january 6, 2020—mud is good

Day 6, morning clarity (or maybe just more mud …last night I posted day 5 reflections just before going to bed; pondering why people are posting things like “slipped tonight, back to Day 1” kind of thing, followed by a public self-lashing…I was tired, feeling irritable and as soon as I hit “post,” had a gut feeling that I didn’t clarify much of what I was trying to process (there’s that key word that I sometimes so despise, “process…” I want a magic switch, dammit! 😜), but was too tired to hop back on here and clear things up. Instead, I promptly fell asleep (which, ultimately, is far more important than social media…another good night of zzzz’s, more vivid, longer, weird, nonsensical yet entertaining dreams…subconscious awakening…)

That gut feeling was confirmed by some of the responses I received overnight, and I was tempted to delete the post and start over, to clean up and perfect what I was trying to say. Then, I had this novel idea: “Hey, chill out, Jen. It doesn’t have to be perfect.” Which is a monumental reaction in my world, just saying. In my past, I would not just want, but insist my “appearance” to be perfect, but the great irony of being a self-proclaimed perfectionist, is that I often do nothing, if I can’t do it perfectly the first time. Great strategy, huh?

I decided, this morning, that last night’s version of my thoughts matters as much as anything. They’re my messy, original, “knee jerk,” raw feelings, and they’re as legit as the pretty, edited, cleaned up ones. More so, even, because they’re authentic, and will hopefully be documentation of my journey here.

Even if I didn’t express myself “perfectly” last night, I’m starting to come face-to-face with things that I’ve long ignored, stuffed away, ran from, in the past, and THAT is ultimately the point, not others’ responses. Main issue being dredged up these days is the abusive self-talk that I’ve engaged in for a big chunk of my adult life. The kind that’s associated with the “perfectionist complex,” talk that reinforces false beliefs, prevents me from moving forward and fully embracing and engaging in my life, resulting in a downward spiral of poor choices in a desperate attempt to shut the voices up or to prove them right: disordered eating. Drinking. Dysfunctional relationships. the list goes on. Reading other people’s acute negative self-talk here is a trigger, to use that nauseatingly over-used buzz-word-du-jour, conjuring up a lot of really sad stuff, like a mirror that’s turned toward me, revealing this decades-long practice that I’ve engaged in, that I’m finally facing, but still grappling with and will take a lot of time to work through.

The truth is, I don’t know exactly what I was trying to say last night, and that doesn’t matter. The fact that I’m even coming face-to-face with some of this long-hidden stuff for the very first time, is huge. As I told someone in a post over the weekend, sometimes, in order to be great at something, we have to start out sucking. Right now, I really, really suck at addressing these deeply-rooted demons; I feel disoriented, inadequately armed, and scared. But also hopeful.

Even if I didn’t express myself clearly last night, even some of the response to my post missed the mark entirely, the very act of putting it out there to the world set off a chain reaction: caused me to pause, think about what I wrote, picked away at the scab, bringing oxygen in for healing…and each response offered a new little nibble of insight, a little more clarity, a little more reinforcement…just like every day we’re here is legit, no matter what happens—whether we drink or not while doing the experiment, every post shared is legit, no matter where we are in ours head along the way. All the words matter. Thanks again for reading and getting muddy with me this morning, and for being on this journey with me. May you all have an insightful Monday. xo

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