Reading status updates about the Crossfit class so-and-so did four hours before your alarm went off or scrolling through pictures of babies and engagements won’t mentally prep you for powering through the day. The first images you see and the first words that you read and speak in the morning should be edifying and nourishing on a deeper level.
The expectations and hopes to live “like everyone else” that I feel as an adult is rooted in more than just a desire to measure up. It is also rooted in the need that I have felt since I was a child to live a normal and happy and controlled life.
There is so much beauty to behold and that beauty is sometimes most beautiful when we ourselves feel the most ugly. Seeking out that beauty with intention, however, requires discipline.
I can’t tell you what gift-wrapped presents I got last year for my birthday but I can tell you about how glorious it felt to have the day off of work, eat chocolate chip pancakes from IHOP with my husband in my PJs, and then go to Las Vegas for the first time, where I tripled my gambling allowance at the blackjack tables.
When I step back and consider some of the things that I tell myself on any given day, I’m disgusted because they are mostly things that I would never be cruel enough to say to someone else. But for some reason, it’s easy and almost automatic to talk to myself like this.
On the surface it sounds deranged, disturbing, and dark. But underneath that, beneath the act and the inflicted cut lies an untold story.
It is the voice of an oppressor and a bully that I let poke, prod, and shame me into submission to achieve the flawlessness I think is required to be whole and happy.
This paralyzing and logic-defying fear stuns and terrifies my body and mind in a way that is convincingly cerebral and completely crippling. There’s no real way to get used to such a sensation.
All too often, we find ourselves stuttering to justify or explain to other people how we could possibly not want to do the thing you are supposed to do after you get married.
I didn’t want to be seen as someone who heard voices and shouted demented things from behind a door in a hospital for “crazy people.” And for me, that was what I thought it looked like to be mentally ill.