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i am exposed

September 25, 2012

*I apologize in advance as this post is long and was originally intended just for me, but I decided to post it for a several reasons, a few of which are that I am tired of hiding certain aspects of myself in an attempt to create a version of me that I think people will find more acceptable and also, I wrote this because I needed to get some stuff out, and if I need to get this out, I am sure there are others who need to as well and if it helps to share or know you are not alone, then maybe the exposure of my crazy can be of use.

I have been delaying posting partly because it was a busy, eventful weekend and partly because I haven’t been feeling very humourous lately.

I find depression for me comes from two different places.  One has to do with brain chemistry, it sometimes goes off and there is almost nothing I can do about it.  I choose not to be medicated, though many years ago I did explore these options.  I have no judgements on what is best for anyone else as I think each person and situation is different and we need to make our own choices, but it never seemed to work as it should for me and I felt uncomfortable with this direction.  It isn’t easy to choose the non medication path, but it is what feels right for me.

The second depression comes from a place that feels slightly more self-created with some shit life contributes thrown in, but it is how I react to life’s little hiccups that can send me on a downward spiral so deep it makes Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole seem like a casual sunday stroll.

These mishaps are the sorts of things most people would find bothersome or just shrug off as being one of those days.  I turn it into confirmation of how much I suck and from there my self-loathing escalates and all I can think about is how useless I am, how worthless, how fat and ugly (and this comes with a its own separate, more specific set of issues that creates a secondary evil vortex), how I don’t deserve to be here, how annoying I am, how my friends are only my friends because they feel sorry for me and are simply trying to do a good deed by spending time with me, how I have no talent or nothing to offer, how much the universe has it in for me, and on and on and on.  If there was physical evidence of the internal beating I put myself through, I would be one ginormous bruise with deep cuts and probably some festering wounds.  At least I have gotten to a place where I no longer physically harm myself.  I may occasionally hit my head against a wall, but there are no more cuts to hide and there hasn’t been for quite some time (yippee for me!)

The worst for me is when I feel like I am making progress, when I am fighting these tendencies and attempting to create a better life for myself and then the little things start to go wrong.  It feels like I am being kicked back down and informed that I really shouldn’t bother aiming for anything better or any sort of happiness.  It feels like a reminder that I don’t deserve these things and how dare I try elevate my thinking to such heights.  This is a dangerous place.  It is this combination that makes me question my existence.  Fortunately I have family and friends (whatever their motivations for being so) and the cutie kitties, and they all keep me here.  And so while I may wonder if my being here is worth the carbon footprint and still find myself in very dark spaces, wondering is as far down that road as I now go.  I am so grateful for the love I receive from these people.

So the reason for these ramblings is this is the sort of weekend I was having.  It didn’t quite reach such extremes this time, but it’s brought a lot to the surface.

This was supposed to be a good, somewhat triumphant weekend.  I finally performed in public with my belly dance studio.  This may not seem like much, but despite constant urging to perform, it has taken me six years to do so and the only reason I have avoided it comes from how uncomfortable I am with my body.  I have had disordered thought patterns with regards to my body and food since I was very young and eventually these manifested into a full-blown eating disorder.  Through various means, the physical side of the disorder has subsided, but the mental turmoil remains fully active.

My hatred of my body is the only thing that kept me off the stage.  I didn’t/don’t want to inflict the horror that is me upon anyone.  Every time I go to one of our studios performances I feel sad that I am not a part of it.  I love belly dancing and I am actually pretty good at it, but I can’t seem to focus on these positives.  All I can think about it how I will be judged for my body.  (To be fair, I know this is a common issue for women and it sucks for all of us.  I know I am not alone in this which is, quite frankly, just a sad state of affairs.)

Anyhow, despite not looking like hollywood’s version of a belly dancer (which by the way, is ridiculous), after almost six years I got up on stage and performed in two group numbers at a local music festival.  I really am not sure what allowed me to do this as I still feel the same repulsion towards my body, but I did it and this should have been a triumphant moment.  Clearly I must be making some progress even if I don’t feel it or know where it’s coming from.

The performances went well, but I couldn’t connect in with any sense of joy.  Others were proud of me and excited for me (the studio I dance with attracts an amazing and supportive group of women), but while I could logically tell myself that this was a big step, that it was something positive and I should be happy with myself, I wasn’t actually feeling these things.

All I was aware of was the disconnect and it made me sad that I couldn’t experience any true feelings of accomplishment.  Also, there was the other element I have been talking about.  Here I was taking a positive step forward, but of course the night before things started to fall apart and left me unable to appreciate any of this.  The things were ridiculous and small; the cats created several mishaps, I was having miscommunications with people, I woke up with four spider bites, I got stung by a bee, one of my costume accessories had been destroyed by moths, I looked fat in my costume (or it may not have been the costume, that may have just been me), and so on.  Nothing earth shattering-ly bad, but when all these happened in quick succession and at the same time as my positive progress, I couldn’t help feeling like the universe was trying to keep me down.

Of course I experience a normal amount of these sorts of things in day-to-day life as do most people, but I only seem to have them happen all at once when I am attempting to make my life better in any way.  I realize that I may seem (and be) absurd in my thinking, but it’s how I feel and it’s hard to fight.

Ultimately I will continue my journey to find my way out of these episodes, to hopefully decrease their frequency, and to appreciate what moments of bliss I experience and attempt to create more of them.

If I can’t connect to the elation I should be feeling from performing this past weekend, I will still keep telling myself the positives so I don’t lose sight of them and I will perform again.

And I think I will publish this post after all.  I was thinking this might have been just for me, but to hell with it.  I may like to create a certain appearance of myself and stay away from the serious, but this is part of who I am too.

Now go take a nap or enjoy a cocktail or whatever little thing it is that brings you joy and/or comfort because if you made it all the way through this post, you deserve a little something special.

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