Even if you just follow me on social media, you have probably gleaned the fact that I am anything but apathetic. I’m not a casual friend, or a casual fan, and I think that level of passion for people and things that I love is important and makes me who I am. It’s something I really pride myself in. So when I was in the throes of recovery and my therapist told me to do a practice in apathy, my entire being bristled. I’m not apathetic! Apathy is everything I hate about the world! I’m in it to win it!!
But, as everything in recovery proved to be, it was not as simple as that. This was a kind of indifference I would learn to accept, and frankly would change the entire game for me. It is still something that I practice, because without it, I probably would have just quit.
But...I’m not a quitter.
Everything changed for me when I began being apathetic about the way I looked. A lot of you reading this have probably known me for a while. You know that I don’t wear make up and I don’t brush my hair and I still wear clothes from the little boy’s section in Target. You know that in high school I was never well dressed or put together. You know that in college I wore dance clothes all day or a hoodie and jeans. You probably know that I HATE the idea of someone else straightening my hair or doing my make up...the list goes on and on. So even I sometimes look back at the disorder that held me in it’s clutches, one that is usually associated with looks, and am confused as to how I got to where I was. But then of course I remember that that is not what anorexia is about in the first place, and even I am falling victim to society’s perception of the thing I know better than most people.
Because I am the passionate, go-getter individual that I am, when I started recovery I set a very high goal for myself. I remember saying the words out loud to my therapist. “I am going to love my whole self, 100% of the time.” She laughed at me. She literally laughed, and said, “that’s an impossible goal, Katie. I’m not letting you set that.” I was angry at her for doubting me. Hey, you barely even know me!! You don’t know what I’m capable of! But it’s true...I would be disappointed every single day when I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t fall in love with the broken, changing girl in front of me. She was trying so hard.
But then, I decided to practice apathy. What if I didn’t set out everyday to love my entire self? What if I set out, instead, to just not care? I wasn’t put on this earth to be skinny. I wasn’t put on this earth to be beautiful. So what if...what if I just didn’t care? And in that moment, something clicked. It was like I was finally seeing the whole point of recovery, and body positivity, and self love. It’s not about saying “I’m beautiful the way I am.” It’s about saying “I exist. I am here, and that’s an amazing thing. I’m allowed. No matter what.”
This practice bled over to other aspects of my life. I started not caring about people’s perception of me as a whole, not just my looks. I started not caring about loving things out loud. I started not caring if people didn’t like the things I liked, or made fun of the music I listen to. I started not caring that I took up space, that my laugh literally echoes off of buildings because it’s so loud, that my hair is never neat, and that sometimes I take stuff to the extreme. These may all seem like very elementary lessons, but you’d be surprised how hard they are to fully embrace. I still have trouble But there just comes a point where you can’t care anymore. Life is too short, and way too wonderful. I could very easily get wrapped up in the fact that I am literally twice the size I used to be, or that I don’t get cast anymore, or that I don’t get complimented on my looks very often, because that’s what this weirdo society wants me to focus on. But instead...I just don’t really care anymore. I exist. I’m allowed. No matter what.
I don’t expect you to wake up one day and be like “wow, KT was right. I don’t care anymore! I’m free!!” because that’s not how life works. I also don't expect this to fix all your problems. It's one very small puzzle piece in the whole picture. It’s a practice, not a performance. I still have trouble with it, because I’m human, and so are all of you. It’s not easy. It’s work! But, it really does make a difference, little by little. And if you’re struggling with where to start, message me, or text me, or comment on this post and I will tell you all the things I love about you that have nothing to do with how you look. I’m sure there are at least a hundred.
You exist. You’re allowed. No matter what.
Peace, Love, and Orange Juice,