What is a “Normal” Day, Anyway?

Could it be possible that I’ve been seeing life as so darned black and white that I can’t even stand to have a “normal” day?

But what is a normal day?  I feel like I’ve lived life for so long trying to make each day awesome, trying to make sure I do *something* every day, just so it doesn’t feel “wasted”.  For so long I’ve tried to live life to the fullest all the time, and thought of each day as either “good” or “bad”.  But what about those days that are just, “meh.”  Are those normal?

I feel as though this online culture has forced us to become so familiar and demanding that something is either “good” or “bad”.  We either get a ton of text messages and facebook messages and snapchats (“good” day because things are happening) or we have a day where we don’t get a lot of messages (“bad” day).  Isn’t that ok to have days like that though?  I feel like we are becoming conditioned to reach out somehow on those “bad” days.  But is that really a “bad” day?  No!  It’s just a “meh” day.  Why can’t we just be ok with the fact that most days are “meh” days?

I’m trying to figure out a “new normal” for myself – and am definitely struggling.  For so long (my entire life) I was in school, then after-school activities, then sports, then would come home, crash, and do it all over again.  On the weekends I would always have to be doing something, all day every day, and would need to report it to my parents at the end of the weekend.  This followed all the way through college, and into work after college.  I didn’t know what to do with myself if I got home earlier than when it was time to go to bed.  What would have happened if I had just laid there?  If I had just relaxed for a weekend? I would have gotten a disappointed pause, and a lecture on all the things I could have/ should have done.  Yes, my family was (and still is) very driven.  But only until my body and my mind hit a breaking point.  Now, going through recovery it’s so hard to judge whether I’m having a “normal” day, or a “meh” day.  I definitely know which days are the “good” and “bad” days – but the days in between? I feel guilty and ashamed that nothing much happens in them.  But I would venture to guess that that is normal.  That is what happens when you slow down in life, and attempt to notice yourself.  It’s darn terrifying, and confusing, and difficult.

Some days I feel so boring.  But maybe that’s a good thing?  Maybe “boring” and “meh” are exactly what’s needed right now to help me recover.  I just don’t want “boring” to be my new normal.  Perhaps I experienced so much in my life already that nothings left but to feel a little jaded and tired.  That may sound awful to say, but could it be true?

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Skyscraper

Did you know that quite a few songs are actually about recovering from Eating Disorders?  Or even a few about celebrating being a confident woman.  Need a little inspiration to remember just how awesome you are, and how much you’ve overcome?  I’ll try to start adding a music video once in awhile.  First up?  Demi Lovato and the song she wrote while in treatment.

Demi Lovato – Skyscraper

I Like Me

First, The Betrayal:

colourful-girl-nature-photography-rainbow-umbrella-favim-com-140201Over the weekend I found out/ confirmed that a guy I was into was actually a huge liar and a cheat.  Pretty much everything he said to me was a lie, and was superficial.  It was a very sick moment, to find out that I had been betrayed and lied to so easily, that I had allowed it to happen to myself, that I had given quite a bit to this guy – who in turn, didn’t care in the same way that I did.  I felt guilt and shame because there was a part of me that never had really trusted him, and I didn’t listen.  There was part of me that wasn’t surprised at all by his lies and by his two-timing.  I didn’t heed the ‘red flags’ (in things he said, did, and even advice from friends) that popped up during the time we were together – I just blew past them all and hoped and dreamed that maybe, just maybe, I could be the one to “fix” him.  But after spending awhile feeling sad, and angry and of course, brainstorming all sorts of creative ways to get back at him in my head (because “he should have to feel the hurt I feel!  He should know what it’s like!  He needs to get a taste of his own medicine!”), I finally came to a moment of acceptance.  I finally calmed down, and realized that I’m not one to seek revenge.  I don’t have time for it.  I realized that the more time I spend in my own mind thinking about how he hurt me and hosinkw deserves to hurt too, the more I give him the power that he wants – and the more I just keep hurting myself.

Then, Wondering Why:

The truth is – I know that he is already hurting more.  He’s already gotten to such a sad place in his life that in order to feel good about himself, he needs to have several girls wanting him, and going after him.  He needs that attention to feel good about himself and to forget or ignore his problems in life.  I put myself in his shoes for a moment, and realized how truly sad his life is.  The truth is that he has and will continue to put up with the company of just about any girl – as long as he doesn’t have to be by himself around them.  He knew the right words to say, how to be funny and to joke about all the right things… but he never told his own secrets or concerns.  Instead, he was extremely well-versed in movies  – perhaps because it’s easier (and safer) to “relate” to others through movies than it is to use actual stories from your life.  And to a certain extent, I know what that’s like.  When I first entered treatment, I never told stories during lunch about myself.  I would always relate to others’ stories by using examples from TV shows I watched, or something I saw in the news.  It worked to deflect attention away from myself – so that no one could have the opportunity to get to know me well enough.  I was so afraid that if someone did get to know me, they might find out how fucked up things were in my head.  They might find out how much of my life and shit I didn’t have together – despite my outward appearance of seemingly happiness and perfection.

Knowing and Understanding the Why:

I know all too well what it’s like to keep yourself so busy, to try to distract yourself day in and day out with work, athletics, shopping, social meetups, food rules, anything – just so that you never have a moment to yourself.  So you will never have time to have to think about all the problems and the issues in your life – the hurts, the regrets, the shame.  And heaven forbid, if you start to think about them, then you might have to figure out how to deal or cope with them – and that is terrifying.  It’s a vicious cycle – no matter what someone’s “vice” may be.  Mine just happened to be food related.  I can’t even begin to guess what this guy’s might be, but at this point, whatever.  I know how painful it is – how scary and uncomfortable it is to face your issues, and to attempt to cope.  I’m still working through mine, and there’s still a long way to go, but I’m trying.  I’m getting the help I need.  And I’m finally (fucking finally!) realizing that I don’t need people in my life like him to make me feel bad about myself, just because he feels bad about himself.  I deserve to be surrounded by supportive and loving people, ones who know the real me.  It is scary though, when you’ve been hiding ‘you’ from yourself for so long – you have to dig through quite a bit of crap before you can start learning who the real you is, and learning to love it.

And Finally, Finding Acceptance:

booSO with all that being said, it finally hit me – and yes, unfortunately it took 26 years, some bad breakups and quite a bit of therapy – that I don’t need anyone else to make me happy.  I’m not searching for someone to “complete” me – like I’m only half of a person right now or something, just because I’m single – I’m searching for someone to compliment me.  I have to love me and everything I stand for.  Once I do that, I can find someone who will make me even better.  And if they don’t make me better, then I don’t need them.  I’m perfectly happy spending time on my own, so if a relationship doesn’t work out, I know I’ll be ok.  I feel as though I’ve found the right balance of keeping my heart open, but guarded… someday I’ll find someone to compliment me, and life will be great.  But I’m not going to sacrifice myself and my life for them anymore.  I’m done with being treated like a victim, with putting up with things I know that I shouldn’t, with always losing myself when I start falling for someone.  I used to dive in head first and somehow fall into only doing everything they enjoyed – maybe thinking they’d like me more or something?  When in reality it was just my extremely low self-esteem and me not knowing who I was, what I truly liked to do, or even thinking that I was worthy of more than the way they were treating me.  After a lot of introspection, I know that I’m a catch!  I’m the ‘prize’ and the right guy will treat me like the prize I am.  And if he doesn’t, then someone else will.  I’m not in a hurry.  Time and love will unfold as it may.  I just have to always remember who I am and that no matter what happens, I will be ok.

Thanks Ed

Alright, all this talk about Eating Disorders (“ED”) and all I can think of is how much I love Ed Sheeran!  His songs are so real, and soothing.  Here’s a couple I love to listen to when needing to calm down the anxiety a bit:

Tenerife Sea:  “Should this be the last thing I see, I want you to know it’s enough for me.  Cuz all that you are is all that I’ll ever need.”

Afire Love:  “I could look into your eyes until the sun comes up,”

Think Beautiful

I dream of a world where little girls (and grown up girls) believe in their internal beauty, their strengths and their potential – and they believe in themselves enough to stand up for themselves, to follow-through with their dreams… regardless of their appearance.  Could you imagine the sheer potential of a world like that?  This recent TED talk by Meaghan Ramsey explains some possible ways to get there:

Setbacks + Quotes

October 9th:

I binged and purged tonight.  For the first time since stopping a week or two after starting intensive treatment.  I don’t fully know what happened.   I’ve felt more in control of my life than I ever have before, and yet, ED still came thriugh.  He was smarter this tkme, and appeared a little differently.   It wasn’t the raging, important, “you must purge now” type of message… it was more of a “it’d be a good idea if…  it’s been awhile, you’ve done well, one setback won’t hurt, you did eat too much ice cream,  you will just feel better if you do..”  ugh, I feel so guilty and gross.  I am concerned.. what does this mean?  I’m super confused about life right now and sad to be alone and to not have anyone… and betrayed and have been left again.  Is that what really triggers ed?  When I get left?  Or when I get let down?  I’m tired of this shit.  Some days I just don’t want to deal with it.  I do miss talking to others who have fought the same battles and understand the craziness that goes on inside your head.  I’m terrified for the future.   I’m terrified to leave treatment and go to florida. I just want to be normal again and feel worthy of love… I have faith that one day I will.  One day I’ll feel like I’m enough.  Truly good enough.

 

October 12th:

“Never allow anyone else to bring you down… there is someone out there who is good.  Good things and people are there, you just haven’t met them yet.”  –best cab driver ever