Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The space between my ears: Still the most dangerous ‘hood I know.

So I spent the day in bed recuperating from the fun of upset stomach that decided to finally catch me after passing through most of my fellow travelers (believe me, it’s just as sexy as you imagine). So after a day of rushing from bed to bathroom, I had managed to convince myself that I am ‘lazy’; somehow in my wackadoo addict brain I continue to be convinced that if I am not going a 100 mph (or rather 160 kph here in Battombang) I am somehow a slacker. I do this over and over again- if I am not in every club, every academic group, every challenging course, etc, then clearly I am not taking advantage of opportunities available to me. Crazy. And yet I still go there time and time again. I set this out not to further berate myself, but rather to remind myself that (say it with me Stuart Smalley): “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me”.

Traveling with a group of 15 other relative strangers has reminded me once again that I am not a weirdo- only in my head am I deficient socially, and despite the fact that I am indeed a huge nerd, this is not a problem when you are traveling with graduate students rather than say, self-obsessed fourteen year old girls. I am blown away by the quality of friendships I have developed in just the past eight days (diarrhea en masse will do that to you), and am humbled with gratitude at the fact that I have been able to be fully present for each session we have attended, as well as be present simply for the human interaction with my fellow students. So, despite all this kumbaya-hippie realized self-growth, I still am vulnerable to thinking that others are thinking (bad things) about me…oh, what fun!

One of the most helpful things I have learned in my recovery from food addiction is that what other people think of me is none of my business. This is still a challenge for me to grasp on most days, I get wrapped up in my own little dramas and convince myself that I am the most self-centered person on the planet. And then I pause and realize that the self-obsessed thinking is just begetting the self-centeredness. Around and around we go- Wheeee! The trick has been to simply let it go, to the best of my ability I simply open my palms and ask to have the feeling released. And it passes. Today I pushed myself too hard because I was afraid that if I stayed in bed (which was what my body was asking for) and gave my tummy a break, others would think I was wussing out. The end result was fine- I walked to the Buddhist temple we were studying at today and then had to leave (no thank you to Eastern-style squat toilets and, ahem, tummy troubles!). One of our amazing guides, Hout, gave me a ride on her sexy motorbike (ignore this Mom) and I got to see the city from a different perspective. I don’t think I will ever “get over” the self-doubt that nags me from time to time, but at least for today I managed to climb on the back of a bike, crawl back in to bed, and take care of myself one trip to the bathroom at a time. And I’ll take that as progress enough.

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