Posted by: Marie | August 30, 2012

(701) This is all there is

Post #701
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 10:00pm]

I’m still processing everything that unfolded in this morning’s therapy session . . .

At the previous session, Edward gave me a homework assignment. I was able to complete the assignment – more or less – before the start of today’s session. Edward read it this morning, in our session.

I have no idea if what I wrote is in-line with what he was hoping I would write. I still have no idea how to do what he wants me to do . . . I’m not even sure what he wants me do . . . I’m not sure what the point of the assignment was . . . maybe it was so I could practice using my voice to stand up to my parents . . . ??

Pink by Martin Chen

I haven’t been able to figure out what it is he wants me to do. He has explained it to me many times, but I still don’t get it. I think I have to “get it” and I think I have to “do it” if I’m ever going to feel better. But, I don’t know how. I think he is waiting for me to figure it out, but I don’t know how.

In today’s session, when Edward asked me about the anger underlying my “I don’t know’s”, I didn’t have an answer. However, while driving home after the session, I realized I’m angry because I’m stupid enough to have allowed myself to have hope – I know better than that! Stupid! Stupid!

But, I can’t tell Edward about calling myself “stupid” because that kind of self-talk is not allowed, I’m sure.

When I got home after the session, I ate two pints of ice cream in an effort to block out the feelings related to my stupidity. The good news is that I can eat as much ice cream as I feel like eating because I don’t have to worry about how fat I get . . . I don’t have to worry about how bad I’ll look with saggy skin after I gain even more weight then lose all the weight I would have to lose if I were to get sexy enough to date . . . because I’m don’t have to worry about dating anymore.

I don’t have to worry about trying to be sexy enough. I don’t have to worry about being skinny enough. I don’t have to worry about how scarred up my face and arms and boobs and butt and thighs are going to be from all the picking because those parts of my body never again have to be pretty enough for some man.

I’m feeling a huge sense of relief to not be pressuring myself with this undercurrent of always trying to be better (or at least to not get worse) – to always be trying to not binge and to not pick – to always be trying to not do more permanent damage to my appearance.

I guess it is time to face the facts about my life . . . it’s never going to be everything I used to dream it would be . . . it is only what it is.

I live in a two-room suite with my cat in a basement of someone else’s house. I earn just enough income to cover the basics. I’m single and have no hope of changing that. I’m fat and out-of-shape. I have acne-mottled skin. I am chronically depressed.

The truth of the matter is that this is the way my life is going to look for the rest of my life.

This is it. This is all there is. This is as good as it gets.

I cannot tolerate the pressure I have been putting on myself to create a better life for myself. So, I’m not going to try to improve my situation. I’m going to accept it and let it be enough.

And, in that, there is some peace. I’ll mark my time, escort my mom to the end of her life, then I’ll get out the hell out of here.

I just have to get through the next 20 years. That’s all I’m going to ask of myself . . . to stay alive and pay my own bills and take care of my mom for the next 20 years.

Then, I’m done. Then, thank God, it will be over.


  1. I’m glad you took the pressure off yourself. That sounds like a huge step to me.

    • At least, it allowed me to sleep easier . . . with less ice cream . . .

      • Both of which are not small things

  2. I know this is in the past….but there is a huge difference between taking the pressure off yourself to heal perfectly, and giving up hope for a good fulfilling life. You, like me, need to heal for yourself, not for anyone else. That will happen more quickly if you can stop pressuring yourself to be perfect at therapy and healing.

    Men are a problem any way you slice and dice them. Really, though they have their good aspects also. I do get the impression you see the good aspect of some men, like your cousin, and the piano student, and Edward also, and generalize that they are wonderful in all aspects, and that only you have flaws. Not true.

    I wonder if you feel more resolved about that aspect of life now.

    Sorry if I’m lecturing and saying things you already know!

    • Hi, Ellen –

      Hmm . . . I would say I’ve had some forward progress in both areas (healing not-so-perfectly and men) but that they continue to bring angst. I’m not sure I’lll ever reach a point of “healed” in either area, but I have reached a point where the discomfort is mostly tolerable.

      Thanks for all the great insight!

      – Marie

  3. Bless your heart, darling. I know so well the feelings you’re expressing here — not about the same exact things, of course, but the general cycle of them; that sense of being absolutely unwilling to keep trying. At the point in therapy at which you wrote this, there is a dreadful sense that the farther you get up the ladder of healing, the worse it’s going to be when you fall off, and the fall seems inevitable. I also love the spirit I see here, in which “all” you’re going to ask of yourself is another twenty years. I know, that feels so much safer than contemplating a whole life, but committing to twenty years is committing to life. I think this is what Edward saw so clearly in you: that you were committed to living, but not ready to take the vulnerable risk of admitting wants and needs. Because once life knows what you want, by God, it will punish you for it.

    This painful place you arrived at isn’t surprising after the series of positive risks you took; different parts of the self heal at different rates. And success can be the most threatening and terrifying thing to parts that haven’t yet learned to trust the instincts of Adult Marie.

    • Hey, David –

      Yes . . . you put into words so very well what I was and still am experiencing. That up and down rollercoaster can be a painful ride. It is amazing how quickly and completely I can go from a joyful place to a hopeless place. I think, now, I’ve reached a place where the ups and downs are not so high and low. And that is good.

      Thank you for giving me some solid language for my experience!

      My reply is going to be a bit brief as I’m sitting in a car in front of a closed coffee shop in Red Cloud, Nebraska, stealing wi-fi . . . it’s the only connection available to us for miles around. We have to keep the car doors open because it is really, really hot, even this late in the evening. The bugs are eating me alive. (I’m on my bi-annual vacation with my best friend, Melodie.)

      – Marie

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