Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Pep Talk

Yesterday, after a bit of a breakdown, I was trying to explain to mum the logic behind what I refer to as 'negative mantras'.

I tell myself over and over again, for example, that I will never be good enough. Mum sees it as a negative reinforcement of he belief. But to me, it makes it better. When I'm upset, I can cry and scream that I'll never be good enough and work myself into a frenzy. Then I'll calmly start repeating the same words.
  "I'll never be enough, I'll never be enough."
And I stop panicking.

As I tried to explain to mum, I think it's my warped way of trying to convince myself it's okay. It's okay if I'm never good enough/thin enough/happy enough/intelligent enough/beautiful enough/successful enough/enough in general. If I achieve it one day, great, but if not, at least I've prepared myself.

Then today, I remembered that in Unbearable Lightness. Portia de Rossi writes of when she was younger:
    "In order to prepare myself for a less than perfect result, I would occasionally give myself the opposite of a pep talk by writing hundreds of times in a journal 'I will not get honours', as I awaited the results of a ballet exam, for example. I'm not sure if this ritual actually helped me to accept the less than perfect grade I was preparing myself for, because I always did get honours."

It got me thinking, maybe it's not an uncommon thing for people with eating disorders, or even other mental health issues, to do this. So, open mic time. For those of you who can relate, I'd be interested to hear why you think you do it, in your words.

On a lighter note, I've always been a hoarder. One aspect of which is food hoarding, which I know a lot of people with EDs do. Usually with food, it's just having a hard time throwing certain things out, or not throwing out packets (empty or full) until I replace them.

I've recently discovered Nature Valley oat bars. I don't eat them every day, but they've become a bit of a staple for me. They've been on special over the past few weeks for as little as $2.00 a box, and between my recent savings attempts combined with marathons of Extreme Couponing and the aforementioned hoarding, I couldn't resist starting my post-apocalypse stockpile, I mean, taking advantage of more than 50% off.

Over roughly three weeks, I bought nearly 30 boxes.

Misty, feeling much better than she was last week. She's currently taking full advantage of the heating being on due to the current wintry chill.



  1. I know exactly what you mean about the negative mantra. I don't know why, but for some reason, every time I want something, or something is going really well, I try to turn to those negative thoughts, that I won't get what I want, or the good times won't stay. That way when the good stuff stops/never starts, I can say, "Hey, I knew it wasn't going to happen." But I wonder how much of that negative mantra had to do with what went wrong...
    Those granola bars are the bomb.. I could eat them for days. The peanut butter ones are my particular favorite! Just looking at your stash is making me salivate...

  2. I go through phases of food hoarding too. It was really bad when I was still living with my parents. O_o

    I love that book!! I find Portia de Rossi super inspiring.

    I don't necessarily have any negative mantras, but my tendency is to sell myself short and to always shoot for below the bar. My parents were always so supportive of my education or career opportunities and that has always bothered me. I don't believe them. I actually get a bit angry over it.

  3. I did but I don't think it's good. If something that fulfilled the mantra happened it's like, I knew it. If something good happened I thought it was a freak accident. I don't think it's a good thing to do by any means. Now, post ed, I say, if it doesn't happen, try again. I try to be realistic with myself and say, well, you aren't as prepared this time, you did your best so look for other ways, etc. Imagine you said what you say to yourself to a person out loud. It's bound to have negative effects. You cant give yourself poison and expect it to heal you know? Also, yes to nature Valley bars. Love them with coffee. :) <3

  4. As far as I've gotten in recovery, I still have the mantra repeating in my head on really bad days ("stupidfatuglyuselessweakworthless" repeat ad nauseam). Even on the good days, it's hard to forget it when someone who should have supported me drilled all of those things into my head on a daily basis when I was younger (::coughMUMcoughcough::). The mantra never made me feel better though. And it was the only thing going through my head during the suicide attempts.

    I love those nature valley bars, but I feel like they break my teeth. I usually pound them into crumbs while they're still in the wrapper and them dump it into milk or yogurt.

    Glad Misty is feeling better. <3

  5. I'm always pulling myself down with, as you call, negative mantras. It's just second nature to me now.

    I can relate to hoarding food. I hoard cuppa soups and sweets.

    Beautiful photo of Misty xoxoxoxo

  6. i don't particularly /do/ negative mantras now. it's mostly a "don't expect nothing because if you expect something you'd be deeply disappointed." and even with expecting nothing, i'm either not surprised at all or beyond discombobulated at what's just happened! as time goes on and the more i recover, the less i care and if i do put myself down, it's usually a "i know this'll go away tomorrow and i'll feel different about it then so don't do anything stupid, alright? if you still want to do something stupid, wait til tomorrow." 90% of the time, i feel better the next day.

    but that's the thing is, isn't it? you ARE enough. maybe not in your point of view, but at least in someone else's. always in mine. always enough. and i do agree with Eve. if you wouldn't say it to someone else, why say it to yourself? remember there's one of those quotes... which one is it? let me find it. this: http://michellekpoems.tumblr.com/post/58471507322/and-if-your-daughter-came-to-you-crying-with

    i'm not sure if i've posted it to you and maybe i have, but you've gotten the gist of it. you telling yourself you're not enough (to me) is like Ron telling himself he's no good at chess.

    oh God, we'd always had a box of these in the cupboard when i was growing up. i remember my sister she used to absolutely loathe the Oats and Honey one, so she'd always leave it in the box for me.

    what's your favourite flavour?


    hope i've not offended you in any way, my love. i always try to say things with best intention and aye, better safe than sorry!

    love you to the moon and back,
    -Sam Lupin

  7. I definitely do the fatfatuglyfatstupidsuckystupidworthlesspieceofshit thing as well! I've never thought about why I do it though. Even when I know I'm going to do well on something I still think it won't be good enough--

    PS - I eat 2 packs (4 bars) of the oats n honey bars every day! They're yummy!

  8. My many down mantras do help me from having a panic attack when going outside. The most common one right now, "don't look at me, just pass me by, don't laugh, don't whisper," on and on and on, keeps me somehow calm, in the swirling panic that I always feel when meeting people on the sidewalk or in the store or in the elevator. I never thought about that before.

  9. Hi Bella! :) I'm sorry you've felt so bad. I used to give the negative pep talk to myself when running track and cross country in high school. I would list all the reasons why I wasn't going to race well and I would tell them to my friends and the coach if they asked how I felt about the race. I think I needed to take the pressure off. I didn't want anyone (including myself) to expect too much out of me. I also did a lot better in the races if I started in the back of the pack where it looked like I didn't have a chance, and then I'd slowly work my way toward the front. If I started out front, the pressure to keep it up made me run too fast and use up all my energy too early. I've heard that for OCD sometimes it works to follow a fear out to the conclusion (Like, "Oh no, what if I didn't really turn off the stove. I'd better check for the eighth time," is answered with "Ok, Maybe I didn't turn off the stove. Maybe it will get so hot the house will burn down. The house is going to burn down. I guess I won't have a house to come home too. I'll have to rely on the kindness of friends to house me for the next couple months. Eventually I will get back on my feet I suppose.") It's supposed to be like the DBT skill "Radical Acceptance" I think?

  10. There are a bunch of Buddhist mantras I like that sound really dark but are actually really good. One of them is "abandon hope." And it works for me because it takes me out my storylines of all the what ifs. It brings me back to now. Everything doesn't feel so catastrophic. Abandon Hope doesn't mean roll over and die. It means not tying yourself to the anticipated outcomes.