The intellectual part of me is constantly trying to figure out exactly why I am the way I am. Plenty of literature says the “why” isn’t necessarily important–that is, going back in to the past to figure out why you’re fucked up.

But all the experts in the world can’t stop my mind from going there. Sometimes I (disgustingly) wish something very traumatic did happen to me in my past, so that I would have a valid excuse. And yes, I am well aware that is the ultimate  fucked up thing to wish. (I am grateful for my privileged, sheltered, safe childhood.)

All to say, what I have come up with in the past few months is that I have single-handedly done all of this to myself.

For example, I somehow taught myself that even being successful at something is not necessarily a complete success. In 4th grade, I auditioned for a singing part in the school play. I had already been to drama camp, and been selected for solos/duets at camp and in the community play. I absolutely loved acting and singing. I did not have a single reason to doubt that I would not get a part, but when my name was called, I suddenly became overwhelmed with feelings of self doubt, and said I no longer wanted to audition. The music teacher was stunned, and asked me to come up several times, in between others’ auditions. Finally, I agreed only if I could audition with someone else, and that is what ended up happening. In the end, I got a duet in the musical. I remember worrying that I only got a part because my mom was a teacher at the school. How is it possible that at 11 years old, I decided there is no way I got that part on my own, despite most evidence supporting that I should have gotten a part?

I never auditioned for anything after that musical concluded. Around the same time, I also decided I was not good at art, even though I tested into the gifted art education program. I quit gymnastics, which I had been doing, and loved, since I was 3. I quit diving. I stripped myself of practically every hobby and interest I had at eleven years old. I lost all of my confidence. I wasn’t the best at any of those things, so why should I even do them anymore?

Why? Why did I think that?

All of this evidence makes me think that I am/was a perfectionist, but when I look back at anything I have done, none of it was perfect so it seems impossible to call myself that. I can’t be something that I never was. To me, a perfectionist is someone who tries to make everything in her life absolutely perfect. A perfectionist would never have a messy house, earn a B on a test, miss a workout, drive a dirty car, or weigh too much. My house is never clean enough, I have earned plenty of B’s on tests, missed plenty of planned workouts, consistently drive a car that needs to be washed, and seem to never get the number right on the scale.

So I rule that out.

And I am left with no explanation. And not sleeping, because this is what I am thinking about at 2am.

A few days ago, I thought I am still ok, because I haven’t started counting calories. I’ll be in trouble only if I start counting calories. 

Today I counted calories. I am still ok, because I still ate. 

Sinking.

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