Posts Tagged ‘Self Esteem’

Where I’ve *Really* Been Going Wrong

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

A while ago, I wrote about my “am I still the same?” question. There is another old favourite whining around in my head at the moment. It’s the “are you angry with me?” one. I feel like a squeaky teenager who I’d like to give a good shake.

“Are you angry with me?” “What have I done?” “Don’t you like me anymore?”
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The Illness or Identity Debate

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

A recent post title from one of my favourite blogs has been tugging on my thoughts this week, and I have realised that I need to unpick my reaction, though I’m a little scared of what I might find. The post was called ‘Anorexic vs having anorexia’; and it’s a distinction I’m finding hard to make.

This is difficult to admit.

I recognise that an eating disorder is an illness – and not an identity – but I appear to have accepted the label; and, now that it’s been ripped off, I’m finding the exposure hurts. It is strange that, although I would never introduce myself as an eating disorder and vehemently abhor the pain and damage it has caused, it seems preferable to being me.

Oh dear.

It is hard not to cast judgement on this statement and plaster it over with things I should say. There is, however, only one way of changing it: by finding out what’s underneath.
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Not The Skinny One

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I am a sibling.

One (the eldest) of three.

This blog is not about my siblings (who are, by the way, totally wonderful and I love them to bits); but I think it might be about a younger me’s reaction to them, so I’m going to include this.

It is important to distinguish between your reality and the alternative versions of reality; the stuff that belongs to other people, and that which belongs to you.

This bit is mine.

Earlier today, someone asked me what I liked to eat as a child. Hoping to access my pre-ED tastes, I decided that casting my mind back a little (lot) and exploring the things that I used to look forward to at mealtimes sounded like a good idea.

It was. I just didn’t find what I was expecting.
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Things I Like About Being Me

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Yesterday, I stumbled across a link on twitter to an article listing “30 Things I Love About Myself”, and was immediately struck by the concept.

Listing things we love about ourselves is not something we are often encouraged to do, particularly in the UK. Modesty is seen as an attribute; and pride tends to come before a fall – or so I have always believed.

Accepting that an outfit looks nice takes places after some painful to-ing and fro-ing (“do you really think so?” – “yes really” – “but doesn’t it look out of place?” – “no, not at all”); and is, more often than not, accompanied by a mental twist (“she didn’t mean that”). Whilst blowing your own trumpet typically comes with an apology (“I don’t mean to brag but…”) or a quick justification (“well, that’s what so-and-so thought”) – so that it’s acceptably said.

Liking yourself might be mistaken for arrogance – or is halted, subconsciously, before the charge can be laid; and why wait for other people to point out your weaknesses if you can get there first…

You can not, I am beginning to learn, expect others to like you if you don’t even like yourself.
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Possession

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

I thought that I had reached my limit and exposed all the deep, dark secrets of my eating disorder. That I had probed every sensitive area, and subjected each to my ridiculously exaggerated analytical-lens.

Nope. I still manage to shock myself.

They keep coming, thick and fast, like unpleasant discoveries or bruises that are so deep they are only felt when you push the exact spot.

This post’s on possession. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of; but it might lessen – this possessiveness – if it is acknowledged and moved on.
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On Rejection

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

There was something going around twitter last week about rejection.

I can’t get it out of my mind.

It has struck a sensitive chord that I am almost too scared to write about; and, because the chord is exposed, a wall’s gone up and now I can’t see what’s going on behind.

According to this article, rejection is like a physical pain. Whether you care about who’s rejecting you or they’re hidden behind a computer screen, the hurt is the same –

A twisting in the gut and a bowing of the shoulders and a sinking of the head and the unbearable feeling of shame. Or that’s the imprint that remains for me.

A few weeks ago, I had my own little example.
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Sabotaging My Self

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

You know the alarm that kicks in when you’re about to do something stupid? The little sensor that is tripped when you step into a danger zone and are about to do something you’ll probably regret.

Mine is defunct.

The self destruct button is jammed down, by default, and I seem to have been programmed in reverse. Instead of stopping before I step over the line, I ramp up the speed on the descent and it takes someone else to step in and say

Stop.
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When I’m Grown Up –

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Last week, I was asked what I wanted to be when I was older.

This question makes me upset.

With ongoing job dissatisfaction and a permanent juggle between a profession I have fallen into; a blog which I love – but seems to lack direction; and a life that I’m still trying to repair, I’m desperate for an answer –

Only I was so busy getting my eating disorder that I didn’t really consider my career.
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Over-reacting

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

I have just lost another follower on twitter. This is confirmation that everyone hates me. On a different day, I probably wouldn’t notice; but today, there’s only one thing going round my mind, and it’s sucking in any evidence that it can find.
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Nothing There

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

I think that I have writer’s block.

I can not order my thoughts, nor find the words to express them. Sentences come – and then go – before I’ve time to pen them down; and the conclusion of any chain of thought is always a few phrases out of reach.

The panic is bubbling now, like acid.
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The Carpet Critic

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

After last year’s bathroom tile debacle, I thought I’d got to the bottom of my indecision; but choosing carpets would suggest that I haven’t got there quite yet.

After a week of yo yo-ing between ivory and almond, and learning the shift patterns of the various Carpet Right staff, I’m clearly still struggling; but, this time, I don’t think the problem is knowing what I want – it’s living with the consequence that’s holding me back.

My head doesn’t do mistakes and it’s certainly not into forgiving.
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The ‘Where do I fit in?’ Question

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

I have been going round and round in circles for the past month; and, regardless of the starting point, I still seem to end up with the same, unanswerable question –

Where do I fit in?

I am beginning to find the constant side-tracking a little frustrating now. It is rather tiring to keep reaching the concluding paragraph, only to find myself again writing the same four little words. Again.

So, I am changing tact, and moving the ending – to the opening – because throwing ideas around has always helped me to reach my epiphanies; and, hey, I’m going to find myself asking the same question anyway, so I might as well get straight to the point –

And then go back to the beginnings.
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Hello body, meet Melissa..

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Since putting on weight, I seem to have separated me, from my body. It sits, over there; whilst I stay, over here; and, never the twain shall meet.

We weren’t this disconnected when I was hideously underweight. We may not have been friends but we were, at least, on speaking terms. Now we don’t acknowledge each other.
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I wish I was special

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

If you’re not from my generation, you won’t get the title. Radiohead, Creep – a bit of a 90s anthem; played in my head for a few years.

It’s slightly perverse, really, that self destruction got mixed up with feeling special. But it did. It blurs into the attention-seeking theme; ties into the low self esteem theory; links up with the whole cultural backdrop of what was in and what wasn’t.

Anorexia made me feel special.

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Attention Seeking

Friday, May 1st, 2009

This was one of the more painful charges.

I felt ashamed. The anorexia felt belittled. Nobody was happy.

For something to evoke that strong a reaction, there’s got to be a grain of truth in there somewhere. It’s got to tap in to something.

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Self Esteem

Friday, May 1st, 2009

This one’s quite simple.

If you’re prepared to sentence yourself to the violence of an eating disorder, it’s pretty obvious that you’re not your greatest fan. If you don’t think that you’re worth looking after, you clearly don’t rate yourself that highly.

It sounds flippant – and given that it took me over 10 years to recognise that I had low self esteem and to actually get what this meant, I can’t really over simplify the issue – but the link to eating disorders is hard to miss.

And hard to break.

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