Friday, October 24, 2008

Comparison Game


A potentially destructive characteristic in someone with an eating disorders is the undeniable need to compare oneself to others. I used to spend an enormous amount of energy every day trying to match up a host of my mannerisms, potential, food intake, exercise patterns, and a host of other things with other people's daily lifestyles. For some reason, I always considered other people to be "right" or "normal". I used to ask myself, "How can they eat that amount of food and not feel guilty afterward?" or "How do they feel so comfortable in their body?" or "I wish I could be spontaneous and just let go and have fun like they can."

They, they, they. Why couldn't I be happy like everyone else?

But after going through therapy, I learned that other people who appeared "all put together" weren't so happy and problem free as I imagined. I learned that they were also comparing themselves to me and wishing they could have my self-discipline, or my thin body, or my drive to exercise. They wished they had my loving family or my athletic ability or my future career potential.

After a while, I began to accept that no matter how talented or incredible other people appear to be, they are just as fragile, imperfect, and vulnerable as I was to pain in life. No one is immune to hardship or hurt feelings, just as no one is immune to enjoying excitement or other more pleasurable emotions. The more I accepted this fact, the less alone I felt in my depressed state. I needed to understand that what a person sees on the outside is not always what's on the inside.

Be yourself. If you don't know who that is, take the steps to discover this person. I believe God already knows me better than anyone. So logic says, I need His help to find the real me. It's the only way.

Till next time,