Being Nice to Myself
I gotta be nice to myself today. I planning on buying a plane ticket to Cleveland so I can meet Crunchy, and I'm really nervous.
I freak out at the idea of a date, as you may remember. Can you imagine how I feel about buying a plane ticket to go meet Crunchy for the first time ever?
My inner critic is an asshole. Seriously, he is loud and mean and puts me down and makes me feel ugly and stupid. I hate him so much. Yesterday I heard myself saying out loud, "I am so pathetic. SO pathetic..."
When I was in therapy, I learned a lot about the horrible way I treated myself. During one particularly emotional session, I experienced a profound moment of sadness when I imagined sitting across from myself and apologizing for my cruel behavior. I saw a younger me cowering in a chair wearing a dirty white t-shirt and covered in filth, looking much like an abused or neglected child might look.
I abused myself every day for a long time, and then something changed that day in therapy. And through tears I told myself, "I am so sorry for the way I've talked to you your whole life. When you've needed a friend, I've berated you. I've punished you and burdened you with negativity and self-hatred. I promise you from this moment on I'll take care of you. I will be your best friend, not your worst enemy."
After years of dressing like a slob and overeating and avoiding the gym at all costs, I have transformed myself. My inside has always been kind. I'd say I have a big heart and am loving and, well, a good guy. But my physical appearance didn't reflect that inner goodness. It reflected the self-hatred. I am not where I want to be, but there has been a lot of progress in the last three years.
The day I stopped being my own worst enemy was the day I became "Hot Toddy". I know that, on the surface, referring to myself as Hot Toddy seems incredibly arrogant. But it is actually a name I gave myself as a reminder that I am not pathetic. I'm not a loser. Damn it, I am hot.
God I sound like Stuart Smalley.
Those who know me will say that I am a humble guy. In fact, I wish I could be a little more cocky. I find that sexy in others.
But I still struggle with sending myself on guilt trips daily. I second-guess myself constantly. One thing I don't do much anymore, is put myself down.
And when I find myself saying out loud, "I am so pathetic," I know it is time to stop thinking that way. And start encouraging myself. Or drawing strength from friends.
So, today I am going to be completely self-indulgent and tell you some really nice things people have told me this week:
My friend Scott from college said I am great and creative and compelling and beautiful.
AuburnPisces said I have a really sexy phone voice, even when we are on conference calls at work. She said she would do me even though she is a lesbian. (All right!!)
Jaden said the Toaster Oven is her sanctuary.
The Executive said I had powerful arms and a dreamy smile.
Chrisafer said I was "infuckingwonderful"
Chris in PA complimented my writing and said he wants an invitation to the launch party and a signed first edition of my book (no, I've never written one)
And when I asked Crunchy what he would choose if he had a choice between going to prison for the rest of his life or moving to Portland, Oregon, he said:
"That depends...if you are in jail, I want to join you.
Otherwise, I'd like to sit on the beach of Oregon and watch a sunset while I lay my head on your shoulder."
I feel better. I think I might be ready to buy that ticket now. I really gotta meet this man. It is a roller coaster I've just got to ride, and I'm not taking the "chicken exit". I'll get on and throw my hands in the air and scream and laugh. When the ride is over, it's over. I don't know when that will be, but at least I can say I took the ride.