June 7th, 2013
by Jodi · Filed Under: Ponderings
You know that saying ‘behind every good man is a good woman’? (Again, don’t tell my husband I wrote that.) Well there needs to be a saying that says, ‘behind every jacked up behavior there is an emotion’.
Our emotions, when left unchecked, have the potential to be the most destructive things in our lives. One minute we can be sane, rational people making major decisions in a board room and a half hour later we can be a crying pile of poo in a doctor’s office because we had to step on the scale. Really? What happened to that put together woman earlier today that just closed a multi-million dollar deal? Which one of you is the real you? And are you willing to show that side of you to the general public because if not, then there is incongruence somewhere and it is time to eradicate it.
I always hesitate sharing anything about myself on my blog—not because I don’t want people to know because I always share one on one—but because when you read it, it sounds like I am either looking for sympathy or I’m whining. I can assure you I am doing neither. When I was going through all of this I was not “endlessly suffering” and I didn’t cry myself to sleep or anything like that; not because I was ‘tough’ or ‘strong’ or any of that other nonsense you hear sometimes but because I was numb. I didn’t feel. I was as cold as ice and could be quite heartless when necessary. If you made me feel even the remotest sense of fear or weakness, I would mow over you like a John Deere tractor with a fresh tank of gas. There was no emotion, no compromise, no mercy, no nothing. Do not even THINK about getting heartfelt on me because I would take you down in a second and I always had the upper hand. Sarcasm? Check. Quick one liners? Check. Ironside personality with a poker face to match? Check. Knew my stuff? Check. Warmth, compassion or humility? Mmmm…not so much.
On the client end, you would never really know so do not be surprised if you have never seen that side of me…but if you were in my inner circle? Lord have mercy on you because you never really knew what Jodi you were going to get. I empathized with clients because they were going through what I was going through so the warm, compassionate Jodi came out when I was doing my job. However, any other time I loathed my existence and if you interrupted that self loathing, you were in for a treat.
We go through many emotions when something of this degree happens and we struggle to make heads or tails of it as it is happening. As I sat and thought about all that I felt or went through, there were four emotions that just kept coming up over and over: pain, anger, self hatred and shame. Each of these emotions in some way drove DIYD, AoN and DD in such a way that I didn’t realize I was in a cycle of defeat until I was so far in that I needed an intervention to get out. I want to truly emphasize this: none of this comes at you straight ahead and you can just “see it” and tackle it. Instead, it creeps in or comes in through the back door and you are completely unaware until someone else points it out. As far as I was concerned, there was no way I had a victim mentality; Demolition Derby proves it. I am still a success; I don’t care what All or None says. That year I spent sucking my thumb was justified; damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Honestly, I look back at times and think, “Who in Heaven’s name were you back then?” I didn’t even know I had any of that in me. Holy smokes! So it is worth me going through these to give you an idea of what these look like because you may think ‘I don’t have any of that’ when in actuality, you may.
There’s obvious pain and then there’s not-so-obvious pain. Obvious is the girl who can admit that she’s unhappy or that she’s lonely and so on. I find that folks in our industry tend to poke fun at them because they come across ‘weak’ and ‘whiny’ when they should just ‘suck it up’ and make the most of life…you know…set some goals and make it happen. If they just ‘did it’ and stopped crying about it…yadda yadda yadda. But then there is not-so-obvious pain which masks itself as someone who is ‘tough’ and ‘strong’ and can get it done even when they are hemorrhaging on the weight floor. They may say something like, “Oh, just ignore that. I tore my bicep off my arm. It’ll be fine by tonight.” and we are all supposed to just think that they are some sort of hero because they don’t complain but just keep on lifting. Huh??
Pain lacks emotion. Have you ever had someone tell you something tragic about their life but said it in such a way that they could have just as well been describing the color of the shades in their room? That’s pain.
Pain lacks common sense. Have you ever seen someone work themselves into the floor to the point where they are making themselves sick but darned if they miss a day in the gym? They would sooner stick a fork in their eye than miss a workout. That’s pain.
Pain lacks rationality. Have you ever had a girlfriend chase 5 pounds on the scale when she looks show ready at all times because the thought of gaining weight sends her into a tizzy and continuously reminds you of how no one else seems to see it but she does? You think she’s compliment phishing when really…that’s pain.
Anger is what you give to other people because you are too closed off to give them you. It is the gift that keeps on giving. Anger is a state of being…it is more than just an emotion. I got angry the day I found I was pregnant with Jarrett in 2005 and I didn’t stop being angry until 2009. Anger is necessary for survival when you are consumed with pain. Anger fuels your workouts, your day to day, your nights when you can’t sleep and your overall course of action with regards to your body. If that was all that anger fueled, that might not be so bad…but it’s not. Anger also fuels binge eating, forced starvation, mood swings, caustic humor, cutting remarks, drunkenness, DIYD, AoN, DD, jealousy and so on. Anger is to us as a flame is to a moth: even though we know it is not good for us and it will consume us thereby killing us…we can’t stop.
Here is something that only shows up when you show up. What I mean is you do not notice how much you hate yourself until you are in front of yourself. I dealt with self hatred with cotton. I was, and still am now but for different reasons, the queen of cotton. Getting dressed brought on feelings of dread like no other. I could honestly forget all that I was going through if I just went through life without having to shower or get dressed. But seeing as I had to do that every day, I could not escape the feelings of self hatred. One trip in front of the mirror and I was in the throes of DD in a minute. I could not stand to be “dressed up” because to me, that just highlighted the issue. Somehow, in my warped thinking, it said that I was “ok” with this; that there was something valid about the way I looked and that was a lie as far as I was concerned. I was not going to love it, dress it, be nice to it…nothing. No…it needed to be silenced and I did that through treating my body and myself like garbage. The problem with this, though, is that it is a self fulfilling prophecy. I look like crap, therefore I feel like crap. I feel like crap, therefore I must be crap. If I am crap, why am I bothering to try and workout and make myself “better”? Again, we don’t actually “say” this, we just live this.
Shame shows up as justification. If you ever feel yourself justifying, you are embarrassed or feeling shameful about something. Whatever it is, your edges are fraying and others can see. Here is where I really went wrong. I REFUSED to justify to a certain extent. If I felt you needed to know what went down with me, I would tell you but for the most part I didn’t speak about it in public (I did in private) for almost 2 years. It was the big elephant in the room whenever I spoke in public and I was not about to give in to it. However, that didn’t lessen my feelings of shame, it actually made them worse. The noise in my head about what people thought at times was excruciating and it did not subside until I started talking about it. It has taken a long time to free myself of this and I cannot tell you that I am 100% there but I am pretty darn close. It takes a special situation to set me off and I am working towards eliminating even those rare occasions when they pop up. You are not hiding shame from anyone and it is lying to you if it tries to convince you that you will feel better after justifying. Ask me how I know.
I love you, ladies, dearly. I truly pray that you will never have to go through anything like this in your lives. If my blog does anything, I pray that it keeps you from making the mistakes that I made or give in to any feelings of inferiority like I did for so long. You are worth so much more than that. TRULY you are.
I will touch upon these at another time because each one is a blog post in and of itself but for now I will leave it here. Emotionally, this has been a roller coaster ride of a week for me and I need a break. Ha!! I’m going to go hide under my desk again rocking back and forth in fetal position. Thank goodness this isn’t programming week or I’d be in trouble. Not sure what’s coming up next but I hope it is not this intense. See you soon. Woop woop!!