Overcoming the Bully

Okay, first of all.. this is not something that has been happening over night. It’s years and years of therapy and changing the way I think about things.

Easier said than done and I’m not 100% healed, but I’m so much better than I was 3 years ago, even months ago, or moments ago.

Remember those I AM paintings I did? Well they started to work.

Side bar: In graduate school I took a tutor class which helped me with my papers and also gave me credit at the same time. But I learned something there that has stuck with me through out the years and has changed my thinking patterns in a way I could never have expected. You wouldn’t know this about me but I’m afraid of writing. I’m laughing as I say that because I have this blog with over 60 posts. But writing at the time was one of the most vulnerable places for me to be, and I was terrified of posting my papers etc. Anyway this writing tutor taught some psychology with her class and she taught about neuro transmitters and pathways. If we live one way, it’s hard for our minds to do something new unless we practice something new consistently. As we move forward in that practice, it creates new neuro pathways and those new ways of doing or thinking becomes easier.

Those paintings I started painting, have been really powerful and pivotal in this mind changing game. When I repeat I am enough, enough times… I’ve started to believe it. I even wrote it on a sticky note at my desk.

My next post will be about my most recent achievement with this and how I’ve been able to overcome the bully as I’ve been consistently working out!

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Working out and self bullying.

I think I’ve posted before that I’m a cereal gym member and never really have been a goer. This has always been for reasons that seem really terrible at the time, but now feel super petty. It’s also the excuses I’ve made up in my brain about the reasons why I shouldn’t go to the gym.

I would join gyms because I thought it was the right thing to do. I would join them and be pretty good about it for a month or two and then something stops me from going.

One time I was working out at the gym a lot, I had a trainer and everything that I had gotten as a gift from my mom. What “ruined it” for me that time was this desk attendant. Every time I would come in, he would ask if I was meeting me with my trainer. I about lost it and eventually stopped going, because I avoided having that conversation with him. I lost motivation, and also, felt judged in my brain which then spiraled into a nasty fest of self doubt, confidence and self hate. You know the words: You will never be able to… or you are not good enough… etc

Anyway, what ends up happening, is me judging myself and comparing myself to other people at the gym. I’d get so wrapped up in what I wasn’t and what I couldn’t do, that working out was more stressful to me because of how much I would make up in my head about it and what the consequences would be. So frankly I would just give up. Now that I think about it, going to the gym under this mind set was super self harmy to my mental health. I was being my own self bully. Wow.

I mean, most of these are just excuses and reasons for me to not do it. Which seemed easier than actually doing it.

Next post is about what steps I’ve been taking to overcome this mentality.

Today

It became clear how badly I needed to address myself. My body, my mind, all the things…

I’ve been neglecting myself, and my mental health.

I cried to my mother today, and I made a call to my nurse practitioner. I made a decision to follow through. I had anxiety addressing some of my barriers, but I did it. I’m proud, scared and unhappy. Something needed to be done.

I FORGOT ABOUT FOOD

I forgot there was a bag of chips in the cupboard.

As someone who has been so obsessed in the past, and would know everything that was in the cupboard at all times. —I can’t believe how much I’ve recovered and how much I’ve changed.

I remember living with my friend who had food in her house, so much so it was overwhelming. She would forget what she had and would buy more. So much so that she would have several unopened and opened bags of chocolate chips in her cupboard. But I knew, I was obsessed with food. Always thinking about it, always knowing, always always always.

A few weeks ago, I opened the cupboard, and saw a bag of chips in there. I had forgotten I had them. It was a pivotal moment in my life. It was suddenly as if the gates opened and the light shined through. It was a moment to celebrate!

Invincible

Up until now I thought I was invincible. Or that death was this far off thing I didn’t think would happen for me. I don’t think that I’m going to die anytime soon, but as I grow older… the more I see time slipping and the people I thought would never leave this planet are.

My dad is in the hospital. With the flu. There is a slight chance he will recover and if he does, it seems as if he has less than a year to live. After all this time, after all of this created drama in my brain and now feeling like I have to cater to him one last time??? To give a little perspective, he’s 87. His chances are like 50/50 at this point, and if he does recover, he’s got like 6 months left.

I bought a plane ticket, I leave a week from Thursday. I’m going there, to see him. He won’t know who I am, he won’t know why I’ve come, but I’m doing it anyway.. why? So that in 10 years I won’t regret it. I’m not sure he will make it until I get there. I don’t really know what else to do.

It’s September

So I haven’t written all summer… and I should have. I’m getting over this idea that I go through these periods of writing and not writing. It’s okay, I’m writing again, and I’m grateful for these moments of clarity.

I moved out of my ex’s house. I wrote earlier that I probably truly wouldn’t be able to take care of myself there, knowing that it would never end the way that I wanted it to. So I had to leave. It’s not something I really want to write about right now, but I’m sure it will come. Just know that it was one of the hardest and easiest things I’ve ever done.

I spent the majority of August, playing and taking care of my new place and the fucking fleas that still live here. I’m calling my landlord Tuesday in hopes he has better news and hopefully send these fuckers packing, they are not welcome here..

Either way, it’s September now and I’m trying to look up into the world in a new light.

Yesterday was tough, I cried all day because I didn’t feel good about things. I was sad because it suddenly sunk in how lonely life can be with out waking up to your person, and going to sleep with them by your side. You are suddenly solely responsible for yourself. Your own eating, your own waking up on time, your own bills, your own everything and not to mention your emotional well being. I ended my day among friends, while watching friends, drinking diet coke with vodka and smoking a cigarette. It was exactly what I needed, and I felt okay about it. I don’t make a habit of smoking, but I’ve been known to throw back a few every once in a while.

I went to sleep last night with this new mindset in mind. I was going to go for a run. Well… Walk run… okay mostly walk. But I did get a wave from a cute guy recognizing I was out taking care of myself. Now I’m not going to dive too deep into this because I want to write a post in a bit how I hit a deer with my car probably 3 Christmases ago…. It will make sense when I write it and the weird symbolism in it.

Anyway, It’s September, I have a lot of ideas, I have a lot of things that have changed besides my current relationship status, and I have goals to write more often.

 

 

Shattering effects.

I smashed my scale a few weeks ago, on the pavement in my driveway with a sledge hammer.

What I learned from this experience was more than what I anticipated. I wanted to do it as some sort of relief, and ritual in order to finally stop the worry and get rid of the thing in a way that was more fun than just throwing it in the trash. If you decide to take on this endeavor, I suggest put it in some sort of container before you actually do it, wear long pants, and goggles.

What happened: When the sledge hammer hit the glass, it exploded. I didn’t realize until after I had cleaned it up that it had actually hit me, and made my knee bleed. Also, the glass was everywhere, under our cars, in the grass, on my body… everywhere. I did not expect this to happen… But I guess I’m not surprised either.

When I was cleaning it up, it became this metaphor of eating disorders and weight obsession. Anything could trigger me at any point, which would leave this shattering effect on my life (or so I felt). When ever I felt like I had accomplished something (weight loss goal, conquering food goal), things would come up that I hadn’t fully addressed and then more would unfold, and then suddenly I was entrenched in food again and the obsession.

When I was cleaning the glass up with the broom, I would find new patches of glass I hadn’t quite gotten and would find more as I would push it to the main pile.

And after all the glass was swept up, all that was left were shards that were glimmering in the sunshine. Letting me know that the issues will probably always be around in some form or another.

Few weeks, or months later—–I can’t believe that I didn’t actually post this or finish it when I had written it… At this point it’s just this distant memory of shattered memories. Unrecognizable and I’m glad I thought It was something that I deemed important to write about. Smashing it was liberating and super telling. As I moved into my new place, I no longer have a scale to determine my worth. I’m not sure if it’s liberating or if I’m just curious. At this point, I am not in a mind set to be curious. I’m pretty stressed about my weight.

Avoiding.

Avoiding anything, especially the inevitable packs the pounds.

My weight spirals because I emotionally eat, I make excuses for my behavior and I spend more time playing video games, or watching re-runs of my favorite shows instead of living my life. Wait, I spend time checking out in-stead of living through the pain, and emotions of life.

I noticed myself doing this recently. I also noticed my teeth grinding increasing. Meaning, I’m not taking care of myself and whatever that means. This time it means, too much caffeine, not enough water, and drifting further away from my dreams than I anticipate.

I am in love with my partner, we have a pretty good thing going. We are fairly balanced, we enjoy doing things together, we make an amazing team in the kitchen, the yard, the house etc. Or at-least that’s my perception. He’s my person, what can I say? He listens when I’m not doing well, he’s patient and kind, cares about my well being, and happiness.

But we have different life goals, and I’ve been avoiding leaving, because the loss of him would be so great and grieving sucks.

I also have a really good thing where I live. I have a whole room to myself where I can paint and I have a garden to grow fresh vegetables and fruit. I feel really blessed to have had the opportunity to live here, and share my life with him.

I’m not serving myself continuing to stay here. I am deserving of something that I’ve always wanted (Marriage and at-least one child) and he doesn’t want those things. Which completely sucks.

I also have really tried not to want those things, which really only affirmed that I want them more. Also, I think what sucks out of all of the thought process I did around being married and having children, is I think my self worth is dependent on it and that If he really loved me as much as he did, he would want to marry me and have children. Which isn’t true. But I’m trained to think that my worthiness is depended on it, and also that because he doesn’t want those things… He believes that I’m not worth anything.

It’s a complete mind fuck of a situation actually. The longer I stay in this relationship (even if I think it is good), the longer I will deep down think that I’m truly not worthy, which only mind fucks my ED thinking and circulates the food intake. It’s pretty messed up.

I’ve been neglecting my writing not necessarily because of this, but it’s been a part of it. I’ve been spending more time disassociating with video games and re-runs than I have been engaging in life. Growing up in a DV home makes you a pro at disassociation, well at least for me it has been.

Sneaky grateful moments

It’s funny how my last post was about the changed girl, and then today I’m writing about something unexpected that came up that made me feel crappy at work.

Actually it’s been an off week, period, because of my period. Sorry if that is TMI, and not sorry at the same time because it’s totally a real thing for me and I shouldn’t pretend like I don’t get my period.

I couldn’t believe what happened on Monday and I was left embarrassed and on the verge of a panic attack. I had forgotten to turn in a paper to receive some money that I needed for my job. There is a process, a process which I’m familiar with and had used several times, over and over again. It was a surprise to me when I went upstairs and things had changed. I wasn’t able to formulate sentences about what I was asking for (Not really un-common for me). But my usual process usually looked like me putting a paper that I had signed from my boss in someones box, and then I would go to the front desk and their would be money in an envelope. I had forgotten to do the step where I put the paper in someones box, and when I went upstairs, I explained the process in which got miss understood for a different process. I am probably not making any sense…. Anyway, what ended up happening was 3 people were telling me something that I couldn’t identify with. What really happened, was I realized that maybe I forgot to turn the paper in. I put up my hand, stated I was feeling frustrated and that I needed to walk away. The result for me was: I felt stupid, unprepared, didn’t know my job and everything I strive not to be. I don’t like looking like I don’t know how to do my job. I literally stated to someone I worked with on my way back to my desk that I “was stupid” and with out anyone knowing I went into a back room and cried.

*On a side note: After hearing myself say “I am stupid” out loud to someone, made me stop in my tracks. At that moment, I wasn’t sure if I was going to laugh at myself or cry because it sounded so silly. I chose the latter.

Who is this girl?

It was triggering and un-expected. It was also a miss-understanding and a mistake. I haven’t had a melt down in a while, and I haven’t felt so negatively in months about myself. While I was in the back room crying, I could feel my body fill with anxiety. I took some breaths, and talked myself down. I really was okay. I had to remind myself that they were not intentionally attacking me, and not intentionally making me feel stupid. They were explaining a process that I knew, I just didn’t use. Also… because of being in that moment, and being confused, I couldn’t find my words.

Having practiced new patterns, positive self talk and self soothing… I am now able to recover from these moments quicker, and they happen less and less.

I am grateful for that.

 

The next best thing.

Last week my counselor gave me this language to describe this over arching thing most of american’s are going through “Weight loss culture” and it struck a chord with me.

I maybe have touched on it before, but I don’t think I dived into the depth that I was ready for yet. I’ve actually had something saved on my google drive for about a year that is titled “The next best thing”. The next best thing, for me was whatever the new thing was for me I would follow, to accomplish the weight loss goals I was after. The goals, of course mean weight loss.

I talked about the unrealistically about this previously. But the bottom line is, no matter what you do, or how much you do it, and or how much weight you’ve lost.. You may never be satisfied with how you look… We are obsessed with this idea that we are NOT GOOD ENOUGH AS IS. We are trained to think that way, and get stuck in this weight loss culture obsession and get sucked into the “next best thing” or trend.

For me these trends would be the end all to everything: every eating problem I’ve ever had, every weight loss issue, everything and all of it. I WOULD BE CURED.

Here I am, 227lbs, highest ever 279lbs and I KNOW those trends don’t work for me. I have fallen for Weight Watchers, Solutions (a weight loss clinic), Nutritionist, Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, other running apps such as C25K, a personal trainer, HTC (for a hot minute), juicing, joining and dropping out of gyms several times a year, paleo, vegetarianism, and more.

Some of these ideas I’ve catered to briefly but have not fully fallen into their trap. Some, I’ve committed to for a significant amount of time and have had a lot of success with. Either way, I understand the commitment piece, the HIGH of accomplishing goals (weight loss), being rewarded for it, and then when you are no longer loosing, the disappointment and let down of being unsuccessful long term. I understand the BATTLE to stay committed, the mind games… and other things that go along with this addiction.

I read recently that Americans have spent 60 billion dollars over a year on gym memberships, weight loss products, trainers, apps, programs and more… If 75 million people are working towards loosing weight that’s an average of $800 a year! This culture is such a misconception. It has been a way for people to feed your insecurities while making a profit. If it works for them, then it will work for you! Plus, they know they can make money off of it. THEY KNOW PEOPLE WANT IT, SO THEY MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO CAVE INTO THEIR RESULTS, to make a profit. Poor fools like me (probably you too) fall for it every time.

What we don’t focus on is, what works for us? What works for you? What does your body want now? How do you want to treat yourself? How do I want to treat myself, and what works for me?

Always, more to come!