36476) No matter how thin you are, you will never be beautiful. Not to you or anyone else. Confidence births beauty and that doesn’t come from destroying yourself. It comes from accepting yourself as you are. No matter how much you grab at excuses to continue this, it’s not going to make your ED a good thing. You deserve better than what you’re doing to yourself. Don’t waste your life wishing for nonexistent perfection. I’ve seen wonderful people destroyed by this. Don’t let yourself slip. Seek help.
Today my family and I went to Ft. Rosecrans, the military cemetery in Point Loma where my grandpa is buried. He is cremated and his ashes are stored in a place on a wall like you see in the picture above, where it details his service as Navy Captain in WWII, the Korean and the Vietnam wars, as well as a Methodist flag, his birth and death year, and “Always in our hearts.”
I felt a few waves of sadness as we stood in silence, staring at the engraved marble that represented the father and grandfather we had known. Perhaps due to family dynamics, perhaps due to the fact that I am just now in my early 20’s and approaching true maturity, but I was never particularly close with my grandparents, though we saw them a number of times a year and I loved them very much. They were…guarded, though, so it wasn’t that I had a lack of interest in sustaining a close relationship, moreso that it was difficult to be “close.” Especially as my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and his condition worsened. So I felt sad, but it was maybe not for the memories of the person—though he was certainly an outstanding man—because the fond ones had tapered off at quite a younger age for me—and moreso for what he represented, for the deep sadness in the inevitability of death.
I felt sadness for my dad, and while his relationship with his parents was by no means perfect either, the loss of a parent marks a change in the world in which you know—the person, the people from whom you gleaned life lessons and experience, good or bad, are gone, and you don’t have them to refer to any longer—you are entirely alone in your navigation through the world. And though by this point my father is a fully sustained, middle-aged man, there is still something to be said for having your parents, if not for the need you presently may or may not have, the need you had for them for so many years. The people who created you have gone.
As we walked around the grounds and I saw flowers placed gently below the walls, next to headstones, or notes and cards taped neatly to the marble, I grew sadder and sadder. I saw a card, taped to a marble front that said, “To my mother, from her son” and even another that said “Merry Christmas, Grandpa!” in uneven, childish writing. I began to cry, because even if I didn’t know any of these people, it’s the inevitable feeling of loss that I identify with; that pull, down in your stomach, first steady, and then, at unpredictable moments, when you feel the profundity of death’s permanence. It’s that I will never see my grandparents again, have them to celebrate life’s wins and losses with me, but moreso that someday, I will never seen the rest of my family again. I don’t mean to be morbid, but there’s an ache that comes with that realization, compounded only by the fact that I do not believe in an afterlife; once death has come, that is the end of that person’s time in my life. And though I know life must end, it doesn’t make that realization easier to sit with.
I’ve been having a lot of really weird dreams lately. Some of them are really scary (which isn’t unusual, when I slept semi-normally, I used to have constant nightmares) and some are weird. And a decent proportion of them involve sex of some sort, though that isn’t the main part of the dream. They all seem real enough, though, that throughout the next day, I have to shake the falsified memories off of my reality. Such an odd feeling.
Subconscious, what are you trying to tell me (besides I need to get some? HA.) ?
Sometimes when I’m in a physical space occupied by something that has happened in my past, I can’t help but feel the presence of something or someone brush by me. It’s as if an old movie projector was broadcasting my life, flickering a black and white scene from my past. All I can do is just…
I was researching and appreciating the use of a good foot or endnote, and came upon the David Foster Wallace essay “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” which included the following, which both sums up my thoughts about the Professional Smile (one I use on a nearly daily basis) and footnotes:
"… advertisement that pretends to be art is, at absolute best, like somebody who smiles warmly at you only because he wants something from you. This is dishonest, but what’s sinister is the cumulative effect that such dishonesty has on us: since it offers a perfect facsimile or simulacrum of goodwill without goodwill’s real spirit, it messes with our heads and eventually starts upping our defenses even in cases of genuine smiles and real art and true goodwill. It makes us feel confused and lonely and impotent and angry and scared. It causes despair.[Note ]
Note 1: This is related to the phenomenon of the Professional Smile, a national pandemic in the service industry; and no place in my experience have I been on the receiving end of as many Professional Smiles as I am on the Nadir: maitre d’s, Chief Stewards, Hotel Managers’ minions, Cruise Director — their PS’s all come on like switches at my approach. But also back at land at banks, restaurants, airline ticket counters, on and on. You know this smile: the strenuous contraction of circumoral fascia with incomplete zygomatic involvement, the smile that doesn’t quite reach the smiler’s eyes and that signifies nothing more than a calculated attempt to advance the smiler’s own interests by pretending to like the smilee. Why do employers and supervisors force professional service people to broadcast the Professional Smile? Am I the only consumer in whom high doses of such a smile produce despair? Am I the only person who’s sure that the growing number of cases in which totally average-looking people suddenly open up with automatic weapons in shopping malls and insurance offices and medical complexes and McDonald’ses is somehow causally related to the fact that these venues are well-known dissemination-loci of the Professional Smile?Who do they think is fooled by the Professional Smile?And yet the Professional Smile’s absence now also causes despair. Anybody who has ever bought a pack of gum at a Manhattan cigar store or asked for something to be stamped FRAGILE at a Chicago post office or tried to obtain a glass of water from a South Boston waitress knows well the soul-crushing effect of a service worker’s scowl, i.e. the humiliation and resentment of being denied the Professional Smile. And the Professional Smile has by now skewed even my resentment at the dreaded Professional Scowl: I walk away from the Manhattan tobacconist resenting not the counterman’s character or absence of goodwill but his lack of professionalism in denying me the Smile. What a fucking mess.”
I was reading this article today and found myself agreeing and empathizing with the writer on many points. Let me preface this with a few things, though:
I have never had a life-threatening disease overlooked by a doctor
I don’t distrust or dislike all doctors
I recognize these things as my personal experiences, not as truth
Doctors are very overworked. They’re doing the best they can with what they can. I know and understand this.
That being said:
I just went to the doctor today, actually, to adjust/change my anti-depressants. I have not liked the ones I was prescribed in the past year pretty much from the beginning (side-effects, general lack of effectiveness) ; last time I was in I mentioned this to the doctor and she said instead we’d try upping the dosage, because I was at such a low dose to begin with. The whole getting on anti-depressants was such a struggle to begin with—the doctor didn’t seem to believe that I was legitimately depressed. Now, because she doesn’t know me very well, I’m sure she is unaware that I’d prefer to not be on any sort of medications ever, but that my life is being severely affected and I have made the responsible choice to do something about that given that I can’t seem to change things through my own volition. The previous instance in which I was on antidepressants (a few years ago) I was given a much higher dosage to start out with.
Now, there’s something to be said for a cautious doctor—I generally applaud those doctors who don’t just write a prescription to make their patient, and hopefully their patient’s woes, go away. However. Having someone doubt your problems, especially when I know that I would never want to seek out care or meds just for funsies, feels really infuriating (I initially wrote ‘inferiorating,’ which, if it were a word, would be appropriate as well).
Anyway. So as I said, I went in today in a second plea (6 months apart) to change my meds. After stating my case, she reluctantly agreed to change them, although once again implying that other factors in my life were responsible for my general unwellness, going as far as to say that I chose to have the stress of grad school in my life (implying, what, exactly?). Now, again, point of conjecture: totally valid to have me consider factors that may increase stress and anxiety and generally inhibit my mental state; however, once again making me feel like I don’t know anything about my mental and emotional state, and don’t know my own body well enough to know when a medication is proving to be ineffective is incredibly frustrating. I feel like, and as the article above may imply, there is a degree of ageism at play in medical situations—college kids could never actually know when there’s something seriously wrong, they’re probably just overreacting, or hungover, or trying to score meds. Insulting, really.
I never bother to bring up any other physical ailments because they get dismissed just as quickly. As I mentioned, doctors are so very, very busy, but feeling like I was being genuinely listened to might even make the slightest bit of difference, instead of feeling foolish and wishing I had never made the appointment to begin with.
I hit a skunk today on my drive home. It darted out in from of my car with little notice, but I couldn’t even make the attempt to dodge or weave because there was a car of similar distance in the lane over. And before I knew it, I felt the telltale “thump-thump” that told me that I had just ended that poor creature’s life.
Now, I think we all see enough roadkill to know that animals being hit in the road is not a rare occurrence— I’m certainly not the first person to do it. And, sure, I probably would have felt worse if it were a cat or a dog or an animal more likely to have had a place in a home as a pet. However, the thing that made me feel awful is that I just took that animal’s life away. I killed it. And it didn’t even have the opportunity to see or feel it coming; it was merely trying to get from one destination to another, and its life was abruptly ended. That is how I most fear my own life ending—in an accident, in an act so brief that I cannot even lament or reflect on the life that I was lucky enough to have had.
With rare exception, I don’t kill spiders/bugs/the like—I don’t think it’s my place to end another creature’s life. People act as though animals are infringing upon OUR territory, when, really, they’re trying to survive in the same world we are. I have someone evaded hitting an animal in the road up until this point, but I hope it never happens again. It feels so very unfair.
sure that I fully know or can articulate why, but San Diego, as my home base, is an incredibly triggering place for me. It propels me to loathe myself and doubt my self-confidence more fully than any other place or time that I’ve experienced. So as I love “home,” I can’t wait to get away before I self-destruct.