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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Have You Tried Farting?

Saturday November 3, 2012
 Have You Tried Farting?

Once upon a time my dad was complaining about an uncomfortable pain in his chest. He had just had heart surgery, so of course he was going to be uncomfortable. But my advice, when hearing about his pain, was: “Have you tried farting?”

I was dead serious.

Unfortunately he found my question insanely funny, and laughing after heart surgery is really painful. And it made him sound like an elk in rut.

Anyway, that’s become a little joke in our family. Any ailment can be cured by: “Have you tried farting?”

The other day one of my lovely friends here was complaining of chest pain so I asked her: “Have you tried farting?” She laughed. And it was lovely.

Treatment here is really hard. A lot of the time we are anxious, tired, sad, angry . . . . A lot of people here have experienced insane amounts of trauma and they’ve given up their best coping mechanism (the eating disorder). So any amount of laughter is like a rainbow, sunshine, hugs and bubbles all worked into one.

Speaking of farting and laughter, let me tell you a little something.

Because of the nature of this facility, the bathrooms are locked and we are not allowed to flush the toilets on our own. This means that someone else is flushing our poop. Yes. That happens. The first time it happened to me I apologized profusely . . . But there’s really no great way to say, “I’m so sorry, and thank you for flushing my excrement.”

Because of the nature of eating disorders, many of the patients here (myself included) are on weight restoration diets.

Also because of the nature of eating disorders, our bodies aren’t always sure what to do with the food we’re partaking of. We’ve been malnourished so long that our bodies start doing all kinds of interesting things . . .

Let’s just say any pride you might have when it comes to the bathroom goes right out the door when you admit here, and you become a gas factory.
So here we are, all very petite women, walking around totally owning up to our bodily functions. We’d make any Scouting campout look tame . . .

“Sorry guys, that was me.”
“You might want to go first because I have to poop.”
“No one sit over here because I definitely farted.”
“Wait a minute before you go in there.”

But we all laugh at each other. And I’m not going to lie, it’s great medicine.


Also: When I was little I called flatulence “Bottom Burps.” I think this is the only time I’ll be able to tell you that without it seeming totally out of context and inappropriate. Mom will be proud.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Camilla,

    I wonder, as I read your blog, if people aren't commenting because they know you can't read the posts. I wonder if they think your dad won't know what to do with them. For whatever reason, though, there aren't comments. (When I'm active on my blog, I love comments...seriously...who doesn't like to know they're talking to more than the wind; to know that someone out there really hears them?) Anyway, this comment is for you, and for your dad (so he knows it is worthwhile to keep your blog going for you).

    I am 49 years old and was anorexic and bulemic for about 5 years (from 17-22). I call myself a "former anorexic/bulemic", but even 30 years later, I am careful not to get into the obsessive habits of eating that I used to have. I've always told people who couldn't comprehend the struggle to get past disordered eating that it is like nothing else: if you're a drug addict, you just stay away from drugs; a drinker stays away from alcohol; a smoker gives up cigarettes. The option for eliminating these things forever is legitimate. An anorexic/bulimic has to work through the triggers and find, if not peace, then at least an uneasy truce, with food. That requires a tremendous amount of courage, tenacity, and commitment and you are to be commended for being willing to meet this challenge head on. There is no dodging this, there is no turning a blind are actually reshaping your relationship with food and you are so powerful. Keep writing your posts, keep expecting unflinching honesty from yourself. Don't worry about hurting your mom's feelings or your dad's feelings. You don't have to be perfect and happy all the time. Trust me, as a mom, I know this to be true: They love you imperfect...they love you cranky...they love you angry at them and, most of all, they KNOW they haven't been perfect parents and won't break if you share your deepest hurts and disappointments with them. Divorce sucks, losing friends and loved ones hurts, it is scary, and it is okay to feel all those things. Let it all is all that hurt that is misleading you about your value, your beauty, and your meaning in others' lives.
    You've got're strong.

    P.S. In our house, after two seasons of Bear Grills (sp?), whenever someone is faced with a sticky situation, someone else quips "Did you try peeing on it?" I know it is not funny, but it IS funny at our house! Have a wonderful day!