Tag Archives: Mental Health

The Myth of Self-Love

 

Once upon a time there was a globalized world that sexualized and fetishitized certain body types. See, in this world, no matter what you did as a woman was ever good enough. If you’re too skinny, you’d better bulk up, because nobody likes bony girls. If you’re chubby, you’d better slim down, because nobody likes fat chicks. Too many muscles? Girl, you better realize that masculinity is fragile and tone it down.

 

Once upon a time I might have loved my body. I might have appreciated the vessel that carries my brain (and consequently my thoughts, my memories, my personality — basically everything that gives life meaning) and other life-sustaining organs. I might have even cared enough to take care of it like it should be taken care of.

 

But somewhere in this once upon a time that weird globalized world came into play. Somewhere in this once upon a time a thing called beauty standards ruined my perception of myself and what I should be as a girl — and someday, a woman.

 

In this once upon a time, this world started to change. People became more “body positive,” and started the movement of self-love. Accepting yourself for who you are. I was a woman by then. Already tainted by the old once upon a time and my own mental blockade. The self-love movement came too late for this princess — and she remains locked in her tower.

 

To me self-love is a myth — even people who claim to love themselves still complain about what they want to change — they call it a “journey,” which sure, I understand. But is there really a destination? A final point? A moment when “self-love” is truly achieved?

 

I don’t mean this to put down anyone working on their own path to better themselves, in whatever way that might be. But as a honest question.

 

In this once upon a time, is self-love really attainable?

 

I see friends and loved ones share their adventures in health and wellness. In life and career events. I see them try so hard to love themselves in a world that deems us all unlovable.

I swing both ways on the spectrum of self-love. As a now woman who is overweight and has no self-control, I go from loving everything about myself to loathing it.

 

Right now I’m in a state of loathe.

Depressive loathe.

That “I’m fat and I’ll always be fat because I have no self-control and can’t stick with anything,” kind of depressive loathe.

 

This is a woe-is-me post.

This is not a pity post.

 

This is a “I’m about to move to one of the statistically skinniest and most thin-obsessed nations in the world,” anxiety post (“hello darkness, my old friend”). Coupled with a some deep-seeded self-hate (not a myth) and societal beauty standards.

 

And while I know I am worth more than my weight, my large hips, my big butt, and thunderous thighs, right now, I’m stuck on the myth of self-love.

 

The journey is long, and I’m ready for the destination.

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Death & Rebirth

With the years I have become increasingly comfortable with the cycle of life.

The cycle of life is much more than physical birth and physical death.

Life

Is all the life and death in between.

 

As a writer

I like poetic language —

I like similes and metaphors

Hyperbole and alliteration (see what I did there)

 

I also tend to see the world in all it’s own poetry

And there is life and death

Everywhere

All the time.

 

See,

Life and death takes many forms

Yes, of course there is physical giving of life and physical taking of life.

Literal: life and death

But there is much more life and death than just the beginning and the end.

 

There is life in starting school.

Learning to read and write

Learning to add and subtract

And growing those skills and understanding until

You graduate

The metaphorical death of your schooling (but let’s be honest: one should never stop learning)

 

There is life in falling in love

The euphoria of connectedness with someone you adore

Understanding on a level you thought was impossible

Then you break up.

The metaphorical death of your love

 

Reader,

I think you must get the idea.

 

People will come and go from your life.

People you were once very close to will change.

You will change, too.

Any maybe, it just won’t work like it used to.

 

As I have gotten older,

I have become content with the cycle of death and rebirth that takes place in every facet of life.

 

Friends will come.

Friends will go.

Again —

I think you get the idea.

 

But it is what comes after the life and death that is vital.

 

Rebirth.

The phoenix rising from the ashes.

Allowing you to be born anew.

To see with fresh eyes.

 

It may never be easy to die,

Or rather,

To let things die.

 

But

It is possible

To become something more.

Otherworldly

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you were born in the wrong century?

 

Among my many ongoing existential crises is the feeling that I was simply born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

See,

I’m bored.

 

Chronically.

My favorite pastime is trying to escape this place — mentally, because I really can’t escape physically.

 

I know, I know, “but you’re going to Japan!” you’ll say.

“What a grand adventure!” you’ll say.

And you’re right, it will be grand.

For a bit.

 

And then I’ll find myself bored

Again.

 

I was not meant for this time we live in.

This time when everything to be discovered has been discovered.

I should’ve been born in the 16th century when European settlers took grand adventures to new places all over the globe.

Or

I should’ve been born a few centuries in the future….

Where the universe is an open playground.

 

I was born to explore.

To seek new experiences and new places.

To find new flora and fauna.

To learn from places and things yet unknown.

 

But alas,

I live in a time when the world has been discovered more than once over,

And we are not yet at the grand age of exploring our galaxy and beyond.

 

Born in the wrong century.

On the wrong planet, perhaps.

 

Each night I look at the stars and think about what I would give to go there

(yes, I would literally walk away from my entire life for the chance to be a space pioneer).

And it always comes around to the same thought

Sadly what I want I can never achieve in this lifetime.

 

But perhaps I could in the next.

And for that recurring thought (among many others)

I can only attribute

That I am really alien….

 

Not in the sense that I am not human.

But in the sense that I don’t think like most humans.

Or behave like most humans.

I’m just too odd to have landed here on purpose.

 

I just know I belong somewhere else,

In a home I can’t name.

In a home I will never see.

 

Somewhere among the gas giants and colorful nebulas,

It’s out there.

But it will be centuries before I make it.

 

Note: Of all the complexity of my feelings this is one of the hardest for me to vocalize. The human experience is deeply unique to the individual and this one of those things that’s hard for anyone to understand. And yes, I know I’m crazy, but I do hope you continue to read my strange ramblings — at the very least you can relish in the fact that you’re not  as insane as I am. 🙂

Resolutions, Part 2

I have a bit of a personal ritual around the New Year. Not only do I celebrate my 8th anniversary of marriage to my husband on the 30th, but the new year also symbolizes a time to stop and reflect on the year I’ve had and the goals I want for the future.

I can say, without a doubt, that 2016 has been a steaming dump of a year. There were a few highlights, undoubtedly, like the weddings of a couple of my best friends, an awesomely extravagant vacation, and adulting successfully by doing something called buying a car. And while all these events are wonderful, it cannot overshadow the festering, stinking dumpster fire this year has been since the beginning.

Four more days, friends. Four more. But what, oh what, does 2017 hold?

That, readers, is questionable. If, like me, you have harbored extreme resentment and a little bitterness since the election, you, like me, are probably approaching the new year with apprehension. Uncertainty. Even disappointment.

Trust me, reader, I sympathize.

And that brings me to my resolution for 2017. I only have one this year, but I think it’s going to be important if I ever want to leave this rut and keep moving forward.

My 2017 resolution is simply this: To stop being afraid and live the life I want for myself.

I know you’re probably like, c’mon Chels, that’s so vague and idealistic. You can’t accomplish that. You can’t measure that.

None of that really matters to me.

What matters to me is the world seems to be falling apart at the seams, and if I let it, it will drag me down with it.

I refuse to let that happen.

I refuse to be afraid of circumstances out of my control.

I refuse to stay stuck out of comfort and fear of change.

I refuse to sit for another miserable year and end up the same unsatisfied human I seem to always be reflecting on the past year, and moving into a new one.

Attempting to find a job in Japan has given me renewed desire and perspective. A goal to work toward. Something I have wanted for a very long time but have been too fearful to pursue. Will it happen soon? Maybe. Will it happen under the circumstances in which I want it? Doubtful. Will it solve all of my woes? Certainly not.

But will it happen? Most definitely.

It can’t be any worse than sitting and waiting for change to come to me.

I’m so tired of waiting.

 

And so, I face 2017 with little fear and increased optimism.

 

2017 just better be ready for me.

Resolutions

Resolved: 2017: Write daily. Even on days when I don’t want to, I’m trying to protect some small amount of time for myself to write, reflect, and make words appear on paper. Some days it is difficult because I don’t have the energy to write or simply lack ideas. Some days it is easy because I have something to say. Today, I promised myself I would write something so here I am — rambling about how I don’t have anything to write today.

Today, it did one of my favorite things; it snowed. I tried to write a poem about snow and came up with only a few words. It just didn’t feel right. So now I’m writing about snow in a post about having nothing to write about.

I know what you’re thinking, you live in the midwest. Don’t most people hate snow there? Isn’t a big mess there? Well, yes and yes. Most people do hate snow here. And it’s been a big mess which is why I’m extra glad I didn’t have to go anywhere today.

There is something quite calming and peaceful about watching the snow fall. Watching as leisurely flakes dance their way to their brethren gathering on the ground. Listening to the crisp snap of the wind as it rustles through icy tree limbs. Smelling the cold cleanness of the December air that comes with fresh snow.

There is nothing in the world more refreshing for me than a snow day. A reason to stay cooped up in my house under warm blankets with no one to interrupt my introverted flow. A reason to cancel plans and just relax. A reason to nap as much as I want and read as much as I want guilt-free.

Snow days do wonders for my tired psyche. There is a certain kind of tired that sleep simply doesn’t fix. There is a certain kind of tired that only unadulterated down time can fix. That’s why I love snow.

Being a woman that finds symbolism in everything, there is a symbolic renewal that comes with that perfect, white sheet of snow. A chance to reflect and slow down. A chance to let time slip by slowly while appreciating the smallest pleasures of life.

Snow is incredible. I long to live somewhere that sees more of it.

 

It looks like I did have something to write about today.

Imagine that.

Working through my Quarter-Life Crisis: Step One: Admitting who I am, what I like, and what I hate about myself.

Who Am I?

Chelsea Rose

Corn-fed American Midwestern Girl minus the Jesusing

Liberal as hell

Weird/Different

Leader

Opinionated

Intense

Gives all

Independent

Witty

Humorous

Quick thinking

Cynical

Sarcastic

Realist

Wife

Animal Lover

Dreamer

Writer

Reader

Eccentric

Obsessive

Overthinker

Anxious

Escapist/Seeks ways out of reality 

 

Things I like about myself:

Sense of humor

Weird

Resilience

Determination

Independence

Straight forward

No bullshit

Loves hard

Ambivert

Reader

Analyzer

Objective thinker

Good Communicator

Writer

 

Things I dislike about myself:

ANXIOUS

Overthinker

Overly critical

Loudmouthed

Too free with opinions

Too much of a people-pleaser

Can sometimes be a doormat

Lies to save face (why)

Bad with money

Bad with communicating emotions

Passive aggressive

Unprofessional

Poor time management

Ghoster friend

Cynical/ Finds the worst in almost everything

Glass half-empty thinking

Jealous/Compares too much to others

Attention Seeking

Selfish

What I notice: 

Reflecting on this list immediately after writing it I realize that — as is typical for me — it’s way easier for me to vocalize everything I hate about myself than it is for me to pin down even ten things I honestly like about who I am. There is so much I would change about my personality if I could, yet I know there are people who genuinely enjoy my brand of crazy.

As they say, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So there it is. There I am. Summed up by 26 letters in random order.

If you’re like me, on the verge of another birthday and feeling completely lost, just know:

You

Are

Not

Alone.

Almost 28

Crisis mode.

I recently learned there’s a term for this:

Aptly called,

The Quarter Life Crisis.

Perpetually somewhere between a kid & a “real” adult

 

And

Intense depression

Despair

Feeling stuck

Being disrespected

Unsure of what is next

Scared to move, yet panicked to stay

 

What if I regret change later?

What if it doesn’t make me happier?

What if?

What if?

What if?

 

What if…..

I sit here forever in a state of indecision?

What if…..

I waste my life waiting for the opportune time?

What if…..

I just don’t know how to get what I really want?

What if…..

I’m just petrified by the idea of taking a chance?

 

Already depressed.

Already unhappy.

Already stuck.

Already disrespected.

 

What could be worse?

 

I don’t know.

And that’s why I’m here,

In crisis mode.

At almost 28.  

October’s Lack of Inspiration

October.

The month of fall.

The month of cool, crisp air.

The month of sweaters, tall boots, pumpkins, candy, costumes, and spooky things.

 

I used to love October.

Now, October is so busy I have no time to think.

No time for creativity.

October has lost it’s inspiration.

 

I want to write,

But my brain is tired,

And the words don’t come.

 

I want to read,

But my eyes are tired,

And can’t focus on the words. 

 

October used to be my favorite month.

Now, I can’t wait for October to be over.  

Monster

There’s a monster inside my head.

She is dark.

She is bleak.

She does not believe in love or happiness.

 

The monster inside my head

Sometimes she is quiet

Sometimes she’s an introvert

But she is always watching,

Waiting;

On bated breath,

To pounce on any inclination

Of self-doubt

Of self-consciousness

Of blissful unawareness

 

There’s a monster inside my head.

She’s a disrespectful, hateful bitch

She’s a soul-sucking hurricane of negativity

Feasting on my thoughts

My soul

My relationships

Everything that is dear to me.

 

There’s a monster inside my head.

I hate her.

But I can never rid myself of her.

 
Because the monster inside my head is me.

Sunwashed

Today, I am the sunrise.

The reliable, slow brightening of the morning sky.

The break in the darkest of night.

 

Today, I am the constant motion of the heavens around Earth.

The quiet, accountable rotation that perpetuates exhausting darkness to renewing light.

I am the changing landscape of color that denotes a new day.

 

Today, I am the sunrise.

Steady.

Expected.

The signal of something new.

 

Today, I emerge from the fading light of the moon to become a child of the sun.

Today, I turn a new leaf.

I celebrate the sunshine.

The warmth and motion of the day.

 

Today, I am the sunrise.

Only temporary;

Before the darkness returns again.