Halloween never gets old for me.
Here's a fun picture that my father sent to me today. A fun reminder of my adolescent and young teen years around Halloween.
Halloween was always my favorite time of year. I considered it a legit holiday. I loved it more than Christmas and even more than my birthday. Sure, I loved the candy, but I loved Halloween for a much deeper reason. I still feel that way today.
I know that Halloween, to me, has always represented a time when I could let my creativity run wild and express my artistic side in human form.
Today, I started to think a lot about why I really like Halloween, because I think it's bigger than creativity alone. I thought about the feelings that I had surrounding dressing up and playing a different role. What I believe it comes down to is that this time of year allowed me to be different, to be a freak, to be morbid, to be wild, to be exactly how I wanted to be.
I was always the different one growing up. The girl that didn't fit in with other girls, the girl that played with the boys, the girl who was the odd one out. I always wanted to be accepted.
Being morbid, strange, and weird on the night of ghosts and ghouls was acceptable, and still is. No one is considered a freak, weird, or abnormal. For me, the more insane, morbid, and freakish I could get, afforded me more positive attention and accolades. I got noticed and complimented in ways that I wanted...my creativity, my artistic talent, and the way I looked.
Oddly enough, the way I looked had nothing to do with weight or beauty (of course that obsession would come later), but I got the attention that I wanted.
I knew that I was different than most people, I knew that I had thoughts that weren't socially acceptable, I knew that I didn't seem to quite fit in with the crowd. So, paradoxically, Halloween afforded me a day that I could be normal, I could fit in, and people would love and accept me.
It seems that most of what we are concerned with these days is fitting in, being normal, being loved and adored. We abandon who we really are in exchange for being someone who we think everyone else wants us to be. We morph or behaviors, budget our emotions to protect others, we wear clothes that others tell us to wear. We even go to extremes with our diets and exercise to sculpt and mold our bodies into what we believe is socially acceptable and what will get us love and affection.
What if these incongruent and inauthentic approaches are causing our eating challenges to flare and worsen over time?
What if our binge eating is caused by holding ourselves back from our true expression?
What if controlling our food so tightly is the physical expression of controlling our emotions so that we don't have to feel?
Well, I don't think those are what if's. I think they are true. I know that for myself, suppressing my truest expression has created years of disordered eating strategies.
I believe that many of us will feel relief from our most painful experiences with food when we finally open up to accepting and expressing who we are... freaks, passionate lovers, artists, fairies, and emotional beings. Who ever you are, it's time to show yourself.
Tap into your truest self, express her, and I bet many of your unwanted behaviors and symptoms with food will start to float away on the bright moon's fog.