Browsing Tag

love

It’s Always About Attention

I’m addicted to my own sadness.

This is mad right? Crazy. Why would I want to be sad. How could this be an addiction?

Being sad puts me into a position to be cared for, because let’s be honest here, I crave attention. When I’m not getting the attention I want, I do one of two things: become angry or become sad.

Being angry causes other people to pay attention to me. They wonder why I’m angry and try to calm me down or figure out how to help. Being sad causes people to pay attention to me. They wonder why I’m sad and try to help me be happy, they tell me good things about myself; cater to my needs.

Being sad also puts me in a position of the victim, which in some messed up way, allows me to feel like I need to be extra cared for. People feel bad for someone who has depression, who looks sad, who is a victim.

So it makes sense to want to play that part.

Why would I want people to feel bad for me, though? Attention. It always comes back to attention. Although I find this to be confusing as well, because as much as I crave the attention of others, I hate being in the center of it. A quote from Blackout by Sarah Hepola:

“I’ve always been mixed up about attention, enjoying its warmth but not its scrutiny. I swear I’ve spent half my life hiding behind a couch and the other half wondering why no one was paying attention to me.”

Perfect.

Maybe it stems from my childhood. Although I think I had a normal one, obviously there was a lack of attention or love from somewhere. I know that as I got older, around seven to ten, my Mom started giving her attention to the neighborhood kids whom she babysat for. I didn’t like this. I acted out while they were around, being mean and grabbing at my Mom. I felt left out, like she was dumping me for these new children.

Maybe that’s where my attention-seeking behavior began. Scratch that, I know that’s where it started.

That, and the whole other fact that my Dad didn’t have any interest in my life, besides wanting me to be normal and be a good golfer. Like my brother.

Fighting for attention with my brother was another issue. One that, along with many other probable causes, led to my eventual downfall into anorexia, depression, and anxiety.

I wasn’t getting the attention and care I so desperately needed, wanted, so I concocted my own seemingly awesome plan: Stop eating and maybe people will figure out that there is something wrong with me. Act depressed and then maybe people will care.

But I soon realized this was not the type of attention I wanted. Actually, I wasn’t getting love at all, but anger. My Mom, angry that I was losing weight. My Dad, angry that I wasn’t being normal. My brothers, angry that I wasn’t the same happy kid I used to be.

As much as I hated the angry attention, it was still attention, and I clung to it with all I had. My fragile self thrived on this.

So when the anorexia was fought and I started eating like a normal person again, this attention stopped. Panic arose inside and that’s when the depression took over. Thoughts of killing myself became the new course of action.

Because it’s easier to hate yourself than to love yourself. And it’s easier to feel sad than to search for happiness. And it’s easier to gain other people’s affection through your own shitty-ness.

Being a depressed mess also makes you feel like you’re special, even if it’s in a fucked up way. I don’t feel any sense of uniqueness from being happy or looking on the bright side. Yet bringing myself down, contemplating suicide, and having a negative opinion about everything makes my insides feel special. I’m more fucked up than you. I’m more special than you are.

Sad.

These days, I can’t stand when people say their eating disorder isn’t about attention, because it is. Just be honest. You’re craving some form of attention, affection, care, love. And if it’s not an eating disorder than it’s depression, alcohol, drugs, whatever.

When we hurt and don’t want others to know, we turn to alcohol or drugs or food in a desperate search to not only cure our aching minds, but also in a hope that others WILL notice and in turn save our drowning souls.  

I’ve found, since losing the anorexia persona, depression is a lot harder for people to notice. I keep up a pretty good facade, in an attempt to appear normal, yet on the inside wishing I could let me guard down; fall apart. Because then people would realize something is terribly wrong, and help me. Feel bad for me.

Attention: it’s a devil’s game. 

You’ll never win.

Anorexia, Anxiety, Depression, Life, Personal

life at the moment {a short summary}

Life at the moment: happy + sad, exciting + boring, up + down.

In the past four months, I’ve gone through five jobs. Two different landscape companies, an organic farm, an artisan bread bakery, and finally a juice + smoothie bar. Although I feel somewhat happy in my current position, it’s been a battle getting here. Between a couple outrageously horrible bosses, multiple emergency room stays, and forging a new relationship, the last four-five months have been both amazing and yet discouraging at the same time. Amazing because I’ve found someone I can confidently say I love and see a future with and I can wake up and go to work without an incredible about of dread. Yay for me. But yet discouraging because the process of getting these two things was not pretty or easy or even necessarily very fun.

It’s always when you start to reflect on your past events that you realize the meaning or see the significance. Yet in the moment, nothing makes sense. How convenient.

My job basically consists of making juice, smoothies, baked goods, and other vegan-ish dishes, while putting on a happy face and being nice to customers. It is rewarding and I enjoy the fact that most days I can work alone and try new recipes and see what sells and what doesn’t. But the downside, and I guess what will always be the drawback to working under someone else, is that it’s not my own, so even though I have ideas on how to improve things, the owner has control and sees their own vision, not mine.

The upside to this downside, however, is the fact that it gives me motivation to open my own place someday. Then the vision will be my own and I can do whatever I want.

That’s my life goal right there folks: do whatever I want. 

Realistic? Probably not. But then again, reality only kills the dream. 

The job is only one part though.

Like I mentioned above, I met someone about five months ago, almost to the day, although the exact timeline is blurry, as I took a little while beginning things in fear of making past mistakes. That’s besides the point. The point is that I’m in love with this guy. He’s wonderful, caring, funny, very loving, and the best part, challenging. He challenges me to face my maybe not-so-wonderful qualities or faults in order to help me better myself.

So far, I’ve learned how to somewhat effectively put my thoughts into words and to communicate even when I don’t want to or find it hard.

Fun fact: we fell in love on top of the ferris wheel. Bonus.

Mentally though, although improving, my down days still occur. However, instead of being  a whole day, it’s more of moments now. Sad, happy, sad, content, happy, etc. Before, it was more of a sad-all-fucking-day kind of deal, a flash of happiness maybe, then back to being depressed.

I feel that J plays a part in this, but also the job, and the fact that I’ve finally back at the gym and eating decent again.

I joined the YMCA not too far from the house, and it hasn’t seemed like a struggle to get there like it did a couple months ago. Last month, I committed myself to a 30-day yoga challenge so maybe that helped as well. While I wasn’t going to the gym, I let myself beat myself up about it, which only fueled the guilt  more so doing the yoga, I think, helped clear my negative thoughts. But since getting back into a routine at the gym, my moods have seemed more stable and my happiness in terms of my body has improved. All good things.

I obviously still have days, like today, where I wish I could be more, do more, and be less myself. For some reason, I felt inadequate and just plain useless today; left out too. But I try to take these days with a gentle heart because not every day is going to be fantastic. I can only make the effort to pull out the positives and focus on the parts of the day which brought me the most happiness:

Coming home + getting hugs from J.

Receiving sloppy kisses from Leah (the dog).

Feeling as though I was still able to provide a loving space for both my Mom and J.

Eating beef stew from the crockpot (meaning I didn’t have to cook!)

Little moments + little things = the most rewarding forms of happiness.

Life, Personal