Sunday, February 9, 2014

i don't need to suck my thumb anymore

i'll be honest. i don't know what this post is about yet.

my last blog entry was quite confronting. to me i mean. it was scary to post, and the reactions i received from friends were a bit anxiety-producing, even though they were gorgeous replies. but other scary things happened--like a colleague hugging me at an event and saying that i was brave (love you JMS!). oh--i forgot: my blog might overlap with my real life?

my sister called me saying a mutual friend of ours had read my blog and immediately called her saying, "oh, so spring told your mom about her ED?" oh. no. i hadn't. i've never told my parents. because despite them being compassionate, amazing people, i hate admitting any shortcomings to them. and, yeah, i see this ED as one of my biggest failures.

but, that whole blog-in-life idea was now becoming a bit more dangerous. if my mom read my blog, she might feel hurt that i had never shared something with her that i was now sharing with the world. solution? grow the fuck up, i suppose. so, i called my mom.

ok. maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal to you. but, umm, i've been hiding this from my parents for over eight years. it was a big. fucking. deal.

and guess what? it wasn't that bad. my mom was as sensitive and caring as ever. and she sensed that i was in a good head-space right now. she told me she wasn't worried about me, because i had always done whatever i set my mind to. and then she reminded me of what happened on my fifth birthday:

at four and a half years of age, i had a doctor's check-up. as i was wont to do, i sucked my thumb while there. i mean, i was always sucking my thumb, so that isn't interesting. but, what is interesting, is that the doctor told me that children who suck their thumb after five years of age often develop buck teeth. now, even at four, i must've been a bit vain, because that was the scariest threat i had heard in my four years. so i told my parents i wasn't going to suck my thumb anymore once i turned five.

they played along. they let me think they believed me. on my fifth birthday, i didn't suck my thumb all day. by that evening, my parents were a little surprised, but still not convinced. they were sure i wouldn't make it through my bedtime rituals without a thumb for support. but, despite their doubt, i went to bed, tucked my little thumb inside my little fist, and put my lips against the base of my thumb knuckle.

and i never sucked my thumb again.

did you read that? i broke a well-ingrained habit by deciding it wasn't serving me. at five.

my mom's right. i can do whatever i put my mind to. and you know what? any of us can.

and i guess that's what this post is really about. believing in ourselves. without doubt. without self-criticism. without judgement. let's all throw away our security blankets.

with a little determination and lovingkindness toward ourselves, we can break those cycles in our life that aren't serving us. even those thought patterns that drive us crazy sometimes (KR!). so put your mind to it. and do it. i'm doing it right along with you: i've got your back.

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