Saturday, May 12, 2012

HfC day 12: blogger's choice

I skipped yesterday so had considered using that topic for today. But I've actually now had an idea of my own so I no longer need to cheat!

Once again, this may be long and rambling. It will also give me the chance to post a knitting project (the main focus of my blog until this month) and to talk about something that simultaneously is and is not about my ED.

I started ballet at the age of 2 and studied it seriously until I was 18. I hate it when people denigrate ballet for being the 'cause' of anorexia or other EDs because it's so reductive to claim that such complex mental illnesses can be attributed to a single thing. I'm not denying that ballet had an effect on the way that I view my body. I can clearly remember being just 3 and seeing other girls with their tummies sticking out and being glad that mine did not (and promising to myself that I wouldn't let it). Or being 7 and wishing I was wearing tights because the sight of my naked thighs was too ugly for me.

But giving up eating when I was 10 had nothing to do with those feelings. It was about sadness, loneliness, wanting to escape from the world. By not eating, I was able to stay at home, cocooned away from the scariness of school (until, of course, I ended up stuck in hospital and unable to go home).

Throughout all of this, I have loved ballet. I love the way that my body can make shapes and express feelings. So starting ballet again, in an adult class, this February has allowed me to 'reclaim' it as something that is *not* about being thin, but instead, it's about loving being in my body, even if only for the duration of the class. Because as I achieve a developpe or work through a port de bras in the centre, I am fully there, within my body and controlling it as it creates the shapes and steps in the various exercises - and that control has nothing to do with food or starvation or other ED behaviours.

So now for the knitting part! I've nearly finished a wraparound cardigan that I've made for myself (and that's another good step in valuing myself enough to knit for me rather than for friends and their babies, or for charity). Here is a photo from earlier today:

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