Recently I recieved a message from someone I knew in my teenage years, but we were never really friends.
She explained how she always thought I acted as if I were above her, “too good for her,” with designer clothes, handbags and expensive taste, and that it was kind of off-putting to those around me. <—(The message got really sweet after that,just in case you were wondering :-))
To be honest, being called a "snob" was one of my biggest fears when I was younger.
I was very fortunate growing up and had a lot of nice things, but I never ever ever wanted it to seem as if I thought I was better than anyone, and I certainly didn't want people to think I held myself to some high esteem because I only wore Juicy Couture.
I bought all those material items because I felt insecure. I wasn't sure who I was and thought I wasn't good enough for the rest of my peers so I assumed MAYBE if I wore what the magazines and society said was "cool," I would then be considered "cool" too.
Obviously this idea is pretty silly.
Judging by the message I got from my past aquaintance, my reliance on material possesions may have made me seem unapproachable, and although I still do enjoy shopping and having nice things, they did/do not make me feel any better about myself as a person.
Essentially Louis Vuitton was my band-aid for a very serious underlying problem; my lack of self-worth.
It was kind of ironic that I received this message because last weekend I was watching Suze Orman and as always she had a question from someone in financial dissaray. The caller had spent WAY more than she had, on all sorts of things, because she was trying to keep up with the latest and greatest trends. The mall trips and online ordering progressively got worse and worse until she found herself under a ginormous mountain of credit card debt and now she didn't know where to begin in remedying the situation.
Suze answered that she didn't need to seek the advice of a financial "expert," she needed to go to THERAPY, because this wasn't really about the money, but instead about feeling inadequate as a person and trying to make up for it through purchases.
Whoa, Suze, maybe you are a genius.
Fortunately I was never that much of a spend-a-holic, but I did find another way to manifest my internal negatvity and lack of self-worth; good-bye Chanel, hello ED.
I am constantly saying things like, "I don't deserve this peanut butter in my oatmeal…I don't deserve a rest day…I don't deserve to take a break at work….etc."
DESERVE….I don't deserve…is the key portion of those statements.
I am always telling myself I don't deserve things, but I believe others do.
Pretty much all of my therapists have used the technique of me envisioning a child, a younger version of my sister is usually who I see, sitting in a chair next to me asking to go get ice cream. Would I tell her no, she already had a full dinner and didn't run or exhaust herself so she couldn't have those calories?
OF COURSE I WOULDN'T! That would be cruel. It is just ice cream. It is just one night. She is not a bad person and didn't do anything that needed to be punished so why wouldn't I take her for ice cream?
If I believe that for others, why do I not mimic those thoughts for me?
Why am I not good enough to make friends or for others to like me without the newest designer labels?
Like I said, it really does all go back to me, not liking me.
So that is what I am working on right now; trying to tell myself everyday that I have a good heart, and a ton of positive qualities that make me valuable just for being CJ.
Following a meal plan and breaking exercise addiction is great, but the most important aspects of recovery are expression, discovery and establishing internal self-esteem that will help prevent that maladaptive coping strategies from re-emerging. If one does not kill the demons with-in, all the calories in the world will only be a temporary fix, until something else is needed to mask all the turmoil inside.
It is time for me, to starting loving ME.
Because I deserve that damn ice cream sometimes.