Andddd it’s been longer than I anticipated it would. However, I shall not be apologizing for the absence because 1) likely no one cares too much and 2) I am not feeling my best right now and while sometimes such a mood inspires me to write, it can also go the other way. My enthusiasm for getting my thoughts out in writing lacks and therefore Amazing Asset takes a back seat to my daily to-dos.
On that note though I am feeling it today! I have said this a billion and one times but I’m shoutin’ it out anyway, thank you thank you thank you for your support, input and caring thoughts regarding my last post. While I was not necessarily nervous to truly open up about such a topic, one where by this time I “should” be writing about as a more distant memory than a current reality, I will admit to experiencing some reluctance to share the honest facts of what I have been feeling and experiencing.Reluctance!
I can never know how people will react, what they will say, and how I will come across. Of course, I should not give a hootenanny what people think of me in any aspect, but mhmm clearly I continue to. Getting away from such a preoccupation is certainly a work in progress, as I know focusing on what I perceive others think of me, is a major hindrance of a life where peace of mind and body can not only be found, but has the ability to be celebrated.
This is a subject I have opened up about before, worrying way too much about what other people think of me. In fact, it’s been a major obstacle in my life for several years now… really around the time I began to realize the shape, height, and weight of my own body. It was during those critical, sensitive years in middle school (the dark days as I like to refer to them), where my peers began to play a starring role in the daily activities, thoughts and actions of my life.
The loss of innocence. The breaking down of a world where major problems in your life involve getting in trouble for not sharing, having a bedtime that you must adhere to, “agonizing” chores that are required for you to complete. 11, 12, 13 years old, your entire world changes and the simple existence you used to lead becomes real complicated real quick and along the way, you might lose your place in the role you are “supposed” to be… or you feel you are not fulfilling strict demands (from where? Society? Peers? Family? The Media?!), and you begin to try even harder, compensating for areas of yourself you perceive to be the weakest.
Middle school, specifically 7th grade, was around the time my first round with an eating disorder began. Through the years, beginning in my transition from 4th- 5th grade, I have been “dumped” like a sack of potatoes by people I used to call my best friends. I was too uncool for them, too annoying, loud… too BIG, TALL, FAT for my small, petite friends and as a result, they pulled away from me to find prettier, nicer, cooler girls. <– Not the entire reality, but my perception of what was going on each time a “Friend” found there way of going on without me.
Now I will not place all of the blame on them… I am sure I had qualities that were in fact annoying, mean, etc. At the time though, the censure was all about ME- my physical appearance… it was my WEIGHT that was destroying everything, why I could not maintain friendships, why clothes didn’t look good on me, why no one wanted to “date” (dating is a joke to me under the age of say…16) me, why I was suddenly not happy. How I behaved, dressed, weighed, looked… no wonder I was so miserable, I was a fat kid and no one likes those, better do something about it.
While what I believe to be the views of others of me, societal standards, and the media, all played roles in the development of my eating disorder. Though, they cannot be pinpointed as the only reasons. There is no ONE answer to why such a mental illness develops in a person and while many blame our society as the only perpetrator, this is simply not accurate. If this were in fact true, pretty much every female that grows up in this country would have a major eating disorder, especially as access to social media continues to inflate to a seemingly infinite level.
(**This post is about the fear I have of other people’s view points of me. However I wanted to make sure I clarified the fact that this is not the sole reason for my current existence with such discouraging thoughts)
Back to the main topic now, what would it be like to 100% not care about what others think of you? I honestly do not know… for now anyway.
The anxiety I feel of coming across as a negative/boring/annoying/etc individual in someone’s eyes, has led in part to me making drastic changes in my life… strongly believing that if only THIS happens, I will be accepted, liked by everyone, and of course, happy as can be. There is no need to further investigate such a statement as this is something I have discussed numerous times and many people (with or without an ED) can relate to on some level. We try our best to adhere to society standards, what image, characteristics, personality and so on, will please those that are around you.
At this point, it’s as if the issue of going by what I think others want from me, has escalated to a completely different level. I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but the years I have spent bending, twisting, finagling myself (figuratively that is), in order to “earn” acceptance, has allowed me to lose touch of who I am- what I actually enjoy doing, clothes I like to wear, hair styles, activities, even my personality… It has become difficult for me to tell if I am being genuine to myself when I make my “life” choices, or does it spur from the lingering need to please others for acceptance? And on that note, how big of a role does the eating BS play in the decisions I continue to make as my life goes on?
By now, with all of the years I have suffered with this THING, dwelling on what it has done and where it has led me, is more of a hindering factor than anything. How many times have you heard how essential it is to yes, learn from your past, but also to mentally move on? I do agree with this, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder where I would be now, what I would be interested in, who I would be as a person… if right from the beginning, other people’s opinions did not matter. Because again, although that is not the primary reason for my eating disorder, it has allowed it to perpetuate (among other factors).
As I do get older and not only does my own maturity increase but others does as well, I continue to understand that the basic truth is, people don’t actually give a sh*t and if they do, they are in no way, shape or form, worth your time of day. I am internalizing this while also working on purging myself of the core beliefs that have ingrained themselves so deeply into both my brain and body. This is a process of letting so very much GO- the toxic encumbrance of what has ruled me and dictated my thoughts and actions for just far too long now.
Letting go is step 1 and right along side this essential notion is to embrace who YOU are as a person- disregard the “shoulds” and “musts,” the characteristics, and behaviors you think you must do in order to achieve acceptance and a peace of mind. This is an everlasting battle and unless I surrender soon, I will forever be in a war with myself, never satisfied, living for others and never able to become the person I was meant to, the person I deserve to become… free of this all.
I would love to hear from you,
-Do you know anyone (or perhaps a number of people!) who truly do not care about what others think and essentially, “do what they want?”
-Continuing from that question, do YOU genuinely not care? If so, I would love to hear how you have achieved this… I understand it’s a matter of simply choosing to stop giving a poo <– Easier said than done I suppose.
-Did your childhood/friend/school situation play a role in your mental and physical devel0pment? Negatively or positively? The former for me of course.
-Do you feel you embrace the “real” you? Or do you still bend to how you think you should behave- career wise, appearance, relationships and so on?
-On a more FUN note.. please share some plans for the weekend! I am publishing this late on Thursday so those who read it will likely be doing so Friday, aka much closer to the weekend
I hope anyone who stumbles upon here has a most excellent night and of course a delightful weekend as well!