Got off work early today so I went running before it got dark.
I had a discussion with my therapist yesterday that has stuck out in my mind- certain parts of it. We were talking about shoulding on yourself (I should be like ____. Or I should do ___.) and high expectations etc. She asked me to tell her what "perfect Sarah" was like so I started listing off the things I should be doing and am not or the way I should be and am not. She wrote them down and read them back to me, then said well now I don't know if I'd want to be friends with "perfect Sarah." It surprised me. But we determined that if I was "perfect Sarah" I would have no empathy for others, I wouldn't be able to understand trials. And I'd have a lack of understanding for others shortcomings because I'd have none myself.
So things like having bipolar disorder have their advantages. At least I have empathy and understanding.
I was grateful for the challenge to my negative thought patterns. It made me think about how possibly I could be accepted and loved just as I am, not as who I think I have to be.
Another thing that took me by surprise: I mentioned in that list of things that "perfect Sarah" would be thinner than I am now, and my therapist said "but you're already thin." I guess I'm just super self conscious about having lost muscle since college running and am fearful of gaining a bunch of weight. I don't do anything about it, but that underlying negative body image is there and weighs on me a lot. Which makes me feel that much worse when I struggle to get out for a run everyday. But I'm recognizing that those kinds of thoughts aren't the best thought patterns either and could lead back down the path to anorexia. So I need to figure out a way to be content with my body being the way it is, because it's at a healthy weight and I do recognize that I am relatively thin. It's the perfectionism in me that gets me sometimes.