Minding My Own Mind

I messed up last night.

Longtime readers will recall that I used to have an eating disorder – bulimia. And anyone who has ever had an eating disorder will tell you the same thing I’m telling you here, that it is impossible to be ‘cured’. Everyone has relapses. It’s addictive when you see results.

I was so sure I was okay, I was so certain. I know I’m pretty now, I know there isn’t anything wrong with my appearance, I don’t feel out of control of my life, the thoughts don’t attack me like they used to. I was alright.

But last night I felt a cloud over me. I needed to write something, I could feel it, but I didn’t want to turn to WordPress and risk publishing something foolish, so I went to my Gmail status instead:

I never felt ready to be 17 – I never felt ready to be 16. I sincerely wish I could be forever young. Tonight I feel my future looking me in the face, with none of my friends nearby or even on the phone, and I can say I feel afraid. How poetic it would be if I could say I’m going to be brave, but at the moment, I am content to be a scared child. Hiding from the world, from my future.

I felt like I would never be ready for medical school – how could I ever be? I’m not brilliant, I’m not competitive, I’ll just be eaten alive. Maybe I could become a private investigator or a journalist. Something fun involving travel like that. I wouldn’t be able to make it all of those years anyway – I’m too impatient to start my career. Oh no! My mother – my grandparents! My friends – my teachers! They’re all expecting me to go through with it. And I’m an idiot when it comes down to it. Horrid at math and physics and chemistry and french. I just know a boatload of medical jargon and psychobabble. I have no place out there in the real world. I’ll crack. I’ll do it to try to make them proud but I’ll just have to snap in the process.

I suddenly went into panic mode and started pacing my room. The most solid part of my consciousness knowing I would always want to be a forensic psychiatrist, but my faith in my own ability to reach that point had vanished completely, the mere idea now a phantom to my vision of the future.

I caught my reflection from my peripheral and looked over to my five-foot vanity mirror. The least you could do is work harder on your looks. Goodness how strong my cheekbones suddenly were. Oh, gosh, my eyes were so soft – they always look sad, even when I smile. My lips are an odd shape, like a tented cupid’s bow. Why didn’t I do anything with my hair? How can anyone stand to look at me? Who would anyone want to date someone like me? An idiot with no looks. No future.

I felt I had to do something.

In a single state of mind I left my room and, after turning on the faucet to make sure I wouldn’t be heard, I made myself throw up.

After I washed up and brushed my teeth (the usual routine), I felt like I desperately wanted to talk to someone. I wanted to go somewhere and cry and talk – ramble, really. My mind was spinning and I needed someone to state the obvious and calm me down. I wanted someone to talk me down from the frenzy going on in my mind.

I didn’t know how to remedy the feeling of idiocy, I felt that the only way to cure myself of the feeling was to start reading. A lot. Start filling my mind with words. Any words.

I grabbed three books – one containing science essays, one on art history, and a book I’m renting from the library on the history of Baylor University. I sat at my desk and just read for a while. A nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me how useless it was. How hopeless it was. I should know every ounce of this information already. It was too late. Much, much too late.

I made a mistake, didn’t I? I silently asked the empty air. I thought of how automatic it had been. Why did I do it? I don’t need to do that sort of thing. I realized I was hugging myself, hunched over my desk as I read each page. I thought of how I wanted someone to hug me and tell me that, yes, I made a mistake, but it was okay, because everyone loses themselves every now and again. It was just me coping with high stress in a familiar way. A way I haven’t turned to in over a year.

This is all horribly humiliating for me to admit. I’ve always been honest on my blog, but some posts are more painful to write than others. I can’t tell any of this to my closest friends or my mother. I’m too embarrassed.

The date of my graduation is coming up faster and faster, it seems. And I feel as though this fact has made me extremely driven, the first thing on my mind when I wake up is the need to devour information. To know as much as possible. To become brilliant. I need to be brilliant. And I can feel with a profound certainty how little I know about anything at all in the universe. There is so much to know, so much to learn, so much to do.

In a bizarre way I love that this pressure exists – the need to never stop seeking out what I don’t know, but I feel an emptiness, like someone in my life is missing. Like I don’t belong here, in this room. Like my feet are caught in cement, like I should be further along in my life. I said goodbye to my childhood a while ago – being around Josh was a wonderful, much-needed therapy for me, but I have doubts of ever seeing him again. I thought I would be happy with the knowledge that he’s in my life, that I would be simple enough that I could accept that we won’t be together, but I can’t be simple regarding this. When I consider looking for someone else, everyone looks so dim in comparison. I meant it when I said that I think it would be nice to have someone to admire and tolerate. And while I know a couple of you think I’m being silly for wanting to show affection for only one guy, I can’t imagine being happy showing affection for multiple gentlemen. I know I’m young and it doesn’t make sense to even many of my friends, but that is what I’ve always wanted.

It is now one in the morning. Logic insists that I wait until daylight, when I will no doubt be in an entirely different state of mind and will decide against publishing all of this. But I feel at though erasing this post from existence would be lying.

This blog is a journal. I can always look back on the past nine or so months, and see my life. I can know I am always honest. I can know that I trust all of you enough to share this with you, and I can trust you to tell me the truth.

Sometimes I wish that I wrote posts like many other bloggers. Browsing recent posts from dozens of bloggers everyday, I see themed posts with bits of humor spread throughout, amusing photographs and witty quotes. Perhaps I would get more readers if my posts were more light-hearted and general. But then, I suppose, the purpose of The Last Classic has never been to entertain. It was created for purely selfish reasons.

I can’t imagine what all of you must think of me by now. I truthfully feel as though I should delete this post and never look back. But I can’t seem to make myself get rid of it.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

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28 thoughts on “Minding My Own Mind

  1. Don’t you DARE delete this!
    I want you to find the phone number for a bulimia/anorexia hotline. The next time you feel like this, this need to talk to someone, CALL THEM! They are there to help you through it. Don’t let them talk you into anything. You just want to talk. And don’t be embarrassed! If you don’t feel you want to post, then just lash out on Wordpad or something.
    You’ll find another beau (that’s such a dated term, isn’t it?). People come into our lives for a reason. Not sure what Josh’s appearance in yours was for, but it’s possible you two will meet up again some day. Weirder things have happened! Don’t accept someone just for the sake of wanting to have someone to be with. Don’t sell yourself short.
    And don’t ever lose that yearning to learn! There’s nothing wrong with changing your career at this point! Do whatever your heart feels it wants to do! If journalism sounds appealing, GO FOR IT!

    • Again, a comment of yours making me laugh in the wee small hours. Thank you for this 🙂
      I hunted down his Facebook page… I haven’t found a dealbreaker fact yet. I suppose time will tell what any of it means… I can feel a ramble starting so I should stop myself there.
      I will seek out help if I start slipping into bulimia again. It was a miserable experience, and I don’t want to be that person anymore.

  2. Guess what my dear? I was bullimic for YEARS, and also came close to becoming anorexic. I was convinced, no matter what, that I was not only extremely ugly but fat.

    Look, don’t beat yourself up over this, we all have setbacks, and there is no real cure, only a better understanding of what causes the ‘triggers’

    I’ve been okay for about 5 years only, but once, I was ‘clean’ for years, only to go back to being bullimic. I have no shame in admitting my disorders, it makes us all human, and humans are frail creatures.

    Be well, hope you find a way out of this.

    • I don’t know how it does it – I was so alright, it’s like it just comes out of nowhere and takes hold of any sane thought left that says ‘This isn’t healthy for me.’
      Thank you, Alannah, for sharing this with me. I haven’t discussed the experience with anyone who can relate.

      • It’s hard, don’t worry, one day you’ll get past it. Sorry I haven’t been around. Have no internet at the moment, but if you ever want to email me, you’ve got my email address as I can get those emails on my mobile 🙂

  3. Definitely seek help if this continues to be a problem. But look, each of us makes mistakes from time to time and have moments where we fall back into old ways of coping (especially when stressed). Try to take a deep breath, realize that it was just a mistake, and try to forgive yourself. And maybe try some new, healthy things (like yoga) to do to make yourself feel better when you’re stressed? Or find a good friend you can call when you need to.

    • It was a big mistake for me, because I took pride in being ‘above’ those measures. But, as a wise man once said, life is just learning and relearning the same lessons from the same mistakes. Thank you for the advice, I sincerely appreciate it 🙂

  4. It’s been quite a hiatus since I’ve read your entries. As quite confounding for me, I’m currently on the same state as you are–except the eating disorder–in all the points you’ve mentioned, especially on the “Sometimes I wish that I wrote posts like many other bloggers.” This is the blogging scheme–voicing out your thoughts in a profound way. I believe, from the way you communicated on this entry, that you know, subliminally-concerned, you could undergo any circumstance in which you think may be too stressing for you, or may cause your problems to proliferate.

    I’ve been there done that.

    • Well, well, well, Mr. Layson. Long time no type 😉
      It seems to be the ultimate goal of many a blogger to state a relatable opinion in an eloquent way, but for many of us, our goal is just get the writing-itch to stop pestering us so we can get some rest. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      • Well, well, looks like someone removed me from her Blogroll. Ha, no hard feelings 😀 Although, on the bright side, I’m finally being an active, consistent blogger. I’ve decided to post weekly, and I’m sticking to that routine.

  5. My dear, the very act of publishing this post tells me two very important things about you: that you are able to recognize, when you are in the midst of a struggle, that it’s the midst and not the end of it; and that you are far too cogent and wise to need to worry for an instant about whether you’re Smart Enough.

    But I’ve been your age. Feelings of extreme inadequacy are the norm rather than the exception at 17, in my experience!! I have dealt with mental illness. I know from both my own dealings with clinical depression and Social Anxiety Disorder and the wonderful people who have come out of every corner of my world to help me deal with them that the world is not precisely what I’d call a sane or normal place, but rather that each and every one of us in it is at our own spot of confluence between the rational and the irrational, the happy and the unhappy, the hopeful and the hopeless, and so on ad infinitum, and in at least 3 dimensions, not necessarily along some neat and tidily defined linear spectrum.

    What to do? Wish I knew. I certainly Ryoko is very wise to suggest that you have a hotline number handy, so you can talk to someone who knows what you’re dealing with in living with an eating disorder, because let’s face it, none of our unique Issues is actually entirely unique to us, nor are they necessarily curable–but we can learn to cope with them, with intelligent expert help, determination, and a good dose of luck. *That* I know!! I’m the poster girl for how well the finding the right combination of professional therapy, meds and community of support can change life for the better. Never, ever sad or frustrated or scared or feeling inadequate? Naaah. I wish! But far better able to cope, and to minimize those demons.

    And as goofy as it sounds, going out of your way to comfort others whom you sense to be in need of similar care is amazingly healing for yourself too. I posted about what I’ve been learning about that . . .
    http://kiwsparks.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/the-one-person-more-lost-than-me/

    I’m thinking of you, meanwhile, and sending all the virtual hugs you can stand.
    Kathryn

    • Beautiful post, Kathhryn Madame. I’ll keep it in mind 🙂
      I’m becoming less and less petrified, the more I understand how prepared I am. But I know that one day soon when I try to get into medical school, I’ll be fighting in an extremely competitive field. Thank heaven I have ya’ll talk to so I don’t lose my mind in the process… Thank you 🙂

  6. Sometimes you have to rise from the ashes, to create something new.

    Look, Classic… you are an incredible writer. There are a lot of people that care about you. You might not want to talk about the deeply personal embarrassing moments… but sometimes, you just have to.

    There’s nothing wrong with being human. Trying to feel invincible gets people hurt, and that’s what it’s doing to you. You feel you’ve gotten way from your past scot-free, that it’ll never hurt you again.

    When the bad bits chip away at you, that’s when it really hurts. You go and do things that then cause more bad things to happen to you, and then you let yourself get down, upset, unhappy.

    I had something similar happen to me once. I got lost in my own mind, had a long time where I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with myself, almost made a decision which would’ve changed what happens today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

    The things that beat you up the most are ultimately, what makes you stronger (and no, I’m not trying to compliment Kanye West here). If I hadn’t gone through those moments, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’d be someone else, living another life, probably doing something that isn’t beneficial to anybody. But I turned over that page to my story, and I wrote the next one.

    If everything was defined by what our parents think, and our genetics, we’d be constantly missing the point of the world. You are you, not what your parents, friends, lovers or enemies think. You might be the sum of genetics, but you’re the product of what happens when your heart and your soul clash. Don’t ever let the eyes of others get you down, because it’s just not worth it.

    There’s nothing wrong with mistakes. Funnily enough, they define perfection, for perfection cannot exist without its flaws. And you, Classic, are perfect for what you want to do, what you want to be. You’re determined, and passionate, you want to get somewhere, and you will. As long as you stop letting the chains hold you back.

    That’s the hard part. I’d say I have all the answers to that, but I don’t. I’d say I don’t have answers to that, but then again, I do have some answers.

    Some of the most innovative people I can think of had disadvantaged backgrounds, or difficulties. Richard Branson has dyslexia. Now, you’d think that would pretty much stop him from being a multi-millionaire tycoon, but it doesn’t. Einstein? Didn’t pass the tests for his uni the first time around. What is he remembered as now? Super-mega genius.

    The point is, don’t imagine your disadvantages hold you back. Use them to your advantage.

    You might think that creating this blog was selfish. I can tell you, right now, it’s not. The fact that you can express yourself without fear of retribution is a great honour, and you should feel ok to share your feelings with others. It would be selfish of you to let yourself bottle this up, because that would destroy you. It’s ok to be open, don’t feel guilty or bad about it at all.

    You are the only person who controls your fate. In saying that, though, it’s ok to deviate from the main path, sometimes. You learn things, and you move on, a stronger and better person from that.

    My apologies for being so long-winded.

    • I’m afraid I can’t come up with a reply to adequately express my thoughts on your comment. I 100% agree with what you’ve said. I suppose, in a nutshell, what I’m learning everyday is simply “This is life.”
      Never apologize for a comment, long-winded comments are more fun to read, in my opinion, and they show the commenter genuinely cares about the material. Thank you 😉

  7. **hugs!!**
    I admire you like you would not believe; you’re one of the most captivating writers I know and I can only hope that one day I can be somewhere close you’re level. You ARE brilliant.
    You will graduate and you will still be brilliant, no mater what you do. I have faith, and I know that your passion and determination will get you through this. You can achieve anything you set your mind to, and with your drive to learn, why wouldn’t you get to where you want to go?
    (and from what I’ve seen and read, you are most certainly beautiful! Inside & out.)
    xoxo

  8. Never regret anything you write…it is so important to speak from your heart so that others can read it and learn to do it for themselves! Plus, it is amazing to always look back at how much you’ve grown.

    I hope that you continue to get better–we all fall back on old habits sometimes, and that’s okay. Stay strong!

    • You’re completely correct 🙂 That’s one of the reasons I keep my blog around – to document my life, so I can look back on my life some ten or so years from now. Thank you 🙂

  9. This is the first post of yours I’ve read…and it’s filled with profound individuality and authenticity of your own voice. THAT, sweet friend, is the beauty of the writer’s drive – to BE, to express, to ALLOW who we are.

    In the midst of reading, I heard my self saying to you: ‘I love you.’ It was the energy of that hug you said you are so desperately in need of – and you are so clearly in tune with your heart’s truth. She longs to feel loved, to be loved, to know she is ‘enough’ already. And you are. The unfortunate truth for each of us when we enter these spaces of turmoil – is that WE are the ones who can’t see it, don’t believe it, won’t accept it.

    I’ve been working with a lovely coach – Fay Hart. Our process is gentle, nearly silent. The beauty of what we are doing is quieting the mind. I’ve learned how brilliant my mind is in creating aversions to loving myself, feeling what is already inside me, letting myself move through the emotions and into the radiance of my truth. My mind judges – this is ok, that is not. We are highly intelligent beings–only when that intelligence becomes the guide of our lives, we are left empty, longing, HUNGRY to fill up on life.

    While I’ve not experienced an eating disorder per se’ – I understand very clearly my own food addictions – which in truth are ‘love addictions.’ I recognize the hunger I have inside to let my passions guide me, to hear the whispers that emanate from my own heart, to feel worthy of being me….at times wondering what that even IS. And yet, I’m also learning that my own thoughts about my love affair with food – are much more damaging than any of the food could ever be. When I can get to a place of just loving me – the food is irrelevant – the hunger takes new form and is easily fed. Because underneath it all, the hunger is for love – ME loving ME.

    I loved your post – your vulnerable sharing, even the ‘humiliation’ you said you might be feeling. Humility is the path to the mystic’s soul connection. We must be willing to lay ourselves out, to let our voice speak truth–regardless of the consequences. Which so often are worse in our minds than in our reality. Thank you for letting us see your spirit, your hunger for love and self-acceptance. I’m glad you ‘liked’ my post so I could visit your blog today and feel inspired to keep listening to the hunger. I am already ENOUGH.

    Love to you, my friend. xoxo

  10. Thanks for reading my post especially as now I have found yours. You have written a wonderful post and all I can do is send you caring thoughts in response. I’m an retired artsy type and life has thrown some challenges my way as well. Keep in mind that you really need to nourish and care for yourself. When the studies or relationships etc are too much just take care of yourself as you would take care of a child….. ,comfort, reassurance, rest, care, nourishment, spiritual experience of your choice including reading, writing….i think this is a form of spiritual growth…. forgiveness…..and love.

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