I have 240 more words on the pathologization of adolescence to write before I can leave the computer lab. 240 more words on just how easy it is “to pathologize a natural stage in life, like adolescence, when it already holds ‘dramatic ups and downs…crises about identity and image…inner chaos and uncertainties’ “(Appignanesi 538). 240 more words to write, with confidence, as my strong dissertation voice implies that, as someone in my mid-twenties, these crises have absolutely nothing to do with my reality now. Everything’s a bit in flux at the moment. Though good things are coming soon, this transitional period makes my skin crawl.
Nobody tells you (nobody told me) how your body changes as you lose weight – rather than feel better because I’m healthier and stronger than I’ve felt in years, I struggle with feeling as though my proportions are now all out of balance. Looking into a mirror and looking down at myself provide drastically different impressions, which is worrying. My clothing doesn’t fit right, emphasizing the awkwardness I already feel. New clothes and haircuts are luxury items at the moment.
I’m reminding myself that my body is — I am — strong. That I can walk up all the flights of stairs without being (too) out of breath. That I have built muscle tissue that will keep my bones moving. That who I am is not dictated by my physical appearance, and good people will not judge me based on it.
I have 240 (more) words to write before I can go home.