Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Me

There has been some concern in my family lately that perhaps I'm not doing so great. I like to think it is because I appear to be such a well adjusted person that when I started this blog and bearing my soul people were shocked and amazed that I felt this way. But maybe that's not the case, who knows.

I would like to tell my family and the world that I'm doing just fine. Let me explain myself a bit. You see, I have never, ever had high self-esteem. Growing up I always thought I was rather homely. I felt like I was dumb. I was pretty sure that I lacked any and all talent. I was convinced that I was fat. Most of all, I felt that I was simply not good enough.

I've always had very high expectations for myself. No, that's not right. I've always had unattainable expectations for myself. That sounds better. High expectations are achievable, but a challenge. What I expected from myself was not achievable. So, when I failed to reach those unattainable goals I would beat myself up about it. I've done this my whole life.

During my Junior year of college I really did it to myself. I was taking 21 credits. I was working about 30 hours a week. I was working for one of the school literary journals. I was trying to eat healthy (but failing and beating myself up about that). I wanted to work out but struggled to find time. I was out of control. Then one night Ammon and I were in a car accident. It wasn't that big of a deal, but I did have some whiplash and some other pain. The truth is, I never really recovered. That was the straw that finally broke the camels back. Comparing oneself to a camel isn't really that attractive is it? At any rate, it was too much for me.

I started having aches and pains all the time. My already screwed up sleeping became worse. I was so, so tired. I just couldn't do everything anymore. I scaled back, but it killed me. I knew that I just needed some time to recover and I'd be back on my feet, but it got worse. I started seeing doctor after doctor after doctor. None of them knew what was wrong. I tried medication after medication after medication, nothing worked. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Most doctors and people in the world consider Fibro to be a dumping pot. It's what you get diagnosed with when they have no idea what you have. Some believe that, some believe it is an actual real condition. Either way, I live in pain.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not one who believes that I have been handed a lot that is unbearable. Oh no, I know for a fact that there are those out there who suffer so much more than I do. I am thankful that even with the pain that I carry with me each day, I know that I'm going to be okay. It's not life threatening. It's hard, some days more than others, but I know that it could be worse. Please don't think that I am one who believes that my life is just too much. I don't.

This is getting long so let me just say that things got pretty ugly for a while. I found that when I cut out refined sugar and white carbs I did a little better. I found that when I exercised regularly I did better. I found that when I did yoga I felt better. So, that was where I was at. But my idea was still that I had to get back to achieving (or attempting to achieve) my unattainable goals. I still constantly beat myself up. I would push so hard one day and be unable to function for the next 3. It was so so hard for me to accept that maybe things had to change. I was harder on myself than ever before.

I suppose it was around this time that I started doing some soul searching. I started realizing that something was screwed up in my way of thinking. When I started yoga I started to appreciate my body so much more. I was happier with myself. My husband will tell you that I finally stopped making snide comments about my body and even accepted a compliment now and again. I knew then that I had to change something.

Then pregnancy and weight gain and all of that happened. I hated being pregnant. I was so miserable. I knew it was worth it and there were moments of joy, but really I just felt gross. Then having Cormac about killed me, but we won't go into that. After my son was born we moved into this dump of a house a week later. The house was our dream come true in so many ways. But it was too much too soon. I couldn't handle the mess and the unpacking and the needy baby. I turned to food. I turned to sugar. I gained weight.

Having a child makes one think a lot about what they hope for that child. I knew that I never wanted my kids to suffer with low feelings of self-worth as I had always done. I put up a good front, but deep down I was never happy with myself. I want my children to have high expectations for themselves, but I want those to be attainable and realistic.

So, more soul searching. In order for my kids to be well adjusted they need to learn from their parents. In order for me to be healthy I need to have reasonable expectations. In order for me to be able to enjoy my children and life I need to be healthy. In order for all of these things to happen I need to learn to love myself as I am. I need to be able to tell myself that I am beautiful just as I am. But more than that, I need to believe it down to my very core. That is what I'm striving for here. That is what I want. I want to know and feel that I am worth it.

To all of my dear family and friends let me just tell you that I am doing well. I love life most days. I have bad days here and there, but who doesn't? I'm happy. I love being a mother. I love being a wife. I love my little family. I love my big family. I love my dumpy house. I love the beautiful sunshine we've been having. I love to work in my yard (even though I haven't been doing much of it lately). I love learning. I love trying to figure out new ways to help my family be happy and healthy. I love all my dear friends. I'm doing just fine. This blog. All this is is me thinking out loud. I hope that other people will look at this and realize that they are worth it too and that we have the power to change ourselves. Feeling trapped in a body that you don't like is a hopeless feeling. I've been there. It doesn't have to be that way. We can change our bodies to be healthy. We truly can. And you know, those things we can't change we can learn to be okay with. So I have stretch marks or what have you. Think of why you have those and the battles that you have won because of those things. That's what we need to learn to do.

So all of this is to say that I'm happy. I'm going to be just fine. And if you made it to the end of this I can honestly say you are a trooper.


Anonymous said...

I feel that most of us are learning to love ourselves and I feel that I am doing better. I will have to call and talk to you sometime.

Chelsea said...

I love all of your blogging and I love to hear that you are learning to live and to love yourself!! I love that I can relate to you in more ways than one!! I love that I dont feel like i am all alone in this big bad world!! I know i have said this before and i will say it again i thank you for your Blog and for just being you I thank you for always encouraging me!! Thanks for being you!! I feel like I have a new found friend even though we have "known" eachother for a long time We were never really friends but mi truly consider you a FRIEND!!!

Keira said...

It makes me happy to know that you are finding TRUE happiness with your body and everything. What an incredible example you are, and how proud you should feel. You are overcoming what has been an incredible feat your entire life! Keep up the good work,its not only helping you, but so many others as well. You have so much love and support to back you up! I look forward to reading it everyday, because I always leave feeling uplifted and motivated to do better. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Love ya Mel.