But that’s okay, it’s a process.
So all of this looking back has made me extremely grateful that I started journaling and then blogging. It’s reassuring to go back to those old entries and remember what I was thinking and feeling, reminding me that I don’t ever have to feel that way again. I know I've said it before, but here is the real beauty of keeping a journal: there it is in black and white, written on solid paper, every horrible thing you think of yourself, there where you can look at it outside of yourself for the first time and notice.... it’s a bunch of bullshit. This stuff that I wrote, it sounded so much more reasonable and sane inside my head - “useless” “ugly” “lazy.” In the harsh light of the outside world we can see these thoughts for what they are.
For example, here’s a journal entry from June 2011. By this time the positive affirmations were beginning to do their thing and I was moving on from hate to our other lying bastard of a friend, guilt. Because, back then, it wasn't just that I thought I was “useless-ugly-lazy” but that I was also undeserving of success, or luck, or love. Basically, sometimes I would binge because something GOOD had happened. I felt guilty. I didn't deserve it.
Journal Entry #27:
We [that is, me and the nutritionist] also talked a bit about eating to avoid happiness. What about the possibility that being happy makes me feel guilty, so I start out celebrating but then end up punishing myself instead? I know that I do often find myself avoiding talking about happy stuff or success to others because I don’t want them to feel bad (or jealous? or hate me?).
I don’t deserve to feel guilty about my successes.
I am not responsible for other someone else’s feelings.