The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Brain (or, I *am* funny)

I sat with my legs straight out in front of me, arms crossed lightly over my chest, looking into space, and with careful nonchalance, asked her “So… I don’t suppose you were able to understand from that report what exactly it is I’ve got?”

“Oh”, she replied “you want a label?”

Fuck! Busted WIDE OPEN!

“Umm yeah, I guess so”

I tried (and failed) to withold a shamefaced grimace.

“Well, it says here ‘unspecified eating or feeding disorder’, and some numbers from the classifcation system they use to determine these things. You don’t binge and purge [I shuddered involuntarily, thinking “HELL NO!”] and you seem to be rather more into the ‘exercise too much and restrict your diet’ end of things. But terms like ‘anorexia’ are rather outdated these days – we don’t use them any more.”

Bastards! They’ve copped on, these oh-so-clever, psychologically clued-up doctor-types. A label. Something to hang your issue on. Isn’t that all anyone hopes for? Especially after going through such a rough time with it – to not even have the ‘reward’ of a label – some kind of validation that you’re doing it right. Shit! I’ve been cheated. I am now an ‘officially typed-up’ Person With A Common, or Garden Variety, Non-Specific Eating Disorder.

Bollocks.

I’ve also been prescribed some medication for anxiety on account of the panic attacks I’ve been having lately, and the sudden, inexplicable fear that I’ve done something terrible, or fucked up somehow, and it’s all about to explode in my face and everyone will know I messed up

Anyone who knows me well enough (or who has been around here long enough) will probably have seen it coming. Not the messing up – that’s just BS my (terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad) brain is churning out to make my life complicated – the other stuff. The stuff I’m struggling with. The stuff which, if it weren’t for the side-effects of this weird moodstorm I’ve been going through for the past while (inexplicable ups and downs and feelings of bulletproofness and then reversion to spun-glass fragility) I would be writing up in a touchy-feely way, trying to make you feel sorry for the pathetic mess that I am. The stuff I still refer to as ‘stuff’ rather than ‘eating disorder, because frankly it’s ridiculous and I find it utterly laughable (not in the good way) that at 31, I can come down with something more commonly diagnosed in teenagers.

Okay, I know, mental illness isn’t bound by age. Which this is. I do at least know that. Because in spite of all the abject self-loathing I can’t seem to shake, if I stop for a minute and check the facts, I *know* that I am physically healthier and slenderer than I have ever been in my entire adult life. And even if I include my teenage years, I’m still better now. But none of it makes me less repulsed by my appearance. And none of it is mitigating the guilt which is welling up inside me like bile about the second bowl of cereal I’ve had on a day when all else I’ve eaten is some fruit and vegetables because I’ve done no exercise, because I was stuck for over an hour waiting for the damn doctor, and I haven’t earned it…

Mental!

Quite.

I wrote a while ago, in a post which hasn’t been (and may not be) published, about how my biggest hang-up is my fat. How much I hate all the wibbles and wobbles and sticky-out bits which cover me in a layer of squidgy blubber. I wrote it while I was in the middle of a dark, dark mood, when even remembering my name caused me anguish because I associated the name with the image of the person I see.

Because, the person I see is (apparently) not who other people see.

I’ve gotten stuck, somewhere along the way, in someone else’s twisted hall of mirrors, where the lasting impressions are ones of ugliness and worthlessness and “Gosh, you’re getting a bit fat” and “We could park the Queen Mary along one side of your nose, and the QEII along the other” and “Um…you’re sturdy” and “Well, you’ll never be one of those *skinny* girls…”, and last weekend I saw photos of me from a mere seven years ago, and felt sick with disgust at how I looked.

No matter that I was smiling because I was holding my newborn Neff, and loving being an Aunty for the first time.

I was ugly. Fat. Hideous. Stupid. Repulsive. Vile. Abhorrent. Awful. Huge. Worthless. Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad YUCK!

And I stood there, struck dumb, with Husby’s arms around me as we quietly absorbed the slide-show of Neff’s first day out in the world, and I marvelled that this man had ever found it in himself to even be interested in such a *thing* as me, then. And I vowed I would never go back to that, even as a little voice tucked away inside my brain tried to yell at me that it was a damn good thing he’s not as shallow or screwed up in the brain as I am, or then where would we be?!

But that’s the image I still carry inside – who I feel as though I am.

I’m embarrassed about who I was then, and if I’m perfectly frank, I’m ashamed of who I am now. Because I’ve learned that an eating disorder isn’t about strength of character, nor does it mean you’ll be skinny. In my case, it’s about weakness of character and it’s surprisingly little related to how I look (the smaller I’ve gotten, the worse it’s become). It’s about a mental imbalance and a fundamentally disordered view of my own self, and the only way I feel able to control it is by stopping the calories from going in, for as much and as long as I can bear it, without *actually* damaging myself, in an arse-upwards way to try to make the outside bit of me okay enough to make the taunting voices stop for long enough to let me fix the inside bit.

So I restrict what I eat. And I exercise. And I’m not happy. And I’ve been having these anxiety attacks, and finding myself inexplicably on the verge of tears, and getting ten kinds of worked up and unnecessary about it, and thinking that it’s some Big, Bad, Awful, when in fact it’s really quite…not.

Lots of people have disordered thoughts. Lots of people have difficult or unmanageable relationships with food and their self-image. Lots of people take medication and have therapy.

I’m not special.

But I don’t like myself. I fall into comparison traps very easily and end up unreasonably down because I’m not the ‘whatever’-est it is. And even if (somehow) I’m more ‘whatever’ than the person I’m comparing myself to, I find I can instantly discredit myself because they’re probably not doing the stupid ‘throttle-yourself-on-your-own-hang-ups’ thing I’m constantly doing. I’m my first and worst critic (from a long tradition of getting in there immediately, because it hurts less than if I’m the second (or third) one with a jibe at my expense). I hold myself up to very high (and probably okay, definitely unrealistic) expectations, and when friends have heard these things from me, they’re incredulous, and ask me whether I’d expect the same of them, in a similar situation. I wouldn’t – because I wouldn’t ever ask that of someone I like.

But those friends of mine – they matter. They’ve been very generously shoring me up through this. And they’ll continue to do so. And when I’ve taken a deep breath and told them of this mess of crapola, and my embarrassment and my shame at being such a pathetic excuse for a human being, they’ve smiled indulgently and told me that they already knew this was coming, and that they care not one JOT less about me, and then they reinforce that they care about me because of who I am, not how I look.

And sweetly, they all think that who I am is rather wonderful. Which baffles me, most of the time, but I won’t argue the point (right now).

I *will* do as I’m told, though, and I’ve been told to say, Out Loud, one thing which is good, and true of me: I’m funny.

I make people smile, even if I do it as a defense mechanism or at my own expense. Even if I do it to hide the hurting. Even if I do it to shock or get a reaction or to be a pain in the ass. Even if ‘Adorkable’ is the best I can ever hope for. Because I can also do it to entertain and to enhance and to bring joy and happiness, and it *is* good.

I’ll get past this. I’ve got ’til I’m 41 to have this kind of thing all sorted out [self-imposed goal of ‘the age to have things worked out by’ – we’ll see]. I got time. And I wrote this because today I’m in a ‘fuck it‘ kind of mood. I don’t know why, but I’m rolling with it. Tomorrow I might hate that I did this, and be back to cowering embarrassment and wishing I’d never said anything, and could somehow learn to have a damn boundary!

But for today I don’t really care – it’s my blog, I’ll tell what truths I want to, and I’ll keep finding those silver linings. And here’s a HUGE one: the people who matter still (somehow) think I’m okay.

And hey…I’m funny!
At Least I'm Funny

 

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76 thoughts on “The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Brain (or, I *am* funny)

  1. Pingback: We're all special . . . short bus special I mean - OpticynicismOpticynicism

  2. Lizzi, if I could physically touch you, I would grab you by the shoulders, shake you a little and then walk you to a mirror, stand behind you and say, “Shut the fuck up. You are beautiful in every way. You have a contagious smile, and beautiful eyes, and you’re bold and brave. Your skin is just the right kind of pale to be perfect. You light up a room without even being in it. You are so…pretty…and that’s just the outside. You are more than funny. You are kind. You are sweet. You are thoughtful. With every message you send, my heart grows three sizes. You are talented and brilliant and all things *twinklysparklygoodness*, and you spread love and laughter to so many people. If that isn’t beautiful, I don’t know what is. So shut the fuck up.”

    That is all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • *blushes violently, wrinkles nose on one side, looks bashful and kicks toe in the dirt, hands firmly in pockets and definitely no eye contact*

      Fanx.

      You’re very sweet to think all those things and to say them out loud.

      Some of them is why I wrote the post the other day ‘Your hang-ups are unattractive’ – it was kind of the lead into this, because I know it’s BEHAVIOUR which will leave a lasting impression and (fortunately) not looks. I’ve managed to get the behaviour bit mostly alright (even though I often have very little confidence in it or in my ability to appeal (YES in spite of all evidence to the contrary)) but the outsidey bit I really *really* don’t like, and I think that’s a lot to do with Old Stuff Left Over From When, and just…some newer things as well, and just a general feel of ‘not ‘whatever’-er’.

      But I do try hard. And I do think I do well at caring about other people. And I do about you, heaps.

      ❀

      *shuts the fuck up*

      Like

  3. I think eating disorders stem more from a need to control than anything else. My 2 cents and well, fuck. You are amazing. maybe you should consider anti-depressants? Did the doc talk to you about them at all? Sometimes peoples’ brains send weird icky horrible thoughts and it’s a wiring thing that can be helped. But damn. You’re so much more amazing than you think you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I kind-of do…which is kind-of helpful. Perhaps. I’m still not convinced, but we’ll see what transpires as I get some help to figure it out. If anything transpires. Who knows.

      And just because I’m nit-picky over ambiguous punctuation…you think I’m alright? Or you’re agreeing with my view of myself?

      Like

  4. I saw this the other day and knew it was something I’d need to come back to read. I wish I had the exact right words to say, but I’m going to not worry about it and just say what I feel after reading this. Please forgive me if I say all the wrong things.

    Anxiety is a beast. I’m so so sorry you’re going through that. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I’m 41 and I don’t have it figured out, but I feel like I’m getting closer. I’m finally confronting my demons head on and it’s scary as hell but I absolutely think it’s working. Having an amazingly talented and intuitive therapist helps. I haven’t struggled with depression. But anxiety, yes. And I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is a very really physical thing but triggered (in my case) by emotional distress. I started to notice patterns and could see it coming before I felt it’s affect. (I would have certain reoccurring dreams, etc. and a few days later the fatigue would hit). I’m only telling you all of this because you say you’ve felt it coming on, but have you identified a trigger? I think that’s key. (And knowing nothing about depression or eating disorders this may not even apply- but I couldn’t help but mention it just in case).

    Last, I know I barely “know” you but I can’t help but feel like I really do know you for real. If ONLY you could see what I see. You have a gift. And of course I’m referring to writing. But you also have a gift for people. You have a way of making people smile, of making us feel better about ourselves, of connecting others. I actually had the thought the other day that “Lizzi is like the glue that holds the blogging world together” I know that sounds silly, but it popped into my head. You just seem to put good-ness out there. And that’s an amazing special beautiful thing. HUGS to you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can’t see it, but I’m doing that thing where you kind of smile on one side of your face, with a bit of a look of bemusement and wonder and happiness. And a tiny bit of *nose wrinkled on one side* πŸ˜€ Thank you for such a beautiful (and highly undeserved) comment. I think I’m a bit ‘visible’ in this corner of the Blogosphere because of Bloppies and my prominence there. But I try to generate and nurture community, and it works, and I love that about this ‘place’ we’re all in. It’s really nice that you think I have a gift for people. What a lovely thought πŸ™‚

      And I’m really glad you feel like you know me for real. I’m not duplicitous (another reason I felt I wanted to write this post) but I *am* highly edited, so do bear that in mind – no-one gets all of me πŸ™‚

      There are triggers, definitely. Mostly what I call ‘The Comparison Trap’, and there’s really no knowing when I’ll suddenly find myself snapped up into one of those. It seems to vary from time to time, and often catches me totally unawares. I know there are certain people it happens around more often than not, but I’m not prepared to give those people up for the sake of avoiding the potential pitfalls. The friendships are more important.

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had struggles with anxiety as well, and the CFS (I know very little about that one), and I’m really pleased that you have such a wonderful therapist to help you through it all. I hope you know, as well, that 41 isn’t meaningful to anyone except me as an age to ‘have everything sorted by’ – it’s just a number I plucked from the air because I thought it would give me adequate time to get done. Thanks for your thoughts though – they were interesting…I’ve not really noticed any patterns. Maybe I’ll keep an eye out and see if there are any.

      You didn’t say any wrong things. Quite the contrary. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. If I may, it sounds to me that there is some (a lot) of perfectionistic thinking going on in your head that may be the root cause of the eating problem. Have you ever read up on perfectionism within the framework of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Theory? I think you might find some good insights and help there. I’d be happy to discuss it with you offline if you like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The root cause (such as I’ve been able to identify) is not that, but it has given rise to that kind of an aspect of thinking, for sure. I’ll have a little look-see on Google and read up around it. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. I’ve started to comment 1,000x but I can’t even begin to stream a thought in the chaos of my brain right now. I read this earlier, but it triggered shit for me and I went to a bad place. Then I came back, better, and was going through your comments and saw the dove commercial, which made me cry.

    This whole thing is an ongoing struggle that I thought I came to grips with long ago. Ironically, getting fit and losing some weight triggered it to come back. I got even more critical. That was a year ago. Now? Well, now I’m being taught a lesson the hard way. It’s a harsh initiation to not defining my self-worth based on weight. I’m miserable, and humiliated, but I guess this is what the Universe has in store for me. To learn this lesson. I’m trying. I really am. Some days are easier than others. The easy days are ones where I don’t leave the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    • *holds up sign*

      Sorry I triggered you, Lovely. I wish I didn’t. I wish *this* didn’t. I must have missed the dove commercial, because I’ve been worse since writing this, and have been on ‘minimum engagement’ setting for a couple of days.

      I hate how these things come back. And it’s not a lesson to be taught. It’s just BS we somehow have to wade through. There’s no meaning or higher purpose to it. It’s not some kind of remedial work because we’re lacking or haven’t done well enough or didn’t get it right. It’s not punishment (though it damn well feels like it) and really, it’s not to do with the size of our bodies but the content of our minds and the stuff we’ve been through, which proliferates and swirls and undermines us. It’s explainable. But awful.

      If I could make it go away, I would.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful #70 | Considerings

  8. There is something beyond liberating about owning our shit. And whether it’s done in forums like this or within the walls of a local beanery, honesty counts…self-accountability too.

    With blessings of health and healing,
    Dani

    P.S. Might I ask when this began?? Was it after your m/c’s?? I simply ask because I had some pretty destructive behaviors after mine. It was my way to control something…anything, since I couldn’t control bringing my babies safely to this side of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m going to add three more good things; You are brave, strong, and open. I want to reach into your mind and tweak whatever’s gone wrong back to rightness again – if only it could be that easy…

    I have to think this will help many people. That is a good and valuable thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Once upon a time my dad pinched my side and told me I was fat.
    He put me down a lot so in order to make him not act so asshole-ish towards me, I stopped eating.
    And I stopped eating because I could control something in my chaotic messed up world.
    And I watched my weight melt and I never got skinny enough.
    And I was ugly.
    And I was terrified.
    When I was at my lowest weight, he said I looked like a sack of bones and gross.
    The end.
    I never received treatment for it. My parents are ding dongs and didn’t care about it or didn’t want to bother with the added stress in their lives. It was a teacher who helped me get healthy again.
    I still struggle at times.
    It won’t be easy dear. Not at all. I keep it real yo. But you know what? You’re on the right path. Your doctor sounds like a knob but that is irrelevant. There is something that is more deep seeded, I believe that needs to be addressed. Or not. I’m not a doctor or anything but I love googling things so that pretty much makes me far superior than any specialist.
    You have so much love here that will hold your hand.
    I wish that I could give you a massive hug. so massive that our boobs would touch. I’m lying about that one because I don’t have boobs. Raisins.
    xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    • You just made me smile, which counts for quite a lot, the mood I’m in.

      Your dad sucks. And yo momma. Blech. I’m sorry you went through that. My dad was one of the ones who put me down. One of those quotes back there was him. One was my childhood doctor, one was my mum, one was Husby. Gotta love that. SO glad you had your teacher to help you.

      If I could figure out a way to melt away, that would work for me. Sadly I do really love food too much. I find that as much as I restrict, I can’t NOT. I also want to be healthy – I like boxing and pilates and netball and cycling and I want to be able to do those things. I want to be strong. I don’t want to be a pile of bones, just…not a pile of fat.

      I got a lotta love here. It’s good. I’ll take the hug.

      Like

  11. Maybe it isn’t so much anorexia but body dsymorphia. Where the image you see in the mirror is not a true reflection. I kind of have this, not to your extreme. But I battled and still continue to not see what others see. I also wonder if maybe your perception is colored by your anger at your body letting you down on the baby. On failing you, so you will tear your body apart because you are just so pissed off at it. And you blame yourself rather than the cosmos, etc…

    I think you setting yourself up to have life figured out by 41 isn’t a great goal. Cause then you are going to be freaking bored by the time you are 41 and a half. I think, for you (cause I’m bossy) a better goal would be healthy eating, drinking and exercising all in moderation.

    Okay, uneducated, unlicensed, untrained arm-chair (or blog chair?) analysis over. I wish you peace today and tonight and tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heheh I’ll have to set a goal of figuring out a new goal to begin when I’m 41 and a half. πŸ˜€ Though wanting to be sorted by 41 is still good. And maybe by then I’ll be alright with moderation.

      I hadn’t thought of it in terms of anger about the babies. It’s interesting you mention that – the assessor at the ED clinic said she thought that a lot of stuff was wrapped up in grief. I think there’s an element of ‘if I’m not able to be a mum, I’m damned if I’m going to LOOK like one’. So there’s that. But I don’t feel like the miscarriages were my failing. At least, not physically. They just were.

      Adunno. Interesting take on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Lizzi, I’m glad you wrote this. Releasing here is healthy, and it’s good to work through your emotions by writing.

    I hope you know that through all of this, you can always reach out to me, whether it’s on FB, WhatsApp, Google, or Skype. And I’ll probably even keep my codependency in check (so it slipped one time, my record has gotten infinitely better).

    You are a dear, dear friend to me, and I just want you to be okay. I’m glad you are finally seeking, and getting, help. You can’t get better until you acknowledge you need help, and you have done that. And for that, I’m very proud of you.

    Stay strong, BBFFFL. You got this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Writing is working for me at the moment. I’ll keep doing it til it stops working for me. Then I’ll figure out something else.

      Thank you so very much for all your friendship and support. It matters and it counts πŸ™‚ Thank you, my BTFFFL πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Your description of your nose reminded me of that scene in the movie Roxanne (old Steve Martin movie) and the 20 something betters. He comes up with 20 different ways to describe just how large his nose is.

    Like

  14. Forget about 41. Here I am double your age and I could have written the post myself. Well, I really couldn’t because I haven’t evolved to the point of being so honest and real and dealing with such issues out loud. One of the first photos I ever saw of you was yourself climbing a rock wall. I was so envious. I said to myself. “She looks so happy and secure. And she has great muscle definition”. If I wrote a letter to my sixty year old self, from my thirty year old self, I’d tell that her at the ripe young age of 60, I would no longer care about dieting, what people think or pleasing everyone except myself. But guess what . . . . Anyway, I love getting to know Lizzi, more and more through your writing. It’s funny (and wonderful) how you can feel close to a faraway person through blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ackkk I guess I want to be that secure and content and to LIKE myself by the time I grow up. That’s the goal. For everyone, I guess.

      It’s amazing how looks can deceive, isn’t it? That said, that was one of my better days, and I was astonished by the photo. I had to look several times in order to even accept that it was me…you have moments like that?

      I dunno what I’d write to the future me. I think nothing I could say would really mitigate how I am now, if that makes sense.

      Like

  15. You have no mental illness, *she gasps loudly for having made such a pronunciation* in my humble opinion. There is a path by which only you and your “sad self” (channeling Chrissie Hynde but not ‘cuz it only sounds like she’s singing “sad self” lol) will find that will enable you to incorporate all that you are into an “acceptable” package. As a clark, I found that the moment I “accepted” myself, the moment I was able to “like” myself was pivotal. This did not mean that 30+ years later I do not struggle with the dark side. But there is a difference.
    These words? They are meant to be validation (of you); encouragement (to you); affirmation that the “answers” don’t always lie “out there”…..In the end, you do for you what you feel you should.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been this way so long I wonder if there *is* a different way, or whether it’s something more akin to crowd control in my brain. Nonetheless, I could use some new techniques for that.

      Like

  16. It’s very brave of you to throw this all out here, but hey, so far I see but kind comments, and in my experience those can make everything brighter πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear how you’re struggling, but maybe this all means you will find a way out?

    And you know, adorkable it a great word, and fits you perfectly πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I would never use the term “weakness of character ” to describe you! In fact, all the stuff you are dealing with just makes me view you as all the stronger. Mental illness has nothing to do with weakness. Please be as patient with yourself as you would be to any of your friends. Even if you don’t view yourself as a friend, all of us do–and you wouldn’t dare be mean to a friend of a friend, right? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Depends on the friend of the friend! But no – I take your point πŸ˜‰ And thank you.

      How I *feel* and how the actual case may be, are two very different things (as so often) and I just need time to try to focus on the Actual, In Fact part of things, and get less hooked into the Yes, But I Feel part.

      Thank you πŸ™‚

      Like

      • I can relate to that second paragraph. We’ve talked before about running. Even though I have run 10Ks, it is hard for me to call myself a runner. I’m not fast, I’m not lean, I don’t think anyone would look at me and think, “There’s a runner!” But none of my feelings of inadequacy change the fact that I run.
        You’ll just have to trust the rest of us until your feeling part catches up to the Actual, Factual part. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    • (excuse me….) what an excellent thing to say, Kristi!
      “…be as patient with yourself as you would be to any of your friends.” that is, imo, one of the most effective advice-views to offer to a clark, that I have heard in a very long time.
      cool

      Like


  18. Watch it – or don’t. I think it fits.
    Like others have already said, I’m glad to know you’re getting help for yourself. It makes me sad to see anyone so terribly down on and about themselves. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I’ve actually seen that one before. It’s astonishing – I am in such wide and varied company with this ‘down on self’ stuff. Part of it’s the media, I’m sure, but that seems like such an amorphous mass to blame all this on. I think there’s something inside each of us which is very willing to get us tangled up and stuck on these kinds of things which, let’s face it, *really* don’t matter all that much.

      What I do, and how I am, is far more important than how I look.

      Like

      • I think you’re very right – much is the media and what our warped and ridiculous society has decided is the definition of beautiful and acceptable, and none of it has to do with who we are on the inside or what we do that makes us the beautiful people we are. Blaming the media is easy (and are a large part of it, for sure), but the media is just a by-product off a much larger problem. Women, especially, are still subject to this scrutiny and it just continues to damage self-worth. Honestly, what century is this? You are also right that you are in very good and very varied company – it’s pervasive. Ever see the movie Pretty Woman? I always remember the part where Vivian is talking with Edward and he is telling her she’s good and smart, etc. and she says, “the bad stuff is easier to believe.” Sad, but true.
        You are good – and a part of you knows that – so just keep on believing that.

        Like

  19. PLEASE don’t tell me 41 is the age to have things sorted out. I’m 4 years expired and no where near figuring anything out.
    YOU are brave and funny and fit and lovely. And one of my favorite writers. That counts for something, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • 41’s just a number I plucked from the air and decided a while ago was far enough away to give me sufficient time to ‘get there’. You get to pick your own number. I’m quite determined that after a glorious year of being 41, I’m going to move onwards and upwards and have a marvellous rest of my 40’s, then a set of amazing 50’s, and completely incredible 60’s…and when I’m 70 – OBOY! World watch OUT!

      It starts getting better HERE. And it’s gonna keep getting better. The age at the start is just wherever you are now. Wanna join in?

      And thank you. It does count for something, like how much wonderful I think you are.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Ya know what? I wonder what you think would happen if you actually ‘liked’ yourself. If you actually started to see what everyone else sees and started to think in ways that were self-loving and peaceful and full of contemplation and meditation that included processing beauty and ideas and dreams and joys. I wonder why you can’t allow yourself to love yourself- to open the barriers that bind you in this constant struggle to be- happy.

    I do wonder if you just don’t feel like you deserve it all. Peace. Joy. Love. Beauty. Acceptance.

    I always wonder this question not just with you, but with many other people I have counseled through the years as a therapist or a friend-

    What need are you meeting by hating yourself? What are you gaining from this self perspective and torturous thought life? I know it is often habit- conditioned response to living a life full of conflict and abuse- etc. I get that. I too, once hated myself- and didn’t trust anyone. I learned how to do that. I know you did too.

    But at some point- before you turn 40 (yes- 40! Upped it a year- come on now!!!) this is what I hope for you.

    You have what God gave you. It may not be what YOU think is perfect. And frankly- NO ONE is! Right? So you have this one life. This one chance for joy and LIVING. You have this one body and heart for giving! Whatya gonna do with it?

    Yeah- wasting it on self hate is surely a time suck. A life suck. A heart suck. Oh, what a waste of a precious soul who can LIGHT up the WORLD with her smile, and her heart and her gift of giving and writing and laughing and undeniable wit!

    Everyone is critical of themselves- that comes with it all. But when it takes away all that you ARE worthy of living, giving, doing, feeling? It’s keeping you from joy, peace, fulfillment.

    So, there’s my little lecture- I am rambling off the cuff! I probably should have messaged you instead of written all of this…

    But hey- I’ll just join you in the “Fuck it” team.

    PS: I am praying the medicine makes a difference for you. It changed my entire life racked with anxiety. I started taking zoloft when I TURNED 40! (ha- interesting eh?) I wanted a better quality of life, and felt I DESERVED it. And I only regret not starting the meds sooner…

    I love you.

    If this doesn’t make any sense- apologies! Just thought I go with it – another angle to consider. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • It makes sense. And I’ll try to let it sink in. You make some very good points, Kitty.

      What need does this fulfil. I guess it could be a comfort-zone thing, after all, why break the habit of a lifetime and step out against most everything I’ve ever understood to be true of myself, and suddenly see myself as worthwhile/enough/adequate.

      Perhaps it’s time to push that boundary and TRY.

      But I think this thing is holding me back – that I don’t feel as though I *look* different, so how could I *be* different.

      Adunno.

      Gonna think on this one.

      Zoloft’s what they’re gonna have me taking, so there’s that.

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand upping the year is cheating :p I want the ’40’ year to have a panic about Being Forty, and then 41 can be chilled-out-happy.

      Like

  21. I don’t want you to feel bad about yourself. I don’t want your brain to betray you. As much as I don’t want these things, I still felt a kinship with you as today was a fairly shitty day for me too. I didn’t even KNOW it was shitty until I lost my mind a few hours ago and went on a sobbing streak where I explained to my husband that I was dying of something, probably cancer..and that I’ve wasted my entire life and I ruin everything I do and that I was never writing anything ever again because it’s a stupid self indulgent thing to do and I suck at it.

    Poor guy…he just didn’t know what hit him. Menopause is a bitch. Anxiety is a dick. Xanax rocks and I think you are amazing. Thank you for writing this. I definitely feel less lonely right about now. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh bless your boots! Well I’m glad you had something to help, and that this somehow helped, too.

      I’ve heard about Xanax. They’ve prescribed me the other one – Zoloft. We’ll see how it goes. I’m a bit leery of those SSSRIs, but it’ll be better if I’m not constantly falling off the edge.

      Sorry you had such a shitty day. I’m glad your husband was there for you. Good for him. We’re lucky there, you and I. *hugs*

      Like

  22. of course most anything I might write would sound obvious or, even worse, rogerian…. lol

    oh! wait! I got it! (and the beauty part is that this observation/advice need not conflict with anything in your current worldview!)…. before that, let em say the obvious…. I know how you feel if for no other reason than I have felt/will-again-at-another-time feel as you describe in your Post today.
    (you know there is a certain…..regulatory force within our worldviews that keeps us ‘away from the edges of our normal reality’)…. stray too far and this force will cause things to happen that pull us back to the middle of the road.
    So take heart from this latest situation, it may seem like an overwhelmingly strong reminder of who/what you are, but remember that this ‘counter-balance’, it’s only ‘necessary’ because of all of the advances you have made in the past year. (You have pushed your own boundaries in a very impressive manner, should you really be surprised when the boundaries push back?)

    Liked by 2 people

  23. My friend. My Empire Gal. My hero at this moment. I am proud of you for saying it out loud. All my other thoughts you already know.

    You are a wonderful, fabulous, not bad, very good person and yes, very funny.

    L-word you. Huge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay you just made me do that *hugesuddenGREATBIGsmile* thing with that comment. I love how you turned it around πŸ˜€

      Thank you always for your thoughts and your inspiration and your wonderful, awesome YOU-ness. ❀

      Like

  24. When I look in a mirror, all I see are the big bags under my eyes where I never used to have bags, that make my eyes look like someone else’s. And I want to cry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guess we’re all afflicted by those mirrors to an extent then. Cos when I look at photos of you I see my amazing, twinklygorgeous, hall-sliding, pumpkin-truck-riding, rubber-tree-plant-chewing friend, who I’d still pick up in the back of my van and go out on Route 66 with, singing.

      I don’t see bags.

      *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

  25. “But terms like β€˜anorexia’ are rather outdated these days – we don’t use them any more.”—What the what? I don’t know if it falls under a DSM category, but there is a condition that covers what you’ve described. Not that it should matter. You are you. You are beautiful. And, yes, adorkable along with beautiful. One does not replace the other. ((HUGS))

    ” friends…ask me whether I’d expect the same of them, in a similar situation. I wouldn’t – because I wouldn’t ever ask that of someone I like”

    This too. Appearances, behavior, whatever. Someone can technically be larger than me, but I will never notice it. I will notice their eyes, hair, smile, humor, whatever. They can take a week to respond to an email but I feel like a failure if I wait a day. I have to be on point, all the damn time. I would never judge anyone on the same things I do when I look in the mirror, or around the house, or what I have or haven’t done in my life. I know you saw the picture I posted tonight. Give it a week and then it will go away entirely. Because that is my limit on “me”. Until I accidentally outed my real name, it was also part of why I used an alias for so long. I wanted to escape from “me” while sharing my experiences.

    There isn’t much I can really say to you that won’t make me a huge, freaking hypocrite. Just know that I know, even though my “label” is different where you are with this and you are amazing for coming out and sharing this.

    (((MORE HUGS))).

    Liked by 3 people

    • I do that – I change pictures when I can’t stand the one I have any more. And conversely I post loads of myself here because in making myself ridiculous first, I make sure I can limit the ways in which I am (or may be) held up as a figure of fun.

      Thank you for sharing your experience though. I get it, I *so* get it, just like you get mine.

      What’s DSM though? That one has me foxed.

      Like

      • I get that completely. It is easier to go ahead and point out my problems myself than wait to see if someone comes up with a new way to hurt me. Yes, I know (list of everything wrong with my appearance), is there something you can tell me that I don’t know already? No. Good. My job is done.

        I post the pics because it is supposed to be part of “helping” me get used to my image per my therapist. I didn’t have apicture of myself from 2000 to 2012 that wasn’t on a government ID. Yeah, I am OK for a while then I get super self-conscious and it’s all gone again. All the pics of myself are gone off my blog, and I will forever be some silly gravatar on here at least.

        Oh, DSM may not be international. It’s essentially the book on mental health diagnoses here:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders

        If you ever need to talk, or be distracted from whatever may be on your mind or avoiding triggers, you know where to find me. ((Hugs)) again.

        Liked by 1 person

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