Tuesday, May 22, 2007

all things in moderation

It's been a not-so-good day. Actually more like a not-so-good hour, since I know this feeling will pass. I'm unable to completely stop the mental tape from playing in the back of my mind. The recording is something like this:

"You are worthless, stupid, lazy, and boring. You are ugly. You know you don't deserve anything. Your words don't carry weight."

To be able to interact with others, to even write this entry, I have to turn down the volume on that tape for a few moments. I'm worried that I'll never be able to scrap it. It seems to keep skipping at certain points and then replaying from the beginning..The statement I'm having the hardest time with at the moment is the one that says "Your words don't carry weight." This is where the record skips whenever I gush excessively over the things people do or say: Over thanking them, over praising them. Eventually driving them batty.

I recently realized it's not about being phony (Coming from the
Holden Caulfield School of Mental Distress, I'm predisposed to assuming all faults must stem from phoniness! *sarcasm*) -it's about feeling that nothing I say has an impact. Therefore, I must say it more emphatically than other people. I mean everything I say; I just say too much, too strongly. It can be annoying to say the least. Why doesn't it have an impact? Because I'm "worthless, stupid, lazy, and boring", because I "know" I "dont deserve anything." It sounds so dramatic when I put it that way. What I really mean is that I gush to make up for what I think I lack. The things that some may hold against me.

So instead of saying thanks one time, I must say it over and over. I can't just like someone, I have to love them. I have to say sorry 10x over-even (and sometimes especially) for things I haven't done wrong, or have nothing to do with. And it goes on, and on with me beating myself up over what I could've, would've, should've done in any given situation. Somehow I think people will like and respect me for this, but they end up treating me as weak and broken, which I can understand. I feel broken, in the sense that it's as if something has gone wrong inside, has slipped out of place, and can't be fixed. At least not yet, or without some help. This whole cycle is tiring and, in fact, quite boring! For everyone involved!

To break these old habits takes courage: The courage to be yourself, not to shrink away from what you are. Not to try to hide what you are, or shift focus away from it. I know I have inner reserves of strengh, but courage is something I'm still testing out. I want to experiment with accepting myself, and with allowing others to accept/not accept what I say or do without feeling I owe them more than is reasonable, or more than they're asking. I'm actually used to not being well-liked, and being misunderstood, but that hasn't made me dislike these facts any less. The trick is to be moderate, maintaining a good sense of self-image, but without going overboard and alienating others by being aloof. It's a balancing act, and it's hard to know where to draw the line.

...Wow..The next post needs to be more positive than this, it's getting too dreary even for me.


Celine said...

you are one of the most amazing people I know. I mean it. we haven't known each other for long, we don't even know each other in real life, but your words always brighten my day, make me feel better about myself [I have super low self esteem and doubt myself like whoa]. you do make a difference. I prefer someone who is passionate about how they feel than someone who feels nothing. big hugs.

danucal said...

it's really hard to hear that a person as talented as you are has low self-esteem. it's even weirder to hear that my depressing posts make you feel better about yourself! i mean, there are some people that just "get it" without having to have everything explained (another thing i like about your comments is that you don't come up with old cliches like, "it will be alright.", or "don't worry, be happy.") . i'm drawn to passionate people, too-like the way you are about food, that amazes me! it is very inspiring to know that you can do that, and share that everyday despite feelings of doubt. thank you again *bear hug!*

Celine said...

oh you are making me tear up! I wish I could give you a big bear hug and make you realize that you are an amazing person!

danucal said...

i am starting to feel better about myself, this blog is helping me alot. i'm glad i've met up with at least one like-minded person to share my thoughts with. ;)

lindsay said...

I think we can all relate to the internal broken record.

Perhaps you should start talking back to it. "Says who?" So you think your words don't have weight. Says who? And so what?

I've done the over-thanking thing before. For me, it was less about being thankful for their accomplishments and more about being apologetic for my (perceived) failures. I saw their achievements as my shortcomings. When i realized that their experiences were entirely separate from mine, things changed.

Oh, but it was so hard to change the old habits! To only say thanks one time, to only apologize one time. To be able to accept a compliment at all! So difficult. I truly empathize with where you're at, because it's familiar to me.

danucal said...

Perhaps you should start talking back to it. "Says who?" So you think your words don't have weight. Says who? And so what?

If only it could really be that simple. "So what?"..I don't think that really fits in with anyone who writes a blog. I'm planning an upcoming post talking about blogging and validation, and how the two are very closely intertwined.
It's important to note that in writing this blog, I'm not looking for pity, or for help necessarily, but for understanding.
This is not to say I don't appreciate your comments. But compare it to someone giving you health advice, or weight-loss tips on your body acceptance blog. It probably comes from a good place, but it just doesn't belong there.. because it's about more than weight.