So I had a very nice weekend home and did all of the usual activities that add some delight into my life- baked, cooked, shopped for food and clothes, worked out, went for walks with Mumzy and whatever else tickled my fancy! I had managed to get a majority of my homework done before venturing home, so at least that was not on my mind and I was able to enjoy myself even more.
Oh and Ma and I saw the Descendents on Friday night… tear-jerker, but a great story nonetheless, I recommend it! Plus you get to see this piece of work throughout the movie,
Hehe. No but in all seriousness, it was a compelling movie, and now I want to read the book!
I wish I could say that I had a “care-free” weekend, but something was continuously on my mind, thoughts that were stubborn and relentless.. making their presence known and waiting to be explored. I love going home- seeing my mom, sleeping in my own bed, showering without shoes, being in my hometown- but I also left school because well, I just didn’t feel like being here.
To any outside observer, this is a pretty odd move for me to make. I mean I am 22 years old, currently in my last semester of college, am physically healthy, single, and don’t have any major assignments to do. So why in the heck would I leave school for an entire weekend, especially with spring break so soon!? Shouldn’t I be “making the most” of my time at college and youth by hanging out with friends, partying, going on adventures and overall just being social?!
Well yes, that is the “normal” thing to be doing, and makes sense of course. Who wouldn’t want to spend their free time with other people- making memories, going out to eat, drinking, dancing, playing… all together?
Me, that’s who.
I honestly was not planning on talking about this for a long time… but readers did express interest in hearing my thoughts on it, and yeah, it’s time. I will preface this by saying this is a wordy post but one where I simply MUST get my personal ideas out. I apologize if it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but get ready for word vomit at it’s finest.
Intentional isolation. The compulsive need to be alone. Anti-social? Maybe. These are all phrases to describe my current mental and physical status when it comes to being around others. I simply do not want to, but what is very confusing and difficult for me is to understand WHY this is the case.
Goodness my mind is all over the place right now… where to begin?
I would say that about hmm I don’t know, 95% of the time I am by myself.
- I workout or run in the morning- alone
- Eat breakfast- alone
- Walk to class- alone
- Eat lunch- alone
- Go food shopping/run errands- alone
- Eating dinner- alone
- Spend most weekends unless I get myself out there to hang out with others- alone
It’s not that I am spending my time ALONE in my room or anything that extreme. I am continuously out and about- around campus, in town, finding new places to study/read, driving my car somewhere far for a new adventure of some sort. But almost CONSTANTLY I am alone.
Okay I think you get it…. no wonder I don’t really have friends.
An ideal way to spend a Saturday would be as follows (all by myself mind you)- wake up early, put my laundry in, eat breakfast, workout, come back to my room to shower, clean, refuel with a snack, get some homework done, go to lunch, drive to Barnes and Noble and spend a few hours there, come back, eat dinner in my room, go to bed early. ALONE.
This does not seem “normal” to me. However, if I am perfectly happy with a day like this (alone), is this an “okay” way to spend my day? At the same time though, is this REALLY want I want to be doing with my time? How much of this has to do with the eating disorder and how much is it ME, the real Tessa? What does that really even mean…
Gah I am asking so many questions, but I have to. I am just so confused.
I didn’t used to be like this. In fact, my Junior and Senior year of high school are filled with fantastic memories and remain to be the most “fun” times of my life thus far. You can read about it here if you would like… I don’t want to repeat myself on a post already lengthy post.
Slowly but surely I lost everyone when the disorder hit. When I started to care more about my physical appearance, my weight, how much and what KIND of food I was eating, my weight, pant size… my priorities were corrupted by the illness. Friends pulled away and I didn’t care because I had everything “set.” I was losing weight and feeling fantastic. Who cares that I was missing out on everything and anything FUN? At least I knew how to diet, lose a jean size and eat healthy.
Of course I understand now that (at least part of) the reason for my relentless sadness during that time, these past few years and to this day, is because of the eating disorder.
I know this. You know this. Anyone that has had or is currently dealing with this knows (at least to some extent) that an eating disorder really kicks your ass in every way possible. It’s just NOT GOOD no matter what way you look at it.
I KNOW that when I was with people all of the time that I loved my life. I also KNOW that when I do force my butt out the door to hang with others, I at least have a good time. I mean it’s never “horrible” and I don’t regret the times I do go out. And yet, I prefer to be alone.
So where is this coming from now, what is causing it, and is the intentional isolation REALLY something I want?
Some of this stems from my childhood, the transition time from fourth to fifth grade- elementary to middle school. I had an amazingly awesome best friend who I did everything with- played after school, sat together in classes, had sleepovers, endless play dates and so on. And then the summer before fifth grade when we went to the same camp together, I was suddenly just not cool enough and I was dumped like a sack of potatoes.
For whatever reason, I have been rejected or eventually ignored by several men out there. Sure they may have their own stuff going on, but I can’t help but think, what am I doing wrong? What is so just so darn offensive about me? What annoying tendencies am I doing that they just do not want to me around me?
And then I can’t help but repeat these questions in my mind and relate them back to the loss of friends from high school and recent rejections in the past few years. I MUST be doing something just so incredibly awful. What is it though?
I have reached a point where I am VERY honest with myself and truthful about my own flaws. I now understand that I lost that huge group of friends in high school because I was pushing them away during the eating disorder. When it comes to men, well some of them could “just not be that into me.” And most importantly, people are only going to ask you so many times to hang out and will give up if you keep declining their invitations.
At the same time though, my social life growing up has impacted me and the whole isolation thing. I mean here I am attempting to articulate my thoughts on it.. something must be nagging me.
I have been hurt so many damn times in my life… why the hell would I want to bother meeting others and risk getting hurt AGAIN?
I am very aware of the fact that FOOD, my body image, weight, etc, all continue to play a critical role in my daily decisions and choices. I mean duh.
When I am alone, I can eat what I want to, when I want to and without worrying about what people are going to say about what I choose to consume. For example, I know eating salad with ketchup is effing weird but I HATE when someone says something about it and I want to scream MYOBeeswax! <– That is part of the eating disorder and I know this.
Confession- I eat dinner alone in my room almost every.single.night. I like to it in front of the TV/computer, enjoy my perfectly prepared oatmeal with a few tablespoons of nut butter- calorie dense, nutritious, healthy. Physically it’s great for me, but I am isolating during dinner… I don’t feel like dealing with other at the end of the day during my dinner time. This meal provides me comfort and safety. It won’t make me “fat,” I know what is in it, and I don’t have anyone asking about my food. Yikes.
So I eat alone and I honestly enjoy it. But do I really or is it the sick Tessa!?
I have gotten so much better about going out and knowing it won’t kill me to have one “indulgent meal,” or a few drinks, skip my usual healthy dinner, and so on. In fact, I feel much more in control when I am with others and will actually eat and drink less in a social setting. I am not saying this is a good thing at all, but it is what it is.
When I actually make the effort to get my ass out the door and meet up with others, I have a good time and feel NORMAL! And yet my mood picks up when I know I can escape from the people I am with and do my own thing.
So now I can’t help but go back to the question I keep asking, what the hell is my problem? WHY don’t I want to be around people? And how much does this have to do with the disorder!?! I have written all of this nonsense and still I don’t know…
When I had those friends in high school, I was full-of-life, always up for an adventure, loved to eat (was at a semi-normal weight for the record) and was just a FUN person. The eating disorder stole away my former personality and I am became very withdrawn, sad, quiet, skeptical, uneasy, and critical as a result, characteristics that are still mine to this day. I am not nearly as bad I was over a year ago, but this obsessive illness has dramatically changed me.
Now I can’t help but think…. who would want to be friends with someone like me? I feel like a constant BORE, a burden, so different and serious from everyone. Why would someone desire to be around me? While I recognize that those thoughts are irrational, they still play a part into my daily decisions to be with people… and I make the choice to be alone.
I am no longer the person that is…
- Up for anything
- Conscious of my weight, but it does not play into my daily decisions
- Eats pretty much whatever and whenever because I know in the long run it doesn’t really matter
- Going out more often than not
- Laughing and smiling all of the time
- I am no longer the person that is full of life….
As I said before, this illness has changed me in every single possible way. So who I am now, is this REALLY ME or is it the eating disorder? Do I genuinely like to spend my days alone or is it just easier than having to pretend to be someone I am not?
On the rare times I spend time with people literally all day long for work, school, etc (I am not talking about family), I feel… for a lack of a better term.. weird after the several long hours. It’s as if I am disconnected from my true self and I am pretending to be joyous, quirky, witty and funny… but is that all pretend? I mean it can’t all be… RIGHT? Part of the “old” me still has to be there, or is this “me” now? I don’t know if it can if I am feeling so odd by the end of the day!
Almost disconnected from reality? You are probably wondering what in the hell am I even talking about right now. I am wondering a bit too. Clearly I am confused on my true personality, and what is a result of the eating disorder and well, who the “REAL ME” is.
Someone that is happy, silly, and funny is a whole lot more fun and pleasant to be around then the opposite side of the spectrum. Currently I feel I am that latter individual and that I just don’t have much to offer. With that thinking in mind part of the reason I isolate myself is because I don’t have to worry about anyone seeing the “true” me, or the eating disorder Tessa, or the person that i have become.
I can be alone and be who I am right now, and not burden others and pretend to be someone that I am not. When I am alone, I can be, act, and do what I choose.
I have become someone that thrives off of my isolation, and is the most productive and clear thinker when alone. I know what I want and need to do and I don’t have to rely on or worry about others. I am independent, and need the time to be alone in order to function in my life.
But is this an okay thing and is it REALLY what I want and enjoy? I am not sure and I don’t believe I could have gone on rambling like this if I was perfectly fine with the way I behave and spend my time now. How much of a role does the eating disorder play into my daily life now… WHO AM I WITHOUT IT?
I don’t know the answer to that, or the numerous other questions I asked throughout this post.
I do know that something is still “off.” Heck, there is plenty that is “off” about me and deserves some attention. In fact, it needs attention, because if I plan on spending time intentionality isolating myself for the rest of my life, well then what will I be left with? Not much if you ask me… sure memories, accomplishments, obstacles will happen, but with no one to share them with, well what good are they?
Or is that okay?
I just do not know right now. That is the key phrase though, “right now” and I am continuously working hard and making the effort to answer all of these questions.
-Can anyone relate to my thoughts here… or understand them? I know I was all over the place…
-Do you tend to thrive off of being around others or when you are on your own?
-If you prefer to be alone, how do you balance that with family and friends? Do you carve out time for yourself in the day? That is what you must do, but for me it’s that I want to spend 24 hours for myself. Not good.
-Do you think your personality has changed over the years? If so, has that been “okay” with people or have you made new friends and acquaintances?
-If you suffer from an ED or any mental illness for that matter, how do you separate what the disease wants and what YOU want?
-Do you ever feel that you don’t really have much to offer? I know that is incredibly depressing, but I often feel that my interests are so “boring,” and who would want to spend time with someone like me… Yes, there is some self-wallowing going on there.
-This was a rather wordy post and if you don’t feel like answering any of the questions, that is totes fine… tell me about your weekend instead
-Has anyone seen the Descendents, what did you think?
Thank you for listening to my rambles and have a fantastic rest of your Monday!