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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After all this time.

I can’t believe I didn’t see it before.

I’ve talked about these voices (I mean self critic, I’m not hearing voices). Let’s just be clear, it’s my inner voice that I’m talking about. But this self critic who has been holding me back, the one I’ve deemed my dad’s voice, is really myself. And I know that, but I’ve trained myself into being the biggest and worst bully of them all. All of those people who harassed me and made me believe I wasn’t good enough, has really trained me to be my biggest bully. I am my biggest bully. WTF.

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.

What (almost) just happened?

First of all, getting married, while in recovery from an eating disorder is bullshit. I’m going to write more about this in another post when I have more time to think about it, and also insert some really positive words of wisdom.

What it has done though, has allowed me to reevaluate where I am in my life, and what I could be doing better at.

What transpired was my first dress fitting. My undergarment wouldn’t fit. I was mortified and upset. I breathed through it, decided I was going to loose 10lbs, and ran my mind through circles. Okay….. I have to pre warn you that I didn’t spiral so bad, it just felt like it. I just felt this sense of urgency. In less than 100 days I will be getting married. Fuuuuuuckk.

The re-evaluation was just an evaluation of where I was at mentally, how I was spending my time and what I was eating. I also started working out… this week it’s been 2x, but more recently I’ve just been trying to move my body more in general.

So what happened, or almost happened but didn’t… I didn’t give up an I encouraged myself along the way. I said you’ve got this, you can to this, to myself over and over.

I don’t mean to go off topic for a second, but remember how I wrote about my picking problem before? —- well anyway I was laying on the ground, doing a leg exercise, my belly popped out. I kept exercising, but noticed an inperfection on my belly, where I had something that seemed pickable. I started to touch it, and then what happens next totally surprised me…. I stopped. I looked at my belly and said picking will not make this better, and it doesn’t temporarily make anything better. I mean, logically we know this.

I just feel really proud of myself in those moments and it suddenly became really easy to be nice to myself. It feels good to be loved by myself.

It’s a small victory, but pretty impactful in the process.

More progress:

I’ve written a lot today and I just wanted to end with some additional thoughts and progress.┬áDespite everything that has gone on in the last year… this last fall, I started to feel more free. With my job being the most consistent it’s ever been, and my living situation being concrete, I am the most consistent I’ve ever been.

These concrete things has alleviated so much anxiety from my life. Having these things be consistent, has allowed more space for more positive things in my life. It has allowed me to be myself more than ever, and safely. In a safe judgmental free environment.

When Jacob and I were separated, I was struggling with a lot. I think I mentioned the fleas, but my new home was infested. I was so overwhelmed with trying to heal and kill fleas at the same time. I couldn’t really take care of myself. One night I was so upset and was on the verge of a panic attack. My environment had changed so much. I was laying on my bed, and in the midst of all of the tears I was looking at my laundry basket at the end of my bed (with all of the flea shit, I had been doing a lot of laundry trying to kill them). I suddenly realized how long I have had that laundry basket. It has the word Sweetheart on it, which was my camp name from when I worked at summer camp during the summers of like 2004-2006… I’ve had it for a long time.

All though this was one weird realization, it inspired me to list other consistences I have in my life. It helped calmed me down and realized that I had more consistency than I thought I had. It helped normalize my grief.

Consistency is important, and hard to identify when we are are amongst the chaos of our brains. When we feel like our world is falling apart and we feel abandoned by life around us, identifying the consistent (positive, and random normal) things helps regulate us back to reality. It helped me disconnect from the mess that I was creating, to get to something real, which helped me seek out the consistent positives that were going on.

—I’m not sure if any of this makes sense? Maybe you can fill in some gaps if you agree?