Fortezza, Umilitade, e Largo Core - Courage, Humility, and Largeness of Heart.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Some Thoughts on Memorial Day

We all love Memorial Day Weekend- I mean really, it is the unofficial start of summer. Most folks get a three-day weekend, if they have a job that is. And with all the fun, sun, blockbuster movies, and barbeques, we tend to forget the sacrifices of those who fought to give us the freedom that allows us to have such fun holiday weekends. 

While I do not support war in general, I am grateful for those that sacrifice for our country. We live in a country that can be truly frustrating at times, no matter which side of the aisle you sit. However, we have the privilege to reside in one of the few countries in the world that allows us the freedom and ability to voice a dissenting opinion. As Voltaire said, “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Last week, a U.S. Sailor became the 3000th death in the Afghanistan War, per CNN. That is an inauspicious honor. The thing that strikes me is we have now sacrificed 3000 of our honorable, brave men and women to get retaliation for the deaths of 2,977 of our citizens? Where is the logic in that? 

Friday, May 18, 2012

We all feel unattractive at times

I am suffering from body dysmorphia lately. I knew it would happen. A year and a half ago, I was down to 103 pounds and was almost solid muscle due to complications from Lyme Disease- I was vomiting and convulsing in pain almost constantly, which, as it turns out, really builds up muscle. I had the “best body” I have ever had; I put best body in quotes because that is based on our unhealthy, media influenced American standards. Once I got healthier (vis a vis Lyme) recovered from the nausea and was able to eat again, I began to get back to a healthier body type. As I gained weight, I was very conscience to keep saying affirmations that I was beautiful, that growing out of a size 0 is healthy. I knew moving from a media driven “ideal type” to a healthy ideal would be hard on me psychologically but with my conscience effort, my self perception didn’t spin out of control.

I then contracted a respiratory infection and wasn’t able to work out for a few weeks. I also got in a relationship. Before I knew it, I was up to 132 pounds. I found myself growing from a size 2/4 to a 4/6 to a 6/8 and I now find myself no longer fitting in my size 8s and having to purchase size 10s. Per our Wii Fit, I still have a healthy BMI, although just barely. I am 5’2” with a thin frame, so I am definitely heavier than I should be; I most definitely shouldn’t gain any more weight. But here’s the thing that strikes me: I shouldn’t feel as hideous as I feel. I really noticed this when looking at photos from graduation this year and cringing at how much weight I had gained. I went back and looked at last year’s graduation pictures (the ones where I, ironically, thought I was fat) and I saw how I was too skinny then. I went back to the current pics and forced myself to see myself as normal and healthy. I looked at pictures of other women (who I consider beautiful) who are of a similar body type to me. I realized that I look no different from them; it is merely my own negative self-perception that is different.
I know that I am not the only woman who feels this way. I am here to say: you are not alone. I will continue to work to see myself as beautiful, no matter what my body looks like. I will also continue to work out and will try to eat healthier (much easier said than done for me). I want to be strong enough to conquer Lyme and everything beyond that is gravy. (And while I must force myself to say this) I am beautiful as I am, this day. I know that I will eventually learn to believe myself when I say it.

I am beautiful as I am.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How far we come in a year.

It was this week a year ago that I was in a self imposed hell—swept away in an abusive relationship that I refused to find the strength to leave… until it was almost too late. Everyone around me could see the abyss I was heading towards but I refused to listen to their sage advice; instead I allowed myself to be controlled as if he were Orpheus, playing the strings of my emotions. Mindlessly I followed him as he pushed and pulled me, this way and that, almost as if he was trying the limits of cruelty I would withstand.

When he tried to rape me, I was able to fight him off and he then broke up with me. I was crushed but somewhere from the bottom of the wreckage, I screamed, “No more! Never again.” He didn’t believe me and continued to try to draw me back into his abusive games, but with the strength loaned to me from my support system, I found the strength to resist.

I spent months healing, protecting myself, and fighting to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Then, when I least expected it, I found healthy love—possibly for the first time in my life. I went from the lowest point in human relations to where I am growing and becoming better at communication, giving/accepting support, and trust.

Would I choose to go through that again? No, but I receive solace knowing how I turned it around to make myself a better person and to help others.

My gratitude abounds!

My story from last year: Standing Tall as a Victim