Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw either that is minor or that you imagine. But to you, your appearance seems so shameful and distressing that you don't want to be seen by anyone. Body dysmorphic disorder has sometimes been called "imagined ugliness."
When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to "fix" your perceived flaws but never are satisfied. Body dysmorphic disorder is also known as dysmorphophobia, or the fear of having a deformity.*
Today caused me to do more thinking than I've been doing in the last week, and I don't particularly like it. As a female, I am innately inclined to read into things more than they require, causing me to question myself and my situation unnecessarily. I feel that my performance at work has been right in line with where it should be, and for that I give myself a pat on the back. I also noticed that my job is taking up more of my life-space than it has up until now, and I don't particularly mind that. It gives me a small sense of purpose, but not to the point of overwhelming, which it could easily become for me.
This is going to sound so ridiculous. Last night I had trouble falling asleep (and no, it's not because of all the sleep I had already gotten!), so I hopped onto facebook and just screwed around on there for a little while. A message popped up from the girls that Jen and I play soccer with, saying that they were talking about us and about how much fun they had with us on Tuesday night, and they wanted to invite us out to a Halloween thing for tonight. I was floored, as I usually am because I'm terribly naive about the probability that other people talk about me behind my back, good or bad. I was really excited because I like these girls too, and I had a lot of fun with them, and I felt very flattered that they would invite us. I immediately said yes without getting the details, and as the details sort of trickled in about what the night's events would be, I began to second-guess myself. Everyone going was wearing costumes and I have a super easy go-to costume that I can wear if I ever need one last minute - it's a toga, but I do my hair in a curly-messy updo and wear lots of gold jewelry and makeup and throw a couple ivy leaves in my hair. But I haven't used that costume since I was with Brian, so I'd have had to go buy some of the accessories. Then I found out that part of the evening was to include a haunted house (the only one I've gone to in Colorado three times already, of course) which would have cost $30, and then this morning I found out that the restaurant we were going to go to for dinner was a Benihana-type restaurant where it's around $30 a plate, plus drinks, so all in all I'd have been looking at spending somewhere around $75 for the night. I'm trying really hard to be responsible about paying my bills, and I just can't justify spending that much for a sort of spur-of-the-moment night. Anyway, I think I couldn't fall asleep because I was stressing out about going quite a bit! I did really want to go, because I did have so much fun with that group earlier this week, but when it boils down to it, I just couldn't do it. So here I sit in my sweatpants, drinking ice water and listening to whatever's on the Travel channel about ghosts or haunted places or something.
I do not mind being at home on a Friday night. I've never minded being at home on a Friday night. I'm such a homebody that I don't feel weird or left out if I don't have plans on a Friday or Saturday night. I've spent enough crazy nights hitting the bars and partying and enjoying myself that staying at home and relaxing in my jammies and reading or watching TV or movies is just fine with me.
Anyway, today ended up being a pretty good day. I didn't work any extra hours, and right as I was on my way home, "Kale" called me and asked if I wanted to go see a movie, and I said I would go with him. He came over, and we took Phoenix for a walk and then went to grab drinks before our movie started. We saw Inception, which I have to say was pretty interesting! It made me think a lot because of how it's centered on the idea of dreams and because of how important a part my dreams play in my life. The effects were amazing and fantastic, and the idea was pretty original. I just love movies so much, every single aspect of movies and movie-making. I wish my life had gone in a different direction, at least geographically, so that I could have made a bigger effort to have a career in movies, and not just acting.
The more time I spend with Kale, the more things I discover I don't particularly love about him. He's a little too flippant about drug use for me. We briefly discussed the principle of "to each his own," and mostly I agree with that, and I try not to be overly judgmental of people I don't know and the decisions they make. It's a different story when it's people I do know, though, because I've chosen to make different decisions in my life and for the most part (at least when it comes to drinking and drugs), I'm totally satisfied with the experiences I've had and the experiences I've expressly chosen not to have. There are probably more people on this earth who have experimented with drugs than haven't, and I'm very proud to be one of the people who haven't, and it's as simple as that. I think it bothers Kale that I'm so anti-drugs.
However, I was discussing with Jonas yesterday why it is that I think I like Kale so much in general, and I discovered that I like that he makes me feel important. I know that we're just friends at this point, and I'm coming to accept that, but regardless, when we hang out together, I rarely feel like there are other people that he'd rather be spending time with, and that's a feeling I don't think I've had much of in my life, whether or not it's accurate. Even with Former Bestie, I almost always felt like there was SOMEONE I was competing with for her attention. With Aaron, there was never ever any time at all in the three and a half years that I felt that I was important to him. With Brian, it started out okay, but as time passed, it became clear that I was not as important to him as others. Back in high school, my best friend senior year was more popular than I was, and I never really felt important to her, or even when I was with her, and I can go back and back into the past with each of the friends I've been closest to and name the ones with whom I felt less than important. I guess this feeling I have of worthlessness ties in very closely to the issues I've got with being abandoned by those I've placed in a position of trust and reverence (with the exception of my family). It also explains why I find it so surprising when I find out that someone has asked about me or talked about me when I'm not around. Somewhere in my life I went from feeling proud and confident to feeling insignificant and unimportant (which is kind of redundant but also kind of not). I don't know if it would do any good for me to try to pick apart when the change occurred or why at this point. But I wonder that if I don't, maybe it will be harder for me to go back to being proud and confident in myself.
I suppose at this point in my life, it's going to take a whole hell of a lot for someone to enter my life and earn my trust. Yet I'm so ready and willing to meet someone and immediately only see the good in them and expect to be treated with the respect and kindness with which I treat them (male or female, it doesn't matter). I'm a terrible judge of character, as I've already demonstrated so many times in my life, especially feeling sympathy for those who I know don't deserve it. But I'd really rather be treated badly or be disrespected so that I can make my own judgment about a person than have someone else try and make me see them in a negative light. Another issue with this is that I'm a terribly forgiving person. I want nothing more in this life than to be treated exactly how I treat others, whether it be bad or good. People can do me wrong time and time again, and more than likely I will be able to forgive and I will try to forget how I was wronged. I think this too, ties into my feelings of insignificance and unimportance. Would someone who felt very important let someone else be mean to them, or treat them badly, and then turn around and forgive them? Absolutely not. But at the same time, I have to argue in the light of Christianity and say that it's truly a Christian thing to be able to forgive others for the wrong they do you. Despite my apparent heathenism and agnosticism (according to my parents), I think that to go to heaven, you have to be able to accept and forgive the things that happen in this lifetime. I've been very badly hurt by the men in my life, and yet I'm totally fine with forgiving them. Everyone makes mistakes, some of which hurt others, but to err is human, no? I want others to be forgiving of me and the things that I do wrong in this lifetime, too, even if that's not how it goes down.
Okay, that's enough analysis for tonight. I feel like I've emptied a little of the weight from inside my head and can go forward with the weekend and do the best I can to climb out of the hole I've dug for myself these last few months.
*Mayo Clinic Staff. "Body Dysmorphic Disorder - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living - MayoClinic.com. 5 Nov. 2008. Web. 29 Oct. 2010. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/body-dysmorphic-disorder/DS00559>.