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#No.Filter: Preview of Part One, "Everyone's Watching" and Eating Disorders

March 20, 2019

Anxiety plagues a startling number of people. It was a word which was rarely used even just 10 years ago. It certainly wasn't used as frequently when my issues with food first arose nearly 15 years ago.  I think sometimes these days it is used a little too frequently, it is used to describe normal nervousness or concerns about things which are valid to be concerned about. 

 

Anxiety is a step beyond nervousness or concern. My anxiety doesn't come on in high pressure or high risk situations. My anxiety is there with me everyday, all day, 24/7.  It is this constant feeling that the sky is going to fall. Every decision, every purchase, every choice, every step could potentially cause unimaginable chaos in my life. 15 minutes debating if I buy that .69 cent can of corn. This is necessary because MAYBE if I buy that corn then somewhere down the line it will cause my world to explode, or implode or some kind of plosion. And then I will look back, at that single can of corn, and realize how in that seemingly innocuous moment I destroyed my life. This is ridiculous, obviously. 

 

Anxiety also presents itself differently in different people. I don't fall apart, I don't melt to the ground. I get angry. I grow silent. I seethe quietly to myself. I am highly functional in my own dysfunction and can typically talk work myself through the severe, snowballing anxiety. If pushed or not given space and quiet it will continue to grow until  I lash out at the closest and safest person near me. Unfortunately that means that my family and boyfriend bares the brunt of it.  I think this makes people think I am a bitch. I am not a bitch (most of the time) I am just trying to cope with what feels un-cope-able. 

 

My anxiety also makes me fear how I am perceived by others.  This is what the first piece focuses on. There are so many facets of this concern that it is hard to articulate clearly. It hard to articulate any of this clearly. Until this project I never really sat down to contemplate these things, I simply accepted these things as they are. It was just how I was, like the sky being blue or the grass being green, I didn't question. Anywho....

 

Everyone's Watching is the first piece in the first part which focuses on the anxiety and paranoia of perception. It is a fear of how I am perceived physically, what I wear, how I look, what this says about me. It is a fear of how I am perceived professionally, that I am capable, that I am professional, that I am intelligent, efficient, strong. It is a fear of how I am perceived in my circle of friends, am I fun, attentive, supportive, social, open? It is a fear of how I am perceived musically, am I capable, am I hire-able, am I technically sound and emotive? Am I  acceptable? That is what this all boils down to... am I acceptable? Do I measure up? 

 

I don't trust my own perception of myself. I don't trust what I see. I don't trust the mirror,, I don't trust my own self-analysis. I am convinced that I am tragically and terminally flawed. There is unavoidable. Unescapable. Everyone is watching, waiting for me to screw up. Waiting for me to slip. Everyone is watching, they see the real me, the flawed me, the me who is unapprovable, unacceptable. Everyone is watching, and I feel their eyes on me. I can't escape from a fate of being flawed, and I can't escape from them watching as I fail. 

 

This plays into my eating disorder in a major way.  As I said in the previous post i hate the buzzword of "control" when talking about the reason for eating disorders but that is definitely one facet of it. Eating disoderes are complex, multi-headed beast, we can't just reduce them to one word explanations and say "See there.... got it all figured out." BUT Control is part of it. For me the illusion of order and control that came from restricting my food, counting calories, tracking exercise, dividing calories indgested over the number of hours spent awake.... it felt orderly, it felt like something I could get a grasp on. In addition to being overly organized, and obsessively working to make sure all other aspects of my life are in their proper place, that I am in my proper place... this was one more thing I could do to get a grip on the world around me and put things in order. 

 

I hear the words of my first grade teacher echo-ing in my head "If she doesn't get organized now she never will and she will have a very difficult time." First grade and I was convinced that everything in my life would be ruined if I didn't figure out how to keep a tidy desk, keep my folders tidy. The sky began was now a liability, it was a risk, and could come crashing down. If I don't figure this out at 5 years old, figure out how to get organized then everything in my life with fall apart, and it will all be because of that one time, in first grade when I didn't learn how to keep my desk organized. 

 

Order. Order. Order. Organization. Productivity. Moving forward. Always doing. Always working. Don't stop. Don't let them see you stop. If you have time to rest you have time to work. Rest when you're dead. Years pass, I haven't eaten a legitimate meal in can't remember when. Run everyday, bike everyday, doing situps until 3 am. Work it off burn it off if I am not working i am exercising if I am not exercising I am practicing, studying, reading, working, walk walk walk walk in circles all night. No rest for the wicked I am very wicked, inherently wicked must keep working can not stop cannot stop. Keep moving forward if you don't you'll get left behind, rest when you're dead. I am now 20 years old. keep running running running everyday keep moving more situps keep working throw yourself in, one hundred percent, you need to commit, did i commit? commit more. Rest when you're dead. I am twenty. I am twenty years old. Am i dead yet? 

 

The object of this piece and film is to create tension and nervousness. Its the intense anxiety and fluttering. There is forward motion, suspicious, nervous, explosive. The film is garishly over-exposed, the music through-composed with moments of building, spiraling, and repetition. Its not easy to try and put these abstract concepts into an abstract form of art (not that this is abstract art but music itself is abstract but I am rambling and digressing). Its not easy but I think it is definitely worth it. The things that are never easy always seem to be worth it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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