Pointy Chin, an Origin Story.
You may be asking yourself why I called this blog "Pointy Chin Diaries." You're right to of course, it's a weird name.
My anorexic peak, by that I mean the time when my life was completely controlled, regulated, and dictated by my eating disorder, was freshman and sophomore year of high school. I was being lectured constantly. Friends, family, doctors, and even strangers did not miss an opportunity to tell me that I was far too thin and that not eating was very unhealthy. Their concerns fell on deaf ears, the only voice that mattered was my body dimorphic self hatred challenging me to eat less than the day before, and to go longer between meals. That voice, that power, that ultimate control meant the entire wold to me.
That's not to say I didn't pay attention to those who cared about me, in fact quite the opposite. I loved the concern in their eyes, because it meant that it was working. I may not have listened to their concerned words, but I certainly did hear them. "You're too skinny" were the best words I could possibly hear. Who needed food when you had the sweet, succulent feast of "You're Too Skinny"?! I was filled and nourished by those beautiful words. Food was for the week, the fat, the ones who had no willpower. I was better than that. I had "too skinny."
My recovery began in the fall of sophomore year. I did not enter this phase willingly, mind you. I was brought to the hospital for weekly hydrations and given an IV with vitamins in it. I was convinced it was pure lard and loathed everyone who had anything to do with it. Something did have to change though, even I knew that. The fact was that at age 15, I was dying.
The comments had changed, and were far less bearable. "Too Skinny," had been replaced with the most offensive, insulting, degrading words I could fathom, "So Healthy." Healthy means fat and fat is bad and everyone knows that so fuck you very much. Don't YOU look healthy.
Things went on this way for a few months. I went to a therapist that I hated (she was obviously so jealous of me, how many diets had she tried and failed at I wonder??). My family hugged me and called me healthy (those assholes), and everything was just so heavy and serious all of the fucking time. I had lost all of my control, and now needed these incesent people for help and all they wanted to do was talk and hug and talk and dig deep and hug and talk and eat and cry and talk and eat and eat and eat and it was agony. They were all just jealous of how thin I had gotten! All I wanted to do was put down my god damn fork!
The problem was, in the beginning stages of my recovery, I wasn't me. I was this other thing, this angry anorexic mean thing, even though I was eating I was still only my eating disorder. Those thoughts weren't me.
During this phase, I met my best friend Tim. He had also suffered from an eating disorder, and was also in recovery. One day, we were looking through our old yearbook, and my very anorexic photo stared back at me with empty eyes and a forced smile. I expected Tim to say something along the lines of what everyone else had said when they saw this photo "you poor thing/you look so sick/don't you feel better now/you look so healthy now/oh how sad." Instead, he said:
"Wow, look at that pointy chin! You could stab someone with that thing!"
And I laughed! I laughed a lot! Through that laughter, in the briefest of instances, I was able to see that photo as something else. Wow, I did look sad. Wow, I did look gaunt. Wow, maybe I don't really want to look like that again.
After that, it became easer to separate myself from my eating disorder. It became easier for my to separate my own thoughts, feelings, emotions, my entire life really, from my eating disorder. Is this me talking, or is this Pointy Chin? There were days that I was so depressed about my weight that I didn't want to leave the house, and Tim would say, "That's just Pointy Chin talking, leave her at home." It was silly, it was stupid, and it may have saved my life.
Thank you for the laughter and your continued friendship, Tim. I love you from the bottom of my now much more rounded chin.