The Continual Pursuit of Happiness

Alright. Last night, I binged. I surely did. I was happy with my abs coming through the entire day yesterday and then, BOOM, the night came and I found myself in the kitchen. Like a racoon, I was scavenging for food. I ate everything from 2 chicken sausages with squash spaghetti, half a stack of crackers with sour cream and salsa, a chicken drumstick, 2 cups of ice cream, and almost 5 tablespoons (blocks of butter measurement) of cheese (maybe even more!)

This morning I feel the same old feeling I’ve felt after a night of binging, as I have for the last umteen years…

Why did I binge? Is it worth asking that? Eckhart mentioned a saying… when an arrow is shot and hits you, you first don’t question why the arrow was shot, you first try to remove the arrow. That was applied to a question that was “where do thoughts come from?”. But in the context of binging, is it worth asking why I binge? Do I have to seek the why to stop the action? Say a child is crying after school and you kneel down to console her. You will ask why she is crying and then you will dispel whatever happened with a better outlook to make her feel better… so with this example, it’s like figuring out the list of why’s so you can talk yourself out of each point that encourages a binge. But, you know what would be even more badass… if that child wasn’t crying in the first place… if that child wasn’t affected by whatever happened on the outside world and she carried on as is… if that arrow shot and missed her… I think that’s what I aspire to be. I don’t want to dig my brain for a endless list of why’s to the question of “why do I binge?”.

Meditation so far has been so difficult but it has made me realize how overactive my brain is in terms of thinking. It also has allowed me to find a bit of peace in the moment, I can breath through anxious feelings in my belly that arise when certain thoughts take over. This peace and little bubble of happiness in my belly is what I am investing in to enable me to be this badass child – to not feel down because of external happenings.

Last night, I binged, though. I don’t feel stressed about it because I feel I am working towards understanding my body better. Who knows, I was hungry but lacked a bit of self control. That’s simply what I’ll work on today. If I’m hungry, I will eat and control myself from eating the junk I did like last night. With that being said, I truly want to heal my relationship with food. Sometimes I look at food as if it’s the enemy. Food brings me fear… I look at junk food and a little fear is triggered in me. I look at healthy food and a little resentment arises. How do I heal this relationship with food? Healing this relationship though, might sidetrack from being that badass child I want to be – but it might be necessary to be that girl by being opposite her for the time being.

I would think I would have to heal my relationship with my body image and appearance in order to heal my relationship with food. What does that take? Healing isn’t saying nothing is wrong and that what I’m insecure about is from thin air. There are certain expectations and an ideal look that I think is beautiful, what society thinks is beautiful, and that is the standard that I’ve set for myself. So, since I don’t feel I meet that standard, then I think something is wrong. Thinking something is wrong leads to body dissatisfaction. I want the hot body because I want the attention, and I want the youth and energy that comes with it. Nothing is wrong with wanting that, but the issue is that I think I’ll be unhappy without it. 

So there… without going into a tangent… I will accept imperfection little by little everyday. Accepting imperfection… I think this will be a very powerful move in my life. I’ve lived in fear of not becoming someone. I always wanted to be something great and felt less than when it didn’t seem I would be that person. That in itself is an expectation that, without it, caused me great unhappiness. Yesterday, though, I had moments where I felt I’m okay without being that someone. That I don’t have to be, really, anyone special. I’m just another human being, and that’s okay. Some people are wired to be more seen, and more heard. I don’t have to be this great daughter, this great friend, great co-worker that strives to greatness. I’m great in my own way. I am great in that I can write all this out, I’m truly happy about that. I’m great in that I can strum a few chords and sing to it, I’m great in that I can run long distances. I am great in my own way. I have imperfections but, truly, every single breathing and non-breathing thing has imperfections.

This… this release is bringing tears to my eyes. I am great in my own way. It’s different from the greatness we see others are known for, but it is still great. Everyone has this greatness in them, this hidden greatness. There’s even greatness from the realization of the greatness within all of our imperfect greatness…what a mind twister. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working towards being this badass child, it’s opposite of that.

So.. food.. I deeply love you, do you love me as well? I’ll give you time to figure that out. Breasts… I also love you for your imperfections… do you love me as well? Stretchmarks, thighs, to my average eyes… I love you all… do you love me as well?

I’ve always craved to be me… but felt lost because I didn’t know who me was. All along, the me has been here. I’ve just been too embarrassed, in denial, and a little bit of a sheep to let me break through the current front that is me. I’ve been told growing up that ‘me’ wasn’t good enough and that I should fix this, do that, act this way, don’t act that way…but now, I’m on my own. I don’t have those voices in my ear every single day anymore. Well, I did, it had become my own voice.. but I’m realizing, that is not my voice that I’m hearing. It’s voices of others, it’s their aspiration of perfection shoved onto me to fulfil… I’m not signing up for that anymore.

Vien, I truly love you. Be that messy, sometimes mindless girl that you are. Have no shame.. cross your legs however you want, spill out of jeans and shirts if that’s what your body does, say blunt things, act boyish, be loud, dance, sing, and play! Let your mind run free, you owe it to yourself to let you shine through now. No more hiding behind the curtains because your form doesn’t match the silhouette. Be you, great in subtle ways. You don’t have to make a splash to live happily, nor do you have to leave a mark.

Anyways… back to work I go.

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2 Steps Forward

I watched a meditation video with my mom Sunday, reluctantly. I felt my stomach churn and turn, I think it was engrained reactions from back in the day, when she use to make me do things I didn’t want to do such as go to Temple. Still I sat and watched and challenged myself to fight those flight feelings.

Something that stuck out was this woman that said, you can’t target illnesses. When you fix one thing, you fix it all. Now I don’t think it’s that simple, but the main point she was making was that it’s all connected. It resonated with me. These are the issues I have:

  • Rumination to depression
  • Social Anxiety
  • Binge eating

These are all, I believe, connected. The driving force is Social Anxiety. Alot of my torment comes from the feeling like I can’t connect with people, and so much lately, I feel my true self being muted due to fear of social rejection. I can’t be honest with people afraid they won’t like my opinion. The more I do this, the more mute I become, the more I want to blow up but am unable to. I find release in sport, but that can only do so much because when I return back to regular life, I’m constricted again.

Social anxiety is something I danced around but never truly thought I had since I can be extroverted. I’m realizing, though, that because it takes so much effort to be that, and I’m becoming more withdrawn, I’m truly not extroverted. Starting today, I’m targeting this major issue through reading things only and listening to podcasts. I’m going to work on my social anxiety.

Things I’m doing:

  • Actively addressing social anxiety and getting rid of it
  • Meditating twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. The evening will address my urges to binge
  • Mindfulness – observing my thoughts as they come without judgement, I’ll let them pass and refocus my attention on my breathing

Yesterday I didn’t want to go to BJJ. I ended up staying pretty late rolling. I woke up with aches and pains — which I love, but I’m wondering if they’re not good aches and pains.. hmm. Yesterday was also a binge free day. I meditated in the evening for the first time, I think that helped. I think what helped was that no one was in the living room either. That would be the next challenge. Meditate, then sit through watching television without acting on my urges to binge. Being mindful and present to deter avoidance.

Is This My Life?

Hello darkness, my old friend…

Yesterday everything was great until my roommates came home. One of them gives me anxiety because of her personality changes from me and her sister and best friend. With me, I feel she isn’t her true self, while she teases her best friend and sister. I can’t be myself because I’m afraid she will judge me as she teases them. It feels silly to write out, but it’s true. Then, she told a story about her sister having major PMS and teased her about it — which I have. And then said that when she (her sister) came home to her crackers being eaten up, she got really really mad. I was the one that finished off her crackers. To be fair, there were crumbs left, but to be fair again, I shouldn’t be eating others stuff.

But that all triggered a binge session. I felt so lost inside my head, so hopeless, so ashamed, and I was obsessively ruminating.

I feel so not normal. I constantly think of my don’ts, of my inability to hold any conversations lately, and I don’t know what to do.

Vitamins help, but to an extent. Ruminating is one of my bigger problems. It’s what keeps me from living my life. So I want to tackle that. My do’s:

  1. Continue mindfulness (to refrain from ruminating)
  2. Continue meditation (this is seriously my last resort almost)
  3. Exercise! (release them dopamine & serotonin)
  4. Continue vitamins

Now — will I ever cure myself of binge eating?

HELL FUCKING YES.

Feelin’ Right

I listened to Oprah for a big last night – the main thing I got was to really listen to your intuition and listen to how you feel about things. The way she spoke about news reporting not being right for her is how I feel about all my work thus far not being ‘right’ for me. What I’m doing now — my god — how can I be anymore lucky? I work remotely, doing really non-stressful work. But, every morning I dread starting. I don’t think it’s because I’m spoiled — I think it’s because I know there’s something more satisfying that I can do that I can also make a living out of. I want to lead my own life. I’m doing doing so working for someone else. It’s not starting a business either. I want to write. I want to sell books. I want to daydream and talk about things I can act like I know. I want to feel butterflies, I want to feel so happy or sad that it leads me to tears — all from imagining up worlds and characters and their interactions. That’s what I want to do. And I’m going to do it. I don’t know if I will be able to make a living, but that’s what I want to do in my spare time. To get spare time, I have to time manage better. I have many forces that take up my time. I am also feeling so guilty about not visiting my parents more. But, selfishly, visiting my parents sometimes make me feel not great. My dad typically is negative, complaining about this or that. I don’t’ want to hear it. Blah — you don’t have to judge me because I’m already judging myself.

BJJ has been great. I’ve been getting better. I really enjoy rolling after class. Yesterday I ran 12 miles then went to class. I was DEAD afterwards. I didn’t do anything I was suppose to. I was suppose to go to Hana’s Mary Kay party and to go home. I didn’t do either. I feel guilty — but I don’t feel like i made the wrong decision. Guilty comes from imaginations of a future where your decisions today might bite you then… If I don’t live with guilt then I don’t live in fear of the future that becomes from the decisions I make today. I want to live guilt free.

Ok. Back to work — I must make something of myself. This lucrative job which some of us abuse isn’t going to last — I know it. People are getting let go left and right from different jobs and I’m here complaining about mine. That’s why, I must time manage better and invest in a future in which I am leading it.

Hello Again

I can’t remember the last time I’ve written on here… I’ve been cheating on you… I’ve found a little community on Reddit – the BingeEatingDisorder subreddit. There, I’ve been posting everyday and titling it “Challenging my Binge/Urge Day #__”. There I feel heard and seen, some have commented encouraging things, saying my points help them out in their recovery process. I feel seen, heard, and validated there.

I started reading Brain Over Binge, it’s become a game changer for me. Without getting in too deep, an example of the change it’s made is this: I was in a mood after my Big’s grandma’s birthday, one I am typically in that eats me alive. I reached out to Jackson who has become my support friend from Reddit. He talked me out of my strong urges. I had fallen asleep trying to meditate, and when I woke, I took myself to the kitchen. I began eating and eating, but for the first time ever, I felt my ‘human brain’ and my ‘animal brain’ at odds. Usually, my animal brain takes over and I robotically stuff my face. Tonight, though, mid-way, I didn’t want anymore. I continued, just because. But really, something was different. The difference was that I actually knew, in the moment, I was still going to feel empty once my stomach was full.

 

I was stuffed but not painfully full. I went back into my room. When I heard Karen and our other friends coming home, I closed the door and began to relive my teen years where my sister would be with a large group of friends, and I would be alone reading somewhere – dreaming of a day where I would be just like her. I began to dig myself into a dark hole in my room, while Karen and our other friends chit chatted outside. I felt so anti-social, so alone, yet so not wanting to mingle either.

I had a little epiphany, well it started with the question, “why do I want what I want”? Why am I so unhappy with my social capabilities? Why do I continuously force myself to want to be this social butterfly? Why do I feel empty having something that makes me uncomfortable?

I think… this is my first step to self acceptance… I accept my social awkwardness and my sensation of feeling uncomfortable in certain social situations. The binge that I feel really wasn’t a binge doesn’t hurt me like it usually does. Maybe because I know that would be my last binge ever. Today, I begin my journey towards letting go of my obsession with relationships and will live my life the way it naturally feels good to live.

Because I am no good at social groups, for now, I am going to devote my time, instead to becoming the best that I can be within the practice of Jiu Jitsu, running, & possibly volunteering. I will possibly set up a meetup for running long runs around Kansas City.

I feel a new sensation taking over my body and soul, something has woken up… a blurry vision of purpose not yet actualized… something is there. I no longer wish to be this social butterfly.

I love myself in the darkness of my empty room, I love my thoughts swirling in my head that is directing me towards a purposeful life… Although I would love to be a social butterfly because of the energy it seems to give others and my envy towards them, I can’t become it simply because it’s not me. Just like, I can’t be with Billy simply because he doesn’t return the same love. It’s just not meant to be. Acceptance is the first step. I accept that I am neither meant for Billy or to be a butterfly. I’m meant to be something else, not worse off and not better. Just something else that is better suited for me. I, for the first time ever, am so excited about who I am going to become… I’ve heard it from others to me, but I’ve never believed it. For the first time ever, I believe that whatever I’m going to become, is going to be great.

Vien, I love the hell out of you.

I’m Sorry Dad ~ But It’s ALL GROOVY

My dad and I got into it. I came home to get my car fixed by him, he asked if I can help him call certain bill collectors.

And then, he went on his tangents about how mom set all this up and now it’s a mess and this and that and… I should have bitten my tongue. But I can’t, when it comes my parents, us kids are always in the middle. They use us as punching bags for each other. It tears me apart. I couldn’t sit and listen to him gripe about all the wrong things mom did before going to Burma, I hate hearing all the bad things my dad did and does from her too. When I walked through the door I was happy, my day was great. I felt grateful for everything. I had a single thought, though, go through my head as I swung open the door, “I don’t know what to expect from my dad today”. Will he be his happy self or his negative, shitting on mom self. It was both. He plays both parts so well. I am too sensitive to play catch up with what he feels in each moment.

He goes from griping like the world is going to end, to smiling and talking about something light. I FUCKING HATE THAT.

This is why I don’t want kids. My god, if I make my kids feel the way I feel, then I have failed as a parent. I walked into the bathroom to let out my tears, and thought, of course I would hide and deal with my emotions alone. And blame myself for the way I feel. I shouldn’t have to apologize for having these feelings. My dad is not equipped to support me this way, in fact, I have to support him this way. I’m just confused. Do you want to stay together or not? Are you pissed or happy right now? Pick one, deal with it, then get the fuck over it. I walked out of the bathroom, with my head up and pretended like I wasn’t bothered. I answered whatever questions his now sweet voice asks.

My reaction to this makes me feel like I am not equipped to handle any sort of conflict. Which, I really hope isn’t the case. I don’t want to be shifted because of conflict – I want to be able to face it and deal with conflict. But I can’t when I can’t even have these conversations with my dad.

BUT ~ it’s all groovy.

Here is the silver lining – this is how my dad is. I take things to heart and possibly make things bigger than it is. He could simply be expressing his anxiety which is important, he still has all the love and care for my mom. But this platform, me, us kids, is NOT the platform to express these emotions. I’m not saying he needs to hide it. I want him to talk about it. But, I can’t keep doing this if he does ZERO self reflections and continuously thinks of himself as the victim.

I’ll apologize when he gets back inside, and let him know I still love him dearly.

When I create my own family, I don’t want cold shoulders or finger pointing. I don’t want emptiness taking over when someone isn’t there. I don’t want guilt trips or the blind pursuit of money. 

I’m okay, I just needed to vent.

I meant to write earlier about positive things, but didn’t get around to it. I am urged to write when I feel incredibly sad, so at least that got me to write…

On a positive note – yesterday I went to the gym and read about Yoga. It’s something I want to start doing, it sounds like an all around healthy way to live. Not just yoga physically, but it also teaches about mental balance, which I am in a life long pursuit of. The magazine also encouraged us to write about relationships or things happening during the day rather than our sorrows. I know I do a lot of this, but my journey includes being more present and aware of what I’m doing and the people in my life. That will hopefully transpire into writing more about them and it and not me and my emotions. I had a thought that maybe my site BloomingX.com could be about my journey through Yoga and a more balanced lifestyle – balanced in meals, exercise, mental health (body image included).

I did end last night with the 3rd day binge. The silver lining there is when I did it, I wasn’t sad, I just wanted to. Another silver lining is it made today’s workout KICK ASS.

My dad just came up to chat with me about the car. All if fine I guess. WHY CAN’T WE DEAL WITH HOW WE FEEL, REFLECT, AND GROW… I can’t sweep it under the rug like he can.

Death

I went to bed thinking about this alot. What would happen if I died? Who would mourn? What would be left unsaid? Death is so final, but at the same time, during episodes of intense sadness, it seems so freeing. No longer do I overthink relationships, no longer do I feel self-pity, no longer would I feel inadequate and lonely. I felt so alone going to bed last night, and I kept thinking about this topic until I fell asleep. How nice it would be to not feel the emptiness anymore.

I don’t want to die, though, because I know there are more feelings than this sadness that hits me hard on lonely weekends. I wasn’t even alone – I was with my roommates, but, with my roommates I still feel alone. I don’t feel wanted by two of them. Where is this pathetic concern coming from? Why do I even care?

Let’s break down my weekend and my thoughts:

  • I don’t have a “friend group”, one of which I can be completely my awkward self and still feel accepted. One I can lean on and say, they got me. This, by far, is the deepest scar

Honestly, that’s it. A sense of community and unconditional love is all that I want. This is why I don’t want to die. This single item has tormented me all my life might be easily cured with action and planning on my part. This yearning to belong and be loved, I feel it in spurts during simple conversations with a friend or times when I’m completely in the moment. It’s a single item, but such an incredibly important item.

When I think of an ‘ideal’ life, what do I see?

  • I would have this friend group, or a community
  • I nourish my body with healthy foods but am still able be relax when I want to have fun or treat myself
  • I don’t second guess or criticize who I think I am
  • I have a healthy body image
  • I’m deep into my hobby and showcase it on a public platform – no matter the scale, I’d like to share my love with others

This weekend was a sad weekend, if you saw me, you would think me suicidal. I kept beating myself up for my inability to get this music site to work correctly, and the constant challenges that pop up was discouraging. I kept feeling bad for myself for how lonely I felt. I allow what I think others think to make me feel less. I ended up eating a whopping 6 thousand calories to feed that emptiness.

The silver lining, though, is today is a little brighter. Perhaps because it’s the work week and I’m not consumed by not knowing what to do with my weekend off times. The other silver lining is that I know what my triggers are.

The reality, though, is that knowing isn’t going to stop negative actions from happening. When I’m in the hour of self-pity, I just want to self-destruct. What I can do, then, is to be proactive and preemptive. Instead of waiting for these moments to come, I can use this time of feel good to set up my weekends.

Things that may deter self-pity weekends:

  • Planned soccer night – join All American Soccer
  • Volunteer – what should I volunteer in?
  • Don’t succumb to challenges – feeling inadequate about abilities
  • Invite friends over for games – be proactive and invite others over instead of just wishing for it
  • Throw self in hobbies – music writing, find like-minded people

Anyways.

That’s all I have on the topic of morbid death and my silver linings. Vien – don’t you ever, ever, give up on yourself.