My Ultimate Failure


My Ultimate Failure

One of the things my physician asked me Wednesday (before she discovered the tachycardia and started moving on that issue) was if I have had such extreme eating habits before.  And I told her yes.  Perhaps not as extreme as now in terms of calorie restriction, but definitely over-the-top in terms of micromanagement and the need to do it perfectly.  When I did Weight Watchers and lost a substantial amount of weight, I was crazy OCD with my points.  And I was very restrictive within their guidelines…I never ate my extra points and I never counted in exercise points…I only used the bare minimum.  And…I was a champion at weight loss.  I lost about 10# a month for a year straight…After that, the weight loss tapered, but I was still losing.  I was the poster-child, the star, the example.  Every week, the leader would call on me repeatedly for insight and tips and she would point out how much weight I had lost.  It was like, “Look at Heidi, she’s our success story.  She was ugly and fat and now she is beautiful and trim.”  (I bet the other people at WW hated me!)  And I sucked in all that attention and praise and all of the kudos.

And I valued myself.  I bought everything they said hook-line-and-sinker.  If you love yourself, you will lose weight and be healthy.  If you love yourself you exercise and take care of yourself.  If you love yourself, you matter and you make good choices.  If you love yourself, you will be rewarded.  Yup…I was oozing love for myself.  Only, I didn’t realize until later that my love for myself and their love for me was totally conditional.

Right after I hit the lowest weight of my adult life, I went back to school…I commuted, yes commuted, 110 miles/2 hours in the car each way 3-5 days a week.  I worked hard, got As and oh, yes….gained weight.  But initially, I still went to Weight Watchers (though had switched to meetings in the town where my college was).  The first time I went back to my regular home meeting and I had gained weight, they kind of tolerated it.  The next time…Well…the leader stopped calling on me.  And she stopped asking for my insight and advice. And I was no longer the wonder-child, the WW prodigy.  I was nothing. I had failed.

And I was left in a crisis.  If loving myself meant that I lost weight and if every shred of self-esteem and feeling good about myself was around losing weight…Then what did it mean when I gained weight back?  Clearly, I was a failure, and clearly I didn’t deserve to like or love myself, or to have good things or to take care of myself.  And I consider that WW failure sort the Ultimate Failure. Now, I can look back at it and see that re-gaining the weight wasn’t the worst part, the loss of appreciating and loving myself was. And it has damaged me almost irreparably.

And what did I do to counter that?  I threw myself into my studies and set myself with the goal of getting straight As and graduating with a 4.0.  (I am very good at that all-or-nothing thinking).  I traded one obsessive/perfectionist drive for another.  And in the end, I didn’t graduate with a 4.0.  I got a 3.98.  <sigh>  I was almost good enough!!!

I guess that is kind of the story of my life…Almost good enough, but never really good enough.  Loved, but only conditionally. Damaged and irreparable.  Not perfect and hating myself because of it.  It’s been the same since I was a preschooler.  No wonder I am fucked up.

And no wonder I have latched onto my eating issues….I am in control.  I micromanage to perfection and I lose weight which makes me feel good about myself.  It is all sooo rewarding!  I really do love it!

Fucked. Fucked. Fucked.  I hate my brain.

And Speaking of Fucked….

Remember my lovely PHQ-9 score from last week?  Evidently, if you take away my Fetzima (I’m now at half the dose I was taking), that good mood?  It goes away too.  This is why I never let myself feel hopeful.  My good things never last.

6 thoughts on “My Ultimate Failure

  1. “Almost good enough,” equates to being human.
    I see so many ways of thinking I so relate to. The big words of never, and always; black and white thinking, and the continual, ‘not good enough.’
    Yes, I am good enough, just the way I am. Now that’s a tough one, especially when sleep deprived.
    I see the harshness you dish out to yourself so clearly and easily, the very same I’ve been told I do to myself over years repeatedly by others who care about me. But they were just words and I had no clue how it felt to be gentle and loving towards myself. That was taken from me, and not nourished like a seed to grow in my formative years; quite the opposite in fact. I have to learn to do it now on my own. Not easy. But hey, a good job to do and work at.
    (OK, I am feeling pretty good right now. I slept for the first time in weeks, and maybe that’s because my son is home after not seeing him for a year. And his wife and I are getting along, also a new thing.)

  2. You’re right, the good things never last, but neither do the bad. Everything is ebb and flow. I hope you can find some compassion for youself in the next few days, you don’t deserve this amount of self-loathing.

    • Self-compassion….I try. But it surely does not come easily. And yes, some days are better than others. Maybe at some point, most of the days will be better?

  3. What I have recently realized is that I had not considered the humanness in the people around me. I had superimposed a superhuman ideal on the people around me. I had not recognized that they also have ego stories, their shortcomings, their obsessions to bend their world to support their ego-stories. May I venture out to speculate on the ego-story of the WW instructor? Her ego-story in her position might have been “WW is a successful program, that works in achieving and sustain permanent weight loss” Any events that counter her story, assault her ego-story. Her action, praise or the lack of it, are going to be based on her ego-story (“WW works”). Just for the record – I have my own ego-stories as well.
    It is only now that I am becoming aware of other peoples humanness, that I can wean myself off needing their approval.

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