Today is the day that I have to remind myself “I can accept help from other people”.
Well of course I can, the problem is knowing WHEN I should ask for help and getting to it before it’s too late. Too many times I have found that I intend on good and somehow bad comes out of it. I THINK that I’m doing the right thing and then bam, wrong. I’m not going to fuss about and pretend to be perfect, and I’m certainly not going to pretend that I have a whole entourage of people around me at all times. Maybe I am a yuppie, maybe that’s why I don’t have any friends. My sister might be right, I’m an unlikable person.
So, fine. I’m unlikable, but that doesn’t mean that nobody cares about me. I think in some cases it might be a love hate relationship. You can love to hate me, or hate to love me, either way I’m here. You’re reading this. I love you all that DO read this. I’m supposed to reach out to those in my life that I feel can be supportive and a good influence. I’m not sure where to start. I’m also supposed to start the day off with a pep talk, such as I would give to somebody else in my position…so here it goes:
“Listen, you’ve allowed your life to be ruled by the compulsion of eating and not eating for too long. There is a vibrant world out there that doesn’t revolve around chewing and swallowing things. Leave your eating disorder behind for a little while and focus on what’s really important – happiness. Don’t worry about what the world thinks of you, worry about what you think about the world. Here’s a hint, the world is a beautiful place to those that have a beautiful outlook on life.”
Sappy, yes. Effective, yes. Then I kind of imagine myself giving a high five.
Morning journal entry has to be about somebody that has overcome an obstacle – somebody – anybody – and write about it.
Ironically enough, my subject isn’t a real person – it’s not somebody that I can talk to on the phone, it’s a character in a book. I’ve been reading The Idiot, and Prince Muishkin is really a pillar of overcoming adversity and challenges. I understand that this is in fact a fiction book, but at the same time isn’t everything fiction depending on how you look at it. Our young prince was sent off to a sanitarium at a very young age to help him with his “idiocy”, which was really just the fact that he was a simple person. For all the people that judged him about it, he knew that he was a pure soul on the inside and even though people would call him stupid to his face, he had conviction in who he was and what he represented. He was a pillar of strength.
Not only was Muishkin a strong soul, he also knew what the world was about and what he wanted out of life. He wanted love, he wanted to have acceptance, but he also wanted to be able to love. Love endlessly, inside and out. To Muishkin he knew that there was good in everybody, no matter what other people would inform him of. He was constantly bombarded with negativity and gossip such as “did you hear this, did you know that…” A lesser person would be consumed with the negativity, but not him. He kept true to himself. He even kept true to himself in the face of humiliation and having his heart broken time and time again. He promised to love, endlessly with no stipulations, and all he really wanted was to be loved back.
I’m not going to spoil the book, but reading it even up until the very last sentence made me realize that it is possible to love endlessly, but first you have to honor yourself and know what your own emotions are. It’s far too easy to give up and go with what everybody else is thinking or telling you, but being able to take a stance on something and stand firm to it is remarkable. Prince Muishkin is my person that overcame an obstacle. From being an epileptic idiot to being a loving, caring person, he never gave up on himself or more importantly what he believed in.
More Homework – Let me just say, this day has seemed like it has been chock full of homework, mostly good – but at the same time I feel like the struggle today was harder than others. Lots of positives came out of it thought – instead of running into a binge directly after work like I reallywanted to – I was able to use one of the techniques from the book to keep me busy while reassessing what’s really important in life.
Here’s the kicker – it was to go to a nursery to buy a plant and plant it. Ironic huh, seeing as how I just got done spending something like ten hours straight at a nursery what I was supposed to do to releive my mental anguish was to go to ANOTHER nursery and get a plant? Fine, I did it, I went to Home Depot – and it was an iteresting experience to say the least.
I had to reflect a moment, not only do I write for a magazine that is so strongly against “big box stores” that most of my articles talk poorly about them – I was there looking at plants that I talk about most of the day with my customers at works speaking of the evils of them. I talk about how they’re inhumanely grown with too much nitrogen and not enough micronutrients. I talk about how badly they’re taken care of while at the big box store, I even talk about how much it hurts us as small business when people spend their money at mega-nurseries.
And there I was, looking at their plants as if I had no clue all of this existed, as if I had never heard of the evils of buying a plant from a big box store. I looked at each and every plant, almost as if I had pity for them. I actually FELT BAD for those plants, not because they were there, but because I talked badly about them so much. I understand plants don’t have feelings, but at the same time, I have no business knocking somebody else because they’re sucessful in business. I shouldn’t critisize the megagrowers for growing butt loads of plant material. If there is demand, there has to be a supply. If there is somebody out that that can fill that supply and put food on their families table while doing so, who am I to judge.
I felt horrible, but at the same time I didn’t really see anything that looked super awesome.There were a few things I don’t suppose would kill me to have in myyard,but at the same time everything seemed so generic,so plain, so typical.I realized at that very moment that’s what I’m striving to be with this eating disorder, I’m trying to be tupical. I’m trying to be like all those normal old plants at Home Depot. I don’t want to be a rare exotic cultivar, I just want to be like the rest.
Or do I? With a bit of agitation, exhaustion and a little bit of fear, I decided to get the most off the wall plant that I could find. Not only was it not a stereotypical “oo I’m going to get this because it’s a pretty flower” kind of purchase either. I bought a brown turkey fig tree – ugly as hell – but I like the fruit. The most important thing from this is that I’ve always wanted one, but have always talked myself out of it because it doesn’t really go with my landscape design. Screw that landscape design – I want figs damn it.
To add insult to my healing injury, I got locked out of my car AFTER loading it with the Fig tree. I sat there helpless, without a phone, without a purse, without anything to my name. I had to ask for help – and then it was like a slap in the face,I realized I really am NOT alone. I could reach out to a total stranger for help calling for more help when it was something like locking my keys in my car – certainly not a life or death situation. What about something more serious, why can’t I seem to ask for help then. I might have to start equivocating having an eating disordered moment to locking my keys in the car. I know there is a problem, and there is an easy solution – I just have to follow through with it.
I’m supposed to take the time and make a list of five or ten rules/myths that I’d like to change, and well, it’s tough for me. I have set myself into so many ruts that I’m not sure where to begin or even if it’s possible.
1) I am worth more to the world that what I am on the outside. (I have too long felt like my self worth is directly dependent on what people see me as and if I’m attractive or not.I’m not, end of story, so that makes my self worth plummet. I’d like for my self worth to be the good that is inside of me, not what happens on the outside.)
2) Having a sexy body makes you a happier person. (I don’t have an ounce of sexy attitude about me. At best I’m aloof and just goofy, which is just fine with me. The part that bothers me the most about our culture is that everything seems to be so sex driven, those of us that don’t have it just kind of seem like we’re weird or broken or something).
3) Wealth is the key to security. (I have no wealth as far as money is concerned, and more importantly that doesn’t drive me towards happiness. Although there are certain things in my life that make me happy that do involve having money, there are more things in the world that DON’T cost a lot of money that make me even happier. Walking through the neighborhood, watching free tv, holding hands,those things make me happier than new clothes and fancy dinners ever will)
See – I told you this was difficult. I guess I can go into trivial details like “I should be a blonde because they have more fun” or “Can you pinch an inch”, but those are so over done. I just think at the end of the day there should only be one rule and that’sto be true to yourself and what makes you happy (as long as it doesn’t cause harm to others).
Homework part three?
I’m supposed to envision my very own support group and think of who I would have in it and how it would be ran. Although I have been to a few eating disorder support groups, I didn’t find them very helpful – primarily because I felt like we fed off of each others eating disordered energy. We were there for the same purpose, but there was a competitive part of me that wanted to be a little bit sicker than the rest. Sick, now that I look back at it. this is the sort of mentality that I would not allow in my group.
I wouldnt really make it into a support group in a hold hands and sing songs kind of atmosphere, I’d make it more of a creative outlet for peoples emotions, no matter what they’re working through. i have found in opening up with my disorder to all sorts of people that we’re all working through some very different things, but we all need the same thing – love.
Some of us are fighting our own battles, some of us and hanging around trying to help others through their own battles. We help the ones we love, of course, but at the same time we could easily be helping ourselves. My “group” would include not only the person suffering but the ones around them that want to be a part of the sufferers life – but outside of the ailment.
When entering the group, there will be a basket next to the door in which the person will write down what they want to leave behind during the “session” and the next hour and a half will be nothing but enjoyment of life – be it through music, painting, healthy body movement, just about anything. This will be something that will vary, so that everybody can experience new things. This will also be followed up, after the activity, with some sort of exit survey. What about the new experience was good, and what little morsel of happiness can be taken away from it.
That new experience can be reflected every single morning when you look into the mirror. Instead of having to be at a physical location for support, you should be able to reach deep inside and pull out your own self love and support. Corney, I know. Hey, that’s what I see in my world.
Homework Part Four
I’m supposed to reach out to somebody that I haven’t told ALLLLL about my situation. I’m having a tough time, and although I know there are people out there that wouldn’t mind sitting down and shooting the breeze about it, I really don’t feel qualified to talk about it until I really understand it. I know where it started, I know where it is now, and I’d love nothing more than to let it end rightnow.
I have a fear though, when the eating disorder is gone, will there be anything interesting left of me? Will people forget about me if I’m not forever wailling about “suffering”? Am I just using this as a cry for attention or help?