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before beginning:
this is a continuation.
of a story. about ned.
ned being my nasty, little eating disorder.
he's the worst.
for more information,
check my sidebar
(under the photo of me in
the winter mittens).

i liked him immediately.

because he was honest.

and so, i was honest.


and yes, we've spoken about ned.

because ned is the answer to so many questions: why am i not acting? why didn't i like juilliard? why and why and on and on.

and where honesty is concerned, ned cannot be avoided.

and the thing is, he doesn't get it. at all.

not. at. all.

and i love that. his lack of understanding.

because it makes me feel healthy. and normal.

and the thing is, it's not for him to understand.

not for anyone, really.

my parent's don't even get it. and they know me better than anyone. and they were there. and for them--because they must heal as well--the process of coming out of this illness is coming to terms with the knowledge that they will never understand. that this thing--this, what i jokingly call ned--is an untouchable part of me.

last night he commented that he's never seen me wear a pair of jeans.

and i mentioned that i don't own any.

and in that moment i realized this was the first of the small things that would reveal ned with a certain, tangible clarity.

i can talk about it all until i'm blue in the face and i can answer all of his questions and it will be... just... words, a lip-service.

but it is the absence of jeans, the fact that i haven't owned a pair in going on four years that will reveal what i cannot--that will give way to his first glimmer of understanding.

but it is not understanding of the disease so much as the understanding that he will never understand.

and this is the understanding i fear.

because today it is a pair of jeans. and tomorrow it is the absence of photos in the family album. and from there... well, from there... i just don't know.


Marisa said...

"and the thing is, it's not for him to understand"

meg - I tell myself this all the time with husband. It is hard for any to understand as you said, even those closest don't understand and for me that is okay because it is hard enough to understand it myself... You have helped me in so many ways with your posts... in a most private way. Thank you!

laura marie said...

i know i've told you that i shared your struggle in the past, and this post just made me cry... it captures my feelings on it so perfect - especially the ability to talk about it, and feeling as if that makes it all okay, but then realizing that i'm merely talking. thank you for writing the words when i cannot <3

Signorina Svizzera said...

while i don't suffer from a ned problem, i have a chronic health condition that is like my ned. nobody understands it, my doctors don't understand it, and my friends certainly don't (there is no boy in my life to understand or not understand me right now).
you have put perfectly into words, as you always do, what i am feeling but cannot voice, or cannot work my mind around enough to realize that this is what's going on. meg, you are so brilliant, thank you for this post <3
also, you look beautiful in the photos below... i especially love the red lipstick!!

olivia rae said...

i think we would be such great real-life friends meg.

so inspiring! xo

jess said...

here's what i think (for what it's worth) he doesn't really have to understand.. unconditional love- the kind that makes marriages work- is like this.. despite weakness, failure, through the midst of trials (and errors) as we trip and fall time and time again the person who truly loves you doesn't see all of that- they look beyond the surface to the beautiful, smart, incredible people that we are- or that we will one day become and they are there, along the way to catch us when we fall or be the shoulder that we can cry on, always cheering us on along our journey.. at least that's what my true love is like!

Meg Fee said...

oh goodness, you girls give me so much hope--make me feel light and good.

Anonymous said...

Meg, you do a real service for those of us who still have a hard time articulating our own experiences with Ned. Thank you.

communikate. said...

megra [can i call you that? it seems fitting.]

yep. once again i'm nodding my head. eyeing my closet. all dresses. a few skirts. sweats. and one pair of jeans that i hate.

is it to much to say, i know {in some way} how you feel?

damn ned.

you're gorgeous.


i commend you on putting more photos up of yourself. that's progress right? you should do it more, because you're gorgeous. :)

Natalie said...

i don't know you. is it weird that after reading this post, my first instinct is just to say: i love you?

Taylor Norris said...

wow, i am so excited to be embarking on this journey "with you" ... via the internet and only vicariously, obviously. i am so thankful that you're honest! this new person could slowly, very slowly, become a healing factor. oh, i pray it's so!

CrowNology said...

A few years ago, oh thank goodness I can say that now, I was hospitalized. My father, my best friend, said (essentially) "snap out of it"...That is lack of understanding without compassion. He took it upon himself to talk to "pros" and read everything he could...NOW he holds my hand and doesn't understand but with compassion.
That has made all the difference
and that is the key.

beatrice said...

i bought pencil cords a few weeks ago. in my mind as i checked out all i could think was "oh bill, I WIN"

and i knew nobody there could understand really why i was victorious, or even how i could have victory over something that was so much a part of me.

but it was then i stopped and realised that i had once again begun calling him "part of me" and thinking of him as something in myself... which is always my first clue that i'm heading down that way again. so it just worries me to see you calling him an "untouchable part of me", because as untouchable as he may be to others, and as much as even people who have had similar experiences cannot fully understand the personal impact - ned is still not you. he is ned. you are you. and there is so much you, i know, so much heart and so much personality, that there really cannot be room for ned much longer.

i <3 you though i've never met you. isn't blogging wonderful?

Meg Fee said...

beatrice, thanks for the gorgeous reminder. you're right he isn't a part of me.

hawthorne girl said...

i'm so happy that you have met someone that you can be honest with. isn't it the best? i've always vowed that when love is right, everything comes naturally and you feel good about yourself, not bad. and you know what, when i found him, that is the way it was and still is. if they don't make you feel this way, then something isn't right. he sounds like a wonderful person. have fun and hang in there, you are truly an amazing person.

Hermione said...

Oh, how beautiful and painful at the same time. I think we all have our Ned, he just takes different shapes in all of us. And it is hard to let go of, hard to share, and hard to, well, live with. But maybe inch by inch, a little by little, we can let go, and finally, hopefully, be free? I wish nothing more:).
Beautiful, as always!

Hermione said...

I just have to share that I was having a horrible day, emotional and pre-menstrual (yes, too much info perhaps), and now I feel better. Thanks to your post. Marvelous. Thank you!

kathleen said...

As Always: This is - as always - so beautifully written. You are - as always - so brave and I am - as always - so touched.

Rachael said...

I hate jeans well. Shopping for them causes anxiety and anxiety leads to... other problems.

Alyssa said...

I could not identify with this any more than I already do.

I'm happy to say that, 5 years after my very own NED began, this is the first fall I've re-vamped my wardrobe with FIVE new pairs of jeans. I haven't owned a pair since 2007. And guess what? I feel good in them.

There is hope. You'll get there.