Posted in Being Vulnerable

Elsa is me in Disney

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation
And it looks like I’m the queenThe wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I’ve tried
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they knowLet it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anywayIt’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m freeLet it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand and here I stay
Let the storm rage onMy power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the pastLet it go, let it go
When I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand in the light of day
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway

Posted in Being Vulnerable

It’s not real

When I was a kid, my anxiety was managed through control.
I controlled my room, my performance at school, my hair, and eventually my body.
I believed the more structure I had in my life, the less uncertainty I had to face.
And it worked for a while, except if I lost my spelling book for example, I would have a full blown melt down.
I would become out of control with fear and stress that if I didn’t find my book I would fail my spelling test.
Yes, my friends, I was growing up to become a class A perfectionist.

As many of you know, perfection doesn’t exist. But in my dad’s mind, it did.
So I tried to be perfect. Again and again I studied and got good marks, but this didn’t improve my self worth.
Every validation I sought for was matched with “you could do better” or “your sister did better than you in this subject”.

And part of me believes he had good intentions. He wanted us not to settle for sub par. He wanted us to reach our full potential. And maybe that’s true, or maybe he felt so insecure of not reaching his own potential in life that he had to live vicariously through us.

I’m not sure. I’m not a parent.

All I know is this:

The idea of perfection will hold you back in life because

It makes you hyper critical.
It makes you less creative.
It makes you constantly compare yourself to others.
It makes you desperate for affirmation that “you’re enough”.

And it doesn’t exist.
Perfect is not real.

-B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

My accomplishments in life

My accomplishments

  1. I stood up to my dad and decided my own path in life
  2. I performed well in school and tried my best
  3. I ran a half marathon when I was 21
  4. I moved across America for a new job when I was 23 and I was all alone
  5. I have maintained my fitness passion since I was a kid
  6. I have gone to therapy and put the work in to emotionally grow as a person and have the language for my feelings
  7. I have moved across the world to be with someone I love
  8. I have made friends through facebook and have actually maintained friendship
  9. I have become honest with my family about my past trauma and decided to live a more vulnerable life
  10. I have chosen to create healthy boundaries in my life that I didn’t have before
  11. I have chosen joy over productivity
Posted in Being Vulnerable

Childhood trauma

When I was a child, I organized everything. My mom says, even my diaper bag was packed by me, I was that meticulous. As I grew up, I shared a room with my sister and the one thing we would always fight about was the order of the room.
I wanted it perfect.
I don’t think any of them realized this at the time, but the order kept me calm. It still does.
Because as a child I was anxious about everything: the dark, heights, strangers, under performing at school, and my dad.
I grew up during the time of belt and wooden spoon spankings, but I have to say the belt was worse. The snapping of a belt still triggers me.
Now that wasn’t all that worried me about him.
What really worried me about him was how volatile he was.
Every day was uncertain.
It was like walking in a war zone when you don’t know where the bombs are buried. I felt my heart race when he would snap his fingers at us to stop talking. I felt like hiding when he would start yelling.
I didn’t know where the abuse would land, but usually it landed on my brother.
My beautiful, big brother always protected us from him. And so did my mom.
My mom tried her hardest to shield us from his fury. But I know the damage this caused her.

You wonder where anxiety comes from, sometimes it comes from within your own home.

Please seek help for your childhood trauma.
You are always worthy of help.

-B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Overwhelmed

My feelings have drowned me today, but I choose to remember my super powers anyway.

1. Connection

2. Writing

3. Self awareness

4. Empathy

5. Driven and highly motivated

6. Disciplined

7. Love bringing joy to others

8. Good listener

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Anorexic Anxiety

*EATING DISORDER RECOVERY STORY*

If this post is triggering for you, please do not read it.

 

It all started when I was 10. I started covering my tummy with my arms. I started seeing the skinny girls in the magazines at the grocery store counter. I started realizing that I wasn’t skinny, and my brother saw this anxiety in me and told me, “It’s just baby fat, Brooke. You’ll grow out of it.”

Once we moved to Sacramento, I started playing volleyball. Volleyball helped me immensely. It gave me confidence, comradery, and a fit body. But I was still insecure.

I knew other girls at my school were going through the same thing. I could see them sneaking to the toilets and I’d follow them in minutes later seeing them rinse out their mouth.

But I didn’t take on their choices.

Throwing up has never been appealing to me.

Instead, I started taking colon cleansers.

Why not let it come out the other end instead? You know?

And that plus starving myself worked.

And of course, dating a boy who was also anorexic fuelled the obsession even more.

I lost a lot of weight my senior year of high school.

A few girls even wanted to know my secret, but I never told them.

I then became vegetarian in college, another boy influence.

This helped maintain my low weight because of the low-calorie consumption.

But I started getting sick. My immune system started failing and luckily, I had mentors along the way telling me, “If you want to reach your fitness goal you need to eat more, Brooke.”

Thankfully, I listened, and I started eating more.

My gains in the gym then became significantly noticeable. I was finally reaching my goals; however, I was still dating men who were living by my same fears of “not being enough” and these relationships hurt me.

But one day, I met a boy who was secure with his body and I was astonished.

His laid-back attitude left me defenceless. I had never met anyone so naturally confident in who they are, and boy was it attractive!

So, I moved here and got lost in him like I did with the others, but this time the pendulum swung the other way. I started overeating. I felt so safe with him that I over indulged. I’d eat what he’d eat, thinking I would be fine, but in reality, I had again stopped listening to myself.

 And here I am now, 8kg lighter after months of discipline, focus and listening.

It takes courage for me to tell this story, but I hope it resonates with you that anxiety comes in many forms. Most people with anxiety fear uncertainty, therefore they create structure in their life in order to cope. This structure can then become very rigid and obsessive, but I promise it doesn’t always have to be that way. Releasing control and accepting small pieces of uncertainty will help you recover. It just takes practice.

 

Love y’all

B.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Bleeding from the inside

You don’t know this, but your discomfort with my tears caused more wounds than I’ve been able to heal.

I’m bleeding with shame, caught in your trauma.

You think I don’t remember, but your face said it all.

“I can’t handle this”, it read.

So I’ll make fun of her instead.