I woke up feeling disconnected. I am watching myself in a movie. Nothing feels real or concrete. I’m going to give myself grace for that.

Today I’ll practice grace, when I judge myself for not working out enough, for eating too little or too much, for noticing cellulite in my swimsuit as I play with my kids.

I’ll practice grace when the thoughts enter that say: you’re not good enough, thin enough, athletic enough, strong enough. You’re too much. You take up too much space. When the thoughts invade with the strength of an army firing off; you’re fat and worthless and unintelligent. You’re failing. You have no purpose. Die. I will try to let them go. And when they linger and begin to weigh on me, I will reach out.

I will practice grace when I tell myself I can’t reach out because I don’t want to add to anyone else’s problems. Little-me was never a burden. I am still little-me.

Today is a day 1 of practicing grace, again. I wrote the following in 2013 and I am exactly here, again. It’s maddening, to repeat over and over. But even though I feel the things I wrote in this journal entry 7 years ago, I am a different person. I am not who I was then, I have learned so many new things and realize that repeating lessons isn’t a bad thing. It’s a strength thing. I am willing to go through it again to learn something new and become stronger for future-me.

September 10, 2013

The crushing realization that you are not doing any of this out of loneliness. You have this great epiphany because you are enjoying all of this independence. You are finding yourself wanting to be alone. You want to be alone with your thoughts. You want to write them. Being alone is not a problem.

You are afraid of life.

You are afraid of breathing.

You are afraid of what you might become.

Small things become apparent: You are having a difficult time maintaining your current friendships here because they weren’t founded with honesty. You created this persona of perfection that doesn’t even actually exist in any part of your being. You have never cared enough about politics to hold a conversation with someone that makes you excited. You stop listening halfway through the first sentence and wind up agreeing with whoever is talking about whatever they are talking about because you are not interested. You pretended to, to make your dad proud and to survive in DC. You don’t even associate yourself with the party you are registered to vote under.

You love dancing and singing and music and art. And always say you’re horrible (perhaps, you are) at all of those things and dismiss them from your activities because you are afraid of being judged for being horrible at all of them.

You hate talking about diets and public body-shaming. But your friends make statements all the time (doesn’t everyone) about hating certain body parts and wanting to lose 5 pounds and needing to stop drinking beer. You join in because that’s what everyone does. But you want to say: who the fuck cares? Enjoy your life and eat the burger and the bun. And then one day you say that out loud and everyone looks at you like, really? You are totally guilty of saying those things so many times before, but no one will accept this change. Everyone wants you to keep hating your body and not enjoy the bun because everyone is on varying levels of body-shaming.

One of your friends, while her inhibitions were lowered, said; “She has changed.” And it’s true. This was after the simple act of viewing your phone wallpaper, which says: Do Epic Shit. That’s very ghetto of you, says one of your friends.You fell in love with a mug in a tea shop while out with a group of girls. I would not have chosen that for you, another friend exclaims.Yet another friend jokingly asks if you are anorexic after you try to share that running is akin to religion for you, in the sense that you feel like you have to do it over and over and at great lengths or something doesn’t feel right.

They don’t get it. You wish they did.

You are indeed, very, very alone. But that’s not why you threw up last night.

You threw up because you are petrified that no one will like this person that you are trying to be. The real you. You threw up because you are stressed about life. About your job, your lack of control over almost everything in your life. Your inability to shut off your paralyzing thoughts. Your inability to cope with these things properly. You threw up so you could say: see, I’m still too fucked up to make any positive changes. But that is significantly untrue. You talked to someone. You can change. You can change. You can change. You can accept everything that is happening and still be kind to yourself.

There might be more Day 1’s. There will probably be more day 1’s. Because this is a frightening process to not feel accepted as you truly are, and you’re probably going to keep feeling out of control. But now you know you have the capability of taking steps forward even when it feels like your black-and-white world has turned completely black.

2 thoughts on “Anchoring What is Real

  1. Wow, did you write this from my thoughts? My life? Sigh…
    The one thing that gripped my heart the most was the sense of being alone. That’s how I feel when I think of all my diagnoses, especially anorexia. I keep chronic illness out of conversation because it’s exhausting to people and since there’s nothing they can do, they feel useless; I keep anorexia out because it’s just too foreign and their incomprehension makes them feel… I don’t know… and that’s just it.
    People like to know how they feel. Chronic illness is easy because they can ignore it or walk away for good without any guilt since it’s, well, chronic. Whereas anorexia… it makes them think about eating, their own eating, my judgement of their eating, how much they weigh, my judgement of their size, that I might drop dead in front of them. Being friends with a person with an eating disorder forces them into a level of reality most people avoid.
    I have no problems eating in front of people, maybe because I’ve been doing this for so long, or maybe it’s because my craving for human contact overrides everything else. But because of that, it allows my friends to forget about it, or even, in their mind, think I’m recovered. It’s allowed me to have a couple friends again. And it’s fine. I think it’s one reason I came back to WP. I can read posts such as yours and know that no, I’m not alone, someone gets it, someone understands right down to their core. I’m so grateful you took the risk and wrote this. Keep on writing. You are heard. I hear you. And your words mean more than you know.

    Liked by 1 person

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