I’m at a bit of a crossroads in my life. I’ve been really busy with my 2 jobs so I haven’t had much time to even think about blogging nevertheless actually do it. But before that, I noticed I’d started to run out of things to write about. More specifically, I’d run out of positive things to talk about. My friend said to me recently that one of the things I’m constantly struggling with or working on is my desire to be positive. It sounds simple but he was completely spot on. So much of what I try to improve about myself relates to positivity.
I just haven’t been all that positive lately and I don’t want to be the person who is always complaining, who is always annoyed, or who is always blogging about what she’s trying to fix about herself or what she isn’t happy about. I know people like that and they’re draining to be around.
But I also can’t deny I haven’t been very happy with myself lately. My body keeps changing and not in a good way. The healthier I eat, the more I exercise (as much as I can physically do anyway), the more bad things I cut out, the bigger my stomach gets. The less my pants fit. I outgrew a dress that fit me just a couple of months ago. I look at old pictures of myself and find myself yearning to look like that again. I don’t want to be 100 lbs again by any means but I don’t think a flat stomach is too much to ask for, curve in my spine or not. I can’t work out at the gym 6 days a week like celebrities and models whose job it is to look good. I’ve said it before but I feel like I have to compensate so much for my disability. I have to be that much prettier, be in that much better shape to make up for the fact that I limp and have MD. I absolutely know that I shouldn’t feel that way and anyone who is reading this that has a disability, I would tell you you are beautiful no matter what. I just can’t seem to say that to myself lately.
So we’ve established that I haven’t been feeling great about my physical self, but I haven’t been feeling great about the rest of me either. I gave a presentation to my department at work last week and I absolutely blew it. It’s no secret I was terrified of public speaking most of my life and I avoided it however I could. But in my later years, I’ve gotten over the fear. Or so I thought. I was so excited to get the chance to stand up in front of everyone and confidently deliver this presentation. I had it all practiced in my head. I was certain I was going to blow everyone away but then I got up there and my mind went blank and my voice started shaking. I was so disappointed and upset about how I delivered it. People say it’s one of those things you have to practice but I don’t understand why I couldn’t just get up there and do it. Why do I need to practice to just be able to talk? I should have been able to do it.
After that, I started dissecting my social capabilities even more. I’ve always known I’m a little socially awkward and I still have moments of being very quiet even though I’ve come a long way. I think of things I should have said to someone after the fact and get upset I didn’t. Or I’ll say something even in a group of close friends and beat myself up for saying that after the fact.
I don’t know why I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. I would never do that with friends or family. I just can’t seem to shake the idea that I’m flawed because I have MD and so I let that create a domino effect and expect way too much out of myself. I expect myself to look a certain way otherwise I think no one will ever want to date me. I expect myself to always say and do the right thing so I don’t sound dumb or offend people or lose friends. It really is as overwhelming as it sounds and I’m not sure how to break out of it. And in typically perfectionist-me style, once I break out of it, I want it to be for good.
There was a time when I really thought I was making progress on everything. I’d really starting accepting myself. I feel like I’ve gone backwards again. I’ve lost it. I guess it’s a constant battle and as you get into different stages of your life, new challenges come up. Your body changes, circumstances change, and somehow you have to try to find that acceptance all over again. Let me tell you, it doesn’t get any less exhausting trying to improve yourself. Some days I just want to throw in the towel and let myself be a shitty person and just stop trying. I’ve definitely never been happier to not be dating because I don’t have to worry about my appearance or spend time sitting across from someone for a couple hours while they judge me and decide if I’m worthy or pretty enough or not. It’s just me, myself, and my fat stomach.
I want to be Positive Patty again not Negative Nancy so I’ll be back here when I find her again. I know she’s in there. She’s just on a temporary vacation right now. I have to be honest about my feelings and I would be fake if I wrote some mushy positive post here right now but I urge you to follow the meme above and not my example. Treat yourself with love and compassion because you’re all you’ve got. Making yourself miserable over what you don’t have, what you don’t look like, what you’re not good at will never reap any productive results. Be grateful for what you do have. Love every part of yourself. Praise yourself daily for the things you are good at.
This is an article I actually wrote a while ago…during those years I mentioned when I felt like I was making real progress with self-acceptance. A good time to revisit it for sure.