Body Dysmorphia Realness and Other Fun Discoveries

I have not yet posted anything on this blog while I’m right in the thick of an emotional sh*t show. I like to write when I am of sound, level-headed mind, mostly because I like to be a force of positivity. There is way too much negative BS in my life, that I try to make sure that whatever I am sharing is useful, and a version of my best self.

Well, if I practice what I preach (that you need to love the parts of yourself that aren’t always perfect, and that your Sad Dragon is a beautiful part of who you are) then I should also be okay with being vulnerable and honest. And right now, I’m having a terrible time in my head, and have been all damn day. I’m FURIOUS about it too, because I just had an incredible weekend away spending time with great people and seeing San Francisco/ Oakland for the first time as an adult. It was fantastic.

 

But instead of basking in the glory that was the last three work-free days, I am lying awake in bed, OBSESSING over the fact that I don’t feel happy in my body right now. And I mean, OBSESSING.

The thoughts in my head are so ugly. I’m telling myself that I am fat, bloated, useless, overweight, and that my training for my half marathon is a waste of time because my jeans are feeling tighter. I ran three times this week, and worked a TON, but for some reason I am feeling all kinds of chubby. Also, I don’t know how to ask for what I want or need. I have learned in the last year that my body requires a certain type of eating to feel good, but I’m too embarrassed to say anything because I don’t like to be a burden. I was starving half of the time on this trip, not because I wasn’t eating enough calories, but because I wasn’t eating the nutrients that I know make me feel good, and keep my emotions on a steady level.

I’ve learned that I have a really negative reaction to certain types of meals, and styles of eating on a very deep, emotional level. But I neglected that part of myself for a week, because I was trying to “eat less for vacation” and by the time I was on vacation, I was starving. I ran twice, walked all over the Bay Area, didn’t eat enough, feel incredibly deprived, but still feel like I gained ten pounds in a few days.

 

And now, here I am, late at night, HATING myself.

I have a really serious problem with knowing when to try and get what I want and need. I have zero ability to say that I need or want something, because I am too afraid of sounding like a selfish bitch. I don’t even recognize it’s happening when it’s happening, because I always defer to whatever the other party wants. ALWAYS. ITS INGRAINED IN MY DAMN SKULL.

Not only that, but I feel like an idiot/privileged/white girl because I’m not comfortable saying “I’m sorry, I need to eat six mini meals a day of approximately 85% paleo foods or I will get cranky and bloated and have an emotional break down by the end of the week.” It is not exactly something I want to have to bring up at any social gathering while everyone is throwing down beer.

But this has become my reality.

 

Furthermore, I am dealing with a REALLY AWFUL part of my brain that absolutely DETESTS watching thin, beautiful women, enjoying cheeses, baguettes, and cocktails WORRY FREE. Why the hell was I dealt a hand that does not allow me to enjoy things like bread, beer, and pancakes without being absolutely terrified of the repercussions? I RUN EVERY MORNING, WHY CANT I JUST ENJOY MYSELF???

Its NOT. FUCKING. FAIR.

I HATE THIS ABOUT MYSELF. I hate that I go to these ugly places in my mind. I hate that I can’t ask for what I need. I’m working on it right now in therapy, but it’s a journey. I don’t know how to stop being a people pleaser, and thus, I don’t know how to just be myself. 

And I’m so damn tired. I’m exhausted. I run myself ragged and try to keep up with taking care of myself, and yet I still fall short, because I’m too afraid to explain that I can’t eat fast food or bread? HOW ARE THESE EVEN REAL PROBLEMS??? 

 

Just wanted to share because getting it out there helps me feel better, and also just wanted to communicate that I don’t have it all together. I’m a work in progress, just like everyone else.

 

I’m trying to be graceful with myself… recognizing that it’s all a process, and that I’ve made great strides. But right now, I just want to sit and cry. I just want to be sad and frustrated that I can’t relax, when other people seem to be so good at it. I hate that I spend so much energy on stupid bullshit like this. There is so much I could be worrying about and caring about that is significantly more important.

 

… But maybe that’s the problem.

I self-neglect.

Because I’m afraid of seeming selfish.

I’m am terrified of upsetting other people by putting my needs before theirs.

I am more comfortable being totally alone, than have to admit to someone else that I need something.

 

 

And if we take it a step further, and you really look at it on a deep level…

I have a hard time being loved because I don’t want to burden anyone.

 

This is my problem.

It manifests in body issues, anxiety, unexplained crying, volcanic eruptions of frustration, overbooking myself, terror dreams, and a paralyzing fear that coincides with asking for anything I need.

So that’s my Sad Dragon. There you go, internet.

 

 

 

 

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Self-Deprecation: A Big Waste of Everyone’s Time

Something has been on my mind lately.

I know a lot of people that spend a significant amount of time self-deprecating.

“I’m just not that smart.”

“I wish my hair looked like yours.”

“That’s what I get for being short and fat.”

“I’ll never look good no matter how much I diet.”

“I mean, I’m obviously the least intelligent person in this room.”

“Could I be any more useless?”

“What good will it do if I try to communicate my feelings?”

“I’m not worth anyone’s time.”

(S/he says as s/he tries to backtrack the severity of this blanket, self-hate statement with a nervous laugh.)

My Response?

Shut. The hell. Up.

 

I refuse to any longer be the type of friend or family member that pats you on the head and tells you how pretty and perfect you are, despite how horribly you speak about yourself.

Do you know why?

Because I love you.

Because I believe we are so much better than just fishing for compliments.

I believe that there are FAR MORE INTERESTING things to talk about rather than our inability to lose ten pounds.

I believe that we are lovely, capable human beings who (just like every other human on this planet) may go through some awful times, but are courageous enough to put on their big girl pants and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

I believe that we spend so much time worrying and whining about what we aren’t,  that we don’t even get to scratch the surface of everything that we could be.

 

I am SO TIRED of this conversation. I’m tired of hearing it, and I’m tired of it being in my own head.  And you know what? Here’s the thing…

THE VOICES ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE THERE.

There’s no magical little “off” switch that will suddenly make us feel perfectly confident and content. There will always be a time when we will feel like we aren’t enough. We will fall short. We will be forced to look at ourselves. We will fail.

So, we can choose to dwell on our failings, shamefully staring at our shortcomings OR we can use our failure as fuel.

Let your failure be your motivator.

So, maybe you’re saying “Jessica, the voices are so loud. I always hear them, causing so much anxiety and depression for me. They stunt me and make me feel terrible about myself. They make me want to quit my job and hide in a corner forever.”

I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve been there more often than I would like to admit. But I made the decision that I don’t want to be crying in a corner forever. I want to be useful to my community. I want to know what it’s like to feel like Superwoman. I want to know how to reach my full potential. I chose TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

For me, it’s running, writing, eating well, going to bed early, loving people as hard as I can, and laughing at myself.

Example: I used to hate the fact that I’m tall. Sometimes it is still a source of insecurity, but when it starts to bother me, I make a joke and say “Watch out, here comes the big gorilla” in a stupid voice  we all laugh about it.

The voices can’t control me if I am always aware that I control them.  

But that’s me. That’s my therapy.

For another person, it might be a different story. Maybe it’s taking up an interest like cooking, spending more time with kids, meditating, doing something useful in the community…(I’m a big believer in doing something charitable if you want to stop feeling like a Big Sad Screw-Up. It’s kind of impossible to feel like one when you’re focusing on giving.)

 

But, please. For everyone’s sake.

Find a way to get over it.

Find a way to start embracing the failure, and staring it dead in the face. If it’s something that’s really causing big problems to your health or your relationships, make a change.

Try something new and open your mind to different possibilities.

Ask yourself what you could be if you let go of the bull crap that clouds your head, and go become it.

It’s that simple.

You are in charge of the life that you live.

Whine a little if you have to, but find a way to get over it.

You deserve it.