In my ongoing efforts today to procrastinate doing anything of value…like say house cleaning, laundry or actual writing on things I’m supposed to be writing, I decided I should blog. It’s been a while, after all, and I’m sure that there must be something that needs my words.
As flippant as that sounds, my subject matter is not.
I want to talk a little bit about me. I know, shocking right? I’m not really as self-centered as that may come away sounding, but in my experience, the only point of reference I have for my experience is me…and while I can observe others and talk about my observations, it’s still, in the end, coming from me, from my experience.
Most of the people who know me would say I’m an outgoing, happy person with lots of friends and a good outlook on life. Most of the time, that’s a fairly accurate description of me. I’m mostly happy with my life, with the choices I’ve made, with where I am and how I got here.
I mean, yes, I have some health issues. I have chronic pain and diabetes. I am overweight. Most of the time these things are okay. They’re a part of me, and I like me. Mostly.
I have days where the pain is worse than other days, and I’m cranky. I have days where the agoraphobia gets the better of me and I can not bring myself to see/hear/talk to other people. I have days where I feel gross and disgusted with myself.
Now, I’ve always had some mental…issues. Self-sabotage that lurks in my head and whispers nasty thoughts to me. There was a time when those whispers were actually my internal dialog…when I believed the things I told myself. It took a lot of years and a lot of changing to push that voice back, back, back into a dark corner of my brain, and build up the fence that mostly keeps it contained.
Sometimes though? Sometimes it escapes. Sometimes it ambushes me and it’s like I’ve been thrown back in time, back into that darkness, and it sits on me there, holds me down…and I’m paralyzed. I can’t breathe or think, I can’t escape. It pummels me with those thoughts and it’s all I can do not to believe it.
I had one of those days this week. Actually, it was more than a day. It was a few days in coming, one really bad day, and today, two days later, it’s mostly gone. Mostly.
The insidious whispers still linger in the corners, and the dark is still spilling from the closet where it belongs. A small part of me holds on to the idea that I’m not worthy of love, of affection…because I’m ugly, I’m fat, I’m wrong, I’m evil…selfish, self-centered, prideful…any number of other things.
Of course, I have friends and family that I know love me. I am not the sort of woman that needs constant reminders of that love. In fact, I find that someone who feels the need to constantly tell me “I love you” with their mouth generally never really says it with their actions…and as much as I love words, when it comes to love, actions are so much more expressive.
I grew up believing that the “dark” emotions belonged hidden. You do your crying in private, in your room with the door closed. You don’t answer honestly when someone asks how you are. Hurt, anger, depression, sadness, grief…these are all private things. For many, many years I lived that way. I kept the dark to myself…I held it inside. I didn’t tell anyone about it…and it swallowed me.
One of the methods I developed of coping was eating. I’m not just talking about emotional eating. I’m talking about binging. I’m talking about checking out of your conscious mind and eating your way through the refrigerator…about cooking an entire meal at midnight and wolfing it down in under fifteen minutes…about going to the store simply to buy junk to stuff my face with until my body can not physically contain more.
Needless to say, that does nothing to aid me in that whole body image situation at all.
It’s my method of self-mutilation. Like cutting, but without the blood.
I got through Friday without binging. It was a fight. It involved dulling my senses with TV, pouring out my built up darkness in my journal, and creating things (in this case crochet stuff). I even ate sensibly, something that’s not always possible in the dark where the likely scenarios are binging and starving.
Today I’ve been okay, mostly. I started some laundry, I worked on my poetry blog. I poked at things on the internet. I’m alone, in my own space where it’s quiet and I’m good. There is more light than dark, there is more love than pain.
I hope the same is true for you too.