Taking ourselves too seriously

May 22, 2008 at 11:29 am 2 comments

This won’t be a sermon. I just want to share a little story that always makes me laugh (at myself). Since I come the from the species of the eating-disordered, I have a tendency towards drama. In person I am so calm, cool and collected, one would never guess. But secretly, in my heart of hearts, I am a drama queen.

One Friday night several years ago, the kids were asleep, my husband was out somewhere (maybe away on business?), and I was feeling sorry for myself. No, don’t idealize me! That is NOT the last time I felt sorry for myself! It’s just that it left a lasting impression. So I decided to have a glass of wine and then I switched on the TV. (That should have been a warning signal right there! I very rarely watch TV.) Flipping through the channels, there was a song on MTV about lost love. Well, that fit the mood and I stayed there, and poured another glass of wine. I decided to get drunk and have a good cry about everything that had gone wrong with my love life.

Then I’m not exactly sure what happened. Was it an out-of-body experience? In any case, I rose above myself and saw the situation. And it made me crack up. This is not as easy to describe as I’d imagined. You see, I had decided to let myself go and simply feel the feelings, drown in self-pity (and wine) and feel the sadness in every cell of my body. The funny thing is, it didn’t last very long, because I started to laugh. It was just too perfect — like out of some film. The poor, suffering heroine abandoned and lonely. You know it’s got to be bad if a Channel 13 fan is riveted by sad love songs on MTV.

As usual, there is actually a point to all of this. By simply letting go and daring to be miserable — in fact, not only daring, but really getting into the situation — it wasn’t nearly as intense as I’d feared. I didn’t disappear, and life went on. Sure, it can go the other way, but I believe self-pity has to do with taking one’s self rather seriously until we find something better to do. So next time you feel sorry for yourself, exaggerate! Don’t be ashamed, just go for it! It won’t last nearly as long as if you try to fight it. After my second glass of wine, I went to bed. I saw through myself and realized that if millions of people had bought those sad love songs, then I definitely wasn’t alone. It’s just part of life, I guess.

In a sense, this is just a simple example of letting go. Rather than fighting indefinitely against some uncomfortable feeling, I just surrendered. And it was over before I knew it! I’m not saying it will always be funny. Sometimes it’s about more than self pity, but even then it is manageable (last 2 paragraphs). There may be a time when I drink a whole bottle of wine. But the point is, to simply let go and allow feelings to come to the surface is often much less worse than we think. If I had tried to drown the feelings, I probably would have needed two bottles of wine, as opposed to two glasses. But this was about accepting and enhancing the feelings. That’s quite different from drowning them. (Anyway, at my age, the thought of how I’ll feel the next day generally prevents me from drinking too much. It’s just not worth it!) So, dear reader, to truly surrender to the feelings you don’t need to get drunk (or eat)!

While looking through old poems yesterday, I found a really short one that fits here:

How to remember

So many times have run from the pain,
but it plagues me again and again and again.
To try to forget is the best way to remember.


Entry filed under: binge avoidance, life. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim  |  May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for posting this! 🙂

  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  May 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


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