As you wish…

My eating disorder support group is really amazing…  The therapist, Nina, has had an eating disorder and knows exactly what we are going through. Every session is a learning experience. Kind of like going to school. You learn about yourself and grow up as you go. It’s a process. I am not going to get through this tomorrow, or next week. It is going to take a while. One of the things I am working on is feeling my feelings. I know that may sound wacky… but I have a hard time feeling. Sometimes I don’t know what to feel or how to feel. I watch movies to feel something. I use them to cry or laugh etc.

Nina, wants me to concentrate on the visual. Since I have a hard time with more abstract concepts… go figure..LOL She wants me to use visual guides to help me. So I have been thinking about why I watch the movies I do over and over again. One movie is Persuasion, by Jane Austin. It is by far my favorite Jane Austin story. Why? Good question. The DVD cover says “A fairy tale for adults.” The main character Ann Elliot has been dismissed and virtually abandoned, left to fend for herself most of her life. She doesn’t fit in with her family. She is the more sensible, intelligent one. She was in love once, but her family forbid the marriage, so she was left to grow old, possibly into spinsterhood. After several years, her love came back into her life… It’s a fairy tale, so I am sure you can surmise what happens. Her knight in shining armor comes and saves her.

Do I wish for a knight in shining armor? of course!!                                                                                         Do I wish I was thin? Yes.                                                                                                                                              Do I wish I had more money… yea, I do.

Then what???

Made ya look!!

I had a dream Leonard Nimoy was visiting my family and he was so delightful and chatting… he had longgggg black hair and was wearing a Mickey Mouse cap.. hehe I have a friend who LOVES him and has taken a couple pics with him, so I told him about her and he said. Oh does she wear all black, I said YES!!! He remembered her.. hehe And that was it.

So a friend pointed out one of Leonard Nimoy’s art projects….  “The Full Body Project”  http://www.rmichelson.com/Artist_Pages/Nimoy/pages/MaxBeaut.htm

Was this dream a sign???

Excert from Leonard Nimoy’s artist statement… “These women are interested in “fat liberation.” They hold jobs in the theater, the film industry and in business—and together they perform in a burlesque presentation called “Fat Bottom Revue.” The nature and degree of costuming and nudity in their performances is determined by the venue and the audience, which can range from children’s birthday parties, to stag parties. I wanted these pictures to be more about them. These women are projecting an image that is their own. And one that also stems from their own story rather than mine. Their self-esteem is strong. One of them has a degree in anthropology and will tell you that ideas of beauty and sexuality are “culture bound”—that these ideas are not universal or fixed, and that they vary and fluctuate depending on place and time. They will tell you that too many people suffer because the body they live in is not the body you find in the fashion magazines.”   This is me, suffering… and jealous of their self esteem!

What are you afraid of??

“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well…maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.”                    ~Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)

For the last 3 years, I have been consciously afraid. When I had my panic attack in February of 2008, everything changed. My mind decided to take a different path and totally threw me for a loop. I became afraid, or recognized this fear more than any other time in my life.

I am 38, and afraid I will never find love nor a true partner.

I am overweight and afraid I will never be fit and healthy again.

I am in debt and afraid I will never be able to live on my own.

I am lost and afraid I will never be found.

I love but afraid I will never be loved.

I am afraid I will be abandoned and dismissed.

I am afraid to excercise, to breath, to live.

I am afraid to love.

I am afraid to die.

 

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

(An excerpt from one of my favorite books, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert)…

“So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together.
In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page:

I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.

Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from
me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page.

Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND…

I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.”

“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” ~Marilyn Monroe

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ~Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ~Frank Herbert (Dune)

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” ~Jim Morrison

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Mirror Mirror on the wall…

Mirrors have been used in art for hundreds of years. They reveal, project, conceal and reflect.

When I started The Gracie Kendal Project, I used the computer screen as a mirror.

Gracie was/is my reflection while I also see myself in my shiny screen.

In my eating disorder support group, there is an exercise the leader has us do. We have to hold a mirror up to ourselves and say “I accept me.” For most, this is very hard. I accept some aspects of myself, the interior, but not the exterior. It is hard to look at my face, my body and accept or even like it.

Today my counselor told me to do another exercise. I have to look in a mirror and just look. I need to really look and find something I like. I have been thinking about this since our meeting, imagining myself looking in a mirror. I can see my face in my mind. I know what I look like. I can’t imagine finding anything I like about my appearance. I have crossed eyes, a big nose and a thick double chin but I did it anyway.

Where does our concept of beauty come from? From centuries of cultures who set standards of beauty? from magazines, advertisements who set standards? From movies and TV shows telling us that if you aren’t beautiful you won’t get far in life? From years of judgment and criticism if you are not the standard, but on the margins? Why is there such an emphasis on beauty? Why is it so important to our culture?

Distorted ideals of femininity?

The one thing I struggle with here, is the ideal that a lot of us cherish in Second Life and how this relates to my project. Especially since I am working on transforming into Gracie again. Of course wouldn’t the better route be for Gracie to transform into me, to become bigger? But wouldn’t that mean I would be accept myself the way I am? I can’t and I don’t.

I keep asking myself. Why do I want to be like Gracie? What does that mean? Is it physical? Is it pyschological? Am I looking for that balance again?

Is having a beautiful woman avatar in SL the same as airbrushing the images in advertisements? Why do we seek beauty like this? I don’t believe it is ALL due to society’s obsession with physical appearance some of it has to come from within doesn’t it?

I guess what I am saying is, I want to be beautiful. But what does that really mean? No matter what anyone says, I don’t feel beautiful. I am sorry I just don’t. But I’m working on it.  Hmmmmmmmm