Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Monday, 27 April 2015

God Box

Thursday, February 19, 2015

On Tuesday, I translated three sentences about barley.

With its varying hues, the barley gives this dish a two-toned appearance. This colouring is due to the fact that the hulls are still wrapped around some of the grains. This dish makes a wonderful accompaniment to chicken, fish, or pork.

On Thursday, I translated a letter for a bank that is firing all its employees and switching to automated machines.

In 2009, I drew my body in the shape of a small gingerbread man. I drew a circle in the throat area and inside the circle, I wrote green. My old psychologist Dr. Henderson used to teach me how to colour code my day. Pink meant happy. Orange was average. Okay or mediocre but not horrendous. Green equalled shitty. While she was explaining the code to me, she used smelly markers on her big chart paper. As I went through the day, I was supposed to rate my mood. Whenever there was food or eating disorder symptoms, I would automatically say that it was green, even though sometimes puking something tasty into your mouth felt soothing. Other times, it was just disgusting and it made me feel ashamed. My fear for you, Dr. Henderson said, is that the eating disorder will continue to insert green into moments that would otherwise be pink or orange. She explained that it was important to leave room in your life for orange moments. Sometimes life is just orange, she said. Not terrible or catastrophic, but also not spectacular. You don’t need to let the eating disorder add green and make it bad. This makes her sound dumb, but she was actually quite a good psychologist.
The gingerbread man with green in his throat
I always felt pressured to rate my eating disorder times as green and unpleasant and terrible. Except that the vomit wasn’t always particularly unpleasant. Sometimes it felt better than faking it. More honest. The insides matched the outsides.

Dr. Henderson told me that eating disorder or not, I would probably always be a fairly anxious person. I found this news to be remarkably disappointing. I had the vision that once I stopped puking in my mouth, I would transform into someone exquisitely calm. Someone who remains impressively unphased by life’s whims. A Chill Chick. Alas, this is not quite me.

Back when I tried to do the twelve steps for overcoming alcoholism in attempts to overcome my eating disorder, I made a God Box. It was in the shape of a long rectangle. I covered it with sheets of paper which I decorated with splatters of pink, yellow and purple paint. Maybe there were also other colours. Naomi, my friend and roommate at the time, called it the Allah Box. We wanted to be inclusive of all religions and cultures. Probably we were also being a little bit obnoxious. The Allah Box was for putting all your problems and worries into. I wrote down my problems on small square sheets of paper, folded them in half and slid them through the rectangular slot on the top of the Allah Box.

The A.A. people recommend writing all your character defects down. You can make a list or write them down on small squares of paper, and put them in your God slash Allah Box, or throw them in the Lachine Canal. I think I tried all of these things. I have a list of all the character defects I put in the God Box and on a list and in the Lachine Canal. It is not that interesting. I think I got a bunch of my character defects from the sample list on the A.A. website. Oh well.

Erica’s List of Character Defects

Easily discouraged                                                   resentments

Give up easily                     tendency to create drama

Hypochondria                                   disorganization                                        prejudice

         Perfectionism                                        distractedness

                         INTOLERANCE                                     selfishness

Judgementalness                          carelessness                                        jaded facetious skeptical

Pride                  greed            seeing the negative all the time

Defects isn’t the kindest word.
Before I left Montreal to live with the Boatman in Halifax, I gave the Allah Box to Simon.  Even though we didn’t get along that well, Simon kept the Allah Box until January 4th. Then he jumped off a building and died. Maybe it wasn’t very nice to give someone a box filled with my character defects.

On my bedside table, there is a dusty lamp that doesn’t work. There’s something wrong with the plug, and perhaps also the lightbulb. Not sure. The Boatman and I are terrible at following through with stuff like that. We could spend the rest of our lives looking after shit like that. Lightbulb after plug after leaky shower head.

No comments:

Post a Comment