09.03.19 // Claustrophobic

It’s anxiety, anger, and sadness all in one. And I thought I was done feeling it, until it happened again today. 

It’s that feeling where you’re claustrophobic in your own body. You feel trapped. You feel like every inch of your skin, from your stomach to your thighs, are all too much. All you want to do is get out, but you’re insecurities, the worst things you ever felt about yourself, are crawling and stuck all over you.

Your body feels like it’s too much. You’re too much. Too much to process, too much to handle, so much so that's it is more you deserve; good or bad. 

Suddenly your problems aren’t external; they’ve become you. The rejection, the insecurities, they’ve morphed themselves to your thighs, the cellulite you saw this morning in the mirror, the nose you always thought was too big, the face that seems a little too fat. 

All your issues are projected onto your body and you need to escape them right now. You feel like you need to shed your skin, get it off anyway you can. Starving yourself seems painless compared to the thoughts in your head. You want this feeling to disappear, you want to disappear. 

But where would that get you. 

To a smaller stomach? 

That’s not going to solve all your problems. Drastic diets, negative self talk, body shaming - it’s a temporary anxiety release to a bigger problem. And the more you use those things as coping mechanisms, the higher your tolerance will be to them - you’ll only need more and more to get to that “calm” state you felt the first time. The thought processes will wire themselves so deep in your neural pathway that all you can do is blame your body. Hurt your body. Punish your body. 

You don’t feel trapped by your body. I know it feels that way. 

You’re equating the size of yourself to the amount of success, the amount of rejection, and the amount of love you receive. That’s not real. 

It’s you who gets to decide not what you get, you can’t control that, but how to react to those things when they come your way. 

The strategy to blame your body worked at some point, you were distracted from your problems. But they were still there. 

You’re not scared of being in your body as it is. You’re scared or rejection, of failure, of not being good enough. And when you get those overwhelming feelings, when the claustrophobia creeps up, it’s easy to blame a tangible thing like your body. 

Diets don’t shield you from rejection. Not eating and running 24/7 won’t stop bad things from happening. It will take away your confidence, friendships, opportunities, independence and health though. You’ll be filled with constant anxiety and a bullshit voice in your head saying if you only did more your problems would be gone. 

And even then, you can still get rejected. 

No matter what you do to your body, no matter how much you shrink, your problems aren’t going to disappear. The longer you put off actually facing those issues, the tougher it will be. And the more you’ll miss out on the important things, weirdly enough the second you understand you have no control things don’t seem to hurt as much. 

Not everything is your fault. Everyone has their own life stories, their own background; the way they take it out on you, think about you, or treat you doesn’t have to be your business. Rejection, failure, any bad thing that could happen will still come your way, but that’s not because of your body. That’s not because of you as a human being. That’s the way life is. 

And you get to decide how you want to move on from it. 

You’ll see the people that love you and all the good things that are going for you. Sometimes it will be like finding the sunlight in a rainstorm, but know that it’s always there. 

You can face these things. The claustrophobia goes away when you realize you’ve always had the power to face your problems exactly as you are. 

Kate Farrell