Updated: Nov 8, 2020

Deprivation and I go way back. I used to think this was discipline. I used to think this was strength. I could weaponize it in every format imaginable. Cutting out certain foods or amounts of food. Eliminating any spending on myself. Limiting sleep. Avoiding TV. Devoted sexual abstinence. Excluding anything pleasurable or fun. Depriving myself of rest and anything “unproductive”. I had many pious names for my self-deprivation. Discipline. Cleanse. Detox. Responsibility. Productivity. Even, Righteousness. These all served to convince myself I was a good person. I was disciplined and in control of myself. I was worth something. Maybe, even that I was BETTER than others. Looking back, my deprivation was motivated by deep insecurity and fear. I was constantly striving to earn my worth. I was disturbed by the nagging feeling I was not good enough. After years and years of well calculated and sadistic strategies of deprivation, nothing worked. I could be incredibly disciplined. I could cut out entire food groups. I could eat less. I could wake up at 5:00 and force myself through hours of cardio. I could survive on the tiniest amounts of money. I could go months without watching tv. I could go years without sex. I could work myself all waking hours. And yet, I still didn’t feel good enough. I was terrified if I gave myself what I craved, I would want more. And wha