killing me softly...
March 19, 2011 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out why on Earth I have this horrible relationship with food.

So in the last 3 years, I've steadily gained about 60 pounds. In the last year, however, I have been trying to lose some, going to the gym an average of 4 times a week, doing cardio for hours and being generally really good when it comes to gym discipline.
However, out of nowhere, I sometimes feel like a I have to eat. I just HAVE to. I'm not hungry, I've been taking care of my diet, counting calories, spending on healthy food and being awesome, but the idea simply cannot leave my brain.
Yesterday was the drop that spilled the glass for me. I was NOT hungry at all. But I was possessed. I walked into BK and got myself a freaking large meal. It was like I was in automatic pilot.
While sitting down, I literally pushed myself to eat it. I really, really wasn't hungry. I don't like fast food. this particular hamburger tasted horrible, and it was too big, but I went on wolfing it down like I had a gun to my head. After finishing this horrible 2000-calorie meal I was in pain, about to throw up and crying in the car. I have been working so hard at the gym, and why the hell do I do this? I don't even enjoy it. I HATE it. Sometimes, while I’m overeating like this I feel a little like I’m killing myself, and I keep pushing because there’s a kind of pleasure in hurting my body. This is how crazy I am.
This problem is really embarrassing, and I’m crying as I write this. It makes me feel like a loser and like I have no self control. I imagine people I admire in these situations and think, wow she would never do this, I’m such a pathetic loser. I don’t know why I undo all my efforts with such stupid behavior…it’s like I’m into self-sabotage or something.
I have heard of overeaters anonymous, but I'm wary (as many here) because of the whole religious approach. I also feel embarrassed. My husband is being so supportive with my losing weight, and he goes to the gym with me and tells me not to stop trying. He's proud when he sees me sweating on the treadmill, and then in secretly go and hurt myself like this, all the time. I know I'm doing wrong to myself, I know I'll hate it and I know it will kill my efforts, but I cannot stop it.

I posted this question some time ago.

I realize I need professional help. I appear to have everything I need for the people around me. I’m young, pretty, smart. But this is who I really am. I need you guys to please give me some input, I would never dare to tell this things to friends or family. I also feel kind of paralyzed about going to a therapist…because I feel I should be dealing with these issues on my own. I mean, therapists surely would think I don’t have any real problems, these things are all in my head and I’m making my own decisions based on these ideas.
What on earth is my problem? What should I do about it? Does it have a solution? Do you ever feel something similar?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (28 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
therapists surely would think I don’t have any real problems, these things are all in my head and I’m making my own decisions based on these ideas.

No competent therapist will think this. Any therapist worth talking to will understand that you're in distress and would like some help learning to deal with the things in your life that are distressing you. Your problems are as real as the fear and shame and sadness and anger you feel. Please ask for help. And if you are unlucky enough to speak at first to someone who doesn't take you seriously (it does happen--some therapists just aren't any good at their jobs), please don't take that as a sign that you don't need or deserve help. Take it as a sign that you haven't found the right person to talk to yet.

I wish you all the best. And if you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to MeMail me any time.
posted by decathecting at 5:40 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

Therapists are there, among other things, to help you deal with problems that are all in your head. I don't mean that flippantly or mean to say you're crazy, just that no therapist is going to judge you for seeking help about this. It's their job to help people with this kind of issue.
posted by Meg_Murry at 5:43 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

And by the way, I don't know you and I don't know everything that is going on in your life, but after reading your link, it seems pretty clear from my amateur perspective that this isn't about your relationship with food or weight loss. It seems as though you have a lot of feelings about yourself and about your childhood and about other people, and you're having some trouble figuring out how to deal with them. Most people can relate to that. I've been there. Sometimes, I still am there, and I feel out of control or helpless or paralyzed, and I just don't know what to do. Sometimes, because of those feelings, I do things that I later regret. Everyone does sometimes. The eating is a symptom of your feelings. The point of therapy is to help you figure out what you're feeling and how to feel it in a way that you can handle and that enhances your life. You can feel better, I promise. You just need some help figuring out what's going on and how to handle it in a way that doesn't hurt you.
posted by decathecting at 5:47 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm going to talk about me for a moment. Sometimes I'm not hungry, but I want to eat anyway. I don't just want to, I deserve to. And no one is going to stop me. And I feel strong being so demanding and getting my way. Fuck anyone who thinks I should do otherwise.

So, how does it feel to you when you eat and aren't hungry? Do you think about doing otherwise? What would it feel like if you did? To me it would be sort of a defeat.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:57 PM on March 19, 2011

Look, you don't really have a horrible relationship with food, you have a horrible relationship with yourself. Reading your last question confirms that you think you are, at your core, unlovable and not worth everyone's faith in you.

We live in a culture where food is a reward. Many of us were bribed as kids with candy; we save dessert til the very last of the meal; we are told by marketing campaign to "treat" ourselves to junk food. Our brains are physiologically hardwired to perk up when we eat sugar and we get flushed with a sense of well-being.

So basically, because you feel like you don't deserve love, that all the good first impressions people have of you must be false, that you are maybe "hateable," you're medicating these issues by filling yourself with comfort foods.

You absolutely must see a therapist and work through the core issues of your childhood and your insecurities, because this is the root of your problem. Until you confront your soul-killing insecurity, you'll continue to sabotage surface obstacles like weight loss.
posted by Viola at 6:08 PM on March 19, 2011 [8 favorites]

A friend told me once that he was seeing a therapist. I was astonished - my friend is one of the most "together" people I know. He said that the thing about therapy is, you have no idea what you don't know.

Years later, I had made a train wreck out of my life, and wound up in therapy. In only a few weeks, I had made several incredible realizations. The information had been there the whole time, but I just never saw it. You may have heard the phrase, "can't see the forest for the trees"? That pretty much nails it.

Find a therapist and go.
posted by Xoebe at 6:11 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm sitting here eating two sugar free popsicles to keep from cramming all the food in the fridge in my mouth right now. I understand.
I'm starting to see eating as an addiction in myself, and it's helping me to see things a little differrently.
Were your car acting up, doing abnormal things, you would take it to the shop to see what's wrong before you got stranded on the side of the road. Most people take better care of their cars than their bodies. It wouldn't hurt you at all to see a therapist, and perhaps one known for assisting in eating disorders. Get yourself tuned up, so to speak.
I have prayed for you and I really hope that you find a solution.
posted by littleflowers at 6:11 PM on March 19, 2011

It sounds like you've heard some rhetoric about how people "just have to make good choices". That kind of discourse is designed to isolate you when you could really use some kind of community of support. For a lot of people, that starts with a therapist.

This problem isn't in your head---its more likely woven into the fabric of your life...your habits, emotional responses, relationships, etc.

Your thoughts about it sound so familiar....along the lines of "it's all in my head, (and even though the workings of the mind have provided endless mysteries for humankind,) it should be easy for me to figure this out on my own.."

IANYT. But be kind to yourself. Consider thinking of this problem as existing outside yourself--- something that has come into your an abusive boyfriend (who isolates you from your friends and family) or whatever metaphor you have. This doesn't make you you get to decide what kind of relationship you're going to have with the problem. Can it visit you anytime it wants? Do you invite it in? Can you take a stand against it? Sometimes its probably easier than other times. Does it have allies? Do you have allies that will help you take a stand?

If I could, I would go with you to the courthouse to get a restraining order against this problem.

You deserve better.
posted by vitabellosi at 6:19 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I feel I should be dealing with these issues on my own.

Absolutely. And when your car breaks down, you should be able to rebuild the engine. And when you break your arm, you should be able to set it. Wouldn't it be nice if we all knew how to fix everything that goes wrong? But we don't. You've given it a valiant try -- you've looked under the hood with wrench in hand, you've pulled out the X-ray machine, you've made (and kept, mostly) promises to yourself to exercise or watch what you eat, or return calls. It's not working, so you need someone who has specialized training and experience. There's no more shame in going to a therapist than there is going to a car mechanic or an MD.
posted by Houstonian at 6:23 PM on March 19, 2011 [17 favorites]

Is it possible you have some specific vitamin deficiency? I remember one bizarre period where I attacked every piece of chicken I came in striking distance of, but not one of them made me happy enough to finish the meal. Eventually I figured out it was liver I was after (I'd eaten liver once in my life --chicken liver). I *despise* the stuff, but one piece, pureed & used to season soup, was enough to turn off the monster in my brain & get me back to eating normally. Your body knows a lot of stuff your brain doesn't. But it isn't always great at communicating what it's trying to goad you into sucking down.

I've also been "forced" to eat bananas. (Also hate.) Picture walking through a grocery store, and literally the only thing you want in the entire damn store is something you know you hate. Sometimes the body is not subtle.
posted by Ys at 6:25 PM on March 19, 2011

IANAD, but you appear to be describing bulimia. (It's not always barfy.) The problem isn't the eating per se, it's the immense guilt and depression. One Whopper now and then won't hurt you, but a big bucket o' mental anguish sure will.

I mean, therapists surely would think I don’t have any real problems, these things are all in my head and I’m making my own decisions based on these ideas.

If psychologists scoffed at problems for being purely psychological, they would go out of business pretty quickly!

Therapy doesn't hurt, and it's nothing to be embarrassed about. Those folks are used to dealing with everything from a full-on case of the crazies to the most minor of neuroses, so even if your problem were completely trivial, they'd be totally fine with that and would be more than willing and able to help you fix it.

Also: Support groups!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:29 PM on March 19, 2011

You need a therapist, but I will also say that if the family you mention are the same people who told you that you were "hateable" as a child, you might consider whether it's helpful to continue to interact with them. The women in my family are constantly sending horrible self-hating messages about their bodies and they diet in really unhealthy ways. Separating myself from that constant can't-win narrative (eating is bad/weak, but also a reward and an entitlement...what?) has improved my relationship with food and my body immensely.

If you were bullied by people outside of the family, AND your family is supportive and loving, I suggest talking to them about this issue. Sometimes issues like this "run in the family" which can help you feel less alone. Besides, the people who love you want to support you and they need to know what's going on with you so they can do that.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:37 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I skimmed but I saw no mention of what you normally eat. Are you eating enough fat in your normal diet? Seriously, your body NEEDS fat. Fat is energy. If you're just eating lettuce and wheat thins you are going to have ridiculous cravings. My strong suggestion would be to first list out what you DO eat here. I would really really recommend keeping hard boiled eggs and almonds around for snacks and add avocado and coconut oil to your diet, and to avoid things like toast and pasta and other filler carbs. Please give us a list of what's "normal" for your diet!!
posted by carlh at 6:40 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

Sounds like a case of "eating your feelings," or binge-eating. Binge eating is complicated man, it's a response to stressful emotions and you may not always be aware that those emotions are there and driving the eating. Definitely, definitely try therapy, especially someone with a specialty in binge eating. It's a difficult thing to fight and requires mindfulness of your feelings.
posted by schroedinger at 6:43 PM on March 19, 2011

Hint: It's not about the food. "Eating" disorders (compulsive eating, binging, anorexia, bulimia) are emotional problems.

Do your self two big favors:
1. Tell yourself that you are a good and valuable person. Really. Out loud.
2. Check out SFWED. It is an excellent site for learning about the problem, coping with the problem, and it can help you find help.

This problem will not go away overnight, or with a new diet. But it is something you can manage. And you should. Because you are a good and valuable person, and you deserve better treatment from yourself. Best of luck.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:14 PM on March 19, 2011

I have totally been where you are. I've struggled with binging and compulsive eating a lot, and I know how powerless you feel to stop eating - I've felt that way too. I think it's a great step that you've posted this here. For me, it was a huge struggle to admit to anyone that I had this problem with food, but that's where healing started for me. Please try not to beat yourself up, and be very gentle with yourself. For me, it truly was not about the food. It wasn't about eating more protein, fewer carbs, more fruit/veg, etc. etc. - I tried it all, but it just simply was NOT about finding some magical diet plan. My compulsive eating was rooted in a lot of feelings I wasn't even conscious of until I started working on them.

Over-eating was a way of nurturing myself when I didn't know any other way to be good to myself, or when I wasn't getting enough love in other areas of my life. It felt like a release valve to occasionally give myself permission to eat anything and everything in sight, especially when I was being very strict about my intake and trying to lose weight. Now, I'm learning other ways to be nice to myself, and other ways to take some pressure off of myself. I honestly thought that I was just eating to eat, but now I realize that there was a lot more to it that I just wasn't acknowledging. I wasn't very good at even accepting that I HAD negative feelings, much less that I was eating to escape from them.

I think you can start to get better in a lot of different ways. I just want you to know that it IS possible to get better. For a long time, I didn't believe that I could stop. Overeaters Anonymous has worked for me, because I reached a point where I was simply incapable of getting better on my own. I needed support from outside. I'm not a religious person, but I have connected with the spiritual aspect of OA. Many people don't, however, and are still able to get better. I think therapy could have been very helpful for me as well, but only with someone specializing in binge-eating. I just wanted to share my experience with you in case it helps. Good luck, and take care.
posted by LizzyBee at 7:39 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

it’s like I’m into self-sabotage or something.

Yes, that's exactly what you're doing, and it's linked to the way you feel like you don't deserve to be healthy and thin. And if you're like me, it's entangled with food as reward. Please keep going to the gym (cardio Will help burn calories, and helps with mental health!) and find a therapist. Be persistent, they are there to help with exactly these issues.

You deserve to healthy, the weight you want, well, and HAPPY. Do that for yourself, and get that therapy. And possibly a few visits with a nutritionist to be sure you're getting your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy (because you deserve it - I keep repeating it, because it's true!).
posted by ldthomps at 7:41 PM on March 19, 2011

I heard an interesting thing about binge eating or compulsive eating which is that it's partly based on scarcity: the idea that you have to have it now or you won't be able to have it. Given that you have a tendency to want to have it NOW out of the blue, I'd role-play that scenario when I wasn't having the craving in order to go through the feelings when I'm in more control.

That being said, considering how bad you feel about this, what could possibly be the harm to pay someone to talk about it a bit?
posted by fantasticninety at 7:49 PM on March 19, 2011

I have experienced this exactly. I don't know you're exact situation, but I think there is general wisdom about this. Maybe one of these ideas will help you.

1) I found that I was eating when I wasn't hungry because I either felt empty inside emotionally, and eating was a (useless) substitute for that, and there were things & feelings I didn't want to face. I managed to so twist my natural rhythm of hunger-satiation I couldn't even tell whether I was hungry anymore, or remember what real hunger was.

2) There is one thing we all want: freedom. The soul wants to be free and unfettered. If you feel like the way you are getting exercise or the way you feel you have to eat is a burden, then secretly you will want freedom from it. Or perhaps it is deeper. Are there other aspects in your life--relationships, work, whatever--in which you are not truly allowing yourself the freedom to do what you want or believe in? Are you satisfied on other levels, with your life in general? Eating in that way could just be that restrained or unsatisfied part of yourself "acting out".

3) Or maybe you're just not getting the nutrients you really need, or eating in a way that nurtures you. This website has helped me alot: Intuitive Eating.
If you are thinking too much about "this food is healthy" and "that is not", if that's getting in the way of eating truly satisfying meals, that could be feeding this imbalance. Treating your body like a machine--take x amount of this calories/food/nutrient, I weigh x lbs., I need to lose x lbs., I must do x minutes of treadmill--can suck the natural life out of you. (And maybe you can find an exercise that is fun instead--a game, or walking outside, for example.)

Are you allowing yourself your pleasure in life? You said that you felt a kind of pleasure in that moment of destroying your body.

You might consider giving yourself permission to eat, permission even to go on these binges for the moment instead of getting anxious about it. Right now, you don't know the answer, and that's ok. Tell yourself, if I feel a compulsion to eat a burger, I can do that if I want. Feel the guilt or anxiety or whatever it is whether you eat the burger or not. I know from experience that my very anxiety about food causes me to continue in the cycle--if I don't allow myself to fully experience what's happening. Underneath the compulsion is a real need inside you, it's beyond direct logic. Fighting it directly does not work. Instead, experience it, bring awareness to all of it.

I know that in my case I did not experience a nurturing environment when I was a child, I never felt I was getting what I needed. The self wants to experience need/fulfillment, need/fulfillment, need/fulfillment. To be trite, it's always love. I was trying to eat love. And even when I knew this, I did it.

There is something that came across in your question: The idea of "being good". Working out and eating well (the way you feel you "should") are not just positive steps you are taking; they sound intermixed with an idea you have about "being good", about being the way you should be and being disciplined. These emotional insecurities come from childhood, usually. Being good vs. being yourself.

You said you feel like a loser. You said it's making you cry afterwards. This would probably be a great path for self-inquiry (a therapist could really help with this). My theory: You feel like a loser before you give in to the compulsion. Perhaps there is sadness and tears inside you before you eat that burger.

When you feel that pleasure of destroying your body, when you feel that "#$%@ you!" towards whatever stands for health and moderation, how does that feel? Who are you saying that to? Is there someone in you life, in the past or present, who represents that voice you are saying "No!" to? Or do you hide a secret hate for your body because of the way someone treated it, or you?

The reason OA and AA groups invoke a "higher power"--it doesn't have to be a god--is because it's a shortcut for some people to get to that place where they let go, move forward in more peace, and discover their natural genius--a genius we all have--for returning to balance and wholeness. You can get to that place without being religious by being kind to yourself and allowing.

Anonymous, I really, really believe you can find your way through this. There is a real reason this is happening. You are NOT crazy. You are NOT a loser.

(If you need someone to talk to, you can mefi mail me. Again, I think a therapist could be very helpful for you, and agree with the person above who said any one worth their salt would definitely NOT say this is all in your head. These are exactly the kind of problems they are meant to help people with. )
posted by Thinkmontgolfier at 7:52 PM on March 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

it’s like I’m into self-sabotage or something.

The compulsive food eating is the veneer of something deeper, as you realise. It is an oral fixation like with smoking, nail-biting etc. I am a chronic nail biter, even as I know it's disgusting, maiming and an outward manifestation of deep-seated anxiety. Like your adult self can get with the exercise and the good eating plan, my adult self can grow my nails beautifully. But the anxious 'child' part takes over at times: in one fell swoop I will gnaw them all - all whilst knowing that it's disgusting/maiming/anxiety acting out.

I've realised through therapy that this impulse to self-sabotage is the underlying addiction. The miserable feelings, the self-hatred, the inadequacy - all the things that I felt as a child in an unloving home are served by this oral fixation. In fact, as soon as I read your response I felt I really knew the pain that you are experiencing stems from repudiating parenting. Your earlier post shows this to be true. A therapist will help you navigate this stuff and I recommend going to see one.
posted by honey-barbara at 9:26 PM on March 19, 2011

There is so much bullshit information out there about fitness and nutrition. People starve themselves and run on treadmills for over an hour and wonder why they are still overweight. While there is no one-stop, brief introduction to how to do fitness, this is a good article about a lot of misconceptions about fitness.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:54 PM on March 19, 2011

geneen roth did a better job at explaining my relationship with food (which sounds similar to yours) than any therapist I ever met with in person:

women, food and god: an unexpected path to almost everything
posted by macinchik at 10:30 PM on March 19, 2011

I expect every fat person has experienced this, most of us many times. You're not crazy. This is just something that happens to people who force ourselves to burn up our stored reserves.

You're not a bad person. You're not a weak person. You're not a weight-loss failure or a basket case or a hopeless loser. What you are is a person who binge-ate today. It happens. It will probably happen again occasionally. You need to factor it into your weight-loss plan, probably by simply accepting that your loss rate won't be as high as you'd like.

Your best chance of reducing the frequency of binge-eating episodes is to set aside all the self-blaming stuff and simply do your best to concentrate on the bodily discomforts arising from and leading up to a binge. There are feedback loops at play here that are pre-rational, and they will work better for you if you pay attention to their signals.

You will also most likely find value in experimenting with timing and type of eating with respect to timing and type of exercise. If you're doing cardio for hours without fuelling up at least a little beforehand, you're setting yourself up for a binge as the body desperately tries to replenish its strip-mined ready-energy stores.

Play with increasing the amount of soluble fibre in your diet. I have personally found a great deal of value in regular moderate intake of psyllium husk.

I don't even enjoy it. I HATE it.

Yeah, the sudden feeling of being out of control is most unpleasant.

Sometimes, while I’m overeating like this I feel a little like I’m killing myself, and I keep pushing because there’s a kind of pleasure in hurting my body.

I used to get that very same thing before I worked out that I am this body. When I still thought of this body as my body, the natural tendency was to treat a binge much as a harsh disciplinarian might treat a kid caught smoking a cigarette: "you think that's fun, huh? OK, so now you're gonna smoke the whole packet. Let's see how much fun you think that is."

This is how crazy I am.

You're not crazy, merely a little deluded. You think you have a body. The fact that most of the people you meet will agree with that delusion makes it harder to shake, but a delusion it remains.

In fact you are a body, and that body has a self-image it's currently identifying as itself i.e. "me". If you contemplate that to the point of acceptance, and modify your attitude from harsh disciplinarian to loving parent, you will have a much less unpleasant time in subsequent binges and will in fact probably experience them less often.

I think the loving-parent analogy is pretty good, by the way. It takes years to grow adult levels of impulse control. Good parents understand that, and don't expect their kids to display it before they're capable.

As somebody only one year down the path of serious weight loss, you're still discovering areas of experience where your own impulse control systems are learning to deal with impulses that until now have not particularly needed control. That learning is not yet mature. Be kind and supportive to your impulse control systems. Back off on the emotional self-flagellation and let them learn their job.
posted by flabdablet at 10:33 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

First of all, I am so, so sorry you feel this way. It sounds so awful. And you do have a serious problem, you do! I believe that you have a serious problem and a therapist is going to believe you, too. A therapist will talk to you and listen to you and a therapist will help you figure out why you are doing what you're doing. They really will.

In the meantime, understand that you are overeating to try and fix a problem that can't be fixed by overeating. You have a release valve that is not doing what it is supposed to do, and it is making you feel worse instead of better. Try not to beat yourself if you give in and use that faulty release while you are trying to figure out the root cause of your problems.
posted by santaslittlehelper at 11:09 AM on March 20, 2011

I went back and read the earlier post you linked, and left an (admittedly long) response on that discussion that I hope might help or encourage you.

It really seems that you are positioned to triumph in this and come out the other side. You are recognizing it, asking questions, open to finding your answers. That's awesome. What the poster said about being a loving parent really makes sense to me: Gentleness and patience, forgiveness and mercy towards yourself. Meeting the problems with a curious freshness, instead of being concerned with the past, as if you were just born to this body and this moment. Here I am, here is this body I am, this is how I feel...

I wish you all the best in your quest. :)
posted by Thinkmontgolfier at 12:19 PM on March 20, 2011

Thanks to macincheck & munchingzombie for the article and book. Good stuff.
posted by Thinkmontgolfier at 12:49 PM on March 20, 2011

understand that you are overeating to try and fix a problem that can't be fixed by overeating

My own opinion is 180° away from this, which I see as exactly the kind of advice I'd expect to hear from somebody unwilling to believe that bodies eat when they need to, and eat desperately when they experience the kind of consistent undernourishment that's so easy to drift into with even the best-intentioned weight loss plan.

The simple fact is that weight loss involves some degree of self-starvation. It just does. My body is not going to draw down its stored reserves unless it fails to get everything it needs from current intake.

The trick is to make the self-starvation subtle. If you go in too hard, with an I'm-in-charge-here-and-you-body-will-do-as-I-say attitude, then the illusion that control runs one way - mind to body - periodically becomes impossible to sustain, with exactly the kind of unpleasant results reported by the OP.

So yes, you're overeating to try and fix a problem. It's a simple problem. It's called hunger. And the best way to fix it is to modify the existing relationship between type/timing/quantity of foods consumed and type/timing/quantity of effort expended. Searching for traces of childhood trauma etc. to "explain" this behavior is going to be a complete waste of time.

However, out of nowhere, I sometimes feel like a I have to eat. I just HAVE to. I'm not hungry...

Yes, you are. That's what "hungry" is. That's what it does. It's a quite different feeling from "having an appetite" which is what most of we privileged computer-accessing Westerners have been acculturated to think of as "hunger".
posted by flabdablet at 6:42 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't normally contribute to these types of questions, but this leaped out at me and I felt I had to address it:

I imagine people I admire in these situations and think, wow she would never do this, I’m such a pathetic loser.

If there's one thing that I wish I had learned earlier on in life, it's that even the people who you seem like they have life all figured out don't. To put it another way, I can assure you that whoever these people are that you admire, they would, in fact, 'do this', or something like it. Because everyone does. You are comparing yourself to someone who literally doesn't exist.
posted by primer_dimer at 7:39 AM on March 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

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