Posted in Being Vulnerable

I make dark jokes

I get it from my dad

We always did have the same sense of humor

My sister does it too actually

She once laughed when telling me someone died

She couldn’t help herself

She was nervous

It just spilled out

And I understood

We don’t deal with tragedy like most

We cope through humor

Instead of tears

And I love that about us

And I love that about him

Because I know of the pain he’s gone through

Even though he won’t tell me

Because I can hear it

When his laugh tells me

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Mindset

I think my mindset is changing.

I feel myself questioning my mind.

Re-evaluating

Re-examining

I was so obsessed with a certain body type for so long, but now all I want is to be fit.

To be strong.

To be able to run for hours without stopping.

I feel like a lock has been opened and I can finally see through the door.

I don’t need to be you

And you don’t need to be me.

Instead, all we need to be is free.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Getting caught up

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I get caught up in goals. Especially when there are high stakes.

For example, I agreed to run a half marathon in September with my friend Emilie and my partner, Josh.

You may not think this sounds like high stakes, but I have a huge fear of letting people down so for me the pressure is on. But I like it. I actually need this kind of stress. This kind of fear. It moves me. It gets me fired up not to fail.

So I’ve been running. And of course I started off running every day, which led to a calf injury. There’s the all or nothing side of me showing, but I am proud to say I quickly recovered and learned from my mistakes. So now I run every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Also maybe Saturday if I’m up for it. I also realized I am getting addicted to running again like when I was in university. And it feels fucking great. The progress, the adrenaline, the competition, the community. It feels like home to me.

But will I get too caught up?

That’s the question.

And is being too caught up a bad thing?

Not necessarily.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m very excited to be back into running, but I’m also a little scared I’ll burn out.

I mean, that’s how athletes are born, right?

And I think that’s normal for extremists like me.

We’re constantly swinging in between this pendulum trying to find home. But scared that if we do find it, it won’t be enough. It’s a very up and down lifestyle. And it’s more exhausting for others to witness than to live through myself, trust me 😂 but I do want to be consistent now. That’s another thing with being extreme. I can lose my consistency and then be really hard on myself for doing so, which I have done many times in the past. Yet this time feels different. I was smart and actually joined a running group because I finally learned I don’t stay consistent unless I have accountability and that accountability can NOT come from my partner.

Trust me, accountability from a partner leads to very bad outcomes, at least for me. There’s just too many feelings involved and there’s no way for me to separate them so running group it is!

And this group is great. They’re women from all walks of life who just want a little accountability and a little friendship. No one cares about their time or distance. They just want to finish and I love that because it helps balance me out when I see how happy they are just showing up.

So maybe just maybe I won’t get too caught up this time.

Ha! Here’s to hoping.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Progress

I’ve been using this app called, Noom, the past month and have been pleasantly surprised.

This app makes you log your weight everyday so you get over your fear of the scale, then it gives you ten minutes of reading every day so you educate yourself on why you eat the way you do, and lastly it gives you a goal specialist so you have someone who keeps you accountable on your journey who isn’t your partner or friend.

And of course, you track your food intake and exercise.

It honestly has given me back my control in my eating life and in my overall health.

I tend to be such an extreme person and do All or Nothing thinking, but through this app I was taught that that kind of thinking is a thought distortion. That means, it’s a lie. My all or nothing thinking not only isn’t logical, but it doesn’t work. For example, I thought I could never have ice cream in the house because I would eat it all. Because all or nothing. But this app taught me to practice exposure. So I did. And I can now say I’m a proud owner of a week old ice cream in my freezer.

Which means, I do have self control.

I can do this moderation thing.

I don’t have to be so restrictive anymore.

So extreme.

And that is really encouraging for me because I want this lifestyle to last. I’m tired of letting my cravings win. I’m tired of binging then feeling guilty. I’m tired of all of the negative thoughts.

And I am confident to say I truly believe I don’t have to live with them anymore.

I am in control.

I do respect my body.

And I will make this last.

Because like Jocko always says, discipline equals freedom.

It just takes a little discipline in the beginning for me to remember that I am an athlete and athletes take care of themselves, so why wouldn’t I?

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Weight

My weight, like most girls, has always been an area of concern.

Since I was ten, I’ve been comparing myself to magazine covers and celebrities on TV.

I started covering my stomach, wearing loose clothes and sucking in.

As I played volleyball and grew taller, the weight slowly dispersed but the mindset stayed the same.

Be thinner.

Be leaner.

You’re only lovable if you’re fit.

Then I hit 17 and started counting calories and running with my boyfriend.

He was anorexic too.

I got down to 135lbs and my mom and sister started to worry.

They asked me to stop.

But my dad praised me.

He always loved skinny girls.

But what really got me to stop was when my bf told me the guys in the locker room stopped talking about me.

Because I had lost my curves.

I was of no interest to them.

And that scared me.

Because I wanted to be lovable right?

So I stopped counting calories and started eating more sugar.

Some of the weight came back.

But then I became vegetarian.

Again my obsessive nature kicked in and I lost the weight.

It was always All or Nothing for me.

And ten years later I can say it still is.

But I’m trying to fight it.

But I’m scared.

I don’t want to end up like them.

My parents.

They’re both obese and have given up on life.

And I don’t want to end up like that.

So I’m constantly fighting.

Because I have been fat

And it’s not fun

And I have been super skinny

And it’s not fun either.

So I’m fighting for the balance

And it’s fucking hard.

But I’m here and I’m trying.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Dating me

I imagine dating me is like constantly changing lanes on the highway while watching a car crash.

I’m a zero to one hundred kind of gal.

What can I say?

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Journal 20

Did I tell you I got a nutritional therapist?

I was afraid I was becoming addicted to sugar.

It runs in the family.

And I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be like my family.

I want to be better.

So I hired her.

And we took a deep dive into my family, into my trauma, and into why I sometimes emotionally eat.

And she started slow.

She suggested increasing my water intake.

And making healthy brownies instead of buying chocolate.

And that helped.

But that rejection the other day triggered another emotional response.

And the first day, I surprisingly didn’t eat my feelings.

I felt alright and I thought I talked it all through with my friend back home.

But then the weekend came.

And with it came the shopping, the distractions and the reach for old, happy memories.

And honestly I don’t feel shame about it.

Because I know why I did it.

I have pain inside me that needs to be seen.

I need to cry more and I’m really bad at making time to cry.

But I know I need to try because this pain has been with me for a decade now at least and I’m tired of getting so hurt when people don’t want to be my friend anymore.

It’s just getting ridiculous, you know?

Because I know my worth.

And I am a good friend.

And I am a good person.

So if I know this about myself, then I shouldn’t let these comments or actions stick to me.

I should treat them like rain on a duck’s back and just let it slide right off me.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Journal 14

You wonder why I get them.

You don’t understand the ink.

Or the addiction.

So let me explain it for you.

This tattoo in the picture is for my Grammy.

She died in 2014.

It broke me.

I had never experienced loss in such a real way like that before.

I was 21.

Living a life for my dad.

A life of fear, resentment, and high expectation

But all of that changed with this phone call.

“Brooke, Grammy had a stroke at church. She’s in the hospital.”

I responded, “hmm”

“What do I say to that” I asked myself?

Because I couldn’t understand.

I just saw her three months ago.

She was outside raking the leaves.

She was fine then.

Yet now she was hanging by a thread in a hospital all the way in Texas while I was in California?

God just simply claimed her without warning?

I wasn’t given notice?

I felt like a computer giving the circle of death.

I could not compute.

So I put it in a box.

I stored those unprocessed feelings away and decided to continue with my studies.

Understand up until this point, no one important in my life had died before.

Also, I was mocked by my father at a young age for my emotion so I thought bottling it up was the way to live your life.

Fake it till you make it, they say.

So I faked it.

Until I got the next call.

She was dying.

“We’re about to pull the plug, Brooke. Any last words?”

Um how about, “Why did you kill my hero, God?”

Why did you kill the one spark of joy in our family?

She was raspberries in the summer.

And hummingbirds in spring.

She was joy.

And now she was dead.

So I did what any young adult would do.

I fucked the world.

I said, “Fuck religion. Fuck god. Fuck my studies.”

Nothing matters if he’ll just kill the most religious person in your life in fucking church for Christ sakes!

So I fucked everyone.

I swiped right all the way to hell.

I was numb to everything for a year after her death.

Yet somehow my friend Bryan pulled me out.

He took me on a walk and said, “This isn’t you.”

And by that point I knew he was right.

I couldn’t fuck the grief out of me.

I had to face it.

She was gone.

And it wasn’t god’s fault.

It was just life.

Life happens.

So 2014 became a milestone for me after that.

A milestone that says, life is precious.

Remember it.

And when I remember her, I think of hummingbirds.

So that’s why I get tattoos, mom.

Because I want to remember my trauma and salute it for its ability to change me.

I love you.

-B. Ray

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Journal 11

I get it now.

The drinking

The writing

The addiction

It feels good to write intoxicated.

I feel free

Uninhibited

And yet I’m lucky

I don’t have the addiction bug

Like my father

Like my brother

Like all the men in my family

Is it a man thing?

I don’t know

But I’m lucky

I know when to stop

Thank god

Or the devil

For skipping me

I appreciate it.