I don’t understand myself.

I find it bizarre how I tell myself I should be someone else. You can fault other people but you can’t change them. But surely the one person you can change is yourself? The one person you can rely on is yourself? The one person you should be able to depend on always being there for you is… yourself. Then why has my biggest enemy been myself for four years? Why do I not understand myself? Why am I so keen to change myself whilst acting on so little to go and do it?

Ok so there is a lot in my life I am proud of and I don’t necessarily feel big headed for doing so. But I guess I am learning I will never be good enough. Never. And somehow I need to draw the line and accept that. I tell myself I will improve on this and that, tomorrow will be different, I shouldn’t be this person anymore. I have so much going for me that why do I search for something missing all the time?

All of this is realistically what made me ill. I wanted to lose weight but no amount of weight was enough, until it spiraled out of control and nearly killed me to let it go without every truly feeling that I had succeeded. It seemed like an achievement to be made that I could show the world, but it was never great enough. And after months of starving myself I couldn’t turn around and let it go, which is how I wound myself into bulimia as opposed to anorexia. It’s like letting go of something you have tried to complete for so long but finally realising you cannot, without dying. But how do you carry on without it after pinning your hopes against it? Like looking for something for two years then accepting that after all this time you should give up. But how do you carry on without ever knowing what or where it is? It is like spending years of your life writing a novel then it burns in a fire, and all you can do is search the ashes for remains. So much time, gone, wasted, for what?

 Letting go of ambition is a difficult thing, and maybe the prospect of osteoporosis, infertility, and potential death is the only way to flick the switch of an ED.

But now I am still left here. Something still missing where Ed once was (or, still is, but less and less). I am still waiting to achieve that something. I have accepted I don’t want to be skinny anymore, that’s not the figure I desire. But I want to be happy with my body. That’s what I wanted when Ed started out as an innocent diet and despite the roller coaster ride I still haven’t got it. I am right back where I started, physically. Yet, as my eating habits normalise more and more, as I eat healthier and healthier and I am less obsessive and quit the calorie counting, this one concern with my body will not budge.

How do I get the body I desire? I am physically doing everything right but how do I change my mentality? It’s like the body of Ed is gone but his soul still remains and I don’t know how on earth to destroy that. It has scarred my mind, cursed my thoughts, tempted my mentality to lean towards wrong-doing. How do I balance the scales that are tipping so far? How do I thaw the ice that has frozen my brain into this pattern or self-disgust? I am eating so well. I am exercising a healthy amount (or so I believe). But this one thing, of being happy with my body? When will it go? Maybe it is all that my depiction of healthy is still not right. I don’t know. And that is the problem with mental illness – it distorts your beliefs so how do I know where I stand or when I am better or what I should want?

I know a lot of women are uncomfortable in their bodies thanks to the well acknowledged pressure to be perfect due to societal expectations. But at what point is this normal? And should it be normal? And why is it virtually accepted that girls go around feeling inadequate? Why am I telling myself all women do?!

Ok so I am striving to discuss a much broader political point, which I will come back to one day. But this post is here to get me back on track because I have been wavering.

Time management seems to play a big role in my moods regarding my Ed. If I mess up time, I want to binge. If I am successful I don’t want to. It is funny how many domains of the life Ed effects. He makes you question yourself, your plans, your steps. You get so confused with food that this muddling mingles into every aspect of your life. What should be planned and what shouldn’t? where is the balance? Because learning to accept when you fail is when the balance is really tested. Learning from mistakes.

Sorry if this post has made you feel like you have just wasted 5 minutes of your life but I needed to clarify a few things and sometimes literally reeling out thoughts onto you is the best thing for me. If you’ve read this, you’ve helped me in clarification, so thank you.

Until next time

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1 Response to I don’t understand myself.

  1. robertlfs says:

    At the ripe old age of 61, I have come to truly believe that recovery is a process and not an event. Interestingly, just now I am reading a book called the Spirituality of Imperfection. So on page 2 of this book is the line:

    “Rabbi Zusya said, “In the coming world, they will not ask me: “Why were you not Moses?” They will ask me: “Why were you not Zusya?”

    I think this gets to the heart of your comment about your true self. Our true selves are not perfect. As the Muslims say “Only Allah is perfect” hence in Persian carpets the creator intentionally includes an error.

    I know that as much as I loathe my tendency to procrastinate, be self-righteous, etc. etc. and as much as I want to swear off of those behaviors, they will crop up and be present, but I also believe in a less manifest way than in the past. That is accepting the totality of who I am, including the Jungian shadow side of self.

    I like that there is always room for greater self-discovery and awareness. With my own compulsive overeating, I see how it is so much more difficult from my recovery from alcohol or tobacco. In the latter, I simply don’t put the substances in my body, and I can say that I am sober or nicotine free. Not so with food. But the reality is that I think because the food issue is so much harder – I have to eat – the recovery can be so much more in quality. I truly have to live into recovery to be abstinent from my compulsive overeating. In this way, I see recovery very much as a process and not an event.

    Best wishes to you.

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