“What looks like weakness is actually where your strength lies. And what looks like strength is often weakness, an attempt to cover up fear; this is an act or a facade, however convincing it might appear to others or even to yourself.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn (thanks for the title of this post, too, mister)
I woke up sad today.
I recently let go of a 2+ year relationship and the most important person in my life. I’ve been binging and feeling sick with inordinate frequency. I’ve been sad.
I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to make cynosure the very best it can be. I’ve been working on it every free minute I have. And I’ve been burning out.
I was going to make an announcement yesterday. I was going to wake up early on Monday and make a video and post it for you.
But I binged on Sunday night. And Monday night, too. And last night.
I realized something terrible a few days ago. I’ve been shielding myself. I’ve had this expectation of myself that I have to be strong all the time, happy all the time, perfectly healthy and a mindful eater all the time.
So that when I slip, I fall. Ungracefully. Tragically. Flat on my face.
Because I think it means I’m weak.
Because I want to keep up this image of myself, so you can comfort in the fact that it does get better.
And it does. It does, it does, it does. In fact, it can get so much better, with every passing moment.
But it’s not without its struggles, and I’ve been ignoring that.
“You have to be strong enough to be weak.” I haven’t been strong in that way lately. “Lonely? I can’t be lonely if I believe that we are all one in love and the Universe.” “Sad? Must be because of my own thoughts.” “Binging? Need to figure it out for myself, ‘fix’ it and stop binging as soon as possible so I can get back to helping people.”
I’m not superhuman. I expected myself to be. I didn’t see that the very perfectionism that cheered my eating disorders on and fueled procrastination and fear in the past instead had come back to destroy me in a different way. “You’re not strong all the time? You’re not happy every single moment? What’s wrong with you?”
It’s easy to ignore the expectations of someone else. It’s harder to live with your own expectations for yourself, your little requirements and high standards.
The thing is, vulnerability is the greatest strength. It’s the sword of love, of openness and deep honesty.
I want to be more honest to you. Like, truly honest. Like how I was honest once upon a time– about my struggles. About my own moments of weakness. About my own sadness and frustrations.
Because it’s what you deserve. Because I love you enough to want to be honest to you. To be real.
I haven’t even been honest to myself.
I thought that if I gave into being sad, what would happen next? Would I just deteriorate into the terribly vulnerable, extremely lonely teenager who was scared of everything– the person that I once was? Would I sink back into my compulsion, addiction, and depression?
I need to have more faith in myself, in my strength, and in my recovery than that.
How else are we able to grow, if we don’t face challenges?
I was going to announce something today. It’ll have to wait for next week… maybe. I don’t know.
I get sad sometimes, too. I fuck up, too. And I struggle, too.
You’re not alone.
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