I Shall Not Sabotage Myself Any Longer

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Since the post from my friend at Dream Big, Dream Often earlier was about being honest and accountable, I guess it’s now my turn to come clean. Once a week, I do a post on one of my own self destructive behaviors. Self sabotage comes in many forms. Once I get a handle on one problem, I recreate another. It’s almost like I am addicted to having something to work on and fix. It’s been an amazingly stressful week. The good news though is I am handling it like a professional. No palpitations, no woe is me, no panic attacks. The bad news is, I am binging again. The more I try to stop, the more obsessed I become with eating. I guess it’s true that we replace one addiction with another. So which do I choose? My addiction to stress or my addiction to food? Either one will end up killing me eventually so maybe I should flip a coin. 

Chase had a dentist appointment today and I drove through Taco Bell on the way back to school. I never eat Taco Bell and what do I do? Order him 2 tacos and me a chicken chalupa. I got home and immediately coordinated a  search and rescue mission for any chocolate that might be hidden someplace in the house. That’s how it works. It’s a cycle, a chain of unfortunate events that goes around and around until I gain a ton of weight or gain control. I eat one bad thing that leads to another and another until I go to bed at night feeling bloated, sick and disgusted. Then I wake up and do it all again. 

I am hoping putting it out there to the world will help me stay accountable. I actually looked up the calories in a chalupa and I haven’t blown anything today at all, at least not yet. So I’m going to do my best to stay within my caloric limit and crawl into bed feeling happy and proud. It takes a village to do many things. Encouraging and supporting people should be one of them. I really do want some chocolate though. Thank goodness I didn’t find any. 

Can You Name Your Self-Destructive Behaviors?

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Self destructive behaviors. Do you have them? The words to that ridiculous Little Mermaid song popped into my head in response. I got twenty! But who cares? No big deal, I want more,,,,, Okay already, enough of that. Who could possibly want more self destructive behaviors? No not me, please no more! That’s a little better.

Have you ever made a list of your self destructive behaviors? I mean an honest, heart wrenching, pain in the face list where you really own what has been holding you back. There you are, sailing forward at the speed of light and then, in a single instance, bam! You take yourself out.

I was watching my teenager eat ice cream the other night. Her bowl was spilling over with cookies and cream. I felt sick, disgusted watching her there eating bite after bite. I took a deep breath and I asked myself a very difficult question. ” Kim, why are you judging her like this? ” The answer was clear. This was one of my self destructive behaviors that I was not proud to admit I had passed on. I have come to loathe the behavior of binging and over eating, almost to the point that I can become completely turned off and disgusted toward food all together. I wasn’t really repulsed by her and her eating, I was repulsed by my own flaws and weakness. I realized in that moment that my feeling toward her or myself cannot be conditional on those types of behavior. It was okay to dislike the behavior itself, but I could no longer project that horrible feeling on her or myself. It seems like some compassion for self and others is long over due. I could disown that part of me and keep it hidden away pretending to myself it didn’t ever exist. But, when I saw myself in my daughter, the loathing, the disgust came rushing back with such intensity, I took a direct blow.

It’s hard to be honest. To examine yourself and accept it all, the good the bad, the great, the embarrassing, the shameful, the ugly. All of it is who you are and until you can find compassion, acceptance and eventually self love, you will never be happy. You will always be running or hiding from the shadow of the things you’re ashamed to be and sooner or later you will slow down until all of it jumps onto your back and you just break in half.

Am I proud to share this story? Of course not, but do I think there is value and a lesson that could possibly help many others, help me? Yes, it’s hard to admit the tough stuff but denying it does not make it go away. You have to deal with your stuff, bring it into the open so it doesn’t eat you alive from the inside out. I’m off to make that list now and I hope you will join me. My goal is to painfully address one self destructive behavior a week. Then perhaps I can let them go, wave good-bye and finally leave them behind for good.

What Will You Recycle?

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I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to lead a happy life without making necessary decisions. Every day we are faced with many choices and I believe it is our response to those choices that determines if we are happy and balanced or pessimistic and miserable. I am not talking about choices such as future spouse, or career , I am talking about the daily choices that determine how each and every day is played out.

I like to please. It is in my nature to make sure everyone around me is happy and their day goes as smoothly as possible. I’ll even go as far to admit that I make choices today that will make their lives better and easier a week from now or a year from now. It sounds noble when my ego examines the situation and makes me out to be some sort of super hero. The truth though, is every time I say yes to someone else, I say no to myself. Before I know it, I’ve become angry, bitter, fat, lazy and worst of all, resentful.The ego tells me to blame everyone around me for being so selfish and not appreciating the self sacrificing effort I make day in and day out for the people around me that supposedly love me. Then, my ego has me right where he wants me. I become the victim and a pathetic prisoner of the the demeaning voice in my head that tries to beat me down.

Today, I have realized that I have to choose to break the pattern. I have to say no to everyone around me, especially my ego that doesn’t have my best interest in mind at all. I have to say no to driving people around and cleaning and dropping everything to look something up for someone or help them study for a test they didn’t prepare for at all by themselves. I have to start saying yes to myself. I get on the right track, really I do. And then, when I start to feel really good about myself, the ego attacks. What’s worse, is I fall for the ploy every time. You selfish, self- satisfying, spoiled girl…have you forgotten about the family you are responsible for and supposed to take care of? How dare you go to yoga and sit for hours in Starbucks to drink coffee and blog, isn’t there a house you should be cleaning or a meal you should be making?

The self sabotage is what frustrates me the most. It’s a push and pull tug of war that handcuffs me to my fate of repeating the same patterns over and over so I never get a chance to get further ahead. It’s progress, self- sabotage, backwards slide, defeat, depression, guilt, then resentment that keeps me spiraling in the wrong direction. I even believe I see it happening and I go about it like I have no control. I know the order and I know the pattern and today I am making better choices. I am leaving this filthy house behind me and going back to my favorite little yoga place that offers me peace and quiet and a place to dispose of all the junk I have accumulated in my mind. Then, I am going to sit out by the pool and feel the warmth of the sun as I read a few chapters in the book I’ve been neglecting. Then, somewhere and someway I will miraculously find the time to do everything I left behind and do it all quicker and more efficiently than if I would have planned my entire day around my senseless and never ending to do list.

Let me be a lesson to all who read this today. Saying yes to yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. You, and you alone are responsible for your own happiness and the energy you carry around with you infects everyone you come in contact with and affects every environment you encounter. Use that energy responsibly. Make sure it’s good and positive and find somewhere safe to leave the negative garbage you need to dispose of. Don’t recycle the bad, just recycle the good.