Thursday, March 06, 2008

Put Down The Excuse.

In my head I have visions of me standing in front of a building. My fists are clenched tight around bags of booty, but my arms are reaching for the sky. I'm also blinking in the blinding glare of dozens of spotlights. I picture my inner High Self Esteem Guru*, crouched down behind some concealing parked cars and shouting into a bullhorn, "Put down the excuses, and nobody gets hurts."

My accomplice, Low Self Esteem Demon, coward that she is, is standing behind a nearby pillar and suggesting that we take the excuses and run.

Bag number one: I've put weight on thanks to my decreased muscle mass from the medical crap my body has gone through over the past 7 months.

Bag number two: I know it's normal to put a large amount of weight on after such a severe bout of anorexia, no matter how short that bout may have been.

Bag number three: I've been comforting myself with food recently

Bag number four: I got on the scales this morning as a way to distract myself from doing the emotional work I know I need to do, and soon.

Bag number five: I know I'll feel one hundred percent better once I work through the shit.

Bag number six is more of a sack than a bag!: Thanks to reading The Five Love Languages, I've learned stuff about myself, plus my relationships with friends and members of my family. Realising that people I love have inadvertently hurt me over the years through an inability to tell me things I need to hear, in ways I need to hear them. No doubt I've done the exact same thing to them. I know the words my elders used over the years were meant to help, comfort and encourage me in my endeavours, but emotionally those words quite often had the opposite effect.

Bag Seven: Words and promises I've used that were meant to be motivating have been nothing but detrimental to myself over the years.

Low Self Esteem Demon helpfully dashes out to give me a bag I'd dropped.

Bag eight: Visiting with both sides of our family recently, I gleefully talked about the possibility of having a child sometime in the next 18 months. Each time we've come back from the trip, the thought of having kids has scared me into days and days of binge eating. It was easy to talk about having kids there in the spotlight of familial attention, but here where we're so far away from our families makes the decisions seem ludicrous or insane at best. Not to mention my new fear of all things medical.

I stand there, alone in the spotlights, knowing logically that all of these fears and binges are a way of avoiding taking the next step in my emotional growth. Emotionally, I want to drop all of these hefty things and stick my head in the big backpack of food that I know LSED is carrying.

After a whine of feedback and through a few KRRSHCRACKLE noises from the bullhorn, High Self Esteem Guru booms out, “Put down the excuse and go do it!”

This triggers a memory.

A few years ago when we were visiting my in-laws for christmas, my brother-in-law used to say that to his wife. At first I found it offensive. But the more he said it, the more I could see his point. “Put down the excuse, and go do it.”

The excuse was their second child, two months old at the time, and funnily enough when there were things that she didn't want to do, she used dealing with the baby as an excuse not to do it. But if there were things she REALLY wanted to do, oh look, all of a sudden the baby could be adequately taken care of by any of the five other adults in the house. This is NOT casting aspersions on my sister-in-law. This behaviour is a perfectly natural avoidance behaviour that a lot of people use, both men and women.

Putting down the excuse and just doing it. It sounds so simple.

LSED pulls out a nice big bag of Ruffles and opens them with a musical crinkle. “You're not ready to deal with this shit yet. Here, have some more to eat. It'll make you feel better.

Not ready to deal with this shit yet? HAH! If I wasn't ready it wouldn't have come to my attention and be begging for release the last three days. If I wasn't ready to deal with it, how can I have been giving advice to people over the past two weeks dealing with the EXACT same issues I'm dealing with? Except in my case I'm not looking for approval or love from anyone else but myself.

It's so easy for me to tell others what they need to hear in a time of emotional crisis. It's easy for me to empathise with them. I'm very, very good at counselling others to feel more confident and raising their self esteems.

High Self Esteem Guru boomcracklehisses, “Go ahead. Turn around, face the glass and give yourself the same words of encouragement.”

Turning around, I see the awkward position I've gotten myself into. My arms ache from holding up those heavy bags. I lock eyes with my reflection and open my mouth...

LSED scampers out to wave under my nose the last remaining Hot Cross Bun that Alaskaboy made yesterday. "Ignore The Man. They only want to deprive you of your hard won stash. It's our security!"

For too long I've been waiting for someone else to tell me I'm wonderful. So what if others aren't able to tell me what I need to hear?

I chose to put myself down all those years.
I chose to disbelieve almost every compliment I ever received.
I chose to let people's words hurt me.
I chose to live here so far away from everyone else.
I chose to be a writer.
I chose to be where I am today.

I'm healthy. I'm happy. I'm alive. I love and I am loved.

I choose to value myself for my true worth.
I choose to see myself as I am, right here and right now.
I choose to wait until I'm ready to have children, however long that takes.
I choose to love myself.
I choose to be healthy.
I choose to trust myself.
I choose to continue writing.
I choose living my life how I need to live it!
I choose to live in the now and let the future take care of itself.
I choose to respect myself.

My gaze shifts from eyeballing my reflection to see the widening of LSED's pupils. She must be able to see it written all over my face. I put down the bags one at a time. I flex my hands, do circles with my shoulders and stretch my neck side to side. Then, I take the hot cross bun from LSED, and ever so gently force her to eat her own advice.

Then I turn to find High Self Esteem Guru standing beside me in silent support. Momentarily gripping hands with her in wordless thanks for the cavalry's timely arrival, I release her and stride off into the day. Knowing that she'll be behind me every step of the way.

*Wow. First appearance of a new character. About time she showed up! ;)

4 Nibbles:

Marshmallow said...

What a post! You're a freaking legend!

Kada said...


Thank you for the compliment. It means a lot coming from you.

Joc said...

Fantastic post! Its like you can see inside my head!

Kada said...

Hiya Joc! Glad to see you around. {hugs}

It's amazing how a lot of us have similar things going on at the same itme, isn't it?