I love inspirational stories and people. Reading about the success of others gives me hope when I'm feeling like I just can't do it anymore...whatever "it" is. Being an inspiration is something I'm still not comfortable with. When people tell me that my story has inspired them, it touches my heart. I wrote my book and sporadically post on this blog primarily because I don't know how else to release what's inside me, but it's also with the hope that my words might help someone else feel not so alone.
But what happens when your inspiration isn't being very inspirational? When people reach their goals, do they no longer err? Which is to say, are they no longer human? I think that when I read about people who've succeeded where I'm still trying, I assume they've become immortal, somehow. Such as: an addict with ten years clean must be fixed. No more cravings, no more using dreams, no more demons. Or: a fat chick who's achieved her goal weight must be perfect. No more cravings, no more eating dreams, no more demons. All of which leads me to assume that I'm broken beyond repair.
I have five years of sobriety, but I still have cravings and using dreams, and although I'm nowhere near my goal weight, I still struggle with my eating disorder in so many ways.
How can I possibly be an inspiration to other people when I'm completely fallible?
Then I started thinking - something I've been working on lately - and trying to knock what I hope is some sense into myself. It doesn't make sense that there's some magical brass ring and I'm the only one in the universe who will never have access to it. What does make sense is that people just don't talk about the flip side of reaching a goal. And maybe they're right. After all, we all know about the difficulties in life. What we want to hear about are the successes, the joys, the heroes, and we like our heroes to shine. I totally agree. My inspiration for weight loss looks like this:
But if there's one thing I am, it's human and frankly, if I only wrote on the days things were going great....well, you know.
Tomorrow is pinch and poke day. Every three weeks, my trainer weighs me and takes all my measurements. (I think he even makes up some measurements to take.) We go into a back room - my choice - and he whips out a bunch of medieval instruments that look like some steam-punk author's wet dream, and goes to work on me. Pinching and poking and saying things like, "Did you shave your legs today?" When the open wounds clearly indicate that I have.
I know tomorrow's results will be positive. I've been working so hard, there's no way they can't be. So why do I come completely undone the couple of days before this happens? Why do I go on tilt and let my eating disorder and old thinking patterns spiral out of control? It doesn't make sense. It's like running a race where just as you round the bend and can see the finish line, you pull out a gun and shoot yourself in the foot.
And that's where I think I'm onto something, although I'm not sure I'm fully in touch with it yet. It's about sabotage. It's about me sabotaging myself. Why? Well, if I knew that I wouldn't be sitting here typing snappy prose. I'd have my ass at the gym where I could be making myself feel better instead of....
I may not have it yet, but maybe I'm starting to get it.