Pink Paw Print

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Toxic Habits I'm Going to Quit

[Psssst - TL;DR? You could scroll to the bottom if you're short on time/attention span, but I can assure you that'd you'll be missin' a lot of ~good, keepin' it real, deep stuff~~.]

If you're wondering why I post things like this, it's because as I've once written about, I think brushing things off as "Too much info!!!!" is a dangerous thing. It isolates people. If we talk about real issues, you'd be surprised how many lives you can touch - and potentially even save in one way or another.


First off, recent life recap before I get into the toxic habits stuff (it's all very very highly related, I promise *sticks out pinky for official pinky promise w. u~~ lol!)*:

 Stress is like a form of chronic illness for me. I'm really good about letting it motivate and inspire me, but at the same time it's been wreaking havoc on my physical health. We can only possibly be aware of so much - if it's affecting me in some ways, I can only begin to imagine the health problems it will cause later on down the line…. *panics, which causes even more stress omgggggggg!!!!! :F*.

I've been overwhelmed with guilt recently. Now, I know this comes with growing up in general, but it's really been hitting me hard. I always used to really pride myself on my "morals and values". I would think about the things I would say before I would say them. I would ignore my own needs in every situation, and always put others first because I thought that's what being a good person means. I would look down upon others who would always talk badly about other people. I thought embracing one's sexuality was gross and bad and dirty. I thought telling a guy you weren't interested in that you weren't interested in him was mean and just plain wrong - that every single guy deserves at least one chance, no matter how uninterested you actually are (omg.). I thought that getting A's was one of the most important things in life. I thought that getting anything less meant that I wasn't being a "good person". That I was slacking. And then who would I be? A slacker. I was too afraid to be disapproved of myself that I would disapprove of others. Not in an overtly judgmental way - in an introspective, panicky kind of way. In a oh no no no I would never be dirty/rotten like that!!! kind of way. That I'm better than that kind of way. If any of my humanly thoughts or actions would disgust me in the past, I would fall into a pattern of self-loathing, panicky sadness. Now? I just don't feel "pure" like I used to, yet I like myself a lot more than I ever had, despite the guilt - I think I'm no longer censoring myself, and I'm accepting myself to do and say and think and feel without beating myself up about every little thing. And this is what makes me guilty, that I don't feel bad about it as much as I would normally expect. Which causes a bit of an identity crisis...

Growing up as an only child, my household was very strict. I never drank until college. I have still never done drugs (other than drinking and caffeine, but…lol). If I got a B on a test or something, the response was that it should have been an A because I was too smart for Bs.  I'm grateful for the way I was always pushed to do better, to be better, and they provided me with the kind of education they didn't have themselves. The first two years of high school took that same mentality but to the extreme where it actually traumatized me - I had never worked so hard in my entire life. I was not much more than a machine, honestly. No time for self-care, no time to smile, taking a shower was the most lavish luxurious part of my day and I felt wrong for taking a shower - that was precious time for studying, right? All that mattered was staying afloat. All that mattered was not failing out of this prestigious institution. All that mattered was that I could no longer pull the straight A's (lmao Physics and Geometry, nooooooooo), and various adult's (family, teachers, etc.) approval of these grades, that I had foolishly allowed to define my self-worth up until the 8th grade. And dare I say it… me, the college English major student who consistently makes the Dean's (High) Honors List, had once gotten a C+ in high school English!!!!!!!!! I think back to those days, how the pressure was so crushing that the only thing scarier than getting out of bed in the morning would be to not get out of bed in the morning. I have never met more phony, shallow, self-absorbed people in my entire life (Excuse my French, but, uh, fuck yeah, Holden Caulfield!!!!!! <3). Everyone had this absurd mentality, and for what? Who went to Ivies? Not many of us. Most people ironically wound up going to be state schools that didn't require such an elite education. The second high school I went to began to restore my faith in education, and college has pretty much helped the emotional scab to fully form.

However, now that I've learned the values of self-compassion and self-acceptance, I've learned to push myself to be "better" in a very different way… to be better to myself. The chronic stress that I've had for years had never really had much of an outlet, so it eventually manifested itself in a hormonal imbalance.  This means that while most girls get a little uncomfy during that ~fun~ time of the month, I have to miss some classes even if I take Advil, and we all know what happened when I took birth control (talk about traumatic, lol. *cries eyes out at the thought of it*), and suffer far more than the average female because I'm producing too much cortisol which makes me produce too much of another hormone (ew I don't want to talk about it because it sounds creepy and it creeps me out) that is only supposed to spike when y'allz get pregnant - but also can occur in some women in the presence extreme, excessive prolonged stress.

So as I lie here, curled up in fetal position with a box of Kleenex as the mascara runs down my cheeks, as I'm cursing my uterus for betraying me in this way, I've realized that I need to make some serious changes because nobody deserves to suffer at a result of their own hand. Yup, that's right. It's time to take responsibility and admit that I cause a deal of my stress. I have a problem with rumination. I don't like to let things go without thinking it over 10349384293489048 times. If I like a guy and he ends things, I feel worthless, like I have no value. Who could just throw me, a human being, a living person, away like that?, I always think. Rather than think "he must have not been able to realize my worth" I always think "Wow he must see what I can't. I must just be flattering myself if I actually like myself, and I'm just protecting my ego. He probably can see me how everyone else does. I must be pretty worthless but I just think I have worth to make myself feel better. I've been lying to myself this whole time. I need to be real - I need to see I have no real worth." <-----DO YOU SEE HOW SCARY THIS WAY OF THINKING IS. So no more. I'm done. I'm done thinking that way. The truth is, we are not merely flattering our egos if we like ourselves!!! We are allowed to see the good in ourselves, and celebrate ourselves.

So, anyway, as you can tell I've been doing a ~mild~ (lmaooooooo) amount of self-aware contemplation about where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going, and I realized that I'm going nowhere but downhill if I don't start taking the baby steps today to get myself headed down a better path. In addition to the above, here are some toxic habits I'm going to quit:

1 // I am going to quit feeling bad about the way I look. 
Granted, I've gotten a lot better about this one. Buuuuut - Ever since elementary school when I was told time and time again how ugly I was, I used to feel uhhh, pretty shitty! And ever since high school when I got made fun of all the time for my weight, I've always been mentally critical of my tummy/thighs/occasionally calves. Even though now it seems like culture is now boomeranging to sexualize "thick" over "thin", I kinda fit neither of those categories at the moment, and that's okay. No need to avoid looking at myself in the mirror, no need to replay in my mind how my guy friend called me fat a few weeks ago, no need to feel uncomfortable about the way I look. Nobody's body is completely flawless - except maybe when Photoshop comes into play! :p If people look a little too long at a pimple on my face or the way my hair reacts to a rainy day, my soul dies inside and all I want to do is run to my dorm room and cry. But...I'm going to work on brushing it off, that everyone has little flaws sometimes, and it's okay for people to notice if they don't be aggressively rude about it with the intention to hurt you. No more feeling self-conscious. We are all so beautiful.

2 // I am going to quit going to bed after 1:15am on weeknights.
I always feel WRECKED the next morning, no matter how late I sleep in. 12:45am the latest, for realz. I know personally I need more sleep to feel well-rested, like 9 hours, and I only get about 6….eek! :0 No more.

3 // I am going to quit talking with guys whose sole purpose in said talking to me is to have le sex~.
It's time I stop feeling badly about myself for actually wanting something meaningful. Our culture makes relationships out to be like imprisonment or something!!!!!? But to me? Hooking up just doesn't feel liberating like society keeps glamorizing. It doesn't feel empowering to me. It makes me feel empty after. I don't want to leave at 7:30am in the morning in my tight shirt and sparkly leggings from the night before!? I want to cuddle all morning and have pillow talk until brunch time and then go out for hot chocolates and other fun thingzz and then come back for further cuddling. I want to know all of the person's quirks and fears and hopes and dreams. I want to learn everything about who they are, inside, not just what their body looks like, for Christ's sake! Good looks come and go, but a good soul is good forever. I want something real and I need to stop it with guys whom I know, deep down regardless of what they pretend or falsely believe their own intentions are, aren't emotionally available in the ways in which I need them to be. No more self-absorbed, selfish guys. No no no no nononononoNO. No more. I want somebody to want to love me. I have so much love to give, but I'm only going to give that love to someone who actually deserves it from here on out.

4 // I am going to quit "letting one bad play ruin my entire game". 
Back when I played field hockey for a hawwt second in high school, I learned so much from one little phrase my coach used to always say: "Don't let one bad play ruin your entire game!" It resonated with me so much, because when I make one mistake, my perfectionist mind freaks out and thinks that I have become a failure and will keep failing and can never succeed again. But that's not true. Nobody can "win" every single time. Just because you have one loss doesn't mean that you're going to now, by some necessity, keep on having that same loss. You can go back to winning. You will go back to winning. And sometimes, you may repeat that loss, but again, it doesn't mean that losing is your natural state. Winning can still be that natural state. And winning with a few loses in there is much more meaningful, because anybody can win, but it takes a person with incredible courage and strength of character to at least even try again after a loss. For me, loss = how I would get so anxious from that dang birth control pill that it would make me actually throw up all the time from panic. Even now when I am off the pill, I'm a little traumatized to the point where I'm scared now that every single time I'm the slightest bit anxious about a test or a guy or something that I'll throw up in public - but it hasn't happened since I've been on the pill. And yet, I'm still so worried about it that it sometimes feels like it controls my life. No more. No more worrying about le puke~.

5 // I am going to quit feeling broken about the relationships that never worked out. Particularly one of them. 
When someone tells you he will always love you… and oh, yes he meant it  - at the time. But that time was a long time ago. Which can easily feel devastating. And over time, things change, and people change, and people get even more selfish than you would ever think possible, and the only person they can truly love is himself, and then you wonder how what you even had could have even happened with someone so self-absorbed. It was like magic that he was able to give so much of himself to you. And maybe that's why you loved him in the first place. Maybe that's why when he brought up that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with you and talked about marriage when you would graduate from college and how many kids would you want to have you felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Even though he destroyed your self-esteem with his verbally abusive comments. With the cruel looks in his wild eyes, him smiling with triumph, with pride, when you cried from the things he said. When he threatened to pull over on the side of the highway late at night to scare you. When he would hide the pictures on his phone from you. When he took all these bodybuilding supplements that made him overly aggressive. When he would laugh at you when you asked for a hug because you sounded "ridiculous". Because, overall, he still made you feel so special that a guy who could only love himself loved you to the extent that he did - it made you feel like you must have been something pretty great if he could. It made you feel so special. It made you feel like you won the lottery. But that's not what I'm looking for anymore. I don't need my ego beaten down then stroked to feel better like that - I need a partner in crime, I need an equal. I don't need a project, and I don't need to be somebody else's project. Just….equals. To balance each other out. I just want the yin to my yang, ya feel~~

What toxic habits are you going to quit?
xoxo, Brooke

5 comments:

  1. Brooke, this is a powerful post! It's a great idea to get it all out and share it. I love your open honesty. If you want some more self self exploration, may I suggest visiting https://sarahjenks.com/lifestylechallenge/ ? I just joined up with her live more challenge and I really love it. If you do, make sure you join the fb group, they are an amazing group of uplifting women. Thank you for a great post! - Lacey The Messy Wife www.themessywife.com

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    1. AW!!!! Thank you so much!!!!! :D <3 I am so glad that you appreciated it! I'm a little late on the reply... #oops :3 but I will still check it out, for sure!

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  2. Don't be too hard on yourself. I think getting it all out is a good idea, and it will get better.

    PS I don't know if you realize already, but I think you're set to no-reply settings on blogger. If that's what you intended, no worries. If not, you can easily change it, just look up no-reply blogger.

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    1. Ahhh!! Thank you SO SO much for letting me know!! I just fixed it! :D <3

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