To Be Seen Again

One of the hardest things I have been dealing with these last few months is a sense of not wanting to be seen. I don’t want to be seen by the world, by the people in it, by even friends of mine and sometimes by my own family. It’s as if everyone is going to see all my pain and shame just by looking at me and even worse, they will see how much I’ve failed.

In my mind it’s like nobody has anything better to do than to look at me and judge me. Which we all know is a complete fallacy, a trick of the mind, but a really good trick because it feel so true.

The real truth is that I don’t go out in the world judging people. I’m not sizing anyone up. If I ever do it’s because of some sort of envy or admiration, which can be both good and bad. But in my heart, I don’t want to judge anyone and I believe a lot of people feel the same way. Additionally, most people are really only interested in their own stuff, their own life, their own weight gain or loss, their own hair, their own makeup, their own outfit and just so focused on themselves that they really aren’t looking at me.

On several occasions recently I’ve shared with my husband that I feel unable to do something because I just don’t want to be seen. It’s an undeniable feeling, it’s intrusive, it’s anxiety producing and just plain sad. He tries to understand. He’s good like that. But I don’t think I fully understand it. It’s part of this depression, anxiety, bipolar goop. It’s part of a shame I’ve lived with for too long. It’s actually quite self-centered. I’m truly not the center of the universe, or am I? 😉

I know a large measure of this is due to body image issues as well. Can anyone relate? I’ve gained A LOT of weight over the last year due to poor diet, inactivity due to depression and medications. For all the wrong reasons, when I am overweight I feel under-lovable. The more the weight, the less worth I have. And during this time, I need to feel loved more than ever. It’s as though if I’m not pretty on the outside, then you will know I’m not pretty on the inside, either.

Whether it be society, childhood trauma or self-sabotage, it doesn’t matter the cause because I’m stuck in the feeling of wanting to disappear, regardless. But somehow, deep inside me, I have to find the love. I have to find the love for myself, I have to find my identity in Christ and the courage to bravely face the world despite how much I feel like shrinking back inside myself or under the covers.

So, I’m working on that. I’m facing the world when I have to and sometimes when I don’t. Like when I went to the Go Blog Social conference several weeks ago, or when I went to a bible journaling meet-up this past weekend anticipating a small crowd (turns out there were only two of us there). And when I go to church on Sundays, I’m facing it. And I’m spending time in the Word again. I’m listening to worship music and spending time in devotionals and Bible study. I’m bible journaling. I’m listening to faith based audio books (never have done this before) and surrounding myself with His message. (If you are struggling with feeling beautiful and lovable I highly recommend the “You’re Beautiful” devotional that comes in the “Beautiful” devotional kit by Illustrated Faith. I’m working through this now and it’s touching me right in the most tender places of my heart.)

I’m doing these things and more (like starting to incorporate healthy eating habits into my life again). I am taking action. And I’m working to really embrace the fact that my worth is not completely tied to my appearance. I am seeking the knowledge that it can be okay for my pain to be visible and it can be okay that I am visible again. Maybe the world wants me in it? Maybe the world will be a slightly better place if I participate in it? Maybe, it will be good to be seen.

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”.png

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6 thoughts on “To Be Seen Again

  1. I remember the old saying “What others think of you is none of your business” hearing it from my grandparents as a child i tried to understand, but as a child we battle through the anxietys however hard because the need to explore and express our imaginations and make friends is more important to us than hiding away from the world. Fear of things is accepted as a part of growing up, and we overcome them as we grow. But as adults it is our imaginations that become our worst enemy, due to past experience and hurt, our imagination becomes sometimes extremely painful and tainted by negitives and possibilities out of our control, Suddenly pretty fields and pretending to be riding horses as we gallop on foot chasing the knight in his shining armour is not enough to escape reality anymore, integrating into life is not as simple as asking if we can play with another childs ball or if they would like to play, Our adult imagination can be wicked, suddenly the world becomes full of monsters all waiting for their tea, everyone is out to pop everyone else ball, even if there isn’t a ball to pop!! Judged over how good or fast your gallop is when all pretending to ride horses on foot, who will get to the knight first, who will wear the crown?
    Except that if you spin that round, that would mean EVERYONE was like that, and well what an awful world that would be. I don’t go out and judge, I’m open minded and have an open heart, SO why do i feel like everyone else might? Why do i fear people so much at times? The answer? Slowly i learn that the intrusive thoughts are actually the different sides of me judging myself through all the fears i have, My anxietys been played out by my adult past experience tainted imagination and the monsters have been woken. I have to take myself back to the moment of a child too scared to look under the bed, how many times were we told MONSTERS ARE NOT REAL? We instinctively look for monsters, the great human flaw to hinder pure expression and expansion.
    I still cannot shake myself enough to believe that monsters are not real, but i do try and remember not everyone is a monster and not everywhere are they found.

    Such a brilliant post, really well put and totally relative to how the anxiety monster can make us feel. Sometimes i cannot leave the house, trapped yet i’m not physically locked in, all freedom gone because the Monsters are just too real for me to explore. Time passes and the monsters grow so big i daren’t even contemplate leaving and the walls become a comfort zone. One day the monsters will go and hide and the doors will freely open. Until that day I am too frightened to look under my bed!! Over time i have to learn when the imagination is tainting reality. I hope you can do this too. My virtual hand reaches out in comfort, we have to believe that MONSTERS AREN’T REAL 🙂

    Take care hun, small steps to bigger achievements ❤ ❤

    xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, yes, yes…the monsters aren’t real! This is the most amazing comment I’ve received yet…your words so wise and eloquent and capturing the torment of our monsters that are truly in our imaginations. Thank you dear, Stacey, thank you!!!

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  2. Hi there! I found you through a comment you left on my blog. You were asking about my favorite eye shadow primer. I love Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It keeps my eye makeup set all day. 🙂

    It’s my first time stopping by your blog but your post really touched me. I know what you mean about feeling icky in general because of weight gain, etc, and wanting to hide from the world. Sometimes, we are our own worst critic (I’m certainly like that) and we think that people are going to see all the little things we see about ourselves. But at the end of the day, everyone has their own issues to worry about. I always think, one day at a time. If I can eat healthy this day, today, that’s doing better than I did yesterday. Eventually, all those good days add up to something pretty great. And besides, we can all look like supermodels, but that won’t matter if we’re horrible people on the inside. It’s true that who we are on the inside is what really counts. 🙂

    Have a great week!
    Jasmin
    jasminlovescoffee.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for coming over here to answer my question! That’s super sweet. And I’m grateful you had time to read my post. What you say is so true…taking things one day at a time is so important to keep from being to overwhelmed! Thank you for your thoughtful comments and for sharing with me. I’m grateful!

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  3. I think the most important thing that you’re doing is “action”
    It doesn’t have to be big things, it can be small things but as long as you’re doing things that is making you feel good about yourself, that does count for something.
    Fill yourself up with love first. I find that when I’m focused on making myself happy and doing things that are making me feel fulfilled, I’m not noticing the world around me. I’m too busy.
    My moto this year “And now I’ll do what’s best for me” is basically saying that I need to focus on myself not what other people think of me, what they expect of me, what they think I should be want me to be etc….
    I need to be me.
    I hope this makes sense.
    Whatever you do, make sure that you’re doing it for you. Don’t care one bit what others are thinking, staring at, etc. You’re gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love you girl! Thank you…I think your motto is fantastic. “And now I’ll do what’s best for me.” That’s some kind of perfection there. Also, you have an unfair advantage here, you actually know that I am gorgeous! Ha, ha, ha! 😉 Thank you for these reminders. We need to do us, no matter how big or little or sad or happy we are in that moment.

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