Gone to Ground

I seem to have gone to ground the last several days (not to mention the week that I was gone).  I’m not 100% sure why, although I know some of it.  For a while I was really struggling not to just sabotage myself completely, struggling not to binge and starve and sleep.  I’m not sure what triggered it, but I’d guess part of it was the stress of the last month or so (ShoWest is ALWAYS stressful – so is ShowEast, for that matter), and part of it was feeling like I’d fallen off the workout wagon AGAIN and that made me a bad person.

All that kind of self-indulgent crap.

But I’ve noticed that the “down” periods between the “normal” periods are becoming shorter.  It takes me less time to recover from them, to pull myself up by my fingernails, set my jaw and decide that I will not be beaten.  And my productive periods are longer, too.  I can go longer before the crash, longer between the periods of depression and rage.  I *think* that’s a good sign.  Maybe after a while they’ll just slowly stop showing up altogether.  That would be really nice.

I’m tired of being this person.  I wasn’t always; for a while (at least a year or two in elementary school ;)) I was pretty normal.  There have been extended periods of self-discipline in my life.  I’m not sure where that person went, but I want her back.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “building a better mousetrap,” only in this case, it’s more about “building a better me.” 

I did that in college: spent the better part of a year thinking about what I wanted, and then just . . . CHANGING somehow to get it.  Created a whole new me, out of my head.  And it wasn’t a facade – or rather, it wasn’t after a while.  It was like vines growing up around a tree, until they actually embed themselves in the tree and become part of it.  (Well, some kinds of vines do that.  Other kinds kill the tree.  But let’s not go there.)  I’d put on this suit of vines, and after a while it was just PART of me. 

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.  About who I want to be – not in the abstract, but in the very minutely specific.  Do I want to be someone who gets out of bed at 7:00am or 8:00am?  Do I want to be someone who works out every day or just a few days a week?  Do I want to be someone more active than I’ve been in the past?  If so, how?  Do I want to hike? Dance? Go back to martial arts?  If I want a skill, how good do I want to be?  Do I want to dance semi-professionally?  Do I want a black belt? 

But even more than that, if I imagine myself as I would want to be, does THAT person have a black belt? Does she work out every day? What does she eat?  Does she like sports?  What kind of job does she have?  Does she stay in or go out? How often? How many friends does she have? From where?

And I’ve slowly, slowly been starting to sort out that person.  Just in the last few days I’ve had the internal conversations about not wanting to do something, and then the comeback thought – I’m going to build a better me.  Like a robot or a doll, only less creepy, LOL.   I’m building a whole new personality, a new body, a new mind, a new way of dealing with the world.  Obviously to a certain extent I’ll always be the same person, but I’m tired of this specific person.  I’m tired of the maladaptive coping mechanisms and the low self-esteem.  I’m tired of feeling like I can’t accomplish anything.  I’m tired of feeling like I’m not enough.

I’m not sure that putting on a new suit of . . . of “personality” I guess, is the best way to do it, but it’s worked for me in the past.  I like to know what I’m evolving toward, LOL.  I wonder who I’ll be this time next year.  I’m pretty sure I won’t be me anymore.


12 responses to “Gone to Ground

  1. About who I want to be – not in the abstract, but in the very minutely specific.

    this sentence resonated with me.
    Im working on a NF book proposal where Im trying to weave the two together.
    the OVER ARCHING and the small specific as, for me, I require both to be successful.

    xo xo,

    Miz, who says to email her if you want!

  2. Very interesting concept! The idea of a personality overhaul sounds a bit extreme tho – can you just start with tweaks? I like Marste! Whatever you decide to do though, I hope you share it with us – I have full confidence you can make the changes you desire!

  3. What I like the most about reading your posts, Marste, is that you always make me think.

    I was lying in bed last night, telling myself that instead of my usual morning routine, I was going to get up and do …blah, blah, blah…. because I need to change, or I’m going to die a premature death.

    Unfortunately, I did exactly the same thing I always do. In other words, I broke my promise to myself. What kind of person am I????

    You, on the other hand, sound like you definitely will accomplish what you set out to do. The only thing that bothers me is your last setence – “I’m pretty sure I won’t be me” – don’t change too much, because you are pretty special!

  4. It’s pretty amazing that you can do all of that introspection and changing all by yourself. I make promises to myself, then break them, then feel like crap. If I can’t even keep promises to myself how can I keep them for anyone else? I’m working with a life coach now on some career issues and it’s really helpful – I need someone for the rest of the parts of my life too I think.

  5. I just addressed this road to self-discovery that many women (and men!) struggle with. I recently put some questions together to help somone else on their journey to self-discovery. I linked to her in my post today. Check it out if you are interested. In the meantime, the fact that you are asking yourself all these questions is a HUGE step!

    The tough part is trying to answer them 😉

    I’m excited for you!

  6. If you want to sing out, sing out And if you want to be free, be free cause theres a million things to be.
    You know that there are.
    If you want to live high, live high
    And if you want to live low, live low cause theres a million ways to go, You know that there are.

    Your post reminded me of Cat Stevens who when he wrote the lyric and song had no idea that one day he would become Yusuf Islam.

  7. If POD can quote Cat Stevens, then I figure it’s okay to quote C.S. Lewis:

    “All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be. This is elementary.”

  8. Miz, I just emailed you! I’m totally curious to hear about your project!

    Thanks, Charlotte. I’ll still be me underneath – there are certain things about people that don’t change. My sense of humor will be the same, and my values and all that kind of stuff. But (ideally) all the OUTSIDE stuff, and the middle stuff (the stuff between the deep-down stuff and the outside stuff, like attitudes and behaviors) will be different. That’s how it’s worked in the past, anyway. 🙂

    BL, I know what you’re talking about. I think the only reason I’m really doing it this time is that I’ve hit critical mass. I’m too miserable the way I am now to keep doing this, you know? (But thanks for the compliment – I don’t think my deep-down insides will change!)

    Harriet, I’m SO THERE. Oddly enough, building an outside suit of “me” is one of the ways I have of short-circuiting the way I let myself down. I don’t have faith in myself at the moment, for exactly the reasons you said. But if I construct an “other,” an then slowly step into her – sort of pretending to be someone else the whole time – I can get around my usual downfalls. The only hard part is that sometimes it’s hard to pretend to be someone else all the time (at least until I become that person). But that’s easier for me to deal with than constantly letting myself down.

    Hi Shannon! I checked around on your blog, and I think I must be blind: I didn’t find the questions you were talking about. I’m curious to see them, though, so if you read this, will you let me know?

    POD, I love that! Cat Stevens . . . wow, there’s someone I hadn’t thought of in a long time. 🙂

    Mary, I hadn’t heard that CS Lewis quote, but I think it sums it up perfectly. (Actually, kind of off-topic, but there was a psych study done years ago that I read about in college. It found that people could actually create memories of things that never happened by pretending to remember hard enough. The really scary part was that the effects of those “memories” actually manifested in the subjects. For instance, a woman who created a memory of a rape actually had to eventually go into therapy JUST AS THOUGH SHE’D REALLY BEEN RAPED. Her mind believed it so thoroughly that it was as though it had actually happened. That was the most extreme example, but it was all pretty crazy.)

  9. i think you are rather fantastic. maybe i need to introduce you to the marste i met.

  10. So much of what you’ve written sounds so familiar. As trite as it sounds, I offer sincerely, *hugs*.

  11. Pingback: SO. EXCITED. « Take Up Your Bed and Walk

  12. Pingback: Goals, Visualizations and Other Fun Stuff « Take Up Your Bed and Walk

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