Monday, May 12, 2008

After thoughts

So now that I've written in detail about the marathon and trip, what I haven't written about are my FEELINGS and reactions to everything. Finishing the marathon is by no doubt an accomplishment. And I am proud of myself for that. However, there is still some nagging voice saying I could have done better, that is really wasn't enough, that I should have pushed more through the fatigue. Whether someone wants to call it an ED voice or my perfectionistic voice, what I know is that I still struggle with this a lot.

After the race, my parents all told me how proud they were of me. My mom and dad were afraid that I was going to either not finish or come across the finish hobbling or something. Instead, I came sprinting due to feeling competitive with another girl. I keep thinking how stupid that sounds. I talked to this girl at the beginning of the race, and she seemed nice. There wasn't a reason for me to feel competitive with her. Other people had passed me, and I didn't seem to care, so why did it bother me when she had caught up to me?

I have to admit throughout the entire trip in St. Louis, I somehow felt like a fraud. Although I did not make an issue of food, other than I was not going to eat pizza, making the excuse I don't eat cheese (it's true I don't but I can actually handle mozzarella cheese), food was still hard for me.
There were instances when I did not want to eat but felt incredibly guilty having people pay for an expensive meal or going out of their way to make me something I liked. Therefore, I ate my meals, looked the part of being and feeling okay, but I know I truly wasn't. Everyone just kept telling me what a healthy eater I was. A. who had just met me kept remarking about that and how shiny my hair was, etc. Heck, I even caught myself saying that as well. Sometimes I wonder if I say it long enough, it will be true. Kind of like the saying, "the ritual makes it happen."

Body wise, I'm not feeling too hot about it. Prior to the race, I knew what my weight was from my Dr.'s appt. I knew running the race would drop it slightly, and I was kind of surprised when I went on a 25 cent scale that my weight was lower than what I expected. Since I didn't think it was that accurate, I checked the scale at the fitness room at the hotel, and it read the same. I should have felt elated, but I don't know, I still felt fat.

Then there was the issue of my future which is always a question mark. Surprisingly, my father did not make a huge deal of my current job, where I live, etc. Usually, he makes it a big point at how much he hates it all. I think the marathon distracted him from a lot of this. However, he did mention quite often how I should go to medical school. Even A. said this--how I looked like a "smart" person and that kind of type. She told me that her father whom I met, was a Dr. and on the board for medical school admissions if I ever applied to Washington University.

A. also said to me how she thought my step-sister, M., and I should come to St. Louis in the summer. A. had said something like M. had not seen me for awhile and missed me. I was surprised by this since M. and I are not that close. M. is six years younger than me, and we've just never really had a close relationship due to both distance and age. Apart from that, we're really different. Maybe I harbor some jealousy towards her now that she is doing well in college. Before, she had basically majored in "boyfriend" and let her grades go. The academia/ studious type was always my role, but I fell off the bandwagon. Therefore, she's taken that place. Even when I talk to my mom about it, and she says I'm doing my own thing, not currently applying for grad school, there is just a weird sense I pick up. Maybe it's me more projecting that feeling. If I talk to my dad about this, he'll just say how M. is applying for grad school, and ask why I'm not or that I should too, etc. Unfortunately, he knows me well enough to play that competitive card with me. And M's dad, my mom's husband, doesn't really say much other than M. is doing well in college and plans to graduate next fall.

So those were my major feelings on the trip. Being back, there is always a time of readjustment for me. I find being around people for several days, though rewarding, also takes a lot out of me too. I'm also battling s little bit of a cold and sore throat, though that seems to be better. I'm guessing that's mostly race related, however.

Now the thoughts I have running through my head are: what marathon am I going to do next, am I going to take any online classes in the fall, am I going to possibly meet with an academic counselor, am I going to go back into therapy with more commitment or with a different therapist? What is it that I really want?

Stay tuned, hopefully, I'll figure out some of these answers.

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