Negative self-talk

August 11, 2009

I find it truly amazing how God puts before us the exact things we need to see, do, or hear at the moment we need that information. Yesterday I went to an OA meeting & realized that one of the members is a teacher I had in college…20 years ago and she recognized me. Yikes. I’d seen her at the meetings for about 5 weeks and just didn’t make the connection. She taught speech & I freaking hated every second of that class. At the beginning of each class, she made all the students stand up and repeat “I like it, I like it, I can do it”. I did it because I needed the grade, but I NEVER liked it. Public speaking invokes such fear in me that it makes me want to cry to do it.
I have no idea why this is the case. I talk a lot. My friends, family, & coworkers think I’m really funny & entertaining with the crap that flies out of my mouth, but to talk in a controlled setting, standing up in front of people….no way. Today as I was reading some blogs I realize something profound about myself. I have lived much of my life in fear. Fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of never being happy, fear of not being a good parent or raising him in such a way that he, too, feels like shit about himself, fear of not being pretty enough or thin enough, smart enough, fear of not being PERFECT.

None of us are perfect and I would never expect my loved ones to be perfect so I don’t know why I expect it from myself, but I often do. I’ve declined or resisted invitations to go out into the world and try new things for fear of failure. What if I fall on my ass while learning to snow ski? Before even getting to the slopes I worried about not fitting into the snow pants my brother arranged for us to borrow. I have allowed my weight to keep me a prisoner from my own life. My insecurities run deep.

I’ll interject this funny, but weight related, story to break up the seriousness that this post turned into. In 2006 my fiancĂ© & I went to Aruba. We decided to try scuba diving. Neither of us had tried it. We get all our gear and embarrassingly enough, I had to have some huge ass life jacket and an extremely heavy weight belt that is used to balance your weight when you’re underwater. Fat floats people. Big boobs=built-in floatation devices. I need a REALLY heavy belt; after all, I am 50% fat. We were sitting at the front of the boat so we were the last to get in the water. Brent went before I did. I was the very last to go. As I’m holding the line, I stick my head under the water and see how far down everyone is. HOLY SHIT. What if I run out of air? What if my mask falls off, what if I lose my respirator? I start to panic….seriously. I told the instructor that I couldn’t do it & started to swim back to the boat. He told me no. I finally get to the bottom of the ocean; we were only 30 feet under. My heart is pounding. I look over and see Brent sitting on the ocean floor patiently waiting. He pointed to his oxygen gauge like he wasted all his air waiting on me..ha ha. The next step was to find that proper buoyancy level where you can stay under water. It’s a fine balancing act with how you breathe too. I didn’t realize that at first. The instructor is telling me to do this and that to see if I’m at the right buoyancy. Nope. He starts picking up rocks & shoving them in my life jacket. Another test….still not right. We do this for several rounds. Finally he looks at this humongous rock….like a boulder, but then finds some other rock. When we got back to shore Brent made mention of the guy looking at the boulder. He said he thought the guy was going to make me swim with that huge boulder the entire time. Jerk, shut up skinny-ass white boy! So that’s my scuba diving story. It was fearful but fun.

Back to my seriousness….

I noticed in every OA meeting I’ve been to that at least one person, if not several, have mentioned perfection. They can’t move on to the next step because they fear they haven’t done the current step “perfectly”. They've mentioned multiple things where they expect perfection. Do all fat people expect perfection from our/themselves and because we know that perfection isn’t realistic, we just throw our hands up and say “Screw it, I’m not doing any of it if I can’t do it right”? I know that I’ve had that thought many times…too many times to count.
Sean A made mention of this type of negative thinking in his blog recently, but I find it ironic that I read it today & not on the day he posted it. Negative self-talk definitely lives in my head & manifests itself in my life. I REALLY want to change that. I’m finding it difficult because situations happen that reinforce that message in my mind. Back in March I applied for a job at a local hospital for a position doing exactly what I did at my previous nursing job. I had 3 interviews that lasted a total of 6 hours. Honestly people, I thought I had the job in the bag. I miss working in surgery & was so excited about the prospect of getting back to doing those trauma cases & all the blood & guts. It’s just interesting & exciting and you get to see things you never imagine that you’ll ever see. People can really get themselves into some precarious situations (gee doc, I’m not sure how that beer bottle ended up in my rectum). Anywhoo, in the end, I didn’t get the job. I honestly believe it was because I’m fat. The manager who interviewed me made mention, not once, but twice, in the interview about the physical demands of the job. Really lady????!!!! I came from a level I trauma center & did that job WELL for over 7 years; I think I know the freaking demands of the job. So anyway, I’ll be adding that situation to my list of resentments when I get to that step in OA. That step will probably take me a year because I’ll be so swamped with listing all the resentments I have for myself.
My goal is to feel like I’m worth it…whatever “IT” is. I want others to see my worth regardless of what the scales might say. I want to be proud of myself; I just want to be happy.
My intention today was to write about something else, but look what came out. I will start writing my other topic tonight and post it for tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a great day.
1 Response
  1. Kimberly Says:

    I know all about perfection and just how unattainable it truly is. i honestly think that the reason I would fail every other time I have ever tried to lose weight before is because I couldn't let myself off the hook for stumbling. When I finally got that messing up once does not equal failure that is when I started to actually succeed. I can and will mistakes - I just can't ever give up on the trying.

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