love myself.
I really think that I am the strongest person that I know.
I am so ready to do this.
Hello to 30 days of being photo free, and hello life.