Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I haven't seen her in about a month due to my classes and trying to get everything wrapped up for the semester. The last two weeks of school were brutal -- total stress eating, bad choices, hand-to-mouth, all of it. The bad thing is that since school ended, THEN it was celebrating -- drinking Colorado Bulldogs (very fattening, even for alcohol), ice cream, and chips. The result is certainly no surprise -- a six pound gain. To boot, I wasn't even making time for exercise those last two weeks because I was studying so hard -- the ONLY time I had missed exercise since the first of October.
Obviously she wasn't happy to hear how I had dealt with the stress, reverting to old habits. She was asking me why my grades were so important to me, what was the significance to me and what did it mean to not do well? What drove me? I told her it was odd -- I'm VERY particular and a perfectionist about my school work and my work ethic/product when I'm at a job, but my house looks like hell. Very odd to me, but I guess it's somewhat common, to not be perfectionistic in all aspects of one's life and focus on some areas of importance.
I said I wasn't sure what drove me, what made this area of my life so important to-- and then I stopped dead. I took in a deep breath, let out a "whoa..." and started crying. It hit me like a ton of bricks. When I was a kid, I was told I would never amount to anything. I don't think it was said a lot, but it was enough to make a huge impact on my faith in myself. I think I'm busy trying to prove to myself that that wasn't true, and getting good grades or doing a good job is one way that I help stamp down that inner voice that keeps trying to hold me back and make me doubt myself.
This isn't about trashing the person this came from; it's completely about me unlearning some horrible things that I tell myself and that the deep, dark recesses of my being tend to believe:
You'll never amount to anything
You'll never finish
What makes you so special
Why are you doing this
You can't do it
What are you thinking
You're an idiot/moron/dumb fuck/loser
Whether I've heard all of these things at one time in my life or anther with my physical ears or my mental ones I can't say. The lines have blurred between when some of these may have been said to me and when I took up the mantra myself and let those thoughts seep into the dark recesses of my own psyche. How does one undo something that feels like it's part of their DNA? How does one begin to have faith in themselves, to truly believe in themselves? I mean, I get angry at my own demons, knowing that I'm intelligent and not worthless, that I'm a pretty decent human being overall, but still... it never goes away. The lies that are my demons never get chased off by the angels that are my truths. Why is that? At 44 years of age, will this ever change?
I know it is what has hurt me in the past with weight loss. I still have the dieter mentality even now, feeling success and failure with every pound lost or gained. I define myself based on my accomplishments, whatever they are. I allow society to tell me that my worth is based on how young I am, how I look, how thin I am, how wealthy I am (though the latter doesn't matter so long as I have the first three because I'm a woman)... I mean, how fucked up IS that? Who are they to decide?? Yet they do. They have that power. Somehow, they have that power.
And it doubles up with my own self-doubts and can feel so suffocating sometimes. I sometimes feel like such a fake because what people see is a strong person, somebody with outer strength. But like the zodiac that I am -- Cancer -- I appear hard on the outside but I feel so frail inside. People who don't know me that well can hardly believe it when I share glimpses of the real me, the things that scare me, cripple me, bring me to my knees, incapacitate me. I'm an open book, yet I put up walls. I feel fake, but somehow both personas are me. I used my size for so long to help add to my outer strength, or the appearance of it -- so now what? When I let this go, what then? Do I change? WILL I change? Hell, CAN I change?
It's so hard to believe what affects us for life. What happened happened, but why do we -- hell, why do I -- then choose (and yes, it's a choice of some form) to believe, hang on, and feed that which hurts the most? Will I ever get this right?
Posted by Beth at 9:51 PM