I wrote a different post for this week, about my issues with disordered eating, but at the last minute, decided not to share it. It felt too raw, like too much exposure. It felt like I was revealing too much—too much about me, too much about the things I struggle with.
Familiar refrains are: What will people think? What if people judge me? What if people think less of me?
I’ve overcome a fair amount of these thoughts in the last many years. I’ve gotten braver in my writing and in sharing my writing. I’ve written and shared things that ten years ago I would have said I was taking to the grave.
But I still hold back at times. I think I’ve already shared enough about the ways I’ve screwed up, and that there is a threshold to how much can be revealed before people begin to write me off as crazy-town.
But I was listening to a podcast* this morning in which the two hosts were talking about how in our culture we are taught to keep the ugly parts of ourselves hidden. What’s important, we’ve been told, is that everything looks good from the outside. But, one of the hosts said, “Keeping our messes where they can’t be seen keeps us in our separateness.”
I thought of that in relation to my writing about my abortions. It took me a long time to write about them and then to share that writing. But doing so has been highly beneficial. I have connected with people I otherwise wouldn’t have. I have created more honest relationships. And, telling my story has helped me heal my wounds. I am less separate than I was before.
It’s scary, for sure. It’s still scary for me to say I have had two abortions, and I have said it over and over. But there is healing in sharing, in showing up fully as ourselves, whether that sharing is on the page or in real life. It takes a lot of energy to hide. It takes a lot of energy to pretend.
I don’t think we have to share all of our dirty laundry with each other, but I think it can help. I think that if I tell you all the ways I’m fucked up and you tell me all the ways you’re fucked up, the walls have no choice but to come down.
Sharing about my food struggles feels like the next step in my healing journey. But that’s scary too. It’s scary for me to say out loud that I struggle with disordered eating. That I am 41 years old and I don’t know how to feed myself. There is another layer of shame in that, one I know I can only break down by shining a light on it, by not keeping it hidden away.
But I also know, from the journey I took to be able to write and talk openly about my abortions, that it’s a process. That sometimes the truth comes out in small pieces before it comes out fully. I know that by sharing a little at a time, I’ll eventually be able to share more. Right now I’m dropping breadcrumbs. That’s the best I can do.
*Episode 103; couldn’t find the link for some reason.