Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm okay. I'm fine. I feel fat.

 (photo credit to nobody-but-me)

Okay, so I had absolutely NO idea what to write about today (for tomorrow)... and I decided I would go for a run. It started sprinkling half-way through my first iPod song... I kept running, when I got about to the halfway point it started pouring,  right when Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" started making its way to my ears my shoulder popped (I've had two shoulder surgeries and so running is a touch and go sport), and by the end of that song it had popped again resulting in walking. It was at this point when it was still pouring that a police officer driving by asked me if I needed a ride and I told him that magical phrase, "I'm okay"

Let's think about this. It's pouring rain, it's thundering, I'm about a fifteen minute walk from my home and my shoulder keeps popping every time I try to run. Yet, I'm proclaiming that I am okay to a police officer who offered me a ride.

This phrase also commonly shows up at the end of my therapy sessions (actually, if I'm being honest, I'd say nearly every session) - "I'm always okay. seriously."

So what did I really mean when I said that to the police officer? I was telling him that I didn't actually have a problem (aka I'm not weak), that I didn't need help (aka I can help myself), and that I did not want to impose on him or put him out.

In saying the phrase a lie is forming - not only between yourself and who you say it to... but also to yourself. You're burying the problem at hand.. ignoring it... hoping it will solve itself - refusing to deal with the issue.  (I also think the phrase can mean that we wish for help to seek us - that we want to know who really cares based on who will challenge that statement)

This burial will present problems later on (me having to walk 15 minutes in the pouring rain) as it will undoubtedly come to a head... Worse yet? These constant lies impact relationships. If you're "always okay" then people assume that you can get through things even when you do muster the courage to approach them with a problem.... this can be devastating... here you need people and are willing to admit it and are being dismissed...

or they know you're not okay and don't know what to do since you won't discuss it. Do you see how this could be frustrating? You're doing X,Y, and Z and yet you're saying everything is okay... repeatedly.


I feel like I can't complete this topic without addressing "I feel fat" --- "I feel fat" is really suppressed emotions and feelings in the same way that "I'm okay/fine" is suppressed problems. You're not "feeling fat" - you're feeling things that fat represents to you. You're feeling those uncomfortable things. Whether it be frustrated, sad, angry, disjointed, confused, forlorn, exhausted, whatever... you're feeling. and that can feel, unsettling. Especially if you don't have words for those feelings - just that you are... and at that moment fat seems like a tangible stand in.

Next time you say that you're okay, you're fine, or that you feel fat -- take a moment to try to think what you really mean by that -- try to realize what all is going on inside of you and identify those emotions/feelings/etc - I think it can also probably help on the "be here now" front as you're trying to figure out what is happening within you in that moment

Try to get to know yourself, try to get to know those feelings, they are yours' after all.


which brings me to something I'm going to start doing on here... to get to know myself a bit better. I know that might sound odd, but I think self discovery can be a grand thing. Arielle actually inspired this via Facebook --- also, I think this could be a good opportunity for anyone that reads to get to know me so I can break away from this mysterious Wednesday poster persona...

Warning: this may bore you, so I'll always put it at the end of my posts ;)


10 Facts about Me:

1) I love pretty food... a lot --- make it pretty and I'll eat at least some of it (see the amazing chocolate easter bunny picture)

2) Really big turtles scare me... or rather creep me out - even pictures of them. When I went to Disney World in college, we went to Epcot's Coral Reef restaurant and sat next to an aquarium wall.. unfortunately there was a massive turtle right next to me the whole time. No bueno...

3) I was born in Upper Heyford, England (aka Oxfordshire) and have since lived in Mississippi, Washington state, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Texas (2 locations back to back), Illinois, and am now back in Missouri.

4) In the fall, I try to eat something pumpkin every single day.

5) I want to work in a group home some day

6) I have a weird habit of dropping coins on the ground -- I remember how much it would excite me as a kid to find money

7) I only listen to CDs, talk radio, or country radio in my car.... why? I like consistency and I can guarantee the ability to listen to any of those three in any state.

8) I know how to make balloon animals

9)  I keep peppermints in my car for when I see homeless people... I try to give them $1 and a peppermint candy --- when I worked in downtown Indianapolis I remember sharing pizza with my father and a homeless man and how the homeless man told me he hated always having bad breath - I also fully believe in having open hands

10) I honestly think I'm in a better place than I have been in a very long time (and no I don't just mean, because I'm in my amazing bed eating a banana)


  1. The ubiquitous "fine" (or okay, etc). It's a reflex. I think it often starts of as a means of protectionism, not wanting to appear weak, as you mentioned, or not wanting to let anyone in, thereby giving them perceived power over ourselves.
    But it becomes such an automatic response that it comes out involuntarily. Even if you mean to or desperately want to ask for help or acknowledge a weakness, you can't simply because you never have.

  2. The fact that it does become rather automatic is why I think the only way to try to correct it is to think about why you said it (the real reason) after the fact. I think that awareness can (eventually) make you more mindful in the future

  3. I always do this! I am always okay, but am I really? no. I hate that this just comes out of my mouth even before I can comprehend it!

    But there truly is a lot of difference between okay, and content. A LOT of difference.

    Thanks so much for sharing!



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