I haven’t written in a while. Well, I’ve tried. I’ve written or started a number of posts actually, but each one ended up in the trash or put on hold. I’ve been all over the place. My thoughts, my feelings… I haven’t been able to grasp what I am feeling or thinking or what I want to do at any given time. Each time I wrote I felt like I was not being authentic. Like I was lying. I couldn’t grasp why it was I started this blog in the first place; I couldn’t figure out what or how I wanted to share. I began to feel like I was presenting someone that wasn’t me – someone I wished I was. I’ve learned many things, but one of the most important I think is that lying makes you feel even worse than any truth. You cannot run from who you are. It will only make your crumble.
I’ve been having a difficult week. Something happened with someone very close to me that left me extremely triggered. The situation made me feel deeply embarrassed. And guilty.
Embarrassment and guilt. The two emotions that I feel the deepest. The two emotions I have been running from nearly my entire life. The two feelings I still can’t bare.
It was like an immediate iron shell came and enclosed every inch of my body. I instantly became numb. The bully voice came in full force. The voice that tells me I am an embarrassment… that every. single. thing I do is an embarrassment. How I look. What I say. What I don’t say. How I act. What I do. I used to think it was only the obsessive exercise that numbed me out. I’ve now learned that simply having this voice in my head does it just as well, if not far better. What we tell ourselves is unbelievably powerful.
Just like that, the past feelings of motivation and gratitude weren’t even in the realm of thought.
This numbness still holds its spell over me. I haven’t really been talking, or writing (including here). I’ve felt the pull to distance myself from loved ones. I haven’t been able to discern which voice was talking – my own voice, or that bully voice. Is this what I truly want?? Or is this what you want me to do!?
Where did I go?
I listened to the voice and went running to my coping mechanisms to give me, maybe, the slightest bit of comfort… or satisfaction… or punishment? I’m never sure which it is.
I stepped away from recovery.
Here’s the thing.
I know what makes the voice go away. Writing. Talking to those close to me. Choosing to spend time with others. To get coffee with a friend, rather than isolating. Choosing to write in my journal rather than scroll mindlessly through the internet. Choosing to write or read in a cafe, to immerse myself in my studies, rather than going to the gym.
I know what my compulsions do for me and why I go running to them at any threat of discomfort. I know all these things numb me out. Working out. Isolating. Not talking to anyone. They make those deeply internal feelings of shame and guilt and embarrassment just kind of turn to ice.
And yet I consciously chose to go to them.
Mindfulness is great.. self awareness is wonderful… but this also mean being aware of why you give in to your compulsions and knowing that you are still choosing to do so.
“Life is a choice.” “Recovery is a choice.”
Yes. I know this. But what happens when you simply do not choose it? What happens when you consciously choose to give in to your compulsions?
I could have sat with my feelings. I could have let myself feel them. I could have chosen to force myself into the discomfort of resting, getting coffee with a friend, talking to someone. This was my chance. My chance to see that the feelings do pass and that, yes, talking does make it all feel better. But I didn’t. I said a big ol’ “f*ck it” to life…deciding that it was all too much to handle… and went straight to my “drugs”. Full steam ahead and no looking back.
“FEEL IT. THE THING THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO FEEL. FEEL IT.
AND BE FREE.”
– Nayyirah Waheed
So.. here I am. It would be nice if I could always share something happy and inspiring, but I believe that simply showing up, in all of our mess…in all of our raw truth… is just as, if not more, important.
What’s done is done. I longed for protection, and I knew where to find it.
I need a reset. I need to find a way to get my feet back under me. So I can feel myself again. My true self. I want to find that inner compassion and self awareness that I worked so hard to finally feel.
So this is my first step. This is me karate chopping – ever so uncomfortably and hesitantly – through that wall that I feel pressing against me telling me NOT to say anything, NOT to share how I am feeling, NOT to talk or reach out and just continue hiding myself in my own, isolated safety bubble. I would want you to do this…to share, to show up in all your mess and confusion… and yet for some reason I believe that I should not. I’m working on this…
I’m not sure how or when I’ll get back there. But I will. With every step back comes a few steps forward.
To all my warriors out there (aka all of you)… if you’ve taken a step back…or are merely feeling out of control with some emotions taking you over… know that you are human, like all the rest of us. Know that beauty grows from mess. There is always a new day to try again. To start a new. To find yourself, once again.
In the meantime, here is a little golden nugget of inspiration. This woman is strong beyond words. I go to her when I need some reminding.
Oh. And as a little PS – I’d just like to take this moment to say that… yes, I am in recovery from an Eating Disorder… but I do not wish to limit this blog to ED recovery. As I hope we all know, EDS are not about the food, and rather, are based on the same fears and emotional inabilities that underly any type of addiction or disorder or struggle. “A good girls heroine,” as someone once said. My hope is that this blog may be an exploration of things that seemingly have little to do with eating disorders directly, but rather, have everything to do with our lives as humans, honoring and working to understand the self and our place in the world.
Thanks for listening. I really appreciate it.