My power candle.

I don’t even know where I got this idea, but it’s super cheesy so bear with me. I have a power candle for when I work out. I was at Michaels spending money like a good consumer, well for my wedding. I was buying craft supplies. Anyway I came across this candle and I bought it. I also found this notebook that tracked work outs. Both were on sale, and the moment I got home I put on my work out clothes and decided to light this candle and let it be my power candle. I imagined only positive things coming out of it, and turned all of my negative self talking into positive thoughts. I kept repeating over and over.. I’ve got this, keep going, only one more time, I’ve got this. And I felt amazing.

I also made a new painting that said “I’ve got this”. And I can’t help but smile when I look at it. I’ve worked out a few times last week, like 2-3 times, and so far twice this week. It’s not a lot, but it’s a hell of a lot more thanI had been doing before!

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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!

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.¬†Despite 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?

Recent Lessons

In my last post I talked about the voices in my brain about self worth being the voice of my father. Thinking about it in that perspective has been a game changer.

My partner and I were arguing about something and I was able to talk myself out of self talk from this new perspective. I was brushing my teeth, walked away and was spiraling fast into some negative talk that was bad. —I don’t even remember what I had said to myself, it really doesn’t matter. Mid brushing, I stopped and said Whhhattt. Like what just happened there, and realized that it was my dad’s voice that was plaguing me. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t my voice. It was his. Okay, not his directly, but it became clear that it was another entity other than myself. —Mind you I thought about this the day before I found out he was back in the hospital.

————-As a disclaimer, I have felt this a lot in the past. I have felt that this other piece of me was a different person. Now that I’ve identified that it was “his voice” and not mine, it seems more clear than ever. It was easy to change the perspective of it not really being me.————-

Sunday my partner and I were digging out our fire-pit. We were trying to decide on how we would do something, and we both had ideas about how to do it. In the process I also was unable to help in the way that I wanted to. I got really mad and snotty with him and then just ended up keeping my mouth shut. Suddenly I got really tense and mad about the situation. I started spiraling in my brain… and what I started to do was separate myself from those thoughts and feelings to why I felt them. I realized that I felt those things because I felt criticized and un-empowered to help. With criticism, comes the self doubt of I’m not doing a good enough job.

Separating my thoughts from his thoughts and words… really this other being that I’ve been fighting for so long has helped me move forward from a lot of bullshit. I’m looking forward to growing¬† more from this new perspective and seeing what happens.

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.