I seem to have become detached from my own body.
Not in the way that I know and expect – the weird, whacked out, floating somewhere over to the left of my own self sense that became an unwelcome part of my existence when I went through the fun period of having to switch around antidepressants. That was unpleasant and odd, but I knew it was a side-effect and that it would eventually bugger off. And it did. My brain once more feels firmly rooted in my skull, and I no longer worry that it might just float off to the side.
So yes, I am detached from my own body in a weird and new and slightly contradictory way. Because I am at once the most aware of it I’ve ever been – my exercise regime seems to be constantly finding new muscles to strain, and my attempts to perfect my bad dance routines mean I know exactly where my feet are at all times – and completely and utterly bewildered by it.
Because my quest to be less mad about food appears to be working; I am generally eating kind of like a normal person. I have not even attempted to do a diet for the best part of a year now. I am not so much of a wild-eyed ice cream fiend. I have been wearing the same pair of jeans for four or five months now and they have not got any tighter or looser or done anything at all. My body seems to have settled down.
And I have no idea what it’s settled into.
I tried to explain it to a friend yesterday, when I stood in the H&M changing rooms with no idea of whether or not I could get away with the dress I had just tried on. I said I had no idea what size I was, but that’s a lie. I know I’m a 12 or 14 depending on the shop. So it’s not that I don’t know my size. I just…I have no idea any more.
I spent so many years of my life absolutely obsessed with what I could and couldn’t get away with, and trying to dress in a way that emphasised/minimised weight loss/gain according to how I felt that day. I knew exactly what did and didn’t suit me, and where acceptable hemlines stopped, and which materials to avoid, and at which point on the scale the rules changed and I had to go for different lengths and different materials and different sleeve shapes.
But I don’t weigh myself anymore. I threw my scales out on the advice of the psychiatrist, who told me I was only ever going to be completely batty and obsessed with them for as long as they stayed in my bathroom. I resist the urge to take my measurements and write them down in a secret little notebook. I gave all my “testing” clothes to charity. I did a really good job of getting rid of all my torture implements.
And now I find that without the constant checking and marking, I have no idea where to place myself.
But I think that in the grand scheme of things, that’s probably OK. I’d rather be bewildered by my own body for a little while than locked in bitter warfare with it. Not being certain how much thigh I can show is definitely preferable to not wanting to have the thighs in the first place. And maybe I’ll just have to start twitpic-ing endless picture of myself in various dresses with the question “CAN I GET AWAY WITH THIS?” and hope that the relative anonymity of the internet will make people be honest with me.
Or I could just live in my pyjamas. I can but dream.