Today I feel life pressing down on me, smothering me in practical concerns and unreasonable worry. I am gifted at mixing the two – the practical and the unreasonable – into a toxic soup that poisons my heart and send twinges through my body, leaving me both overwhelmed and frustrating. This cycle is quickly followed by self-shaming, where I tell myself to get over it, that feelings aren’t always facts, and that my perceptions of reality aren’t always accurate, and that I need to step back and reevaluate whenever I find myself in this place yet again.
Thank GOD I’ve been immersing myself in recovery. Without it I’d be lost. But even with the bolstering that recovery gives me I find myself saying things out loud that would be better left inside my brain so no one, including me, can see how mean spirited I can be sometimes.
The other day I stood in line behind a young woman, tall and strong and slender, and the epitome of the American beauty standard. I stood there, feeling bitter and old and fat. As I walked away from her I said to Charlie, “I didn’t get to look like her, not even for a moment, not even in my youth. So unfair.” Charlie looked surprised, because of course he knew me when I was young – we met when I was only 19 – and he still, today, finds me beautiful. Hearing that kind of bitterness from me is unusual, and I felt badly even as I said it, because I know that gorgeous young woman is just as plagued with self-doubt as any other woman.
And then I hate myself for being so bitter, deepening the cycle of loathing. And then I beat myself up for that too. Sometimes my brain is a cesspool of idiocy. It’s time for another meeting; I’ve got to keep peeling this onion.
I’m going go meta for a second, talking about blogging. I’m gearing up to go to my seventh BlogHer conference next week, and I’m really excited about it. I’m not speaking, I’m not sponsored by anyone (going on my own time), and while I am participating with the BlogHer buddy/mentor project, I’m free to just attend because I love writing and reading blogs. And thanks to making the decision this week to no longer write for Babble at all, this year I am attending as a hobbyist, not a professional blogger – like I did in 2008, my first conference.
Interesting stuff has happened in the blogging world, and it’s going to morph and change once again. The money aspect is moving away and the search engines are prioritizing long form content again and these are good things. While we’re not going to see the end of the Buzzfeed-ication of the internet, I do believe that the good solid writing that exists in the blogging world will once again float to the top. That stories will be told, artfully, and we will once again be entranced by the writings of our fellow bloggers. I believe this with my whole heart. Now, I’m not saying I’ll be one of those artful storytellers, but I do know that I will be here sharing my words and standing by them. And this makes me happy.