I’ve never been someone who really excels. I am good at things, so that is not a ‘put-me-down’, but I have never been the best at the things I do. I always want the ‘best’ though and have been known to beat myself up when I always fall short of the mark.
When I diet, I give up on any kind of food that contains the slightest amount of sugar in favour of quinoa and lentils – both of which I hate, but it’s for the greater good yes?
When I was younger I used to enter singing competitions and generally would only be lucky enough to scrape a 3rd place and that’s if there were only 3 people in the competition, otherwise I’d get a special certificate for the ‘taking part’. THAT USED TO KILL ME!!!!
The only problem with not being perfect is that, as some kind of penance for not being good enough, I seem to rebel and go in completely the opposite direction. Self-sabotaging to a degree that undermines all my hard-earned ‘perfect-making’ work.
This year has been tough for so many reasons. I gave up Play Therapy. It wasn’t right for me at this time in my life. I had to fight a lot of demons about giving up too easily. I had to dig deep and just trust my gut – something I find profoundly scary.
When I was a teacher, I loved the glory – I’m not going to lie. Having adoring children telling you ‘you’re the best teacher ever’ or asking you to draw a horse and them actually being in awe of your stick-drawing fed my ego. It fed my want to be perfect. The only thing is there is no such thing as a perfect teacher and I reached ‘burn-out’.
As you know, I am an avid fan of Brene Brown and one of her talks is about ‘normality’. She asks us to think about when ‘average’ became such a bad word. When did being ‘average’ become something to be ashamed of? She is right. I agree, we must fight and work hard for the things we love. But are we at risk of continually upping the anti until perfectionism is not something that is achievable but still weighs society down with a huge amount of pressure?
What if we did those things we love and we are still just OK – is that OK?
I want to begin the ‘diet of the century’ on January the first 2018, as I have done for the past 22 years. I want to eat lentils and quinoa (even though the thought of it makes me feel sick) until I physically can’t stand it any more. But why punish myself for perfection? Why punish myself when I can be ‘average’ and happy.
So with this in mind I think about 2018.
My one resolution for next year is to strive for ‘normal’ and strive for ‘average’.
Already I feel the pressure lifting – Let’s start a revolution!
Self-hate is vile. It makes you rely on others to affirm that you are an OK human – but when they are gone and you are alone, back it comes. It makes you feel like you are stuck in a constant catch 22 situation believing that you need to save other people from yourself but wanting their friendship… It makes you ruin friendship because ‘if only people knew what a horrible person you were’. It makes you sabotage the positive things until they are no longer there. It makes you ugly. It makes you an outsider of the ‘just be positive’ movement. It makes you believe you do not deserve anything in this life. It makes you bitter and it makes you hate… It makes you moonlight as a happy-go-lucky, easy going person yet you scream inside, angry at everyone including yourself and when you are alone it comes out only stronger. It makes you back away from meaningful connection with anyone so you can only be loved for the mask you wear everyday – if people see that mask slip, they hate what they find… It makes you a victim. It makes you ungrateful for what you have because you can’t see the good. Thus is forms a vicious cycle – you can hate for feeling ungrateful…. if someone has the answer for how you continue when that monster lives inside you, please feel free to let me know…
Firstly, can I say I want this blog to come across as being inspired by people who are suffering more than me…
Last night, when I got in from Gospel I watched a program as part of the ‘Stand up to Cancer’ initiative. It was a program where Cancer patients had recorded their journey online and added it to Youtube. There was this one particular girl, Lucy Eades, who was from Brighton. She was only just beginning her journey into adulthood and was documenting her life as she was undertaking Chemotherapy for an aggressive brain tumor. She documented the messiness and ugliness of the Cancer as it took over her life and changed her life far out of her control – yet through it all she remained as positive as she possibly could have done. It left me wondering how a child of her age could have the emotional intelligence to stay so positive – she was strong. I say was – as unfortunately she lost her battle with the deadly disease. Lucy wanted to live but the decision was taken out of her hands.
It left me feeling really ashamed. Ashamed that I have a choice. No matter how small that may feel in this, I do have a choice and I certainly had more of a choice about life than Lucy ever did. It left me spinning in circles. There is a dark park of myself that wants to use this as proof of what a weak, awful person I am – to moan about my situation when, at the moment, changing it is within my control. Then there is another side of me that is aware and hopeful that I have a choice about life. Maybe it is about clinging on to that tiny thread of hope and trust that I have the capacity to change my situation. If Lucy had have been given options, I know she would have chosen to live, yet here I am – 4 stone heavier than 6 months ago choosing slow suicide. Mental illness is difficult in that way because ultimately you have a choice. You have not suffered irreversible pain. Change is possible. But there lies the crux and the reason to berate yourself more.
I needed the break from the blog. I was writing it for the wrong reasons but I am ready to start again.
I think I wanted to make people understand the depth of feelings I sometimes have. I wanted people to whole-heartedly ‘get’ where I am and what I am feeling and thinking. However I think I am beginning to realise that the only person who can do that for me is me… I began to get caught up in whether or not I was getting any feedback or people were ‘liking’ it… That doesn’t feel as though it matters now.
I am so quick to listen to the opinions of friends. Friends who genuinely have my interests at heart. The trouble I have though is, because of my lacking sense of a self I take their words as Gospel. I don’t take them, think about them and then decide whether I agree… I believe myself to be wrong and the opinions of others to be right.
Over the last couple of months since I last wrote I have dropped out of Uni. My weight has been increasing and I have really really lost a sense of who I am. I want people to understand my feelings yet it comes as such a surprise that I could be feeling so low people don’t know where to start when I try to convey the very depths of the emotions I sometimes feel. Sometimes I myself have to keep it locked – a safety thing.
I have spent a lot of time trying to describe how I am feeling in the vain hopes that someone may understand. I have to stop my head from thinking of it as justification for my feelings and I am aware of how lucky I am to have people around me who are doing everything they can to understand.
I was given a part time job by a dear friend of mine who I think was truly going out of her way to help me. I didn’t feel able to do it and I bailed. I feel bad about that – I feel awful – however it was the right decision for me at the time. I have no capacity for choosing the things out of my comfort zone at the moment … and I have to carry on knowing that was the right decision for me. It is so easy for me to think of myself as an awful person. Maybe it is about accepting that she will be cross – for a while and appreciating why… but also knowing it was the right decision for me…
I feel like I am so weak yet want to be seen as strong. I feel like I am finally listening to myself yet some people are telling me I am easily led. I have to listen to MY voice – no matter how quietly she is whispering at me at the moment. What is she telling me?
My pain is no less valid because of how I experience it or choose to vent it… everyone experiences pain in their own way…
When I first started writing it was because I needed this secret out of me – no matter who hears it, and for a while that served me.
Now I have come to realise that it’s the people who you reach out to that answer your call for help individually that really matter.
My emotions are often times dramatic and all-consuming and that can’t be easy for friends. However I am trying to meet some need I have in me….
How am I so ignorant about life? How are you all so wise?
A lot has happened over the last few months and I’m beginning to realise that maybe things haven’t been easy in my life. Perhaps the lack of emotion I show is due to feelings of safety and vulnerability.
I don’t have any answers but perhaps I am closer.
I am learning who I can reach out to and who I cannot. I know that ultimately my happiness is down to me…. I get confused about people and find it hard to trust – especially when I don’t see people very often.
Anyway – so this is the end of the online blog – for now. I am going to continue journaling just for me and reaching out to the special people I have in my life who are willing to be there for me (for which I hold a tremendous amount of gratitude).
Thank you if you have supported me and my writing and helped me to reach this point.
I feel so much like I am out of control at the moment and I feel like it’s not a choice and that I can’t help it.
This was NOT a treat that I am allowed every once in a while – this was a deliberate effort on my part to sabotage myself and it didn’t feel like a choice.
I was talking with my personal trainer about consistency. I am all or nothing, black or white. Whilst things with food are good I would never allow a pizza – not because I want to deny myself but because I can’t trust myself. I know, however, that if I can just make one change – 1 tiny thing done differently, then I could begin to lose a little each week.
I had a knock last week at uni. People see through my inability to be authentic there. There is no mask to be worn – you are stripped back and laid bare and that is not a comfortable place for me to be and i’ll admit it left me thinking “Why have I done this?”. I wasn’t going to blog about it but then I always say the purpose of this is to be completely real. No shame hidden inside me…
I keep making empty promises about how life is going to get better but the truth is that is not a gift I seem to be able to give myself at the moment.
Big love to all you people struggling like I am – perhaps there’s one huge life lesson I am going to learn from this – the lesson that is stopping me from helping myself, stopping me from making true and real connections, stopping me from existing properly in this life and stopping me from having a family of my own.
I’m calling time on this latest horrific binge. As much as I want to continue, I’m exhausted. I hate waking up every morning feeling thirsty, heavy and ill. I am spotty, my skin is clammy and I have put on so much weight and I don’t seem to care.
I’ve sat with the window of this draft open for about an hour knowing that I want to write but not knowing what to say. I have been quite absent from my blog recently and partly that is due, as it always is, to me questioning why I do this. Why I lay myself bare for everyone to see. Once it’s out there it’s darn near impossible to take back and I have always claimed there is therapy in that for me. This one is going to seem quite dark too. My heads in a bit of a spin.
I haven’t written and now I feel like I want to and I can’t find the words as so often happens with me. Which is, I’m sure, where a great deal of my issues with food come from. Today was therapy day and I didn’t have the words. I paid £40 to sit for an hour in silence because my mouth was paralysed.
I had the most lovely birthday weekend surrounded by love and people showing me, almost teaching me, what it means to be a friend and respect and care for someone. Then I come back to this. This flat that I love when it is tidy and respectable however that doesn’t seem to be something I can gift to myself at the moment.
The problem is not the people I surround myself with – they are wonderful – the problem is me. And the problem is when you feel so intrinsically disconnected it becomes impossible to cope. Impossible to hold these things within yourself. One friendship wobble, one thing that rocks the boat during the course of a day and it becomes impossible to keep the ship upright and so I eat – or I make my flat a mess… or what ever other way I can externally subconsciously recreate my inner state.
That brings me onto friends – how then, can I expect friends to come along for that ride? I am in a constant state of fear that friends will go. This is not what they sign up for. They sign up for happy, playful me… not the me that is dramatic, inconsistent, ungrateful and sad…. But the catch 22 is that in thinking this way I don’t give the people I surround myself with the value and respect that they deserve.
In all of this is hope however. I am increasingly and increasingly less ‘shut down’ and perhaps that is why I am really ‘feeling’ again and it is painful. I have more self-awareness than ever but there needs to be more. I need to be able to understand myself. I want that. I can’t give up on that.
I feel like an awful human being. I am posting this to make sure it’s conscious. I need to fully engage in what I have done. Believe me my temptation is to retreat when I feel like this. It makes me feel sick to write about it… not because of who might read it but because the very nature of writing it down causes me to confront it.
I have been given the perfect chance to be healthy this week. My Personal Trainer has gone on holiday and I am looking after her dog. I am living at her house and she has cooked all of my meals for me …every one and all my snacks. When I arrived at her house I cried at the amount of effort that had gone in to making it easy for me to be healthy. I cried because that showed love towards me and a belief in me that I don’t even hold for myself. No excuses. There are horrible things happening in the world and people losing their life – waking up each day healthy should be something I hold dear and feel an immense amount of gratitude for. I am selfish.
When am I going to wake up and realise that my health, today, right now, matters? I have been gifted the perfect opportunity and I have disrespected it totally over the last couple of days. If I knew me right now, I would be pissed off. I don’t want this blog to seem self-piteous but right now? I’m pretty disgusted at my behaviour around food.
I swing from thinking that this is obviously an illness that I have little control over to thinking that is just a big fat excuse and I have to accept responsibility…
Sometimes this feels bigger than me….. like I just can’t do it. And everytime I throw it back in the faces of the people who help I am aware that I lose a little more self-respect.
Tonight I feel like I couldn’t be any more angry at me…
BUT! As you lovely lot often tell me. Tomorrow is a new day! Each new day is an opportunity for a new beginning. And we just can’t give up now, right?
So, things are not going well lately. It’s all I’ve been doing to keep my head above water. I have the most fantastic support network around me and such lovely friends… but unfortunately lately I have been letting them down…. letting them down to stay at home and ‘do my thing’.
The other thing I realise is that I can have the most supportive people around me, but if I am not my biggest supporter then I can forget feeling better….
I feel at a loss as to when, if ever, I’ll defeat this thing. It’s so illogical and just when I think I’ve cracked it I mess it up again…
I have not been helping myself lately… Yesterday I ate so much I thought I was going to have a heart attack and the only thing stopping me from phoning somebody was shame… I was too ashamed to tell anyone. I’m not sure even that is enough to stop me though.
I’m in chaos at the moment….
I have to think about the ways to pull myself out – to get the motivation.