She didn’t know how to love, nor did she know how to love herself. Romance novels filled her head with expectations of a love that she would never find, her expectations too high. She spent her time alone in her room painting and writing, waiting to find that fulfillment she longed for. Growing up she didn’t have many friends and most nights were spent alone watching movies filled with adventure and promise. She idolized these characters and the life they possessed, she too wanted to find a thrill in her lack-lustered life. Each night she wrote in her journal of all the hopes and dreams she had of finding love and excitement, but the following days continued to be a disappointment. She relied on outside sources to fuel her fire, to motivate her each day. Being alone was something that tore her from the inside out, constantly tossing and turning each thought in her brain. She felt lonely most days and never knew how to fill the void that was left in her beating heart. No amounts of writing, reading, and daydreaming could erase the pain she felt each day. She wanted to know what it felt like to truly live and one day she did. A handful of sleeping pills with a tall glass of water brought reality to the surface. While her eyes started to close and her breath shallow, she saw how fragile life could be. She felt this warmth spread over her like a wildfire, as if someone was picking her up off the ground and placing her in the hands of happiness. She never realized what she was capable of, that within a blink of an eye our time here on Earth can cease to exist. She awoke from the darkness and saw the world anew. She vowed to take each moment and cherish it, to take every stride with positivity and a smile. Yes, the darkness haunts and eats at her when it gets its chance, but no longer does she give in. She realizes that she does not need anyone or anything to give her the fulfillment of life. That with each day she lives with the glass half full, she is living and happy.
Life recently has been hell. Talk about stressful, time consuming, and mentally draining. School, work, relationships, everything has just been weighing my down. Self doubt is something I’ve been feeling all too often lately and it has come to a point where I need to either a) let it continue to drain me or b) realize that I am strong enough to realize that what I have to offer is honesty, love, and intelligence to this world and to the people that inhabit my life. Some recent events have brought me to a somewhat decent plan although I most likely am not going to England anymore due to financial issues, I have decided that I will get my BA in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations online while I work full time. I need to make more money, but I also need to get my bachelors and I think doing it this way will truly benefit me in the long run. It’ll be a lot of work and I know there will be times where I doubt myself but at the end of the day I know it will be the best decision. I’m still pursuing my photography as well, I’ve been booking shoots left and right and really promoting myself and I’m so very thankful about that. I love taking pictures and capturing life’s beauty because each photo I take is different and each tells their own story. I’ve been slacking with my writing though for sure, although I’ve been blogging more I’ve been neglecting the many journals I have laying around my room along with my novel (work in progress). It seems like I take too much on sometimes, like I spread myself too thin but I know that I need to be proactive in my life to get to where I want to go. Next semester I’ll be taking on five classes again: Statistics, Public Relations, Public Speaking, Literature, and Studio Lighting so I can finish my associates in the Spring. I can only imagine how stressed I’ll be but I know that at the end of the semester when I can walk at graduation and get my associates, I’ll be thankful that I did it.
I need to stop worrying all the time and just let life happen. I’m usually a pretty positive person but recent events and realizations have just brought me into this dark hole that has been swallowing me alive. My anxiety and ADD definitely lead me to make negative assumptions about people and that will be my downfall, truly. I need to let go of my past and see that there is a bright future for me out there and that constantly creating problems in my head won’t get me anywhere. I need to see what is real and actually in front of me rather than make up these crazy scenarios that make no sense and sabotage the good things in my life. I am a sabotager, I don’t mean to be but I have a tendency to ruin good things because I am used to being disappointed and hurt. I need to believe that these good things in my life will remain in tact as long as I stay positive and open minded. I need to learn to take a deep breath and relax because these past few weeks I’ve been so tense and close minded that I feel like I can’t take a deep breath and just let it all go, and I’m going to do that, I WILL do that. I just need to keep reminding myself what I am thankful for in this crazy life of mine such as my family, friends, job, and school. There are many people out there who are not as fortunate as I am and although sometimes I feel as if my life is over, I know that there is so much to be grateful for.
Going forward I vow to do the following things each day:
1. Meditate for at least ten minutes
2. Write in my journal and or blog
3. Do yoga for at least 10-15 mins either in the morning or evening
I think these are all beneficial things that can lead me to a more healthy and positive mindset, and that is definitely what I need in my life these days. I need to motivate and support myself because no one else is going to do that for me. I can’t rely on any relationships whether romantic, personal, or business to improve my mentality because I need to be confident enough in myself to believe and prove that I can do it on my own. I’ve come too far to let this negativity change who I am and impact me like it has before. I am confident, happy, and strong willed. No amount of stress or self doubt will defeat me or keep me in that dark place. I will rise above and conquer.
I’ve been foolish lately. In all aspects of my life, especially money and love. I’m broke, literally I have no idea how I am going to afford my bills while also trying to live my life and save for England. I’m depressed, and I just feel like I’m in this dark hole that I can’t get out of. I’ve been trying to talk to my friends or at least attempting to do so and I feel like no one understands. I just want to escape it all and start over but debt is just something you can’t run away from. My personal relationship have been rocky as well, I don’t know where I stand anymore and it is really pushing me down and I’m drowning. One minute I think I am on top and the next I’m way below, trying to swim my way to the top. I am an idiot for spending my money the way I do, ever since I turned 21 I just go out and not even think about it but last night Zach and I were talking and he said, “We spend too much money and we go out too much” and he was right, we go out all the time just to get a few drinks and food but it adds up and now I’m in a predicament where I’ve been using my credit card again and I just, ugh, I know I should be smarter with things such as this because I don’t want to spend my whole life in credit card debt when I’ll most likely be paying off my student loans forever. Now I need to give my mother more money too since she pays my car insurance each month but it is hard I work part time and I have a lot of bills for someone who only makes an insignificant amount of money each month. Don’t get me wrong though, I am thankful for my job, incredibly thankful but in the same breath, I need to find something full time to be able to live life and not be depressed by the fact that I am drowning in bills. I can’t work full time though while I’m in school full time, how would that even work? I work primarily during the week after class so there is no time in between or after for that matter that I could actually work a second job. I mean, maybe I could find something after 6 but then, how much would I really be making? Is it worth my time? I’m not quite sure. All I know is that I am just so sad, and so worried that I’m not enjoying my life. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I enjoy like spending time with my friends and family and my significant other but, at the end of the day I am dealing with all this shit and I just can’t seem to get on top of it and it has come to a point where I wake up and all I want to do is cry because I just can’t face the day because my debt and personal shit is just constantly taking space up in my mind and although all this sadness is my own damn fault it still sucks and I’m still just at rock bottom and I just don’t know if I can get up again. I’ve been here too many times to count and I’m sick of being here, I’m sick of putting myself here, when will I learn?
I’ll forever be aggravated with myself. I’m always creating things in my head, making people out to be different than who they are or rather reading into things too deeply. Living inside my head all the damn time is really starting to weigh me down and give me this perpetual anxiety. I know that I am worth love and kindness, that I deserve good things in my life but I am forever sabotaging the good things in my life because I have grown accustomed to being let down.
Maybe I’m better off alone, no friends, lovers, or what have you. Maybe living a life of solitude wouldn’t be a bad thing but, anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy being around people too much. I enjoy making others happy and caring for them that in the process I forget to look after myself. Subconsciously I do, hell, even my dreams are creating false realities that eat at me once I wake. I know these things not to be true and that my anxiety and self doubt is creating this parallel universe so to speak and it is heart wrenching.
I think that we all have this idea of what we want out of life or out of relationships. We either expect too much or we sell ourselves short all to fall into the abyss of sadness. When will it end? When will us as human beings realize that happiness can happen and that we don’t have to sabotage everything in our lives? I’m not sure if that will ever happen for me. I look back on my life two years ago when I was on this roller coaster of self destruction. Whether it was love, school, work, or even friends I allowed all of this negativity to stick in my brain and make me think that sadness and anxiety is all I deserve out of life. I know that this is not true, I know that I deserve as much appreciation, love, and kindness as the next person.
I wish I could just let it all go, let my mind rest and be able to just go with the flow. I mean, I do, go with the flow I mean because I like to think that I am an easy going person but sometimes I just let myself wander too far. Picture yourself on a boat in the ocean with clear skies and endless possibilities. Positivity, curiosity, and happiness are all emotions you are feeling at this moment while sailing through the blue sea. All of a sudden you feel the air turn colder, the skies turn darker, and the waves become uneasy. You can’t control the boat any longer, you are now fighting with this storm wondering if you’ll ever break free. It seems hopeless, you feel as if you are losing grip on your own reality and you let the storm take you over. All at once you feel pain, sadness, and deceit. You feel betrayed with no reasons to explain why, it’s as if the waves are your thoughts, constantly crashing into one another making the journey unbearable. This is the best way for me to explain how my anxiety, ADD, and depression all toy with my feelings and thoughts. One minute it is a peaceful boat ride but then it turns into a raging storm, sending my boat through a frenzy of emotions.
I wish people in my life understood that madness in my brain. Some do, but I feel as though many don’t. That they see me as this happy, laid back, and well rounded person and it most circumstances I am for sure but in the same breath, I can be a very unstable person emotionally. I know that a lot of individuals deal with the same issues I do, like they can’t escape their own minds. We do not know what peace of mind is because it is impossible for us to achieve that for long periods of time.
I guess I’m not really sure where this rambling post is going. Lately I’ve just been dealing with an enormous amount of second guessing myself and doubting everything that has transpired over the last two weeks and I feel it’s weight on me. I know that in time I will figure it out, take a deep breath and push forward because it is what I always do. I just want to feel normal, happy, and comfortable because sometimes it is the little things that make us the most happy.
A year ago I was in a dark place, everything was slipping through my hands and I was spiraling out of control. From age ten to age nineteen I battled with my binge eating, a disorder in which I would eat two days worth of food in a sitting and cry myself to sleep afterwards to only starve myself the days to follow to make up for my discretion. I hated who I was, I hated the reflection I saw in the mirror, I told myself that I was fat, unloveable, and plain, I believed that who I was as a human being was worthless.
Fast forward to the present day, I am happy, healthy, and binge free. I never imagined my life to be the way it is now. I wake up each day seeing the beauty in my life and how grateful I am that I am here to say that I am twelve months sober from my food addiction. I wonder if people question an addiction to food, I know that it probably doesn’t make much sense because there is no “drug” in food so to speak. The high you get during a binge episode though is overwhelming, you are on this upscaling high that keeps rising and the comfort you feel is untouchable. Sitting there in my bed with these mounds of food surrounding me I felt at home. During the first few years of my disorder I didn’t have many friends and I would spent days on end in my room binge eating while watching my favorite movies because I felt empty and alone. As my disorder progressed I found myself restricting my calories the days following my episodes and doing hundreds of crunches in my room before bed so I could give my mind some sort of ease, only to repeat the process over and over again. My metabolism has taken a hard punch due to my disorder, the constant up and down has rattled it to the point where it is hard to distinguish how it even functions. I get angry at myself for doing this to my body, putting it through that abuse for almost ten years is mind blowing to me. However, I do see the good in the bad. For instance, I see that now I am stronger since my recovery started, my body functions and feels better than it did. I’m not as tired and lethargic anymore because I properly take care of my body with good food and healthy exercise. I am mentally stronger as well, I take time out each day to tell myself how beautiful I am, that I am strong and that I have a lot to offer to this world. I know that this probably sounds conceded but coming from someone who lived in a perpetual cycle of self hate, this is a healthy step for me and I am proud of myself for getting to this point in my recovery.
I know that I am not cured, that I will forever face my eating disorder because addictions just don’t disappear. They resurface from time to time and how you deal with it is what counts and I’ve learned to realize that I do not need food to make my life happy, to make me love myself, or to get where I want in life. I have a supportive family, great friends, and I am happy with who I am as a person and that is the only comfort I need, I DO NOT need food to comfort me. I find that when I used to binge eat I would reflect on the years I was bullied for my weight often. Remembering the hurtful things these kids would say to me still rattles my bones from time to time but then I realize that if I give into their torment even after all of these years they are still winning. What is astonishing though is that a few years ago one of the kids who used to torment me the worst tried to ask me out on a date, I was shocked, literally. How can you break someone down for years on end to then ask them out on a date, even to this day I still don’t understand it but I have made peace with it and spending anymore time on the past won’t better my present or future.
It is crazy how twelve months can truly change a person. I think of that depressed, angry, and lonely young woman who spent hours on end sitting in a dark room and loathing everything about her life, and I feel bad for her. I feel bad that she didn’t take the opportunities that were given to her, If I could go back in time and talk to her I would tell her that things will get better, that she is so very beautiful, and to not give up. I’m grateful that I never did give up, there were plenty of times where I wanted to do just that because I couldn’t see any other way. But through self determination and help from some incredible people, I found my way and I couldn’t be more thankful to myself and to those who helped me along the way. Even on this blog if you go to my earlier posts you can see how I struggled with my eating disorder and how it truly broke me down as a person, literally eating me at my core. I use these posts to further my recovery and to be a better person, a healthier person from the inside out and I thank all of those followers that sent me words of encouragement during that dark time, you also helped me get to where I am today and I thank you for that.
Thank you to those who have also been supportive on my Facebook today when I posted a picture and a brief story of my addiction, you all have been so kind and no amount of words can express my gratitude towards you. For those of you who have taken the time to read this novel, thank you, your precious time is valuable and to have spent it on reading my post means the world to me. I hope that my story gives comfort to those who are dealing with any struggle whether it be depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder. I am always here to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it, whether I know you personally or not I do not care. I want to help those who need it because that in itself can be the first step in someone’s recovery, knowing that someone out there has their back and I do.
I’ve always been social, even when I was bullied or dealing with my social anxiety. People have told me that I am outgoing, personable, and can make friends with a rock but I’ve always dealt with the struggle of getting out of my comfort zone, especially when it comes to making new friends and establishing new relationships. About a year ago I was feeling alone in the sense that I didn’t have a group of friends, I spent a lot of time by myself which isn’t a bad thing whatsoever, but I was missing the fun of getting together with a good group of people and just hanging out, stress free.
Growing up I had my group of friends but lets face it, at twelve years old you are not really going out much, driving anywhere, or doing what grown ups do if that makes any sense. You’re probably having a sleepover, eating together at the lunch table, or talking over AIM. Anyways, I haven’t really had a solid group of friends in a long time, nor have I tried to push myself beyond my limits to meet new people until I left for Italy. I met some incredible people on that trip and made some lifelong friends, people that I would tell my darkest secrets to or make time for even if I don’t have any to spare because these people have become my family. When we returned from Italy however, I lost touch with some of those great people. But when I look at the relationships that were made in that beautiful city, I know that when we reunite again It’ll be just as it was in Firenze. Coming home after my trip I spent a lot of time by myself, doing some soul searching and taking part in the things I’ve discovered to be a passion of mine such as photography, writing, and painting. I am grateful that I took this summer to focus on bettering myself. I developed a bond with my soul, I deepened my appreciation for my mind and body, which is something that has been long overdue and it has led me to this road of happiness that I am now traveling on.
With the end of the summer and beginning of fall, I met some incredible people and reconnected with old friends that have truly touched my heart. Each day I am swarmed with loving texts, phone calls, and snapchats, all by these remarkable people that I am lucky enough to call my friends. Today in particular we were planning a day in which I could do a photoshoot with them, I want to capture how beautiful these people are because their kindness, drive, and love they show not only to me, but everyone they touch is what truly makes them beautiful and I think they deserve to have it captured and showed to the world. Genuine people do not get the recognition they deserve these days and I feel that it is my duty not only as a photographer, but as the friend of these individuals to show them the beauty they possess.
In the midst of planning the photoshoot we also decided to have a party to welcome one of our friends from out of state and for my birthday! I’m pretty excited honestly because no one has ever thrown me a party before. I mean, my mom plans them for my family which are always fun, but I’ve never had friends that really cared enough to actually go out of their way and make my night special and it means a lot. To be surrounded by good people that are laughing and having fun is something that brings great joy to me, even if we weren’t celebrating my birthday I would still be just as happy because I would be spending this time with great people.
I believe that the time in which I’ve spent alone and figuring out who I am, has led me to meet and reconnect with these people. Before I felt alone and now I feel as though I belong to a close knit family with very diverse and loving people. It is days like today where I take a step back and see how far I’ve come and how much my life has changed for the better. For the first time in my life I know who I am, I know that I am truly myself and doing things that I love that make ME happy, I don’t live to please anyone anymore and that is beautiful in itself. Growing up I always tried to fit in with whatever crowd I could because I wanted to feel like I belonged, like I was MEANT to be friends with these people but I always felt like the black sheep, almost as if I was imposing on these groups of people, but I continued to be friends with them anyway. At the time I didn’t know my own strength or who I was as a person. Looking at where I am now, I know that I have true friends and that I am not pretending to be someone else to please them. They appreciate me for the pain in the ass I am, for the lame jokes I make, the kind gestures I try to show them, and for the playful threats I deliver when I try to be tough because that is who I am and they ACCEPT that. I can honestly say that I have never been this happy in my life, I truly love and embrace who I am on the inside and out, and I look at life with new eyes, as if I see every inch of beauty that covers the Earth and I am so very thankful for that.
I’m happy, not fake happy, but really happy. I’ve taken on a lot the last few months such as my job, going to school full time, and trying to balance it all has been tough but I am thankful. Sure, Monday-Friday I am spending half my day driving, in class, or at work, but at the end of the day I am thankful. I know that there are many people out there who do not have a job, can’t afford to go to school, or have no one to support them and I remind myself everyday how lucky I am to have all of those things. The people in my life are incredible, my family for instance are always so supportive, last night I was working on a painting for my class and I was in the middle of mentally beating myself up about the fact that my cup looked more like a cylinder or candle, when my Dad came in and said, “Wow, would you look at that!” it warmed my heart to know that my Dad was proud of me. After he left I continued my painting, having my door open I heard my mom shutting the lights off downstairs, tidying up whatever mess I or my brother left in the kitchen, and was heading up the stairs when she popped her head in too, shocked she said, “You didn’t paint this! This is beautiful Jessica Margaret!”, in that moment, knowing that both of my parents were so proud of this painting that I was really beating myself up about made me realize that I do have talent. Sure, there are plenty of other artists in my class, or in this world that have much more experience and skill than I do but that is it, I am still learning, and gaining that experience, “You can’t judge your beginning by somebody else’s middle” and that saying speaks volumes to me as I tend to write off my paintings as inadequate, when in reality they are, they are more than adequate because everyone does things differently whether it is painting, photography, writing, or what have you, no two people and their skills are exactly the same.
I think my anxiety greatly contributes to the fact that I belittle my achievements and talents, and almost tell myself that I’m not worthy of being gifted. Through some self searching though, I’ve realized that I am in fact worthy, that I am talented and can offer a lot to this world whether it is through my artistic flare, communication skills, or something that I have yet to discover about myself, but all in all, I am proud to say that I am Jessica Palmer, that I have two incredible parents, a loving brother, amazing friends, and great co workers, what else could I ask for? This world has given me so many things to be grateful for and I vow to myself and to the followers of my blog that I am going to remind myself everyday just how beautiful life is and that through my ups and downs I will continue to remind myself that what I have to offer is great, and that I am worth it.