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Sunday, August 23, 2009

One day at a time

Focus on the process, not the outcome.

Carly and Marge (her mom) drove to Princeton for the day. Just to see me. I'm ridiculously lucky. We spent a pleasant few hours together this afternoon and I miss her and the rest of my Pittsburgh girls terribly. Today has been a rough, rough day. I can't seem to focus on the 'now' or stay 'in the moment'. I'm feeling anxious about the future, including future meals, weight gain, what's going to happen when I leave, etc.. I just don't know if I can fully change. Now that I've realized how long I have been dealing with body image/food obsessions, it seems nearly impossible to imagine living without them. The girls tell me it will get easier with time and that I should focus on the process, not the outcome.  However, my frustration and anxiety seem to inhibit this ability. I've also realized how hard it is to be around the ones I am closest to and care about most. It's like there is a barrier between us that encourages me to displace a happy, positive front. I feel the need to act like the 'old, normal Rebecca'. It just makes everything easier. I don't want the attention or pity nor do I want to look weak and vulnerable. Then there's the other side of this barrier. The ones I'm with make comments such as, "Are you getting better?" or "You look much better"... I've been here two days and have had barely any therapy. I cried through dinner tonight. And I need to eat more supplements. MORE.

No, I'm not getting better, it's not getting easier, and I am constantly struggling.  I know I belong here right now, so this is where I'll stay.  I'll keep fighting the good fight with these other incredible women.  If I don't conquer my eating disorder, I'm not sure I'll ever fully be happy. I guess that's why they call it the "pursuit of happiness," right? Maybe this disorder will always be a part of me, it's just a matter of the degree to which it will affect me. Like Will Smith said, "It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?"

I wish my mind would clear. Just for an hour or two.

If there's one trait or feeling I have the most difficulty expressing, vulnerability wins, by far. For me, weakness is not an option: I'm a strong, tough independent woman who can face and conquer any challenge. Or at least that's what I portray. It's because I'm so self-critical, too hard on myself, and a perfectionist... which probably aided in the development of the disorder.  I wanted to have the perfect, most healthy body. Also, it's got to be partly genetic.

This morning, I received a beautiful, thoughtful e-mail from a close relative.  He wrote the following: "TOUGH TIMES DON'T LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DO."  This quote portrays the person I strive to be and my main source of self-motivation.. I believe I have the most trouble expressing my vulnerability in front of the family and friends I am closest to as it's masked by happiness, humor, and even anger and irritability. It's as though I feel a responsibility to please others, or maybe I seek appraisal and acceptance from others to boost my self-esteem. It most likely relates to my great desire to 'fix' or 'save' people (even if it's just helping them through a minor problem), hence my love for psychology. All are possibilities I hope to further explore.

Last night, I introduced many of the girls to Across the Universe for the first time. I forgot how brilliant the Beatles lyrics are. I also forgot about my crush on Jim Sturgess. Oh, and I love love.
Bubbie is teaching me how to knit today, thank goodness. I desperately need a hobby to help get my mind off of the obvious. I think I'll also paint my nails purple. To remind me of my Emerald City and incredible 3459 Ward Street roommates.

I hope today is a better day.  Side note, do you know what I appreciate? Nearly four years of separation between two people yet the ability to pick up right where the relationship left off when reunited. Maybe some friendships can't be broken and really are meant to be.

My first weekend was difficult, but it could have been worse. It's in the past and that's where it will stay, so I'll look ahead and prepare for the upcoming week.  One day at a time, right?

"Tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun"- The Beatles.

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