“It’s not about the weight” PART 3 Re-writing our internal stories. :
“Were you hiding behind the weight?”
Was a question a treasured friend asked recently. It was a question that stopped me in my tracks and warranted serious thought as I started to unpack the last decade of my life, in particular the quick successions of diagnosis, trauma, grief, loss and turmoil. Did I really hide behind my weight?
“No” – No, because it was something else.
It has been well documented that medication has had an impact on weight gain. No question, just type in “weight gain and mental illness” in Google Scholar and you will attain all the facts and research you need. 😀
After years of meditation and mindfulness practice, I realised my ‘extra weight’ wasn’t insofar to say I was hiding within my body, moreover I was carrying the weight of my stories.
During my diagnosis and perhaps before, my internal dialogue was not my own voice. My own sense of self worth, achievement, validation and acknowledgement was external.
In the past, if a negative value judgement was made (in presence or in absentia) I believed it. I believed it because it matched up with what I thought about myself, irrespective of who and what it was.
Conversely, graciousness, compliments and goodness were met with a sense of diminishing value and suspicion.
Weaving are the stories we tell ourselves about shame, blame, self worth, belief, achievement, capabilities and beyond. The question is, when did we start believing that we consisted of all bad stuff?
The story of my own shame was partly attributed was constantly living up to others expectations that were set according to their own values and perceptions of what they believed I needed to do to fulfill their requirements or needs. Professionally, I use the term “currency” – how can I ‘use you” for the advancement of my own position. In hindsight, opinions rarely had anything to do with the betterment of my own self – of course there is always an exception to the rule, few and far between. Desperate for validation and acknowledgement that ticked against my own limited beliefs of who I was, I complied.
Until my Bipolar Disorder diagnosis back in 2011, my self esteem was weighted against my successes. If I wasn’t achieving…some THING didn’t matter what it was – then I was just boring ole Maree, nothing special, just beige. Who I was at that stage, wasn’t good enough and it was never going to be good enough until I changed my own internal dialogue.
Enter yoga. I had to park my bum on that hot pink yoga mat, sitting still with no where to hide, no escape plan or route and ‘undo’ my own stories. The accountability and onus was squarely on my shoulders. 12 months of sitting and looking within.
Today as a postgraduate university scholarship recipient, award winning artist, academic, writer and public speaker – those things are great, absolutely!!! but they no longer take center stage and my self esteem does not hang on the walls. Those stories are not so heavy anymore as they slowly start falling away and my values sit squarely within to the sound of my own voice.
I guess the way I see it is that I am not losing the weight – I am shedding the stories that no longer added value in my life <
Finally, to Francis Kenneth Roche – thank you for believing in me, no matter in what way, shape or form. Your faith and love reshaped my stories . ❤ You light up my life and thank you for showing me how to be me 🙂