Thursday, July 3, 2014

rainbow potentials

"even before it is anything, there is always the potential for something becoming. what. it is."

sometimes potentials seem right around the next corner. but sometimes they can seem few and far between.

I love bring alone. I love having time to do handstands without being watched. I love having time to take a bath. I love being able to process things and write them out.

but I used to be super afraid of being alone. being alone used to be a prime opportunity for binging and purging. I would anxiously await the next opportunity to be alone so I could binge and purge. and i would dread the next time I was alone, feeling like binging and purging was a forgone conclusion. and even though I craved it, I didn't want to be a slave to it.

being alone carries a lot of baggage for me. and highly intertwined with this is a feeling of loneliness.

loneliness is weird. it isn't the absence of people, like being alone. it isn't even the absence of people who are close to you. it is this deep-rooted sense of despair associated with not feeling truly connected.

it's taken me quite a while to figure out what my loneliness is. and maybe it's different for different people... but my loneliness is a fear of not ever bring totally understood by another person. it is me doubting that I'm truly loveable. it is me lying to myself about what I really need in my life. and it is me not trusting that my inner-guide knows what's best.

my loneliness packs all of these negativities and insecurities into a dark cloud. and then it floats and hovers around me, seemingly waiting for a little dip in my self-confidence or mood to begin a storm.

sometimes the storms are just light spatterings. during these times I may feel lonely, but I can still find the strength to call a friend to give me the support I can't give myself.

sometimes the storms are a little dangerous: I feel dis-connected. I feel an emptiness inside that I want to fill, but I'm not connected enough to know how or why. I buy a new dress or pair of stretch pants. I feel like I can fill the hole with things instead of processing. I end up feeling guilty for the money I've spent.

sometimes the storms are hurricanes: they halt all travel plans. they take precedence. they destroy whatever else was on the agenda. when I let my fears take over, by choosing to avoid, or by choosing not to process some difficult emotions through writing or talking, I feel out of control. I feel desperately lonely and turn up the avoidance to max by binging and purging. I actively ignore other options, even though I tell myself I'm not.

when I'm lonely, people can help. they can help me process. they can distract me. but they actually aren't the cure. I can't prevent myself from ever being without a support. I can't ensure there will always be someone I can call at any time of day.

but I can address these roots of my loneliness. I can shine a flashlight up to the storm cloud.

my flashlight has self-forgiveness, gratitude, self-trust, honesty, and love.

and when I shine my light through the loneliness, there's the opportunity for rainbows. which may sound super corny. but those rainbows keep popping up. and they're bridging gaps and building systems of connections. both within myself and between myself and others.

I've been trying to avoid a few things lately--a big decision that carries lots of uncomfortable discussions and possible hurt feelings with it. the decision also carries the potential for exacerbating any loneliness I'm experiencing--which may be the scariest part.

this avoidance recently triggered a binge/purge session. there I was--feeling so strong and confident in so many ways, but not fully engaging with my anxieties. and before I knew it I was anticipating, planning, and then actually binging and purging.

i felt guilty. I felt stupid. I felt inauthentic. I confessed to a friend right away. that gave me some of the external support I needed. but what I really needed to do was sit down. pause. look for my flashlight. and then: forgive myself for binging and purging, practice gratitude for all the support and skills I have cultivated, be honest about the underlying anxieties that were triggering this, start to address those fears, trust that this slip-up isn't the end of the world, and be open to listening to my inner-guide when it starts to feel the next rain storm starting.

I have a friend I've been talking to about her struggles with binging and purging. our triggers and experiences are very similar. sharing these things feels good; it feels supportive and less-lonely.

this is probably normal. but it's also kind of funny, because if means that one of my biggest life-storms is forging the way for another rainbow. and I'm praying she will make her own rainbows too.

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