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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

A Visit from My Old Nemesis...Self Loathing.

It used to be a daily it is just an occasional visitor.  I am still not sure where it comes from.  I feel like I have a mostly balance self appraisal.  Like I am pretty ok with myself in all the ways, most of the time.  I know I am not the best person, but I am also not the worst.  Not the hottest commodity on the market, but I am pretty ok.  I am not the thinnest or the fittest but I do make taking care of myself a priority and that just has to be good enough today.  I am no longer young and this one is very hard to accept.  I do not FEEL 54.  I am, in fact, 54.  And I feel caught between the mental version of myself my head maintains and the woman who greets me in the bathroom mirror everyday.  They are not the same person, that I know for sure.  

Most of the time when this real version of me shows her face in the morning, the younger, trapped idea of myself revolts.  But after the initial shock wears off (and this happens every single day of my life) I make an appraisal that goes something like this:

“Holy shit!  Where did that wrinkle come from?  I swear to fucking God it wasn’t there yesterday!  And what the fuck, it is like my face is falling, like it feels like it is going to slide right off my face...”

Those are the first thoughts...every.  single.  day.

Then, this:

“Well, what the fuck can I do about it?”

And so I pull up and back and around the skin on my face and see that not even plastic surgery will help.  Because I can tell my skin, its thinness will only resolve into looking like draperies pulled back at a fancy theater and as much as I do not like my current state, I hate that one more.

I do not want to look like the joker.  Like ever.   That dude creeps me the fuck out and to allow vanity to carve a version of him on my own face is just something I do not want to do.

And finally:

“It is only going to get worse.  You are fighting the battle of time and time is always going to win.  You can lift, inject, fill and cream until you go fucking broke but time takes its toll on a body and yours is no different.  And you cannot evade or avoid the passage of time, apparently most especially on your face.”

Then I kinda want to cry and at the same time I am over it.

I accept it and get myself ready for the day, literally putting my best face forward and accepting that it is only going to get worse from here.  And I can spend all my time, money, energy and life trying to fight back the evidence time leaves for everyone, or I can just accept it, do the best I can and move on.

I choose the later.  Daily.

Some days though it is harder than others.  And I had a day like that yesterday...

My life is out of balance again, I am working too much and trying to juggle my life and it isn’t working.  My self care has just gotten blotto’ed this week and I am not handling it well.

Then I got my hair done. The one thing in my life that I spend a great deal of money on and am fighting time:  my hair.  And I sat there yesterday staring at myself for like 2.5 hours, in bad lighting and I had this visceral reaction of “I DO NOT FUCKING LIKE WHAT I AM SEEING!”

So I had 2.5 hours of time for me to examine my face and judge it fat, sagging, pale, old and wholly unsatisfactory.  It was unfun.  And it really whipped up a good torrent of self loathing for me.

On the way home I wanted to stop eating, go to the gym for three hours a day, hike for two hours a day and never eat sugar again!  And I was well down a path where this was my new plan when I realized that there was no amount of things I can do that are going to stave off the effects of time...on my face, on my body, on my mind.

And it was a hard drive home.

And that 25 year old woman who lives in my head was pretty fucking annoying because she really lives in a fantasy world.  She really is surprised, like all the fucking time, that she is not a factual reality in our world.  We are NOT 25.  Not in any alternative universe and I am not sure how to find the kind of acceptance I need to find for this.

It seems that the best I can do is to vacillate between denial and momentary acceptance.  Most of the time I walk around feeling ok about myself.  I take care of myself and that shows in my face, body, mind and spirit.  But I have allowed myself to get pulled off course lately and I believe that yesterday’s session of “I FUCKING HATE ME AND YOU SHOULD TOO” was sponsored by my recent failure to manage myself and my time better.


But life goes on.  

I destroyed my closet trying to find a sexy, fun outfit to wear to the film festival which is hard to do when you like absolutely nothing about yourself.  You hate your face, your hair, you body and your personality.  It got a little rough there for a few minutes and I was about 30 seconds away from just saying “FUCK IT!” And putting on sweats and allowing others to celebrate Robert Fucking Downey, Jr.

But I knew that I was in my own way.  And that this was just my stupid opinion and it was and wasn’t reality.  Yes, I do see the evidence on my self of my recent lack of self care.  It is showing and I don’t like it.  But, I can change that.  And so I began with doing what I could in that moment.  I drank some water, put on clothes that didn’t make me feel worse about myself and ordered a salad for dinner instead of pasta that would have have comforted me in the moment and then made me feel bloated and fatter all evening.

I tried to be nice to myself and tell me that I am my own worse critic but then I have seen the Instagram comments and I know that some of you are way more brutal than I could ever be.  But I also know that I care very little about those people so it was somewhat easy to let all that go...I mean, I am writing about it today so how much did I really let it go?

I am writing about it today because I know I am not the only one who feels this way about herself.  The day before a girlfriend called me in a whirlwind of self doubt and loathing desperately trying to figure out how the fuck she was going to find acceptance for the exact same fucking things I was struggling with yesterday.  So I am in good company.

This is the part of the blog where I usually turn it around and offer up some great and wondrous spiritual development or aspiration.  But I got shit today.

And I have a level of acceptance about the effects of time on my face, body and mind that I know is going to bring about another round of the “I hate Erin club...”  And there really isn’t much I can do to change that.

I can get back to my routine of self care.  Stop eating double stuff Oreos like a pig at a trough.  Refuse to allow ANYTHING to cause me to miss my daily walk, meditation and prayer practice, gym time and yoga practice.  It is the actual foundation of my life and if I continue to allow work or phone calls or what the fuck ever to derail me, I am going to have more days where the self loathing wins.

In truth, I just hated on myself for like 3.8 hours.  Which is pretty fucking good considering I spent decades doing that shit before.  So 3.8 hours isn’t all that bad.  And I didn’t allow it to ruin my fucking day.  I didn’t come home and eat my weight in chocolate even though I kinda wanted to.  

I came home after a nice evening admiring the accomplishments of someone else who struggles with addiction and self loathing...I got undressed, washed my face (while doing my best not to hate on it), brushed my hair and teeth, petted the dog, talked to the cats and climbed into bed and just called it a fucking day.



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