Trauma is Hard to Live With

Trauma is hard to live with. Sometimes, I get stuck in this sudden whirlwind of rumination.

Will I ever feel normal again? What if I can never feel comfortable with myself or the people around me? Will I always have nightmares? What if my medication stops working? What if I can never find lasting companionship? Will I ever feel normal again?

the shittiest game of 20 questions you’ll ever play

And yeah, I know my trauma does not define me. But it is an integral part of who I am right now. After all, I can never go back to the Flannery who wasn’t raped, or in an abusive relationship, or who had a breakdown and lost her best friends. That Flannery doesn’t exist in the same way that 18 year old Flannery doesn’t exist, but 27 year old Flannery does.

Is there a possibility of living an existence informed of trauma but not traumatized? I don’t know. I wish I knew so I could use that as some comfort when the rumination starts. But it seems that the more layers I peel back, the more layers appear.

I recently started leaning more into my eating disorder. What is hard about returning behaviors is the behaviors are the same but I have changed. When I was in high school and engaging in my disorder, I was not aware of the concepts of fatphobia, Health At Every Size, diet culture, etc. It was a very simplistic equation of skinny=better=happier. But the more I learned, the more complicated that equation became. Over time, I’ve added questions to the equation. Why is skinnier better to me? Because that’s where I feel more attractive. Why do I feel more attractive? Why do I weaken my body for affection? Why do I ignore my hunger for both food and healthy love? Why do I believe that I must be XX size or XXX pounds to be worthy? Do I use this same measurement of worth for others? Why? Is being skinny worth losing experiences for me? How much time do I devote to thinking about food when I could think about my art, poetry, spirituality, pets, literally anything?

And yet, I struggle to get beyond this point in recovery.

And peeling back this layer seems to be the hardest behavior to shake off.

Will I ever truly recover? Do I want to?

I don’t know. But success is not achieved by inaction. All I can do is push forward, challenge myself, find joy and worth both within my body and outside of it, and put in the worth.

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