A few years ago, I used to see a counsellor pretty regularly. It was a nice outlet, and I'd highly recommend it. There really isn't anything quite like having someone to talk to - someone unbiased, whose actual job it is, not to judge you and to keep all your secrets. It's the best friendship I ever had!
I remember we used to talk a lot of about the internal voice - the one that I'm assured everyone has. You know it; I think it kind of depends who you are, and how much you listen - but it's usually the voice that your hear in your mind, that stirs you up, pushes you on or knocks you down - and if you're really unlucky, it keeps on knocking you down, even when it already has you crawling on the floor. It's hard to imagine that everyone has this voice - but it's a sobering idea.
I think I got a dud inner voice, because mine never seems to let up on me. I think it stops me being my best all of the time, but perhaps that is its job. If we all walked around in the world, thinking we were wonderful and justified all of the time, it might be an awkward place to live. But surely there is a happy medium?
So, it's fairly obvious that I can flit from self loathing to self love as quickly as it takes for the short hand on a clock to move; I wish I wasn't this way. And I really hate that I can't be the kind of strong and independent woman that I want to be. I see glimpses of the woman I want to be, everywhere I go - some days it's quite easy to find - on other days it's more elusive, but just as valuable. Perhaps being a strong woman, is being strong in spite of the shitty internal voice in your head? Maybe the successful people are the ones that are able to tune out that voice?
I remember a long time ago, I was having quite a heart to heart with my friend and I said to her in a moment of youthful clarity that "I'm just not comfortable in my own skin" ... and she says to me something like "oh, I know it's not easy being 'bigger'". And all I remember thinking is, what the fuck are you talking about? I wasn't just talking about being overweight... I couldn't stand being the person that I was, the lie - I didn't want any of it. I used to look in the mirror, and not recognise anything about that person staring back at me, and I certainly didn't want to claim any of it as being my own. Sometimes I slip back into that - although rarely. Sometimes I get scared that the only thing that is stopping this from happening again, is the antidepressants. I hate that I still feel ashamed to admit I take them. It still feels like a label, and it feels like I'm weak. I say to myself that someday soon, I'll get off them - when I'm 'together'.... I'd like to think that day is closer than I hope. Maybe none of us are ever really fully 'together'... perhaps that's what it means to be human. Still, the TV shows and the magazines make it hard to believe that I am not the weird one, the ugly one, the useless one, the loser.... And as for that 'friend', I should have known at that point, that S was completely full of shit.
I like to think, that maybe the reality of this world is that we are all messy underneath, and maybe some of us are just better at hiding the mess. Maybe the people we put on pedestals are just the ones with the better poker face?