A consistent theme at ‘ED’ blogs is that persons execute bingeing, purging, and or starving acts as self-punishment. As self-harm. This could not be farther from my former ‘Bulimic’ truth. My acts were twofold. The binge. And the purge. Never to hurt. But rather, to be an organised system with purpose. My Bulimia was a business.

The binge was my love for food and intensity for perfection. If I was going to do something naughty, I was going to live it up. This held true with working, shopping, dating, but especially with eating. Eating affected the final presentation to the world. Dressing in Prada or dressing in Walmart did not ultimately matter, so long as I looked thin. Thinness was controlled by food. And one slice of naughty cake meant an evening of spaghetti, peanut butter cookies, doughnuts, eggplant parmesan, chocolates, and upscale jarred peaches arranged upon vanilla-bean ice cream, or something of the sort. This led to purging which maintained the facade of perfection. Of thinness. ‘Vomit must come up before laxatives go down’. The poster girl for Bulimia, my slogan was oh-so catchy, don’t you think?

Trying to hurt myself on a few occasions as punishment for being naughty, not as punishment for existing like so many Bulimics claim, I wimped out. I’m totally a wimp. Even when driving on  northern icy roads at high speeds to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’, trying to spin from control, my brain mocked me. I must have been 21? And I thought, “What an ignoramus little fat kid you are, Nicole. Grow the **** up.” This is what traveled through my head during the Bulimic episodes. Always. Simultaneously, I’d be praying that I wouldn’t get fat. Sometimes I even went to Church afterward to light candles, asking ‘God’ to keep me as thin. What a waste of life.

In direct contract to ED Bloggers like Carrie Arnold, I maintain that naughty acts, those like Bulimia and self harm, are, indeed, “like a stupid teenage romance.” Eating disorders are not diseases. You do not ‘get’ an eating disorder. You get cancer. You get the flu. You do not get stuffing your face with food and extracting it. Bad acts can be controlled by the owner. Cancer? Not so much. ‘Getting EDs’ sounds to me like ‘getting a curse’ from a magical wicked potion. Totally irrational. Furthermore, what is disorder to one person is not disorder to another. What is normal to one person is not normal to another. Disorder and normalcy are subjective.

This leads to the point of today’s post. Normalcy. What is normalcy? In my strive for perfection in the Bulimic days, I exhausted myself, striving for this society-defined normal state of being. Bulimia, factoring into this strive, was absolutely about appearance. About presenting myself as normal to the world. As perfectly normal. Because anything but normal was diseased. Showing emotion meant bi-polarity. Going on a prom diet meant Anorexia. Being sad about losing a dance competition meant depression. But when I stopped caring about what others thought of me, little by little, I began creating my own value system without fear of judgement. The only judge that mattered was me. I stopped using FDR’s famous “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” because I no longer believed in fear because my heart was so clear. I felt honest. I ordered what I wanted at restaurants without caring about criticism. It wasn’t necessary to eat dessert just because everyone else ate dessert, just because eating dessert was ‘normal’. I knew what dessert did to me. Dessert meant no after-hour kissing with the date because I had more naughty food to eat before midnight. Dessert meant calculating the laxatives so as not to interfere with tomorrow’s yoga practice. Dessert meant messing up my body. My brain. My heart. Dessert meant ignoring my Gwendolyn.

Today, dessert of yesteryear is synonymous with living in the middle. I cannot live in the middle. I cannot compromise my morals. My belief system. My rational thought. I cannot be caged.

There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromiser is the transmitting rubber tube. (Ayn Rand, “The Cashing-In: The Student ‘Rebellion,’” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 255).

Last week, Otis Redding’s ‘(Sitting on the) Dock of the Bay’ played on the car radio, creating nostalgia in my heart for the 1960s. And the 40s. Kinder, more proper, and just more lovely, I daydream of living in these moments of history. For a long time, abhorring this modern world, I irrationally thought that I was born too late. Much of this hatred existed because of the Bulimia. But at that same moment, listening to the gorgeous tune of Mr. Redding, I looked at my dog, saying, “Gwendolyn, we are so weird. We are so normal. And I freaking love it!” So we celebrated life with dinner! Our dear Becky attended, too. Real friends know that dogs attend all dinner functions. 😉

Gwendolyn ordered chicken!

Staring-down my cuisine.

Snubbing my mushrooms, of course. Gwendolyn does not fancy mushrooms.

And returning to focus when dessert arrived. Gwendolyn loves dessert. 😉

I do, too, nowadays. I can eat dessert without fear of Bulimia. My value systems are too strong, and bad behaviours, with regard to food at least, do not exist. I live cleanly. Gwendolyn does, too.

And we have grand ‘unconventional’ birthday parties! Wild parties that Miley Cyrus would be so certain to crash with a wrecking ball, if she knew they existed. 😉

Tap dancing.

Playing!

Modelling our Miley Cyrus hairstyle.

Lauren Bacall.

Humphrey Bogart.

And a healthy green bean. 🙂

And cake. 🙂

Speaking of Miley Cyrus, I passionately commend that she lives according to her own values. Naked and all. What a great business girl. And that recent interaction with Sinead O’Connor? Where Ms. Cyrus refused to accept the woe-is-me basket case ‘intervention’ from someone who lives and breathes that unwanted behaviours are mental illness? Oh, good on you, Ms. Cyrus, for using your brain. Keep earning those gorgeous dollars by doing your thing, by expressing your art, by doing what makes you happy.

Persons born into this world of established ‘normal’ systems are set-up for failure. Persons exercising their ability to think are apprehended. Forced to comply. To march along uniformly, as sheep entering the corporate office, without questioning wrongness or righteousness.

Using my brain and my heart, I breathe my passions. If I do not live for me, then for whom am I living? “I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” – Atlas Shrugged.