Driving in circles.

You know when you get that question you don’t want to answer. And then you find yourself answering it in way more detail than anticipated. You know? Man these lyrics are perfect for these thoughts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fyJFVKx0nc

 

Let’s back up. I guess you can tell I did a lot of thinking on my birthday huh? I fully admit I fall into that game sometimes where I shit rainbows and butterflies. Life is good. No life is great. Everything is going well. Or worse… I’m fine. It’s a game I am far too familiar with and hate to say, I find myself defaulting to lately.

I am that friend that will do everything in my power and ability to make you feel good. I will make sure you understand why you shouldn’t hate yourself, why you should feel confident in your skin, why you should only see beauty staring back. Then I go and beat myself up.

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Yesterday, I felt a lot. I don’t know if it was because it was my first time celebrating my birthday alone or because I got asked that first question ‘but what really is on your mind’. Either way, it left me wanting to really set a needed goal for myself this year. The crazy 24 year old in me wanted more.

There is one mentality I can’t seem to shake. The lack of confidence in myself and more importantly the lack of self love. I know I know, sounds all crunchy but listen to me when I say this is a big holding back point for me. I work so hard to not feel compassion towards myself.

My life for the last almost 8 years (wish I was exaggerating) was always hyper focused. What I mean is, I always had one thing consuming me. It changed each year, each small period of time, but it still came back to that one tendency to put one thing in the center and revolve my world around it. For a while, that was my ED. Post treatment, it was my exercise. Then it was food. Then it was school. Then it was this. Then it was that. You get it.

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The problem with all of this is focusing on that one thing made me closed off to what was actually going on around me. It made me just so distant from people, from honestly life as a whole. I think that is why I just had these major mood swings and heightened awareness of all my struggles. I couldn’t embrace the good because all I saw was the ups and downs of this one center focus. This hyper focus on one thing is my downfall. This big ugly downfall that comes back to bite me in the ass when I am most vulnerable.

The difference now is – I don’t have a center. I am not saying I don’t feel stable, no, I just have this openness to all things. I work, but I don’t only work. I run, but I don’t only run. I hang with friends, but I also cherish the me time. It just works. Plain and simple.

Over break it hit me really hard that I still have those same thoughts – I don’t have to do this until I change myself. Hold up – so right now I am not enough but instead have to wait till I reach that point of being enough. Eek. Pictures were hard. Clothes shopping is non existent. Getting dressed is even hard. Confidence to stand out is gone. You see the problem? I sure do.

 

But this balance feeling – sadly – is feeling off kilter. I want to change but not in all the right ways. I want to be closer to people yet push them away as safety. I want to express what I really feel but can’t find the words. I see myself as strong but want to change a lot about myself.

Not fun. So that’s my ramble. That’s ‘what has been up’ in this neck of the woods. Mind games people, mind games. But I am a firm believe you need to let it out in order to work on it. No one is perfect. We all have our downfalls. Welcome to my achilles heel.

Question: What is your pitfall these days? Any current struggles you need to get off your chest? 

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34 responses to “Driving in circles.

  1. There’s nothing like a birthday to prompt you to take a look closer and examine yourself. And it’s easy to get caught up in the “things I’d change” game, but when this happens, I do my best to remind myself how far I’ve come–and how much progress I’ve made–throughout the past year.

  2. I tend to start feeling the same way around New Years. (Not my birthday but around this time). I think about what I could and couldn’t change and what will make me a better person. I hope you feel better today (and get your wallet!)

  3. Nothing like a birthday/new year to force yourself to reexamine yourself. I’m sorry that you’re feeling a little off-balance lady, but realizing what’s happening is the first step to changing it. Carrie has a good suggestion – make sure that you also reflect on the progress and the changes you’ve already made; a good jumping-off point to continue to make the necessary changes.

  4. First of all, happy belated birthday!! Secondly, I can relate big time to the whole “lift people up and then tear myself down” for the same exact thing. It’s a battle I have been getting away from over the years. It’s easier said that done, but I have been really trying to stay calm in all areas of my life lately..life is too short to stress about what everyone else thinks about me.

  5. I’m sorry you have been feeling this way. :( I think we all have times where we are so hard on ourselves and we just feel confused. When I feel like that I know I need to pray and spend more time with God. I usually know it’s at that point that I am letting too many worldly things consume me; the things that don’t matter. I also talk to my husband about everything, so maybe if there is one person in your life who you completely trust you can talk to them. Thinking about you dear! I hope you have a great New Years!

    • You are so right with letting too many things consume me, especially the negative bunch. I think talking it out really makes me realize it is my own thoughts I need to counteract. And those are where I can dive into a healthier mindset. Hope you have a great new years as well!!!

  6. My achilles heel at the moment: doing what I need to do for me regardless of what others think and truly making an effort to put that to the front of what I do, rather than letting it get pushed aside again. Choosing to defer shamrock till next year raised many eyebrows in my run club, and I’m still getting questioned. Trying to save up for a new(er) car in the next few months since mine is a death trap means less going out and doing stuff which isn’t always popular, and continuing to eat stuff like sweets and other “treats” rather than dieting or detoxing isn’t completely understood by a few people in my life either. And it’s all too easy for me to give in and choose to do what they think i should to keep the peace…but I’m doing my best not to do that and i hope it continues!

    • I love these you set for yourself. Honestly I never try to treat the new year as a new year. Too much pressure. Instead it is just another time to set myself in a good frame of mind. and a day off work haha! I bet you can save for that car, you will do it!

  7. Ashley @MilesonOats

    Your speaking loud and clear to me. I have massive anxiety and tend to push people away or instantly say “no” because my schedule, my terms, and my way is “safe”, which ultimately makes me feel like a bad and mean person. I really hope to work on this in the New Year and hope that 20104 brings you happiness! I am sorry you feeling down, I have been having the same thoughts for days now too.

    -Ashley

    • I think at least knowing this is your tendency is the best way to counteract it. I think those are good goals for yourself, I know I have broken out of many of those ruts this past year. Happy new year Ashley!

  8. This was a great read. I always appreciate deep posts like this from you, Alex. I know what you mean about being hyper focused. I was like that with school this past semester. Too obsessed, and nothing else mattered to me. When one thing went wrong, I would be miserable. I missed out on a lot of things, too, because I was too busy doing homework or studying. not cool. I’ve realized that it’s not worth it for to be so obsessed because I miss out on LIFE!! Great post!!

    • I think you totally found your groove because you realized that though! I really appreciate you being open with me as well, it is nice to know I am not alone on this. I think you get the hyper focused thing, it is a tough balance to find. Thanks Allie, have a great New year!

  9. Okay, A #1: Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff. (http://www.amazon.com/Self-Compassion-Beating-Yourself-Insecurity-Behind/dp/0061733512) READ IT READ IT READ IT. Go put it on hold at the library immediately. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Or buy the Kindle version if you have a Kindle. Or doggone it, I will buy this book FOR you! At the very LEAST, visit her website, self-compassion.org. I read this book in November and it was exactly exactly exactly what I needed, and, based on what you’ve said (“I work so hard to not feel compassion towards myself.”), I think it would be good for you, too. And do the exercises!! It’s like free therapy! Seriously. I cannot emphasize enough how big of a difference this book can make in your life if you let it. You! Must! Read! It!

    B #2: I feel you on a lot of this (especially the compassion stuff, obviously…see A #1). I doesn’t help that I tend to get super navel-gazey, either. You know, being all, “All right, Bethany. Let’s analyze, in excruciating detail, every way you are failing in any and every department, in hopes that such analysis will make you a better person.” I mean, sometimes I reach great conclusions, but most of the time I end up with, “God, I suck as a person.” Haha. Not good! One thing I’m not doing well but would VERY much like to work on is treating myself the way I’d treat a friend (one of the things I picked up from Self-Compassion). Goodness knows I would NEVER be as mean to any of my friends as I am to myself, and dude, that’s just not okay at all.

    C #3: Do you have the 12 Gifts of Christmas app on your iPhone? Somehow it seems most people in my life are not aware of this magical app, but I’ve been trying to spread the good news. Every day from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6 Apple gives me free things! Books! Music! Movies! TV shows! Straight up the best app OF MY LIFE. Anyway, today’s gift was a free Avicii music video AND a big ol’ NINE MINUTE LONG mix. a;sldkfjasdlk;fj. I forgot about it until my phone lit up reminding me about my daily gift while I was writing this comment and now I am SO. STOKED. and I had to share my giddiness. Haha. Happy new year, girl! <3 you!

    • wait so many things to reply to. 1. I did just get a kindle so adding that book asap. I have so many books I am reading but if you say make it a priority I guess i will. 2. we are the same person and that number two totally proves it. same tendencies I swear. 3. HOLY SHIZ WHY HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THIS APP ummm checking this out. now.

  10. Ah, sorry I missed your birthday! HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :) There’s something about birthdays.. especially when they fall around the end/beginning of the year.. that makes you do the whole introspection thing and can end up making you feel less-than-awesome. Turn that around though and use it to help you become the person you want to be and have the year you want to have. I completely understand the idea of waiting to do something until you’re the person you want to be, but that’s just crazy! (Hah, I can say that now because I’ve used that excuse so many times in the past.) Enjoy 24, Alex! And enjoy 2014!

  11. Happy birthday again, dear! I know what you mean about overthinking things when I am alone. It’s hard to be alone with just your thoughts…and the worst part is, there’s no one to stop you from thinking things, whether they are true or not. I hope that getting it all out makes you feel better, girl. Hope you have a great New Year!

  12. I really love the quote- think how far you’ve come, not how far you still have to go. :)

  13. Birthdays often make you sit up and take stock and it sounds like you’ve done so much thinking. As a regular reader of your blog for over a year now, I think you are amazing and achieve so much. You have come so far yet you are always working to better yourself. I hope you feel positive about this soon – I know you will turn it around!

  14. Karey at Nutty About Health

    I’m sorry you’re feeling this way & struggling with yourself. You’re right – no one is perfect & that only makes you all the more human. I struggle with loving myself & not looking in the mirror & nitpicking about my stomach and/or how I look. It’s hard to be positive about ourselves sometimes, but it’s good to be aware. Good for you on putting yourself out there & I know you’ll get it all figured out eventually. :)

    • I think we all are pretty hard on ourselves sometimes, which isn’t the best quality to have but we all have it. It is something I really want to continue working on, and I know I have a lot of tools and support to do that. Thank you for your support!

  15. I think I am similar in that I always focus on one main thing. It’s not that I don’t participate in other things at the same time, but they lack my full consideration. Especially relationships. When I do focus solely on relationships, for example, a breakfast out with friends, it’s almost like an awakening. Like “this” is how it’s supposed to be and I wonder how I never realized it was what I was missing. But then I go back to focusing on something else, like all of these doctor’s visits/health problems, or school… and I forget again for awhile.

    Open is such a good word for balance. Not hyperfocused on just one thing but letting yourself be connected to all of these different aspects at the same time. School, work, family, friends, blog, health, food, etc. I guess for me it backfires when I try to do it all and then end up forgetting something super important that I wouldn’t have forgotten if I was only working towards that one thing.

  16. I can completely relate. I think this may be a part of the “quarter life crisis” and eventually, slowly, and once you let go of trying to figure it all out, it figures itself out. I think you are on your way. Hang in there. <3

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