Unwrapped

It's 2:30 in the morning... I had a nightmare and woke to find myself clawing at the air, with poor Mailo trying to get the hell away from me... :0/ I dreamed of JUDGEMENT. I dreamed my sister and mother were talking behind my back, JUDGING me, deciding things about me regardless of ME or TRUTH, and no matter HOW I fought, I could not make them listen or see reality. I was physically striking out, trying desperately to get them away from me. And now I'm awake.

I had an interesting first day at school... I will not judge it as good or bad. I can't do that. But I WILL say that it was DIFFERENT... I once heard Prozac described as a warm blanket. And in the beginning, I did indeed feel like that. Tingly and warm... Not anymore. Now, I feel like I haven't been wrapped in a warm blanket so much as I have been UNWRAPPED. Today, I am more ME than I EVER have been before! I'm AWARE of things. And I'm not JUDGING them. I'm aware, for example, of my principal... The way he seems to watch me, almost warily. He's not sure what to make of this change in me. My teammates notice, and have even asked. And I am not sure what to say. Part of me wants to get up and shout from the rooftops! ♥ And I hold back...

It's a totally new world... It's AMAZING to teach and ENJOY doing so!! My job is not perfect. It's **** HARD! I'm EXHAUSTED. But... Today, I can see a truth... For so many years I blamed my MISERY on my job. Now, I can see that it wasn't my job that made me miserable. It was ME. Or, rather, my illness. Today, I can see that illness with greater clarity than ever before. Even at 2:30 in the morning. ;0) I was SICK... I had an eating disorder. And MAJOR depressive disorder. I felt judged a LOT of the time. I was miserable, and struggling to put one foot in front of the other. I felt a terrible physical heaviness. A pressing against my eyes. And I feared and hated that others seemed to disdain me.

Today I am UNWRAPPED. I feel that the heaviness has fallen away. I am MEEEE under here!! And I can SEE others' judgements, and today I know that regardless of what THEY think, they disdained my illness, not ME. :) They couldn't SEE me. They couldn't KNOW me. Because I was a walking MESS. I carried my depression with me everywhere. Dragged myself along with it. And now, I'm LIGHTER! ♥

I had some VERY upsetting news last night... My sister spoke to me, and at the end of our conversation, she shared something that she recently learned about a friend of mine... I'm not sure what to do with it...

When I was in the third grade, my family moved. I switched to a local branch of the Girl Scouts, and there I met some life-long friends. Two of the girls lived within walking distance from me. Both girls had younger sisters the same age as mine. We were all quite close. One of these friends, eventually dated my high school ex, married him, had two kids, and is currently living in her childhood home with her family. I guess I must admit that I always wondered if that might have been my life had I been able to push through my fears with that boyfriend, and stayed with him... I've been a bit jealous... :P

In the year 2000, while I was in Europe on a study abroad program, I received news that this dear friend's younger sister had lost her battle with skin cancer. She died on the operating room table. She was 21. Last night, I learned a new horror... Two years after that... In 2002, this friend's parents divorced. Her mother was distraught and killed herself in the garage. And today, my friend is living in that same house... With the ghosts of her sister AND mother...

My therapist was right... Judgements are wrong. We can not assume that others' lives are "easier" or "better". Envy... Well, it's misguided and misplaced.

It's 2:51 a.m. now. I'm trying to put down these thoughts. They are heavy and swirling and keeping me awake. I desperately need to sleep. This is a BIG week, and I'm still recovering from a cold... It's amazing to me... EVERYTHING is amazing to me... Life... It's a whole new experience. I wonder whether others will get to know me, now that I'm ME enough to GET to know! LOL! But if their judgements prevent them from seeing me, I understand. And I do not judge them for it. ♥

Love you all! Good night! :)

Jen

Jen,
There is so much here. So much awareness of who YOU are. It is pretty powerful.

Also, i often think to myself when i see people who i am comparing myself to or envious of that: i don't know their story.

I don't know the sum of their life. I don't know what they did to get that job or that body or that life and i sure as heck don't know whether they are happy with their life and themselves, no matter what things look like on the outside.

Such thoughts really help me not compare myself to others as much and it is a pretty liberating thing.

I am glad that Day 1 was full of insight and i am glad that you are seeing how much you enjoy being a teacher. The grass really isn't greener on the other side and i think we all need to come to terms with that. Of course, it is more complicated than that but i think sometimes we overcomplicate life and things.

We just need to be grateful for what we have and who we are and in this, there is liberation as you are sensing.

It is almost like your senses have come alive and you are seeing things from a whole new perspective.

Long may it live and continue.

Lots of love.

Sreb

Sreb,

Thank you, dear friend! ♥ I was tired when I wrote this... And still feeling the effects of that nightmare. When I woke, all I could think about was the news I'd heard about my friend... At one time, everything looked so great for her... She was a better ballet dancer than me. :) She was accepted into Purdue, and was studying to be a veterinarian. Then, some time after her sister died, I head that she experienced extreme depression, gained a lot of weight, dropped out of school, and moved back home. I had NO idea that it all followed her mother's suicide... I've worried about her, without knowing the tragedy she was living through...

Yes, I think gratitude is very important! ♥ I also think that it's not always possible... When I was deeply in my depression, I couldn't have CHOSEN to be happy or grateful... Today, although things are still hard, I feel like I CAN... And THAT is amazing to me! :)

Sending you lots of love! And THANKS for plowing through my wee-hour drivel. ;0)

Jen

Never drivel.

Sometimes, our best work comes out in the early hours of the morning or the late hours of the night.

Hope you have had a good day Jen.

Love to you.

xx

WOW! Your post opened up so much for me. The subject of judgement is so vital in an active eating disorder. I judge myself for what I think I am not, I judge others for what I think they are, I judge the world around me for what I think they want me to be. Judgement-and what I make it-rules so much of my world and occupies so much of my mind it is ridiculous!

And the feeling of being wrapped up, I believe, is a feeling that we all crave. I seek it and long for it, but my search is in vein, I always end up curled up on the floor, open, exposed and unwrapped.

Dear Jen....the tears are running down my cheeks, reading this! You are truly beginning to experience LIFE, fully, with it's ups and downs, but FULLY! The things you have written about here are the true rewards of recovery...the rewards that come with persistence, walking through your fears, and having faith [when you cannot see].
So very many revelations mentioned in your words. I love picturing you and your co-workers seeing you unwrapped, and free to be unwrapped!! WOW!!
You are truly a blessing to me, and I'm sure to many others.
I can relate to what you shared about now knowing others' pain. I know that my own recovery has made me a much better nurse, and much more understanding and compassionate to others...without sacrificing myself.
Sending you love and hugs dear friend!! Miss you....Jan ♥

Sarah Kate,

You're right... Those judgements need to be shed. :) "...a desire for power that strips you of all power." Great quote! ♥

Jan,

Thank you, dear friend! ♥ YOU are the blessing! :) And HEY... My coworkers have chosen a new nickname for me! PEPPY! LOL!! Quite a 180 from depression... ♥

Love to you both!

Jen

Have a great day, PEPPY!! :) ♥

This is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. This message is inspirational and it shows how amazing recovery can be if you accept the illness for what it is and realize it IS a problem and it needs to be dealt with. Loved reading this! :) Sonrisas