I have a confession to make.
I am my own worst enemy! Methodically, calculating, at any given moment, I am…raging a war inside myself, and in 51 years, I have amassed an arsenal of weapons of self-destruction, that I am ready to unleash on myself in a moments notice, with my finger on the trigger. Now my weapons are not weapons in the sense that they can take out a target at point-blank range with the precision accuracy of a Special Ops Sniper, although I have been told I have an icy cold stare when I am pissed off, that sends chills done my fireman’s spine, but that is neither here nor there. Yes, my weapons are lethal, in a sense, but only to me. Hence the kicky title of my blog, Weapons of Self Destruction and Other Casualties.
These weapons tho…
These weapons of which I speak are the self-defeating way I berate myself incessantly. I can tell you that I actually am aware that I have begun to literally argue with the voices in my head that insist to me that I am not good enough, not smart enough, not a good writer, not measuring up and that I should just forget this whole I want to be a Chef and Writer thing and be done with it already. I say fuck you so much to myself that I realize I am vocalizing this out loud now, and it sounds scaaary! I have considered keeping a video recorder on to capture it because it’s so automatic, but sharing this with you now, is frightening enough! No one should witness that I can assure you!
Food as a weapon
Another weapon in my arsenal that is not so much an issue anymore, but was, less than a year ago, before I decided to have weight loss surgery, was the way I used food to silence the demons of self-doubt and self loathing. I was an emotional eater for most of my life, I ate when I was happy, sad, tired, lonely, riddled with anxiety. I would love to blame it on my Italian roots, because us Italians can eat, and we have a love affair with food, but truth is I yo-yo dieted for nearly three decades before I had finally had enough and took my control back. Was it easy? Fuck no, I have rules now as part of my weight-loss protocol, and maintaining my new lifestyle. I have to be disciplined, I hate rules, I love discipline. Discipline is about control and I love to be in control! Discipline is easy, rules are hard, rules are regimented and suffocating and dictated by someone else’s ideals, and while I recognize in a civilized society rules are necessary, rules keep us safe, healthy, and all that jazz, I do hate the notion of them sometimes! And yes, sometimes rules are meant to be broken, but when I made the decision to have surgery for my weight, I underwent a mental transformation, I knew this was life changing and need my full commitment to it, and if I couldn’t make that commitment then I knew I would be one of the sad statistics that regains weight, and I understood what was driving my weight gain. I mean menopause did a number on me, but in truth, I was doing far worse by using food as a weapon to keep everyone out, and keep me from feeling what I most assuredly, didn’t want to feel. But like any other addiction, sooner or later you will have enough, hit your bottom, and have to pull your head out of your ass and deal with the real issues. Thankfully I can say, I have been making peace with my relationship with food, my body, and the way I care for myself. I was always a healthy eater but I was a girl who, if I was on a mission, “Operation Gorge Myself” I slayed that shit. Yes, it is possible to gain weight overeating on healthish food. Trust me I did it! Now I have my 90-10 rule. 90% of the time I eat healthy, 10% of the time I reserve that for anything from a glass or two, or three, of Pinot, (don’t judge my demons), to a nibble of chocolate if I so choose, and to be honest most of the time I am living 95%, because I just don’t have the desire to binge, nor can my body tolerate large quantities of food any more. But it still requires discipline and thankfully I see it as just that and not regimented, narly ass rules. A matter of semantics? Maybe, but it works for my brain to think in those terms, and I am OK with that!
Sex as a weapon
There was a time in my life where before I was taking therapy seriously, in my early 20’s, shortly after the death of my Mother, that I began to engage in some risky behavior. I had just ended a five year relationship and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I had a job but I didn’t see it as a career. Now when I say risky behavior, what I mean is that I was pushing the boundaries, stepping out of my comfort zone, and losing my inhibitions, where sex was concerned. To be clear, I was never a one night stand kind of girl, but I did let my guard down from time to time, putting me in situations that were not always the safest or the wisest! Sex wasn’t something I used against a partner to bring him to his knees and worship at my feet, at least not until I met my fireman, but seriously, sex as a weapon wasn’t a threat or promise I doled out until I got what I wanted. I was never a tease, when I say sex as a weapon, it was all me, sex was my weapon to circumvent a relationship and keep from getting emotionally attached. I used sex interchangeably to get the intimacy I craved, without the commitment. I wasn’t conscious of this until years later, when I began to dissect my behaviors in therapy, and it became an “aha” moment of realization. I finally understood what it was about. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but I did crave the intimacy from time to time, so I would blur the lines and take what I needed and discard what I didn’t, which is why for a five year span in my 20’s, I was single and shutting myself off so as not to feel. Sometime later though, there was a brief paradigm shift, and I found myself using sex to avoid communicating my feelings, to avoid fighting, to avoid examining what I didn’t want to examine in my relationships, and this was equally, if not more self destructive. I believe sex was easy to mask these things because it was one of the areas that I was highly proficient and masterfully skilled in, and my self confidence in my ability didn’t hinder my game! Thankfully, I was able to realize this and correct the behavior, and appreciate all that sex can be with the right person, in a healthy, loving, give and take relationship.
Lack of self-esteem as a weapon
This one has been more devastating to my psyche then my brief promiscuity. Without a doubt this weapon has left an indelible mark on my soul and has been the hardest thing for me to come to terms with and heal from. The feeling of being not good enough began early in my childhood and I am still waging a war within myself on this one. Yes, I have made tremendous strides with the help of therapy, and the love and compassion my fireman has given to me, but still, with all that I have achieved that I measure my success by, my children, my fireman, meeting my personal goals, there is always that voice inside that seeks to destroy, and whispers that it is not enough, that I am not enough, that I am lacking. Sure the voices are less so as I have worked hard to silence them and understand from where they come. However, I still have days when they get the best of me and I need to disappear into myself and work through it. Take my blog for instance. For nearly a month I have been wielding self-destructive rhetoric back and forth inside of me, feeling that I am not measuring up to my peers and the amazing content they put forth in their blogs, so in response to that, I went inside and found the strength and resolve to understand, that we are all unique in our abilities and what we bring forth, and who am I to deny my divinity and walk the path of the self-righteous. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and here I am to live another day!
Dismantling our weapons
The fact of the matter is we are all using something as a weapon, some do it with words, meant to cut someone to the quick, doing more damage in some cases, then a knife ever could. Some use food, sex, alcohol, drugs, others do it in the political arena, trying to be saints when they are clearly sinners, showing up as a sheep in wolves clothing, with nothing more on their agenda than their own political aspirations. These “weapons” are always in our arsenal, at our disposal, if and when, we ever chose to use them. Sure sometimes we hurt the ones we love, or the ones we hate, by using these weapons, but in reality, our self destructive weapons, only hurt ourselves. How so you ask? It happens, by not loving ourselves enough, by not respecting ourselves enough, and by not understanding how self-destructive all of this truly is. So how do we begin the process of dismantling our weapons?
It’s simple…. lay down your weapons, call a truce, and start loving yourself unconditionally, the same way you love your spouse, your children, your parents, your pets, and end the war you are raging with yourself. All I am saying… is give peace a chance!