Saturday, December 11, 2004

I'm Molting

One night, several years ago I was lamenting to a girlfriend about my then-current emotional pain.

My friend listened patiently and then starting talking about crabs.

Crabs have to shed their shells in order to grow...a process that is called molting. After molting, the crab is pink and tender and full of water. Their new shell is very soft at first, making the crab vulnerable to predators, so they hide out in little niches and caves. After about a month, the shell becomes very hard and the crab is less tender, less vulnerable.

Not only does this process allow the crab to grow, it helps to get rid of barnacles and other things growing on the shell. Overall, crabs molt about 20 times throughout their life span.

The point my friend was attempting to make is that humans molt too. It's painful and we feel exposed and at risk. But it is the process that allows us to come out bigger and stronger in the end.

Right now, I am tender and vulnerable and hiding out. But I am growing stronger by the day. And I'm learning to accept that this process is a part of life - and not some indicator of my ineptness as a stable, human being.

The last nine days have been long and tedious. But the introspection has allowed me to finally speak the truth.

I am not unhappy because I am fat. I am fat, because I am unhappy.

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