I’ve had this feeling all day like I want to write something but wasn’t really sure what. It wasn’t until I took Scooby out for a night time pee/stroll that bits of this post started coming to me.
My husband and me are going back to counselling. We both feel like we’ve grown disconnected and, if we keep going the way we are, we’ll just grow apart. Obviously, it’s not a great thing to feel like you have to take these steps to save your relationship but I’m happy to be doing it. I’m happy that we’re not just giving up and throwing away nearly 13 years of being together. I’m happy that we’re giving ourselves the chance to fix things.
I’ve also been seeing my own therapist since probably mid-last year. I’d been feeling really low and knew that I needed more help than I could give myself. Although, ,my husband feels like I haven’t really done enough to try and fix my feelings. He thinks I should be on medication but I don’t think I’m depressed. I think I’m having a crisis of self-esteem that’s being exacerbated by constant drinking and drugs. I want to give myself a chance to find my baseline, to have a significant time off drugs – at least – to be able to know what my mental state is like without the constant vicious comedown cycle. And then, if I don’t feel better, THEN I’ll medicate. Without hesitation, I would. But not now. I need to give myself a chance in the same way that we’re giving us a chance.
Cocaine has always been the problem for me, since I was maybe 19 or 20 (god, that sounds bad when I type it IRL). The main one, anyway. I like other drugs but cocaine is the one I can’t say no to. A few drinks down and the next thought is: coke. It’s a real problem. Not that I do it every day. But every weekend, yes. I’ve had one weekend off since October. One weekend. And stupid me thought that after that one weekend I would feel AMAZING! That the lowness would be cured. Turns out one weekend isn’t enough but still it was a start. I fucked up the following weekend but this weekend I’ve stayed in (so far). Next weekend is my birthday so that’s a write off but I do want to try and give myself some time after my birthday and before we go to Coachella at the end of April.
Anyway, besides the drugs, my main issue is that, for the first time since I was in my teens, I look in the mirror and I don’t like what I see. Maybe part of it is just getting older but I’m noticing changes in my body that I do not like at all. I don’t like how I look in pictures. I don’t like myself, inside and out. But mostly out, because I feel like the outside has changed the inside. For awhile there, I was training regularly and eating better and things were manageable but, since mid last year I kind of gave up on the eating well part, which meant the training was pretty much negated (can’t out-train a bad diet, someone said).
I remember what I used to be like. I used to be confident. I used to love myself – all of myself. When I was stripping, I felt so powerful, so beautiful. I was the most independent I’ve ever been. I didn’t need anyone. Not that it’s necessarily a good thing to not need anyone but I felt good – about myself, about my life.
So late last year, I started doing private strip lessons to try and recapture that feeling. The first class back after New Year, I nearly died when I looked at myself in the mirror. I’ve kept at it though, even though I hate what I see. I felt like maybe, if I kept it up, I’ll somehow get in touch with the confident girl I used to be. Sometimes I feel a flicker of her. I don’t know if it’s just scraps of her left behind (which means she’s never coming back) or if she’s still all there, just trapped deep down under a multitude of negative experiences and self loathing. I worry she’s gone. That I’ve done such irreparable damage that, even if I eat well and get fit, that part of me will still be dead.
If I fix my body, will my mind follow? Am I really so hung up on being attractive to myself and others that, once that fades, I become this shadow of a person that can barely function, that caves in on herself like a hollowed out mountain. If so, god help me when I really start getting old and shit really goes wrong.
I actually entertained the notion of a boob job not so long ago. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, I’ve just always really liked my boobs. But I felt so shitty about myself, I thought making that kind of external change might somehow make me feel better. Madness, right? Even I was like, “Natalie, this is a new low. Even for you lately.” Again, nothing against boob jobs, more of an observation of the downward spiral of my own self appreciation.
I don’t know how to fix me. I suppose all I can do is it try and take care of myself – mentally and physically – and see what happens. That’s all we can ever do, right?