11 December 2016

A world of Lions and Zebras

Do you think the most ferociously proud lion cub ever wishes it could just be a zebra? 

I promise I'll get to the point here, but my therapist said something to me this week which has stuck in my thoughts. (I digress, but it's been impacted more this morning by catching up on 'Brainwashing Stacey' - with Big Game Trophy Hunters on BBC3!) and is something that might do me well to put into action, thought wise, not hunting, obviously.

I've always beaten myself up for not being one of 'the crowd'. Whatever that crowd maybe. Way back growing up, I've always been a little different, worried about things other people didn't worry about. 

Proud of things and passionate about things that no one else cared for. Half due to the panic attacks and my mental health - but half because I am me. This ALWAYS bothered me. I have spent 31 years beating myself up about being the 'one that spoke up' or the friend who 'fell out with people she disagreed with' or the teenager that didn't want to get paralytic and throw up. I always thought I was wrong. That I have always been the odd one out and that meant I was wrong.

Image result for zebra herd

Even with regards to anorexia, I know there is no 'stereotypical' suffering of an eating disorder, no mirrored recovery, but there is generally a pattern that is evident. I didn't even feel I ever 'fitted in' with that tribe either. I still don't, even when people comment on my blogs, I just think YOU DON'T GET ME. It's not like that in my head, I am fierce, yet fearful. 

It's like I sway constantly between NOT wanting to be in a herd of zebra, to wishing I had stripes. 

In one breath I find myself wishing I blended in. Wishing that I was indistinguishable from another sheep or zebra. Annoyed that they all live harmoniously together. I want to be defined by something decided by someone else, not myself. This can include wanting to be invited to lunch with colleagues, or family, wanting to be the same as everyone else, even though I am the polar opposite to some. 

Then in the next moment I remember I am a lioness. Different, proud and fierce. I feel strong alone. I know what I like and how I like it. I am focused on the way I live my life and think 'fuck the rest'. But the problem is, I only have flashes like this. I spend most of the time worried about my mane or why I can't be one of the herd. I roar and then worry about why that has upset their grazing, and end up wishing I hadn't roared at all. I blame me, for being me.  

Image result for lioness

But what my therapist said to me this week is a perspective I had not considered before. Lionesses spend time alone, they are animals who need their own space. They are fierce but they care deeply about their own pride. So, do you think zebra, who goes around in herds and NEED those herds, would be comfortable with a lion going for lunch? Would they fear that lion? Maybe, just maybe. what if another lioness came along? Would that cause friction? Maybe. But, it doesn't have to. You each just want to protect our own, but we are alike and can try to understand. 

I guess, what I am getting at is that it is accepting that am a lion whether I like it or not. As a cub I might have been given mixed messages, but I am strong and fierce and that is why I am still alive. 

That is why I was strong enough to escape the herd of zebras anorexia wants from people. Now, it is why I need to remind myself that in life, I need to worry less about what other people are saying about me, thinking of me or doing - and roar. 

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