Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bottoming out...

Okay, I apologize for not writing this earlier, but you know, Star Jones got canned, Tom Cruise pimped pictures of his "daughter" (I use that term loosely) for cash, Britney posed nekkid on the cover of Bazaar... it's been a busy day or so. Oh, yeah, and I had to work.

So anyway, about a week ago I hit bottom. If I were an alcoholic, and my Lifetime movie were a mini series... last week would have been the scene where some well meaning person would have found me, Kitty Dukakis style, clutching a bottle of nail polish remover. Yes, I referred to Kitty Dukakis. The Duke in '88, baby. I digress...

Okay, so maybe I'm not an alcoholic. My bottoming out was more of a spiritual self image bottoming out. See, I had to get a new Driver's License. This entailed putting on my wig and going to the DMV. I hadn't put on my wig in a couple of weeks... it's very hot down here in the South. I struggled with the task- it involved giving up the dream that I was, in fact, still 120 pounds. When I was in Illinois and renewing my license, they would ask, "is all your info still correct?" Sure, I would say. 120. Yes. When I was sixteen, that is. Ha! Suckers.

Needless to say, I got dressed, put on my wig, and started to put on makeup. Why we bother to put on makeup for the DMV picture, I will never know. But we do. Face it. You spend a half hour on your face to wait in some smelly hot linoleum tiled room and take a split second picture that you're not even ready for. Why? So some bartender/waitress/cop who pulls you over might one day say, "Hey, nice picture"?

Stupid shit.

So anyway, back to my meltdown. Upon looking at my reflection in the mirror, which I don't do very often, I started to cry. I somehow looked...I don't know... "Garish". Yep, garish. Like some Toulouse Lautrec, Moulin Rouge wannabee. My face was fat. I mean, fat. No hiding it. My beautiful, wonderful, expensive wig didn't look right on my fat face. The hair ended right at the most unflattering spot. The make up looked like too much on my pasty face. I felt, honestly, like a bad drag queen. Like all this attempt at femininity was a sham. All the highlights and the Clinique in the world would not hide the fact that I had lost my cuteness, my hair, part of my breast... part of me really. I didn't see me when I looked in that mirror. I cried. The mascara ran. I rubbed my eyes... eyelashes came off on my fingers. I couldn't win.

So mid-meltdown, off to the DMV I went. As I was leaving, Alan asked me what was wrong, what he could do to help. I freaked out and just told him to let me go. He looked so confused as I drove away. All I wanted to do was rip off the wig, go put on some yoga pants and wake up when I was me again... fake hair color and all.

They say you have to hit bottom to come back up. That was it. That moment in the mirror. The moment I realized that for all my "you're so strong, you're handling it so well, you're a fighter" bullshit, I had in fact, lost complete control. That feeling fat was just a symptom of the greater issue. That while I had actually been "putting on my wig and makeup" for months, there was a part of my that had been taken over. So that very night, I got off my ass and decided to do something about it. I walked three miles that night. More movement than I had done in months. I'm going to find me again.

And yes, my driver's license picture is hideous. I do actually have two chins in it. And yes, when I am hot again, I will be "losing" my license and getting a new one. Cuz after all, what if I do get pulled over one day?


Anonymous said...

Never lose sight of the fact that a good cry can be very therapeutic. And, as a female, sometimes it's expected and we don't have to explain why.

Anonymous said...

this is the thing - you will 'lose' that license - but you'll keep it. You'll keep it and you'll whip it out when you're half loaded one night (fully loaded, many nights?) to say "yes - I went through shit, yes I bottomed out, yes, I had massive stones of brass and check me out - how hot am I now - all recovered and re-haired/re-highlighted and de-chinned. You wish you could be as hot as me." And we will.