The path I am walking is a new one, and with new paths comes plenty of twigs and branches that must be cleared, and forest floors that need sweeping. It is exhausting and tedious at times, constantly questioning if all of this work is worth it when I will just have to wake up tomorrow and start all over again. Sometimes in times of struggle, I look for the closest exit sign and I run to it. Ignoring the obvious roadblocks and stumbling over everything; I end up looking like a drunken fool. Although this sounds like a metaphorical rendering of my reality, and it is, I have also found it to be quite literal. This is a hard truth that I have been swallowing for a few days now, along with my pride, and my Ego begging me not to expose myself. Which of course is exactly why I need to be writing this down and sharing it with you. I am nothing if not honest, and I sure as hell don’t want to be remembered as nothing.
I am a binger, and I have been for quite some time now. In the past I have given no language or thought to this reality, thus encouraging the behavior to continue to manifest. As recently as the past year I started using the term “extremist”, which felt true and still holds water. But it wasn’t the whole truth. Using the word extremist was the first layer of understanding myself and gave me a necessary visual to write the truth of my story at that moment. It felt risky, but in a sexy way. It felt honest, but in a safe way. But it also didn’t feel complete, and now I know why. It was missing the raw unfinished edge that always accompanies the whole truth. That messy frayed shit that every manufacturer is sure to cut off and smooth away before presenting it to their target audience. This is that edge for me.
Although I know people who love me and saw me at my worst and most embarrassing, will come running to my defense, reminding me that we have all been there, I also know that this recent incident didn’t happen by accident. It happened so that I could be freaked out enough to take a look at what the root cause is. Also, I’m not going to be an asshole and not give you the details… I went to the Garth Brooks concert last Saturday, had an incredible time, danced and sang along, followed by suddenly needing assistance to ‘walk’ out and rounding it off by vomiting in the back of my cousins’ fiancé’s car. Typing that out feels embarrassing, shameful, and scary. I have spent the better part of everyday since then obsessing over conjured up images of what I must have looked like, and figuring out how I could possibly shame myself a little more with every passing moment.
These feelings; the shame, embarrassment, and fear, none of them are new. They are not feelings that I only have access to after I have had too much to drink. I pluck these feelings from the shelf after I binge watch Netflix or trash T.V., after I binge eat a bag of potato chips on the way home from the grocery store and have to make the choice of whether I stop and get rid of the evidence, or pretend like it’s not something I’m ashamed of and actually walk into my house with it. The list of examples could go on and on. Which then leads me to what I think is the most dangerous binge-habit that I have. Which is when I binge on my own worthiness. When I made this connection of binge (action) followed by binge (worthiness), it was a huge Ah-Ha moment.
No wonder this destructive habit makes me feel like I am on a hamster wheel. It is quite simple when you break it down. If I do not prioritize myself into my own life, I feel like I need an escape (enter numb out binge), after said binge my default response is to then again binge on my own worthiness, which makes me feel like I need an escape, and history repeats itself. Now I am not saying this is happening every day, but it sure as hell is happening more times than not. The fucked up part about it, is that we are conditioned to believe that this is normal, and that this is how ‘we deal’. We are spoon fed this idea that there is no other way around it. You are either sober, or you are working towards getting drunk. You are either in-shape or you are working towards being at your heaviest. You are either working proficiently or you are working towards your fourth hour of housewives on Bravo.
We are never shown the joy in the middle, or shall we call it “the buzz”. You know, that wonderful bubbly, alive feeling you get after a deeply enjoyed glass (or two) of wine, or that slight burn you get at the gym when you show up and push yourself a little bit past the point where you could easily quit. We don’t see it or feel it, because we don’t allow ourselves to live our lives slow enough to notice when it’s happening. So we chug 9 beers in 2 1/2 hours and we wonder why our husbands are filling us in on why we woke up on the couch with no pants on.
This isn’t ground-breaking research. This has been studied and spoken of and deeply understood by many for a long time. But not by me, and that’s why I needed last Saturday to happen. That’s why I believe I/we need everything that ‘happens to us’. Those moments that the universe is serving up shame or fear on a silver platter, might be the very moment when you decide to shove that shit aside and look at what this is trying to teach you, rather than why life is always trying to beat you. I am in no way saying that I won’t be enjoying the life’s simple pleasures, far from it. What I’m saying, is that I will be enjoying them with my full attention, and when I’m not, I will have a hell of a lot more awareness around it then I have before. And that’s all that I can ask of myself. Progress, not perfection. Awareness, not numbness. Here’s to my next binge being on my true worthiness. Cheers! Xo