Self-Sabotage, Anxiety, and the Non-Negotiable

I can feel it happening – there are tremors in my joints when I move, and things crawling at the edges of my vision, which disappear when I flick my eyes to look at them; a sensation of nausea crawls across my skin, engulfing me, leaving me goosebumped and ashamed – the anxiety is back, and it’s my own fault.

This Is Real Life Too

Today was going to be fine – it’s Niece’s birthday party later, and I’m going to blow up balloons, take them to an indoor play place in my car, and watch them all get popped by a hoard of sugar-hyped five year-olds. There might be hugs, if she lets me, and I’ll have to pay extra attention to Neff, who will be along for the ride. I need to find my way there on Google maps so I don’t get lost. I mustn’t be late. Really, really mustn’t be late.

Because punctuality – that polite sign of respect which is so fucking SIMPLE to do – is something I’m failing at, bigtime. Across the board. Late to work consistently enough to nearly end up on disciplinary measures. Late home. Late to boxing so I sneak in and miss the warm-up. Late to friends’ houses when I go. Late to Mum’s for dinner each week. I am constantly chasing the clock and resenting it and yet I cannot overcome my somehow-determined efforts to self-sabotage.

I was going to go to church this morning and yet as I sat (‘Alone, @laptop’, which for the last week has been scrawled an embarrassing number of times into the food diary I’m keeping) I got sucked in and left it too late, and watched the minutes run away like sand through my fingers and I wasn’t even TRYING to hold on. I gave up. I thought I’d get there late. Then the feelings began and rose like the tide and overwhelmed me, because if I went to church then…not that I would have to see people, but they would see ME…and we’d have to talk. THIS is why I minimise contact in Real Life…THIS is what I can’t stand. Or is it?

I brushed my teeth and lamented my tardiness and I realised that amidst the whiteness of the foam, a dark spot – blood – was showing through. I’ve bitten my lip overnight and not noticed. And I’m clearly not doing well at brushing my teeth because I’ve stopped and wandered off into thoughts again, and the thought returns that my tablet is still on the counter in the kitchen, and I’m going to have to get back to my Soulie, who just sent me a music video of Queen’s ‘You’re my Best Friend’, and I’m going to have to tell him that no, I’m not going to listen to it ‘after church’ because now I’m not going, that would be a LIE. Damnit.

I decide to do something self-nurturing, while I still care enough to, and have a shower. Whilst changing, I wrinkle my nose in disgust at the hairiness of my body at the moment (reaction to a starvation diet? rather adds insult to injury!) and recall the recent jubilance of a friend who “surpassed 110lb” and inspect my body in the mirror with quiet repulsion lodged in the back of my throat, seeing all the places where I wish, I wish, I could lose 30lb because 110lb is clearly achieveable by SOME…

My reflection stares back, lumpen, resigned, defeated by The Fat Girl who I can hear crowing from a distance about how she’s going to reclaim me, and how it’s who I truly am. Revolting. Blubbery. Vile.

I’m cold, which is good because it might burn a calorie, and seeing myself in the mirror has strengthened my resolve not to have carbs for lunch or cake at the party and the nag in my brain reminds me that my therapist told me that one of the ‘non-negotiables’ of treatment is that I consent to NOT TRY to lose more weight while I’m seeing her, but FUCK! it’s JUST AFTER CHRISTMAS?! Who even DOES that? What a stupid time to try to get treatment for an eating disorder I’m too fat to have. Too, too fat although the ‘disorder’ is in my brain and linked to anxiety, and everyone tells me I look fine; GOOD, even, so I know that I was BAD before, and that losing more weight means I can be EVEN BETTER and I’m disappointed because those sharp angles and slender bones are so beyond me I feel like crying…

I start my shower, realising I have no new soap, which sucks, but is par for the course and I accept my failure as an irritation. Shave my legs. Only half, because what’s the point? Step into the water and remember that the pink is fading from my hair and beginning to look silly and think that I probably won’t bother re-dying it today, even though I’d like it done.

My whole body is still shaking and that grinding anxiety in my joints is making me feel dizzy. I’m cold…turning the shower up doesn’t help – it’s like my skin has forgotten how to feel. The lather I’m making with the soap (which breaks because it’s so thin, and drops into the stream of water, skittering away down the tub) just accentuates the slimy, awful feeling of the flab which encases me – why can I feel THAT?!

My skin is red, and I’m still not warm, and am composing this post in my head, wondering about your reaction. I decide not to show it to anyone first, because I can’t bear the thought of the pity or the concern or the anger which might come back at me. This will be a nasty surprise, and there’s a reason which is slowly occurring to me, though I think I knew it all along.

Why is the hottest setting on the shower not burning me? I normally can’t stand it this hot. I hate being cold in the middle and that everything seems numb. I’m glad I didn’t go to church and that no-one has to see me. It’s ironic that with #1000Speak and my challenges to other bloggers about getting their act together about self-compassion, that I’m utterly useless at it. My therapist told me that there are ‘cons’ to getting over the eating disorder because there are “things which it does for me” and that made me angry at first, but here in the water, wishing it would melt my fat, and trying not to gag as I see it roll and bulge when I rinse the soap away, I think she’s right – if only, if only it could make me thin. If only I wasn’t a failure at it. If only I didn’t have this preoccupation with my physical shape then I could get on and be an acceptable human and NOT SO DAMN BORING ABOUT FOOD ALL THE FUCKING TIME, because it wouldn’t matter.

Later this year I’m travelling to America to meet a load of bloggy friends. It’s one of the high points of my life at the moment and I’m CLINGING to it. To the prospect of meeting these people whose hearts and souls I adore. And I’m also terrified. Because they will see me. And I will be ashamed (at least, if I turn up looking like I do now, I will be!) and stressed (if I don’t kick this bad brain pattern) because they are going to want to feed me…as evidenced when a Facebook conversation about Cheez-its and ‘whole box’ and ‘you’ll eat them’ turned into ‘I’ll have to get you to try this’ and ‘I can’t wait to feed you’ turned into a huge, constricting panic that they’re going to feed me ALL THE THINGS and from politeness I’ll have to eat, or risk giving offense, and I won’t be able to exercise…and…and…and…

Only seven hours exercise this week? Pathetic really, because most people probably don’t do that much and somehow I *still* can’t make the fat GO AWAY, and it’s pissing me off. Even though I’m now signed up to be a boxing instructor (still ASTONISHED they asked…I should probably kick this ED for that reason, too – who wants to learn to box from a screw-up?) it’s so that I have a reason to keep training, and I can tell my therapist “Ah but I need to be HEALTHY and STRONG – the weight loss is just a by-product” and she won’t know (will she?) how much the by-product is pushing me into terrifying challenges as a way of getting around her non-negotiables but I’m STILL NOT THIN so it’s safe, and anyway, surely a challenge is good for me?

She lauds my ability to self-analyse. Little does she know…

I get out of the shower, determined to write this because it needs to get out. I wonder, idly, about saving it or publishing it elsewhere or submitting it to some Big Blog Site, as though it’s worthwhile, or perhaps so I can hide it – say the things without them being attached to THIS site, where I’m all about encouragement and Life in Silver Linings and compassion and #1000Speak and success and celebrating thankfuls and triumphs over adversity, and how much THIS thing will undermine all that. And anyway, it’s just a giant wobble off the ‘normal’ into narcissism and self-indulgence and it won’t ALWAYS feel like this and maybe I shouldn’t write it at all… and I decide that I won’t send it elsewhere – I’ll write it, because it’s in me to write.

I’ll hit publish, without the fear of judgement or repercussion, because if you DO judge me …and you will, because how could you NOT?! This – all of it – is fucking ridiculous and the product of a mind which is NOT hanging on very well; which is struggling and floundering and failing, and whatever the source of your anger – that I hid it; that I’m pushing people away; that I’m double-crossing my therapist and NOT HELPING MYSELF; that I didn’t take your advice; that this whole post is just badly fucking written or that I’m swearing too much… I will be okay.

Because it’s a big, fucking, messy, awful failure. An inversion of all that I stand for and here’s why I always tell people that I’m heavily self-edited, and that I should never be lauded or put on a pedestal, and why the idea of people liking me or my ideas or (this was a shocker, the other day) thinking I’m any kind of Big Deal... It’s a complete and utter let-down. Something which reveals that ‘big secret’ that really, in spite of everything as it appears, and the ways I can behave to cover it up and the things I can do in spite of it, I’m somehow still not an acceptable human, and at the moment I’m worse, because I’m not willing to try…

And failure is familiar. Fucked-up and letting you down means that you experience me the way *I* experience me, and then we can both agree that I’m not good enough, and move on.

Because being a failure is the one thing I’m really, REALLY good at, and if I tell you about it, it doesn’t matter how poorly-constructed the manner, or how badly you feel about it, because those things just validate my point.

I’m the Queen of Self-Sabotage, and going nowhere fast. HowZAT for self-analysis!

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114 thoughts on “Self-Sabotage, Anxiety, and the Non-Negotiable

  1. Hey, Sweet Pea. Keep on getting those toxic thoughts out. Write, write & write some more. Sending you incredibly tight hugs (the kind where I don’t let go) and sweet sweet loving thoughts. YOU MATTER A LOT TO ME! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Hi Lizzie,
    I had to get back to you after my physio appointment today to give you some encouragement. Long story but after breaking my foot recently and having a muscle wasting disease, I’ve been starting to think about getting myself one of those disability scooters to go in my boot. Not to use all the time but for occasional use, although I must admit that occasional use was starting to look more permanent.
    This was sort of like a physical manifestation of a psychological thing and it’s even more in your face as a physical thing because I look at my broken foot and it has a great big chunky therapeutic boot on it. Can’t miss it.
    Well, after what I wrote to you about rebuilding neuropathways in terms of improving depression, anxiety, bad habits etc, apparently the same applies to my weak ankle. There are nerve receptors which need to be retrained by very simple but very repetitive exercises…plus the instant insight of a trained professional. She showed me that my left foot is pretty stable so my troubles are mainly caused by injured not my medical condition.
    So if I hadn’t gone to the physio, I would have been heading down that wheelchair path and goodness knows where that would have ended up in how short a space of time.
    So there we have it…the two of us on different journeys working on those little things which will ultimately make big changes as long as we persist.
    Take care and never give up…I will be repeating that one myself! xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thank goodness you went, and that you had the good fortune to meet with such an insightful physio. I’ve been explaining to other people about the neural pathways bit. It really does make sense – it’s how we learn ANYTHING, isn’t it – we repeat it. Stands to reason. I hope your rehab for your foot goes well. Sounds promisingly like you should regain all or nearly all the movement you had before, Thanks for coming back and sharing this πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Lizzi,
    I have read a few of your posts and you’ve been to my blog and through you I heard about 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion and that’s really gaining momentum. It’s going to be amazing. You are such a big part of that and part of the blogging community who gives a damn about others and has a senstive and caring heart, which in many ways is a liability.
    I had anxiety for many years and thought it was part of me, who I am and looking at my family, part of my genetic makeup. However, I learned about how our neuropathways are plastic or changeable. The more we think anxious thoughts, the bigger that neuropathway becomes as a physical structure within our brains. It’s like a telephone cable…more use, the bigger the cable becomes. As we stop the behaviour be in anger, anxiety etc that pathway physically shrinks. So a bit like cutting back a smoking habit, ever little reduction in anxiety helps.This is the goal of CBT. Personally, I find exercise helps and a bit of sun and the outdoors. I’m an extrovert so I love being with people. Controlling your breathing and not hyperventilating is helpful too. I am a bit too hyped to do meditation so I like to look at the ocean and that’s very calming, even soporific. If you are having bad days, it’s important to have a friend who lives nearby who you can just chat to. Apparently, just getting out of your own headspace and talking to someone, almost anyone else can help when things get dark. I have had some very dark times living with a severe life-threatening auto-immune disease and last year I was withdrawing from large doses of prednisone and hit some real dark spots. I’ve written this here not just for you but also for anyone else who might be in a dark place and find solace with a kindred spirit. It might take time but there is a way out of the complete darkness and to find a way of living with the contradictions of light and dark in our lives. Take care and I send you a big bear hug! xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Rowena. What you were saying about the neural pathways makes sense. I guess I need to try to find some displacement.

      I’m exercising almost every day and it’s not enough. Sometimes it makes things worse because I feel weak and incapable and as though I should do more. Most of the time I enjoy it but there’s a nagging feeling that it’s not quite offsetting what I eat. Some days it keeps me just about afloat.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment though, and for leaving such detail for other people, too. That’s an important part of the connectedness of this place – that we can care for others somehow, by sharing our experiences. We’re truly stronger together.

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  6. I wish I had lovely words of wisdom to offer you that would take away the shame and self-loathing. That I could reach out and turn a tiny lever in your head to switch off the body and food issues and turn on some warm love and compassion for yourself. I wish I could, my friend – to spare you pain and frustration and heartache. I know those feelings myself all too well – that drive to be perfect and control life – to be β€œnormal” and β€œacceptable” – to take two steps forward and then a long tumble backwards. So all I can really offer you is my β€œvirtual” company, my understanding, my acceptance, and my friendship. You go ahead and let all of those feelings and words gush forth whenever they need to – and I’ll read them and support you, even as my heart hurts for you. You often do the same for me and I so appreciate your listening ear and compassionate heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well yaknow what, those last two things are ones I really hope DON’T change, and don’t get swallowed up into the self-obsession. Honestly, it’s ridiculous how much time and energy this thing takes, but somehow in spite of the fact that I’m failing both at HAVING it AND at beating it, I still can’t quite let go of the idea of control and that I can somehow make myself appear more acceptable/likeable.

      BUT I have most of a year to get it under control. Somehow.

      I wish it was as simple as hearing the right words of wisdom, or recognising the right logic, but this thing is so tangled into everything. Thanks for the sentiments though, Jana – I’m glad to know you’re happy to listen and support me, That helps.

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      • This might sound a bit out there but when I read about the tentacles, I could hear myself telling you just to cut them off. Get a pair of scissors…snip, snip. I have a gorgeous border collie who doesn’t like being brushed and his rump can get matted in summer when he loses his winter coat. Because of his avoidance and the fact he stood out in the rain the other day, his fur became severely matted and I am snipping off fur balls carefully hoping he doesn’t get look too moth eaten. While htis might seem like a crazy analogy, taking action really helps anxiety. Small steps.

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      • You don’t HAVE to look in a mirror.
        But if you do – keep in mind, you can see something different on any given day. Literally. Kinda scary but the other half of the coin is one day you will finally “see”. And it’s gonna be alright.
        xo

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      • Lizzie, you are looking in the wrong mirror. I’ve been there when I was younger and I found a photo of my mum when she was young and she had absolutely scribbled out her face in a family photo. There was such self-loathing. I mean there was serious self-hate and such intensity. Mum was very pretty but she had two younger sisters who were exceptionally pretty and I think mum went through a phase like a lot of teenagers where you go through the ugly duckling phase before you become a swan. Mum describes herself as embarrassingly thin so you really can’t win with physical appearance. These days, I just focus on character and that’s enough of a struggle. I don’t know whether you are single but I know as a single person, it was a whole different ball game and your appearance feels like it is everything but it’s not. Take a deep breath and be proud of who you are and the love and compassion you and we are sending right around the world in the aftermath of some serious ugliness and be proud!! You go girl!!!

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        • I do know (logic brain) that even if I looked in the mirror and found myself magically skinny, I’d still be found wanting in some other way. I know that *really* it’s about the content of my character and how other people feel about me (perhaps how I feel about me) not what I look like that matters.

          I’ve scribbled on photos before. Nothing we can do about genetics, is there. Just a case of learning to live with being the ugly duck.

          I’m married, but there have been issues there, so it hasn’t always been very affirming, and in many ways, for a long time, quite undermining.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It sounds to me that you have started making steps forward and things will go up and down but as the quote says: “nothing takes the place of persistence and also getting started. Keep going and never give up…That’s for both of us and anyone else tuning in as well!!!

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  7. I hope you have been able to get out of the cycle of self-sabotage now. I know it’s easy to say. Actually, it’s rather difficult because I don’t know what you’re going through, the extent of what you’re going through. Just {{hugs}}, okay?!

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    • Thanks Roshni. I’m not out of it yet. Forgot my meds again yesterday, and have fluctuated between restriction and over-eating today. Rubbish! I need to at least find some way of keeping things even, but alas, failure strikes again.

      I’ll figure it out in the end. Thanks for being there πŸ™‚

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  8. I think we often forget that what makes us amazing is our ability to suffer (sometimes at our own hand) and make it to the other side…again…and again. I don’t think people love you because of what you self-edit, Lizzi. I think people love you because despite your imperfections, you want to be better, do better, love better, and you encourage us to do the same. Those things are what make you magnetic. Those things are what make you a twinkling star in a dark sky of suffering. You realize that one doesn’t have to have it all together to make this life a more beautiful and loving experience. And our scars?? They are simply a reminder that we weren’t beaten.

    We survive.

    With heart, friend,
    Dani

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dani, I love that you used star imagery for me…Mandi does that. I hope that if in some way I can shine (*twinklysparkly*) light around, then I will. Because the dark sucks. It’s awful and lonely and painful and EVERYONE seems to go through it and that pisses me off so much.

      And you’re right – the reason people like me is because I TRY, I really do TRY to make it better. Just I don’t try very well for ME. But I’m back up, I’m trying AGAIN, and you’re right – we keep going and we keep reaching out our hand to pull others along with us, if we can.

      Thank you, SO much, for your compassion and your friendship Dani πŸ™‚ xo

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  10. I hate knowing that my friends are in pain. I want to fix it, but I can’t make you look at yourself differently. I can tell you that I don’t see you the way you see yourself – I see warm eyes, a contagious smile, and a huge heart.

    Beth mentioned this above, but I’ll continue. You eat what you want when you’re here – I for one will not feed you junk food. We’ll walk, we’ll talk, we’ll eat fruit and salad. Okay?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, that helps. I KNOW my fears are in over-drive about this trip, and I so, SO don’t want to be a let-down to you all…I think that the ‘physical’ is one which I have control over (or not) and ONE way I can ensure I’m acceptable, because I lack the confidence to think that I might be in other ways.

      It’s all very much based in anxiety and a lot of long-held self-esteem issues, the history of which I know you’ve heard at least part. BUT I will try my best not to let you all down before OR during the trip.

      And thank you for the way you see me. I need to try on a pair of those care-tinted-spectacles once in a while…

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  11. Lizzi, I love you because of who you are, foibles and all. Not one of us is perfect. We all have a defect of some sort. That doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy; it merely means that you’re human. The wit in your brain, the love in your heart, the snark in your tongue…THAT is what makes you loveable. That is what makes you amazing. I can’t even pretend to understand what you’re going through, but know that I’m with you whether you reach out to me or not. I know I’ve been distant lately, but if you need to talk I WILL be there.

    Liked by 1 person

        • The thing is, I know none of us is perfect and I think part of what I struggle with is the balance between wanting to rid myself of the anxiety, and the fear (perpetuated by the lack of logic) that in doing so, I will become the thing I loathe. It feels at the moment as though I must choose between the two options, and I’m really fighting that. I’m going to have to bring that up, because it seems to be a real sticking point for me.

          BUT, the outpouring of love and support has been incredible – humbing, awesome, and in a way, has made me a little ashamed because this was never an exercise in fishing for love or compliments, and I feel as though it’s ended up that way. That, or I’m just finding ways to blame myself again and turn it into a failure.

          If I have done one thing right, my BTFFFL, it is to make friends like you, who CARE. That matters so, SO much more than you will ever know. Thank you ❀

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  12. I think we are sadly our worst critic and also our worst saboteur. We “fire” ourselves long before other do. And quite frankly set ourselves up for failure. I am petite, it’s not because of dieting or exercise (though on the dark side of 40 those things become factors) it is simply genetics. Maybe you are not meant to look emaciated at 110lbs. I’m all for toning and being healthy, but you also need to be realistic in the goals. It helps with the self-hate.

    No one should ever, and I mean EVER, look at themselves naked in the bathroom mirror. There is something seriously wrong with those mirrors that highlight only what isn’t (in your own mind) perfect.

    Maybe (be warned this sounds preachy in my head but I am writing it anyway) you need to start looking at yourself with the same compassion you show others and start treating you as you would that stranger on the street.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was talking about that with Beth last night. It’s not that easy because I already have a lot of dislike to overcome, whereas a stranger in the street would be a blank slate. It all has nasty, crappy heritage and it’s hard to unhook. Worse some days than others.

      Logically I know it doesn’t even matter, as long as I’m healthy. But my brain lets me down where my body is concerned, even though I am fitter than ever in the rest of my life.

      Definitely my own worst critic. But I feel like the mirror would show good things if they were there to see…

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  13. It’s good that you published this post, I mean, look at all those who feel the same, and look at everyone not judging you at all! Of course, everyone’s harder on themselves than necessary. But you are very, very hard on yourself, while you are such a good person. I hope this will pass soon, and when it returns, I hope you will realise that it’s not the truth that you’re thinking. It’s a feeling, but it’s not true that you are a failure and fat and everything. I hope you don’t forget that!

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  14. Now this is ridiculous on so many levels… why on EARTH would you think that anyone would NOT love you for your precious authenticity and respect you for pouring out your precious pain onto this page? I want to fly to you right this VERY MINUTE and hold you…

    Hold you and tell you I love you. There is NOTHING you can do or say or write that would make me or anyone else who loves you go AWAY, or JUDGE, or REJECT you for your self inflicted state of mind. NO. ONE.

    This is your moment of defeat. It got you this time, but guess what? It DIDN’T get you EVERY time!!! And those moments that you crumble in defeat will become LESS and LESS as you go forward and *try* to take faithful steps toward love… SELF love.

    I lived in defeat all day today…

    And now I am crawling back to tell you something you already know. We can visit defeat at times when it wraps its ugly fingers around our throats… but it WILL NOT kill us. It will NOT take us down. No…

    We rise with the sun… and will continue to rise from our knees… a bit higher… and higher… and fall again. Then rise… a bit higher…. and higher… and fall. Again.

    It’s called GROWTH. And being human. And? Someday, you will find that self torture isn’t worth your time or your energy… because someday, you just might realize that defeat can be FOUGHT with the right weapons. Maybe someday…

    Praying you made it out of this battle and on to the party and embrace joy, once again.

    Praying you woke with new love for life and YOU as you start your tea and look at your mug and say, “Okay. I rise. Again.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I said to Samara – it’s egocentrism and self-obsession: I figure if *I* judge me, then surely other people would, too. And they’re out there. I know it, but this morning your hope is come true, and I’m a bit better than I was. Not out in the sunshine yet, but certainly struggling upwards. With my mug of tea (and BREAKFAST).

      I’m sorry you had a defeated day yesterday. That really sucks, and I so hope that things start going more smoothly for you soon. It feels like you’ve had so, so much to contend with lately – I want life to give you a break. I’ll start campaigning…

      Meantime, back to muddy knees we go, and thank you for you. Keep shining ❀

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  15. I don’t think I understand why anyone would judge you, but I suppose that doesn’t matter.

    I have that anxiety right now: I usually do, right around midnight my time, and your description of it was eerie. Does it help to tell you that I related to what you wrote? That failure feels familiar to me, too?

    Anyway. When you visit, we shall eat healthy food with very little carbs and there’s a lovely lake only half a mile from my house that we can walk around. It will look gorgeous in the fall. I don’t want you to worry about traveling here.

    I hope by the time you read this comment, some of your anxiety has dissapated. xxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s retreated into the background for now, which is a relief. It got terribly boring and uncomfortable in my brain yesterday. I shall try to tell myself THAT is why I’m getting this treated…and go!

      Healthy food and few carbs and a lake, and to meet YOU and Little Dude In Real just all sounds fabulous. Meeting you both being the best bit – if it rains all visit and all we do is sit around talking, I shall just be thrilled to pieces to meet you for real. I will keep telling myself that this anxiety is just that – a disorder.

      I hate that you have those anxieties too. It doesn’t help except in a solidarity way; it makes me sad that you know these feelings so well, and that you experience them too. That sucks.

      Why would anyone judge me? Egocentrism on my part – *I* judge me, so I assume everyone else would, too.

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  16. I see that there are a LOAD of comments so perhaps you won’t find your way down here. But I have been where you are. Maybe not the very same issues, but I could feel how it was because you described it so well. I am grateful for your honesty because there are many others who are suffering and it really helps to know you’re not alone (not because misery loves company, I’m sure). You were very courageous to post this. That self-hatred is a kicker. And you had the courage to make it very real, not a prettied version of what you were feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s odd, because it wasn’t courage I felt – I was all set to use the negative feedback to reinforce my own opinions, and it seems as though the opposite has happened, and people are either fighting me on my negatives, or admitting to feeling the same, which is solidarity (like you say).

      And I keep my newest comments at the top, so I always find them πŸ™‚ Thank you for yours πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

            • Bless your boots for your defensiveness…I think t’is because they love me and want me to be happy and they see me through love-tinted-spectacles and can’t understand to what end I insist on beating myself up with stuff like this. I have a coupla friends like that, too, who try to get me to understand that in the end, there is a bigger picture than how I feel about myself…it all gets very deep and complex, and there are validities on all sides, as well as best intentions.

              πŸ™‚

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  17. Ah Lizzi, in no way could a post like this, raw and honest and real, undermine what you do here. You take so much delight in the silver linings that it sparks delight in others, and motivates them to do the same. Everyone has clouds, and I’m sorry this is one of yours. But it is brave and beautiful to share your real feelings – something I struggle to do in its rawest form over at my blog, where I dress it up in words and dumb down the despair that can sometimes rise and eat me up – because my blog is supposed to be happy and hopeful and searching for the silver linings etc etc… So I understand a little what it must have taken to hit publish – and it Is more than good enough to go elsewhere if you wanted to send it away as well, because I almost physically felt the words you were saying. I’m glad to know you a little better as well – this is why you’re so great at smashing the fourth wall – because you’re so willing to share real parts of yourself. So while I may not be smiling as much as I usually do through one of your posts, I am *feeling* more than ever. And, along with it seems so many others, I’m listening xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I hit publish on this one, I felt a very queer mixture of self-indulgence and defiance. I knew there would be backlash (I suspect there still will be, from certain corners) but I didn’t really expect the outpouring of support, or for people to say they understood, and had heard me. The people who come here really, truly, NEVER cease to astonish me.

      I am humbled and feel that my assessment of their reaction was uncharitable.

      Thank you for listening. It matters to me. I think the thing with that fourth wall is that it’s so EASY to be ‘good on paper’ but we all know that’s not the truth, because in real, NONE of us is all that wonderful – we are wonderful and terrible and everything in between, and it often bothers me that here, people get a very one-sided view of me, and a quick chat with Husby would likely send them reeling to know what I’m really like (or, often like).

      The other thing I will say (and this is something which encouraged me, in spite of my concern that it would undermine the general attitude of the place) is it’s your blog and your rules – you make them up as you go along and you don’t have to be bound by them. But I get it, truly – we like to present a certain ‘us’ to the world, and the temptation is to hide the less sympathetic bits – if you ever want to write it out of you and post it e.g. here, instead of chez toi, then you’d be very welcome.

      I’m glad I motivate people to sparkle though (sometimes, but perhaps not today!) – that’s a really lovely thing πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Remain defiant! And thank you for the kind offer.. You’re right – it can be downright seductive sometimes, being able to present your best self ‘on paper’ – as who you wish you were and want to be, always taking the high road, clamming down on being caustic. It can make people who don’t see you day-in-day-out question who the ‘real you’ is – but who you are striving to be is as much the real you as the broken bits. Nothing and no one can devalue the importance of trying to be better. But it can be so tiring, and such a relief to wipe it away sometimes and say ‘today this is how I feel’ even when that feeling is pain and anxiety – and to get support rather than strife (which I hope you don’t get too much of). Keep doing everything you do – and don’t be bound by anyone.

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  18. Hi Lizzi. I realize we don’t know each other, but I can empathize to the core – right down to the self-flagellation in the shower.

    When people act like they care about me, I can’t tell if they are being patronizing or sincere, because in my mind, I’m not worth it. The comments you are receiving show sincere support. I hope they bring you comfort.

    Thank you for writing this, and please know that you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this. I feel very much better for knowing that I’m not alone in these feelings. In my worst moments I feel as though I am being humoured or taken pity on, or worse…that I’ve duped people into liking me but a little freedom has come as I have realised that people saying and doing these things has relatively little to do with my deserving them (a word I hate) and everything to do with them CHOOSING to act that way – choosing me. Did you read my piece ‘I, matter’ over at Sisterwives? I will write again soon on the D-word, because it bugs me so very much.

      Sorry to know you feel this way too. It’s all somehow explainable isn’t it tho?

      Like

  19. You just wrote the post that’s been screaming inside my head for the last two weeks. Almost every detail down to the hot water in the shower. It gave me chills.
    And, every time I read #1000Speak, I shrink and boycott Facebook for another day and then WP, too. Not because I don’t want to read others’ words, but because it’s such a blatant reminder of how far it is yet to travel.
    That said, I sidled up the computer today, found you, read your words and knew that I wasn’t alone. You have a way of doing that dear Lizzi and that makes you more wonderful and fabulous than you’ll ever know. I saw Beth holding a sign…if I made one for you, it’d say, “YOU ROCK!” in big glittery letters. xoxox

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel almost teary…THIS is why I wrote this…I’m sure of it. Somewhere in me, I knew I COULDN’T be alone…and while there are bound to be those who are upset by it, and who tell me off (not looking forward to it but it’s gonna happen), there are those who need to have that…solidarity, I guess.

      You are not alone. I stand here, hands up, a mess. Like you, I guess. And unable to make it better in spite of appearing to do all the right things. Or, rather, SOME of the right things.

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this, and know that I think YOU ROCK every bit as much as you think I do…so at least there’s that. We can perhaps consider ourselves discerning judges of another person, even if we’re useless when we look in the mirror at our own person (external or otherwise).

      Don’t boycott it, my friend, because your voice and your sense and yes – your compassion – are still valid, even if this thing is crippling and undermining at the moment. Because it won’t always be, but the good will always be good. We all have further to go, and we’ll get there easier hand in hand, helping one another over the tough bits.

      Hasty (you know her, right?) messaged me earlier with the most beautiful imagery, about climbing a mountain, and these voices stripping us of all our tools and safety harnesses, yet we look and realise we have hands and feet, and keep going. Which evoked in me the image of us hanging off a cliff-face, hands and feet clinging, stripped of our tools, but seeing that others are there too, and calling encouragement. We all have our voices. They matter. Thank you more than you know for letting me know how much this mattered.

      (Beth and I have special invisible signs to say a thing we’re too shy/dorky to properly say, cos it’s scary to admit, but we do πŸ™‚ Your sign is lovely though, thank you πŸ˜€ )

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Remember how you said you got chills reading my post? Yeah. And by the time I reached the end of yours, my eyes were burning.
    I don’t know what to tell you, other than we see (and hate) the things no one else does. Highly self-edited be damned – honesty is what makess a village grow, not pretense and polish. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re in my village, and I’m so glad of you. Not glad that we go through this and (in effect) do this beating-up thing to ourselves, but we know it’s not ‘rational’ or ‘logical’, ergo ‘disorder’…I suppose the thing is to choose to behave IN SPITE OF it…but today it got too much and didn’t happen.

      *sigh*

      With other people to help us, we’ll get there. *hugs*

      You matter to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Again . . . resonating. First, before I forget to add it in somewhere, since food is among my leastest of fave things to discuss, I don’t care for Cheez-it’s — Greasy fingers and a tummy ache is all they’ve ever given me.

    While there are certain to be many differences to our plights, the underlying commonalities are there, glaringly so. The anxiety, the food, the tardiness, the reluctance, the self flogging . . . so much of it.

    I cried as a I continued to read and wished to God I could figure it all out and find the *key* to help us escape these prisons. Self-made? Perhaps. Simply all figments of our minds? Ha. Doesn’t feel like it, but I suppose in some ways, the answer is a resounding, yes.

    I hate that little bit of an AHA! moment, because it slaps me around with the knowledge that I may be slightly and oddly delusional and unable to control my own thoughts and feelings and even my own actions, to which there is a truth I don’t care to confront. Though I know I must.

    Sometimes I wish I could see the me those around me see, the ones who give a shit and take time to call me out and in no uncertain terms tell me I am NOT the cow or the failure I THINK I am, while loving me without condition or judgment while they do.

    I’ve lost what I originally set out to say so I will say this . . . YOU ARE AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL. I hope there is a place within you that knows that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doesn’t it bite that if I have to accept that (in all its everythings), I can say ‘back atcha’, and you have to accept it too? I know what you mean though – that AHA moment sucks.

      I think the key is focussing on the bigger picture (and now I guess I get into the realms of the spiritual, which is a place I tend to shy away from discussing Out Loud) and knowing that in spite of all these things, there IS a bigger picture, and in the end, somehow, all this mess can be redeemed, and in the meantime, we can do Good from RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.

      *sigh*

      We are given each other, right? This is the point of being made to exist in relationship – friendships hold us up in the times when we’re not able to hold ourselves up.

      Like

  22. *holds sign*

    I love your messy bits most of all because they show you are human and flawed like the rest of us. Perfection is unachievable and, frankly, boring as hell.

    P.S. I will not feed you CHEEZITS. Promise. In fact, I picture us going on lots of walks at the nature preserve and eating very yummy, healthy food. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are going to be my sanctuary, and we will climb your climbing tree and eat vegetables and walk for miles and TALK πŸ™‚ You don’t know what a safe thing that feels, to think that.

      Thank you so, so much, my BW πŸ™‚

      *holds sign*

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I love you. πŸ’“

    Everything by Alanis Morrisette

    I can be an asshole of the grandest kind
    I can withhold like it’s going out of style
    I can be the moodiest baby and you’ve never met anyone
    Who is as negative as I am sometimes

    I am the wisest woman you’ve ever met.
    I am the kindest soul with whom you’ve connected.
    I have the bravest heart that you’ve ever seen
    And you’ve never met anyone
    Who’s as positive as I am sometimes.

    You see everything, you see every part
    You see all my light and you love my dark
    You dig everything of which I’m ashamed
    There’s not anything to which you can’t relate
    And you’re still here

    I blame everyone else, not my own partaking
    My passive-aggressiveness can be devastating
    I’m terrified and mistrusting
    And you’ve never met anyone as,
    As closed down as I am sometimes.

    You see everything, you see every part
    You see all my light and you love my dark
    You dig everything of which I’m ashamed
    There’s not anything to which you can’t relate
    And you’re still here

    What I resist, persists, and speaks louder than I know
    What I resist, you love, no matter how low or high I go

    I’m the funniest woman that you’ve ever known
    I’m the dullest woman that you’ve ever known
    I’m the most gorgeous woman that you’ve ever known
    And you’ve never met anyone
    Who is as everything as I am sometimes

    You see everything (you see everything), you see every part (you see every part )
    You see all my light (you see all my light) and you love my dark (and you love my dark )
    You dig everything (you dig everything) of which I’m ashamed (of which I’m ashamed)
    There’s not anything (there’s not anything) to which you can’t relate (to which you can’t relate)
    And you’re still here

    Liked by 2 people

      • I am so proud of you for your courage. What you did here speaks volumes. It’s sort of what I was getting at with my last post. That I’m flawed and human. I have my own inner demons, and a lot of yours sounds exactly like what I hear in my own head. The people who love us AND our inner demons…those are the most pricless people in our lives. They extend to us the best sort of grace and mercy.
        And I agree with you about Alanis exactly! This one just stands out to me especially the line “you see all my light and you love my dark.” We all need to hear that. Here’s another we need to hear:

        Liked by 1 person

    • I believe you – we’re out there, those messes pretending to be normal, rational people, behaving in ways which slightly don’t add up. I’m glad you found this helpful. That’s validating in a different way – I genuinely do prefer to do good with my writing than pull stunts, but this one needed to be written out of me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cold sucks. I’m really, really not a fan. I kept thinking that if my metabolism improved then it might kick itself up a notch and then I’d warm up. All that’s happened is that I’ve eaten breakfast for a week and a half and gained a bunch of weight. Muy depressing.

      Thanks for the IG link though. It was a very sweet thought of yours, Salty πŸ™‚

      Like

  24. I don’t judge you or feel pity. I feel compassion for for you and for others like you. And right now, I’d like nothing more than to give you a real hug and hopefully get rid of that cold spot. As I can’t, I’m imagining you embraced by a nice, warm hug. Can you feel it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve had a cold spot all day, right in the middle. I can’t shift it. Not even Niece or Neff or Husby has managed to shift it. Music nearly did, but then traffic happened and it didn’t. All I can say is that there’s a cold, steely (self-destructive? or merely determined?) *something* going on in there.

      Thanks for not pitying, and for feeling compassion instead. I’m impressed, but then I’m not thinking straight, so it was probably a bit egocentric of me to assume that people would judge me by any of the same standards I use to judge myself πŸ™‚

      Like

        • I’m glad this feels like a safe space. It does for me, too, on the whole, which is a lovely thing to be able to say. Time and distraction have helped somewhat, which is good, and a game of Scrabble helped me to forget (for a while) all the things which were churning before. And I took my meds – whether that helped or was a placebo, I don’t much mind – I am less overwrought now. πŸ™‚

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  25. I am glad that you posted this and no I do not judge you! You are doing the best you can with the circumstances you are in. Continue going to therapy, try to hang on the best you can and over time it will get better, even though it does not feel that way to you right now. You are a wonderful person with a gift of writing beautiful words and that is worth hanging on to! We live you just the way you are, all of you. Beautiful mess and all. Yes, I said beautiful read that when you are ready to believe it, because I sure do πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s quite stark, sometimes, the disparity between what other people somehow see, and what I see. In some cases it’s been interpreted as me having an attitude, or fishing for compliments…and I assure you, it’s neither of those things. I feel detached from those things which speak positives of the outer me because internally I feel like they belong nowhere near me.

      Thanks for trying. I’ll keep going to therapy if I think it will help, and trying to live without writing would be like asking me to live without breathing – there WILL be writing. Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Of anyone, I would know you’d understand. I’d take the hug, because I know that me being a mess doesn’t matter to you. Matter of fact I suspect it doesn’t matter to MOST people, so why the hell it matters so much to me, I DO NOT KNOW, but it’s all gotten wrapped up in my past and my present and the worry about the future and…wait…that’s ANXIETY, right? Good grief.

      For someone who purports to be self-analytical I can’t half be thick about it!

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