Accepting “me”

Featured

I used to be so afraid of being on my own. I am not sure whether to write this post in the past or the present tense because I still continue to struggle with that fear. Present tense it is then.

My fear of feeling alone has nothing to do with: not being in a relationship or not being around people. Hence the difference with being physically alone. Instead it is about being with ” myself “. So here I am writing to remind me that it is ok to be with my own company.

Running away from my emotions
A few months after I started therapy and really working on myself, I realized that when I was not thinking about food exercise cleaning, daydreaming about a perfect family or a perfect relationship then I was left with facing “me”. The person on the inside. I was left with the emotions I never wanted to feel especially the negative emotions, I was constantly running away from. There I was with my pain, sadness, anger, shame, guilt… I was left being “a human being”, a sensitive person, an emotional person, a state I never allowed myself to be as if it was illegal to FEEL.

Instead of letting these emotions run through me, I punished myself through controlling food, exercise and through rituals that permitted me to constantly drown in my own pity party. Yet, none of it ever gave me any energy instead it drained the life out of me. The pity torturous party was followed by the worst hang over, guilt and shame. I wasn’t actually living my life and being who I am.

I was running from it because it was not the perfect life I should have.  I was too busy running away, punishing myself believing that I was the ugliest, the worst person and that I was a failure because I could never ever be perfect in my eyes or in anyone else’s eyes.

From imaginary thoughts to reality
Today I went to the beach with my little dog. I was hoping noone would be there  because I did not want to see any human beings around me. I didn’t want to deal with my thoughts that the people may think I’m fat or that I am pathetic because I’m on my own and I have no one around me. I did not want to deal with these imaginary judgments.

That’s just it though they are just imaginary thoughts. Even if  people around me might be thinking that I am whatever it is that they think I might be, at the end of the day it doesn’t really make a difference. I can just go on about my day and just be. Easy to say but since I have gotten so used to devilising myself these thoughts still come up often. In fact, just a few months, maybe a year ago,  those thoughts would’ve stop me from enjoying a walk at the beach on my own with the cutest dog in the world.

Not where I “should” be
As I drove back from the beach I realized that I am 28 now, at the end of this year I’ll be 29 and at the end of next year I’ll be 30. I also realized that in spite of all of my controlling in the past, I am still not the image of the person that I thought I should be. I wanted to be thin with perfect hair, perfect skin. Only then, I believed, I could be loved by anyone. Truth is only then I would love myself. You see because only then would I look perfect.

I forgot the part that none of that mattered so long as I embraced my extra weight, sometimes dry hair and blemished skin. I was also blinded from the fact that I could not be thin without abusing myself. I misunderstood what dieting or healthy eating was. I used it to my own advantage to torture myself to attain the impossible.

At this point, since as early as 13 years old, I set myself a goal that : I had to be a lawyer and married with a dog and one or two kids in my twenties. Because this is what I should do to be the perfect daughter, sister or whatever. I still want this but in reality I have absolutely no control over it.

Law, I can work toward, and I have, I still feel I want to progress but I believe it is a healthy motivation because it is rooted in me wanting to better myself for my own intellectual challenges.

Relationships, marriage etc…. It takes two and the second person has not walked into my life just yet. You see in my culture and may be just as a social construct in general, if you are passed 25 years old, my understanding was that I should already be either settled down, in a relationship or planning or somewhere along that path. Since none of that happened for me, I always thought that I was a failure, I still sometimes think that I’m a failure and that’s part of not accepting who I am, who I have become and where I am at now.

Making peace with my emotions
I became a little scared on my drive back home. Then, with some degree of logic and before I threw myself into my past habit of a pity party. I reminded myself that I am not so bad afterall. Even though I don’t have a perfect body, it is ironically twice the weight that I wish it was, my hair has become fluffier than ever and my skin has some acne free weeks and some “oh my gosh what the heck happened kind of week”.

At the end of the day if I keep running away  from myself, I will keep on missing out on who I am and missing out on my life. These days, often when I feel down or when start thinking “I’m a failure” . I reverse these thoughts by “getting real with myself”. I go through an exercise where I count my blessings and accept my imperfections. Where I bring to light what I could improve in my habits and most importantly congratulate myself for what I have achieved.

Peace with inner “me”
It has now become easier to sit with myself because I can accept who I am. I can accept when sadness, anger, joy, disappointment and fear that visits. The are at the end of the day what makes me the person I am and I am comfortable with that. I allow myself to cry, to be angry and scream into a pillow.

Accepting outer “me”
My physical self is much more difficult to accept because it is what is seen on the outside. Also because I tend to jump into judging myself or imaginning that others are judging me. There in lies my rejection. I have come to realize that it actually takes longer for my body to mould without me controlling it. Because it is a reflection. A reflection of what is inside. When I am broken and abused on the inside so it is mirrored on the outside.

The struggle continues
There are times, I can accept that I have one body and mind to love, one body and mind to cherish. That my body needs time to adjust, to change and that for me drastic self imposed change leads me down a path of destruction. My mind needs acceptance and understanding.

I guess what I am most thankful for is that this body and mind saw me through thick and thin. Literally. I have abused my body left and right. Starved it, overfed it, dehydrated it. Yet it is still standing. I now know that this will only happen from the inside out. With a lot of patience and acceptance.

I know this still journey has just started. I still have a long way to go. Yet I am thankful I had the courage to start it. I had the strenght to own up to my own abuse and to free myself for my illogical thoughts.

Therapy continues. Work continues. Acceptance fluctuates but at least it is there now.

xoxoxox

Izaotee

To diet or not to diet in the midst of a binge episode?

Monday 4 november

Diet dilemna

 

I don’t want to diet even though I dislike my reflection in the mirror. I ordered xenical again and my mother is encouraging me to lose some the weight I gained since my binge frenzy started. I do want to feel good, to look at myself and accept the way I am. The extra pound is not helping. It never did. At the same time. I do not want to diet. Not yet at least. I have this distorded understanding of what healthy is. It involves: controlling, weighing food, over exercising, cutting myself out from the world when I want to socialise because there will be food involved. I realise my definition of healthy rhymes with pain and self-destruction at the other end of the spectrum. That is my diet. I don’t want that. Not now not ever again. But I do want to lose some weight. I just feel that right now I am not strong enough too. I have the courage to face my struggle every day. When I don’t I tell myself it is worth it. There will be light at the end of the tunnel. This is a crucial time to discover myself inside and out. So reverting to dieting as a solution for my body image discomfort, I believe, at this very moment that it is not a solution.

In my fragility I am determined to eat without restriction. Two days ago I had a diet shake at lunch. It did no good to my brain or my body. The evening was a binge. See there. That is the repercusion of an attempt to diet. So instead. I won’t. I will focus on exercising regularly and eating healthy in moments of clarity. During times when I am.

 

This morning was the usual monday therapy. Preparing myself for mother and brother’s visit at the end of this week. I am nervous, anxious, worried. I feel I have failed them by gaining all the weight. Yet, it was out of my control. When I binge I am disconnected with what my body tells me to do. My brain orders me to buy and stock and eat while my body is in pain. My heart heavy and calls out to be listened to and my stomach just cries out for me to stop. I am not myself. No one should be just a limb or just a brain. So I try to tell myself that before I run to my fix. When I check in with my brain and tell myself that chocolate bar is not necessary. I am fighting sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. But I am fighting. So is it really my fault? In that first scenario it is difficult for me to say it is. It would also be unfair to myself.

 

The second scenario involves a speck of conscious irresponsibility. It is when I run to food for a hug, an embrace, comfort. There I am partly to blame. Partly because I have this ingrained inability to deal with my emotions and to plaster my wound with food. The thought lands in my head and I let it settle there while my body tells me I am feeling something. Sometimes I know the reason. Anxious about finishing a report, waiting for an e-mail about the brand. The stress gets me agitate and preoccupied with food food food. Before the thought is printed on my brain and I have no escape but to give in. I have the choice to let it overcome me or not. These windows of opportunity are rare but they are there. The past two weeks at least they have been there. The binges are spaced out , the overeating too. My life then does note become all about food. It is just an accessory, one I cannot live without but one that does not harm me. I want more days like that. Days when I struggle but I somehow come through. Little victories at a time.

 

Last night and this morning was the first time in week that I was able to keep food without eating it all. I took the risk last night, feeling some courage. I tested myself. A loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter. Both triggers. Both drugs. Both harmful to my mind and body. At least for now. I managed not to eat it all in one go. To have some at night and some in the morning. If I was to talk about this to my so-called friends. I wonder what they would say or think. My gosh, she finds it challenging to keep an un-eaten loaf of bread in her apartment? Well yes that is it for now.

 

Back to the bread challenge. Instead I lived in my flat. Watching series, going to bed at a sensible time, working on my designs and looking for jobs. There was no obsession over the damn bread and peanut butter.

 

This morning after therapy, I felt uplifted. But only for a moment until, I had an urge to run downstairs to the shops and get a fix. What did I do? Jumped in my bed to get in touch with myself and determine what triggered the void. It was simple. I just wanted to sleep in because I had not slept all night instead when I got up I started designing. Something I did not want to do at that very moment. Funny how little even little decisions pulls me to food. I never knew that I had that habit. My judgments had been clouded by doing things to please others or to be accepted. So instead I sneaked back into bed and slept a little longer.

 

Now I am back from shopping for the brand and going to the gym. My trainer weighed me today. To his surprise the weight went up again. I did not expect it to go up that much. Now I am worried. But I knew why it did. I sometimes wish I could tell him. Hey by the way I binge but just because I do I do not want to give up training. I know exercising is good for me that is why I keep going. I want to change my goal though. No weight loss just keeping fit. Why no weight loss? I am not giving up on myself I just don’t think it is the right time. It would may be even work to my detriment because the cycle goes: restriction = could potentially trigger a binge later.

Tough reality. One day at a time.