I’m going to be writing a few posts about Hunger by Roxane Gay. I knew this book would be about bodies and food, what I didn’t expect (and really, I should have known better) was that this book would also be about worthiness and relationships. Today’s post will be focused on that. About the role that shame plays in isolating us. And about how human connection is the key to coming back.
Sometimes, it freaks me out when someone else puts pen to paper and gets at the core of my being. But after that first reaction, I get flooded by warmth, I realize I am not alone, I am not crazy, I am not a freak, I am human. That happened to me several times in this book. I read and I thought I might be reading my own journal. And so I made note of the places where I wasn’t alone. These are them.
“That’s a powerful thing, knowing you can reveal yourself to someone.”
“Part of the reason relationships and friendships can be so difficult for me is because there is a part of me that thinks that I have to get things just right. I have to say the right things and do the right things or I won’t be liked or loved anymore. It’s stressful, so then I engage in an elaborate attempt at being the best friend or girlfriend and get further and further away from who I really am, someone with a good heart, but also someone who may not always get things right. I find myself apologizing for things I shouldn’t be apologizing for, things that I am not at all sorry for. I find myself apologizing for who I am.”
“I don’t do fear very well. I try to push people I love away. I worry that I’m not allowed human weakness, that this makes me not good enough.”
“When I broke my ankle, love was no longer an abstraction.”
“When I worry I’m not strong, I become very invested in appearing invulnerable, unbreakable, stone-cold, a fortress, self-sustaining. I worry that I need to keep up this appearance even when I cannot.”