As I might have mentioned, I’ve been seeing a therapist and it’s been going well. For two weeks, I had mostly good days with some so-so days when I was alone on the weekend by myself, but mostly no binge eating episodes or depression feelings. My therapist told me I could start making a conscious effort to make some small changes, but probably as a result of being told, I didn’t, and then confiding to a friend about the need to clean my apartment for company and how I’d procrastinated the previous evening, I skipped a social event to go home and clean my apartment, and then just sat and watched tv. I also have intended to go to the gym more but haven’t, but I did sign up for a night school class to meet people and will try a theatre class. Perfectionism is raring its ugly head, as I see how little time remains to get in shape before my big trip to Indonesia and how I will not be at my best to see my old friend and lover who is in town, and every time I intend to make a change and don’t, it kills my self esteem. Some of my old vending machine habits have cropped back up, seemingly in vengeance for the time I didn’t eat the cookie I wanted. And probably linked to the shame and guilt for not making the changes I want. I actually want to go to the gym and exercise, but sabotage myself watching tv too late at night and not getting out of bed in time. The feelings of self disgust are the worst to deal with. Worse, I’ve talked to a friend who has suffered from similar issues but is back on track and just ran a triathlon and is getting a promotion at work, whilst taking some medication and not really cutting things off with her old boyfriend whom she knows is not suited for her long term. So basically I have this feeling like I am a loser because I am taking things the hart way, and again the only way to get in a relationship is to lose one’s integrity or be consciously blind about it. She also claims to want to go to Europe again, and during the short trip she took with me she was a pain and made me never want to travel with anyone ever again, besides my best friend with whom I’ve travelled in the past.
Meantime, I’m back on dating sites, which is the biggest disappointment one could imagine. I met two decent guys this week, with whom there was no chemistry. I kind of feel I should just give up on dating sites until I become the person I want to be, which is another way of saying I’m so disgusted with myself I feel like I don’t deserve love, or the inconveniences love might saddle me with before I’ve figured myself out. But it’s good for an ego boost, and maybe I deserve someone who loves me, warts and all.
So all this being said, today is the day I’ve finally got to clean my room, I’m on a business tripthis week and it’s something I genuinely want to do. There’s so much I’m not sure if I should throw out, one outfit my mom gave to me which I hate in particular.
As it turns out I have a mild virus, I’m not feeling too sick but not that amazing either, which gives me a bit of an excuse for the past week and all my procrastination.
And now, around 1pm, not having eaten anything today, it would feel so good to just find the dark chocolate cherry bar I know is hiding in my room someone, binge on that, then eat some junk food since day is already ruined, get a massage, and just sit around till it’s time to go out tonight since I actually have a few social events for a change, and then just leave my room a mess till tomorrow.
The worst thing about my illness, not the physical one, the mental one, is that I’m not allowed to make positive changes all at once. Not because of willpower, but because I am afraid of backlash, that somethign will force me to go back down into the pit. That’s why I don’thave a scale- it’s because if I made any progress on the scale, or even weighed myself, it would awaken the dragon and probably send me on a shame, binge eating, self destructive behavior spree.
But I am getting fucking tired of it.
I’m trying to figure out the message the dragon is trying to send me, and why the pit is there.
The pit is all the shitty emotions I wallow in when something knocks me down (luckily, thanks to therapy, my default is no longer down, and curiously, I was even further down and noticed the difference which is what pushed me to seek therapy) and sometimes the behaviors that go with it. But I can have the shitty feelings without the behaviors sometimes, as I’ve realized that no amount of binge eating or spending too much money or any of that actually relieves the pain and I am daring myself to just show up to it and face it, because I am a badass and like Buddhist psychology.
And I’m just tired of wasting my life in the pit.
Then again, what is the pit for?
The pit is a place I can hide from the world. When I’m in the pit, my life is’t changig. Recently, because my move to Paris and going to business school unleashed the depression dragon, I have doubted the efficacy of my decisions, and I’m afriad of doing anything and finding mself even deeper in the pit. And when I am in the pit, I am effectively cut off from most human interaction, with the notable exception that if someone does cut through the haze, they are probably prince charming. THe pit also serves a purpose in helping me sort out who really belongs in my life, and seeing who triggers the pit vs who stays with me while in the pit has been helpful. My two good loyal friends who have visited me in Paris, including the one above, trigger the pit to an extent. Bu the one above is the worst. My parents also triggger the pit, to an extent, especially a haze of anxiety over living my life my own way, not following in their footsteps, and not upholding the family values of contentment and staying close to home. In a large family where I was always conscious of death because someone was dying and I always had to kiss my mother goodbye becase my mother didn’t kiss hers the last time she saw her, the morbid fear of regretting not spending every possible second with my loved ones tends to put me into a haze. But with the help of my psychologist, I begin to feel what I had already known and acted upon- that it’s my life too and I can’t live it for them. I don’t even like them sometimes, and maybe the don’t like me or wouldn’t like me if we weren’t family, which brings upon tears, but as my psychologist says, many families re like that. One of my anxieties about potentially havin kids one day is that I have kids who will be like my bully athletic popularish psychologically conservative younger sister to whom I have problems relating.
In the meanwhile, another reality is forming- maybe instead of the weddding at a castle in France, which might still be cool, or in addition to it, I could get married in a buddhist ceremony in Sri lanka. And just have a big backyard type party at home in the US. yeah that could work.
The other thing that has challenged me recetly is tseeing just how calculating especially when it comes to their menfolk some of my girlfriends are. While I’ve always hd the calculator in my head to an extent evaluating my value agains tht at of a potential mate, and a good part of my wanting to hold off on finding a mate comes from wanting ot be my best self before i try to find a match, I was shocked to hear them speak so openly abut it.
And that also triggers the depression dragon and the pit. mostly because I recognize those tendencies in myself, and I feel like shit because I am so far from my interpretation of perfection.
I think I just figured out what the depression dragon is for, and what triggers him. Mostly when I step out of the zone of things I have always dreamed of and the person I felt like I was supposed to be, in a word, when I feel inauthentic, he is triggered and punishes me by taking away things on which I built some self esteem, like being a healthy weight. To a certain extent, the depression dragon wants me to believe and feel that |I am worthy, and the point is to kknock me down so I can finally realize I have worth regardless of my worldy status. But the other purpose of the depression dragon is to make me despise myself for seeking worldly status in any conscious way. That’s why the only way I can justify releasing weight is in terms of health, and the seocnd there is an arriere pensee of what losing weight will bring to me, my efforts are aborted nad I am punished through self sabotage. Genuine in this reading means having no interest in worldly things, and doing only actions that feel natural.
The problem with this is that everyitme I grow and change, like when I left Paris to ocntinue my studies in Asia and ensure I had the most competitive degree possible, rather than trusting in faith and trust and pixie dust and, dare I say, wanting the best for myself and being ambitious, out came the depression dragon, and he kept me in the pit for a long time. THe trick of it all is that even while in the pit, I accomplished a lot, but the pit made me feel accomplishment= pit and loss of self, happiness, all the sunshine in the universe, etc.
I have wanted to try to starve the dragon, to meet him in a show of force, but I have chickened out/and or been a bit outwitted by eat, because the cookie I don’t eat today is 5 cookies I eat in the next three days. That’s how the dragon has kept his sway over me.
As for the pit, it seems to vanish once I have some interesting task and leadership opportunity in front of me. A challenge that involves others and some sense of urgency.
Tha’ts the amazing thing about the pit, it’s mostly there when I am bored in some way.
That being said, the pit can still be there in moments of personal challenge, but when my mind is engaged and I see the importance of what I am doing, it tends to recede a bit.
What I just realized is that I have been holding myself to self contradictory standards- that I mus tbe perfect according to both my and society’s standards, and that I must do it all genuinely from the bottom of my heart, and that I basically anythng I do for practically or any compromise, moral or otherwise,that I make is evil, wrong, bad, shameful, and I am horrible and need to be punished- cue self sabotaging action.
This is why it seems for one step forward I go two steps back, and I am afraid to even try to go forward.
God I hope I have gotten to the root of the root of this, and I never have to deal with this shit again. What a huge waste of life.
So what has depression dragon taught me? absolutely nothing, but that I should just stay in one place and that it is a betrayal of the doctrine of my intrinsic worth if I try to change myself for the better, and that trying something new makes me bad- so I’m bad quie a lot, and this makes it need to punish me.
And the pit, the purpose of that has been to keep me immobile, because I have been overwhelmed by the speed and magnitude of the changes in my life, mostly starting with business school, and the purpose of the pit is to keep me in one place until I have found the perfect solution, which I will never find, so I’m just always stuck in the haze of undecision, anxiety, and lack of self belief.
What is the point of all this? A maladaptive search for love, to try to prove to myself soemone will love me even when I’m bad. To a large extent, ths was provven to me, though I never managed to love myself as much as I would have hoped, despite all the times I self sabotaged feeling bold about it, rebelling agins tmyself and my ideals. It made me feel like I wasn’t a sheeple to go against what I wanted to do which would be better for me, and yet, I became to my minid a worse kind of sheeple- someone who doesn’t take care of themselves.
And part of the pain genuinely comes from not wanting to disappoint myself, and being mad about not living up to my values.
mostly though, i’ve lost sight of my why for all the things i want to do, i feel selfish because i don’t see how i connect to the bigger picture.
since i moved to paris, in a very selfish but life affirming decision, and left behind the world of government and politics, i haven’t found a new why.
maybe this is something my shrink can help me with.
but at least i think for now i have found why the dragon came into being, and why i’ve eben so loath to climb out of the pit.
I thought they had something to teach me, but i think the main one is that i need a new why.
tldr- because i lost my why, and/or i found it unworthy.