Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sometimes You Are Just Lost

I have been mulling over some things lately and came to the realization overall I am just a little lost. So many things I have tethered myself to in the past just do not apply. I think in some ways I still wanted weight loss to be that moment when the chapter ended and the real story began. It's not, nor ever will be, or ever really was. I never really lived my life in expectation of when "I lost the weight". I also keep finding out that what I struggle with is not always weight related. This is both exciting and a bummer. It would be a lot easier to figure it out if it came back to the problem I am most familiar with. If only everything could always be pinned on one thing.

I started thinking about stuff going into this past weekend. I had not really made any 4th of July plans because work tends to crash in. I realized Friday night I had a long weekend ahead of me and not one thing to really do, besides a facial on Sunday. This would usually be a good thing but I felt a little uneasy and saddened by it. Granted I have been going out a lot and probably could use a little down time but I did not want it. I wanted to do something. It also reinforced me being alone. Many of my friends I would have liked to spend time with are coupled up. I do not begrudge anyone their relationships, and generally like being single. What I am starting to realize though is a few things. One, even when I was single before I was never really alone. You see that's the thing about an eating disorder you always have a built in best friend. It's not a healthy one or beneficial one, but it's a constant. Two, I am not looking to get married any time soon, but I am growing tired of being alone. I feel my aloneness more profoundly these days because I do not have any distractions. When the eating disorder got removed I had the the new friend of recovery. For a while I was so fulfilled by healing and recovering I did not even miss it and had a new distraction in it's place. I isolated happily because my brain was so full constantly of mulling over all these new things I was learning, processing, feeling, the list goes on. Now I am faced with managing these things but not preoccupied by it and it certainly does not take up the space it once did.

I have a lot more space in my life. For myself, my health, my loved ones, hobbies, you name it I got space for it within reason, I mean I do have a job and need some sleep occasionally. Am I tired of being alone or am I for the first time really experiencing being alone? I am independent by nature for sure. I have never "needed" a buddy at all times with me, a boyfriend and maybe to my detriment. Finding myself turning 31 soon and the people around me getting engaged, married, having babies and so on it's just sort of odd to feel like everyone is moving forward and you still have your training wheels on. The thing is I know how to be alone. It's easy for me. I know how to disconnect, to not expect my needs to be met, or cared for, I know a lot of negatives to being alone and some positives. It's familiar to me just like defaulting to my problems being weight related. I do not know how to really be with someone. Marriage still totally freaks me out, but a boyfriend would be nice. I say this, but when I look at my actions it tells me something else. A part of me thinks I am not ready because I am not totally confident in my body. I still have a hard time being confident knowing I have work still to be done and truly believing someone could accept me now when I can't. I think I still put a not available vibe out there. I think this comes from a lack of confidence and a fear of leaving behind my alone behaviors. It's not just that though...I have never been in a healthy relationship. I think I understand in theory what one is. I have relationship role models and truly from an intellectual standpoint "get it". When this comes to practicing it I have a really spotty track record. In some ways I think my relationship hesitance is less about the lack of body confidence and more of seeing it as some test of whether or not I have truly rehabbed my self esteem. I really think what you expect in a relationship is somewhat a barometer of your self esteem. I think I am nervous about this. Will I make the same mistakes? Will I have the confidence to ask more for myself and not ask so little of someone else? In my last relationship I learned something pretty invaluable, manipulation has nothing to do with intelligence but it will cause your self esteem to take a beating. I have recovered from that but I think I had not really understood what the lasting repercussions of it would be. I do not really trust myself to pick a good egg and right or wrong I see being in a relationship as some sort of of indication of my progress.

For this weekend I reached out to a bestie and asked what she was up to and then crashed her family vacation. Her family is essentially my second family. My first years in New York I spent more holidays and time with her family then my own because of geography. I needed that. I needed to get out of the city, have some down time and minimal time isolating in my head. Being alone is not just about a boyfriend but how you deal with your problems. I do not have to deal alone. I can deal with a last minute beach vacation with people who are so comforting in their familiarity. In some ways it was like nothing had changed since I was 18 and first met this family and it was sort of surreal and delightful.

Moving forward I have no idea. I saw Marisa today, we talked as we do and she said, " You sound a little lost, but you have to take some of the pressure off yourself to figure it out, but keep asking the questions. The answer may not be someone, or something. It can be a feeling or a moment." I get that and I am open to it. I am not shocked by this feeling of being lost. Many things I have defined and tethered my identity to are no longer what they once were. I used to define myself through my weight and career. I no longer define myself through my weight, and my career is a part of me but not me. It's also in a transitional state but more on that another time. These are pretty key things to lose or have shift and I guess I just did not see the fallout coming. I have been goal oriented and driven since I was a wee lass and it is weird for the first time to not have any big goal driving me. Maybe I need new ones, or maybe I don't. I am not sure at this point. A few things I do know: I am SO HAPPY that my friend Katie got engaged yesterday. What a way to cap off a weekend and celebrate the 4th. I could not be happier and more excited for her. I am really looking forward to my vacation in 23 days. Yep, I have started a countdown calendar. I also know that whenever I have been lost before whether it was in life or in a city I have figured it out and gotten back on course. I know that to be true and know and trust I have it within me to muddle my way through and be okay. That is one good thing about being clearer about who you are. I may not know where I am going, but I know who I am and what is in my best interests. Maybe I need to really trust that and know from within I can make better, healthy decisions for myself and they do not have always have to be made alone.


  1. So much of this resonated with me (esp the being single/being alone/not knowing how to be in a relationship)

  2. Something really hit me in this piece, the eating disorder and never being alone...and now I'm trying to focus on those instincts and how I can proactively fight them and I find I'm pushing past the crippling social anxiety and doing things like you mentioned, crashing a family vacation or a close friend's long weekend. I love how you look at life, it's hard feeling like you've lost the trail a bit but you know who you are and that's fundamental!