I saw this project this afternoon, and, after feeling royally un-feminine, un-artsy, and un-creative (thanks gorgeous, perfect Pinterest world), it really struck a chord. I want to make a huge poster for myself with all the things I never thought I’d be able to do, experience, or feel. We so often focus on the opportunities we missed or the things we lack. Yet, very rarely do we step back to admire ourselves or reflect on the accomplishments we have made.
This is sad!
Today, we were discussing depression in one of my supervision sessions, and my supervisor said, Depression happens when expectations mismatch reality. This resonates so much with me. Depression manifests itself in a world of “what-could-have-been” and “what-should-be.” Very rarely does the individual feel content with him or herself because a dark cloud of mistakes, flaws, and vulnerabilities looms over the overall forecast.
This mismatch also happens with eating disorder recovery. We experience that sense of painful failure when expectations mismatch reality, when we place too much emphasis on where we think we “should” be in our journeys, when we fail to recognize the uniqueness of our process, when we become too hard on ourselves. I know the majority of my slips in recovery occur when I feel like I am “not doing good enough.” I become impatient. I think, I shouldn’t be doing this or I’m stupid for thinking this way or why am I still acting like that?
And admittedly, it can be tough to avoid the comparison trap, especially in a society that thrives off quick fixes, speedy recoveries, and essentially a non-relapsive mindset. No wonder we expect ourselves to be perfect. We watch the reality shows and read all the “success stories” and wonder why the same formulas cannot or do not work for us. Duh. They make eating disorder recovery look simple! Switch around some behaviors. Love your body. Practice being kind to yourself. And boom! Recovered! With a snap of the fingers.
Again, expectation versus reality. It is so important to learn how to distinguish the two, and, more importantly, recognize when one is surpassing or overshadowing the other.
In honor of Pinterest and positive affirmations and having pride in myself, I am going to complete this activity, and I welcome all of you to as well! Why not make yourself feel good? You deserve it.
I never thought I’d….
Find that one person who connects with me at every single level, makes me laugh so hard I cry, keeps up with me intellectually, spiritually, and mentally, and turns me on like nothing else.
Stay this close to my brother.
Like country music. I totally do.
Actually stay vegetarian after just deciding at 14 that I never wanted to eat meat again.
Run a half-marathon.
Actually feel confident dancing.
Travel across the world without having a tangible plan.
Have a threesome. Yep. That once happened.
Outgrow the high school mentality. Thank GOODNESS.
Be proposed to at nineteen years old. That was tragic.
Graduate college just days after turning twenty-one.
Play a confederate in a research lab.
Learn how to cook.
Work with the special-needs population.
Learn how to skateboard.
Swim with sea turtles.
Float in the Dead Sea.
See a bear in my own campsite.
Be able to type as fast as I can…remember how hard it was when you first learned???
Develop an eating disorder.
Go to therapy.
Write a screenplay…nothing really happened, but it was cool nonetheless.
Appreciate my parents as much as I do now.
Outgrow make-believe and my invisible friends. I still miss that.
Become frugal or cheap. Totally, totally am.
Drink coffee. HA.
Enjoy non-fiction books.
Believe I was beautiful.
Lose some of my first friends….that’ s just life.
Be kinky. Yeah. I am. I like that shit rough.
Always feel cold. I DON’T REMEMBER THIS AT ALL AS A CHILD.
Pass geometry in ninth grade.
Have a lead in a school play. What’s up, eighth grade?
Volunteer to do homeless outreach.
Learn how to print film photography in a darkroom.
Figure out how to like my hair. I LOVE MY HAIR NOW.
Enjoy hiking as much as I do.
Become an adult….maybe 🙂