For those of you who are long time readers of this blog, you might have noticed I’ve not been doing my Friday “self esteem” stuff lately. There’s a reason for that.
I don’t think what I have to say on self-esteem or my recovery process (which is what Friday’s had morphed into) is worth anybody reading about.
I’ve been having a tremendous amount of growth lately. At least, that’s what my therapist tells me, and people around me. I’ve been working hard, and am facing my demons (even the demons I never wanted to face and the demons that were so small I didn’t even know they were there). I’m working my way through triggers with Tai Chi I didn’t think were ever going to be there. Or maybe I’d told myself I’d already taken care of these issues.
So, yes, I’ve been kicking butt and taking names in my recovery.
The thing is, I can see where I want to be, and I’m not there yet.
I’ve come so far in my recovery. In the span of a couple years, I’ve learned more about self-acceptance than I ever had my entire life. Yes, therapy for 19 years (going on 20, oy) has laid the foundation, but even though I had the knowledge, I never had the beliefs to go with the knowledge. In the past couple of years, the beliefs have started to happen.
But, it’s not linear. I want to go from Point A (I’m scum, everybody hates me — and rightly so, I might as well take myself off the planet and stop using up air that people who are worthy of it could be using) to Point Z (I’m great, I have talent I use, I’m secure in my abilities and able to take correction when it’s warranted, and I can tell the difference between somebody who’s really giving correction versus somebody who’s just being critical) by going through Points B, C, D, E etc.
It doesn’t work that way.
So, all these new found beliefs, the ones where I can say “I’m an artist” without feeling like I’m lying (for example) are wonderful. Unfortunately, they also are still in their infancy. It’s still very hard to say, “I’m an artist” without hearing the voices in my head sneering at me that what I do isn’t art. And even if it was art, it’s so bad nobody would want to buy it. (The fact that few people are buying anything right now leads credence to the voices.) It’s hard for that poor little, newborn belief that I’m an artist, and a good one at that, to hold it’s own against the long term entrenched feelings.
It’s like that in accepting my body. In Tai Chi, there is a long wall of mirrors in the dojo. It’s there so people can make sure their form is correct as they do the exercises. I look in the mirror as I’m doing the exercises, and, as long as I can concentrate on what I’m doing, I’m okay. The minute Sensei has me stop (to teach me the next part of the exercise or whatever), I see a fat lady staring back at me.
Yeah. “Fat” isn’t a four lettered word and I really do believe that. But mirrors have never been my friend, even as a child, when I was skinny and saw a “fat, ugly person” staring back at her.
I can see where I’ve been. Ten years ago, I couldn’t have looked in the mirrors at all. The fact I can look in mirrors is immense progress. The fact I still see “fat woman” (as opposed to “woman, who happens to be fat”) shows me how far I’ve yet to go.
Physical healing is not linear. I learned that after my knee surgery. I’d have good days and bad days, with my knee progressively becoming better and stronger. Yet even six months after the operation, I’d still have really bad days. If I know healing isn’t linear, why do I think emotional healing is linear?
Maybe it’s because I think that, after almost 20 years in therapy, I should be done by now. Yes, I know better. I would tell any other person making these same statements, that they just are where they are, and that they have come so far. That life is a process of learning and healing and dealing with things, and it’s never done until we’re dead.
Good words to tell others, huh? I guess it’s much easier to give that advice than it is to take it for myself.