Is there a 12-step program for taking things personally?

What’s up, buttercups?  It’s been a while.  In fact, I just realized this weekend it’s been over a year.  Wow.  Time flies whether you’re having fun or not.

I spent a while licking my wounds after half the world wide web (give or take a few)  told me I was a judgmental asshole for writing that blog about Cocoa’s former owners.  *If you are looking for some admission of guilt or act of contrition, you won’t find it here*  

When the internet loves you it is awesome.

When the internet doesn’t love you it smarts just a bit.  I got over it 😉

The last year has been pretty icky.  I spent a lot of time being sad, a lot of time being pissed off, and a lot- and I do mean a LOT- of time questioning my judgment.     This weekend I spent a lot of time walking in the park and thinking.  I am going to just let it flow all stream-of-consciousness style, since walking in the park doesn’t allow for paper and pen and taking notes.

In the past I’ve always been what I’ve called situationally depressed.  When my Dad died I got depressed.  When I was unhappy at the end of my marriage, I got depressed.  When my other Dad died, you guessed it- depressed again.  But I always felt my baseline was happy, with a little bit of situational depression thrown into the mix.

This weekend I realized that at some point my baseline had changed from happy with situational depression to depressed and only situationally happy.

I recently spent two weeks in England and had a fabulous time laughing with friends.  They came back to Florida with me and we had a metric shit ton of fun and adventure.  But as soon as they left, I felt myself dropping back down to my new  baseline.

So I had to do some self analyzing.  Those of you who know me well know this isn’t my normal behavior.  I tend to move through life like Mr. Magoo.  According to Wikipedia, “Quincy Magoo (or simply Mr. Magoo) is a cartoon character created at the UPA animation studio in 1949. Voiced byJim Backus, Quincy Magoo is a wealthy, short-statured retiree who gets into a series of comical situations as a result of his nearsightedness, compounded by his stubborn refusal to admit the problem. However, through uncanny streaks of luck, the situation always seems to work itself out for him, leaving him no worse than before.”

Now I’ll be the first to admit this strategy might not be the smartest one, but it’s gotten me this far.

Yesterday during my eight miles of walking (I had a LOT of thinking to do, obviously) I had a couple of those Oprah Winfrey “aha!” moments.


But first I need to back  up a bit.

I have had issues about being “chosen” for most of my adult life.  I don’t need a therapist to explain this to me.  I am the adult daughter of an alcoholic father, so I’ve got daddy issues for days.  In fact, I’ve talked about them on this blog before.  Now, I’m guessing my issues come from a father that always chose the bottle over me.  Well, if you want to get technical he chose the bottle over my Mom, my sister and me.  If you want to get even more technical, he chose the bottle over his health, his jobs, his own life.

Fast forward to my life as a grown up.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been emotionally wounded when someone chose something or someone over me.  I have never been able to look at things objectively.  In fact, I can be completely irrational when someone chooses this other *thing* (whatever that thing may be) over me.

 Hello, my name is Jamie and I take things personally.  

I’ve read Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements.  I know I’m not supposed to take things personally, but that is easier said than done for me.

Want to hear my earth shattering “aha!” lightbulb moment I had yesterday?  You might want to stand back so you won’t get burned by the brilliance of what I’m about to say (insert eye roll here).

When all of those people in my life made those choices, they weren’t choosing *that thing or person* over me.   
They were just *gasp!* making a choice.   


I can mouth platitudes all day long about The Four Agreements and all the other self help stuff I’ve ingested over the years but this was a huge realization for me.

I consider myself to be a narcissistic asshole some days and pretty normal most other days but you guys, I always made those people’s choices all about them rejecting me instead of them just assessing a situation and making a choice for themselves, whether that choice was good or bad.  Or whether or not I agreed with their choice.

I took that shit personally, yo.

Over the past year I have taken a whole lot of stuff personally.  A higher-minded being might have been able to rationally look at all those difficult and sometimes shitty situations and see them for what they were- someone making choices, many of which were what I considered to be bad ones.

The last year has been filled with drama (not mine) and anger (mine) and frustration.  I found myself in a very difficult situation that was oh-so-familiar to me.

Difficult situation-2; Jamie-0

I spent a lot of time thinking about the “difficult situation.”  Recently I saw this on the internet and it made me laugh:


 Now let me make this clear- I am not stupid, nor are the people I know and love, nor are the people who sometimes make bad decisions.  I just liked the part about making bad decisions because let me tell you, my path is littered with ’em.

I feel like the darkness of the past year has been a sort of mourning for something.  I’m not sure what that something is.  Perhaps I’m mourning the fact that my life hasn’t turned out how I would have hoped, if I’d given it any more thought than Mr. Magoo.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have a good life.  When I’m able to look at things objectively I realize that.  I have friends all over the world, I do cool stuff, I have family that I love and that love me unconditionally.  I’m super lucky to have so many people who love me.  But even so, some days I’m just sad.

Which brings me to my next topic.   I don’t know about you, but when I get The Sads I self medicate with ice cream… a lot of ice cream.  And then comes the weight gain, and then comes the self loathing and then I fall into a shame spiral and I start staying at home even more and avoiding social situations because I don’t want people to see me this way.

Here’s the thing.  I’m just going to lay it on the line right now.

To All The People I’ve Ever Slept With, Wanted to Sleep With, Dated, Liked, Loved, Lusted After, Stalked, Etc: 
I gained weight.

There.  I said it.  Now you know my big secret.  I am thick in the middle and just one of my boobs is the size of a small child’s head.  I’m out of shape and need to lose weight.  I carry a spare tire around my middle that would make the Michelin Man proud.  Some people may say I’m not fat, I’m just “big boned” *ahem*.

Regardless of how you define “fat,” I am not comfortable in my own skin right now and that is what is important.

IMAG3677 - Copy (5)

*I like to distract people from my weight gain by posing as a yeti* 

Before anyone accuses me of fat-shaming myself, know this- I have been sitting here fat shaming myself for the last year.  Saying this right now is the exact opposite of fat shaming myself.   I may still be embarrassed by my weight but I don’t have to hide away anymore because now y’all know my big secret.

“So now we’ve come upon the hardest thing I’ve ever done
Its telling you that I’m a mess
What sort of mess I mean
Is self-destructive gasoline
The kind that strips you of your best”
Blue October- Chameleon Boy

Now here’s the part where someone else might make grand proclamations:

“I’m going to quit eating sugar!”  
“I’m going to run a marathon!”
“I’m going to pursue my lifelong hobby of (fill-in-the-blank)!” 

You’ll hear none of that from me.  I’ve said all those things too many times before.  I don’t need to disappoint myself anymore than I’ve already been disappointed in the past.

What you’ll hear from me is more of a whisper.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of being sad.  I’m tired of taking things so personally.  It’s exhausting always being the victim of someone’s *choice that wasn’t me*.

I’m tired of having sadness as my baseline.

Nobody is going to come swooping in like a superhero and rescue me.  I have to be my own superhero.  I’m always rescuing other things and people and dogs but I can’t sit here waiting for someone to save me.  I am nobody’s business but my own.

I need to be the superhero of my own life. 

*Side note- to all my friends who have reached out repeatedly, thank you.  I know it got old constantly being rebuffed by me.  Know this- you are my constant (shout out to all the LOST fans).

So there you have it, the Readers Digest condensed version of the past year of my life.   I didn’t write this looking for approval, I didn’t write this looking for anyone to tell me I’m not fat, and I didn’t write this for anyone to tell me why I shouldn’t feel this way.  Feelings are feelings and we’ve all got them.  It’s just that some folks are better at not letting them take over their lives.

I needed to say all of this because I need to hold myself accountable for fixing this stuff.  I needed to say all of this because I listened to this song today:

“If you knew that you would die today
If you saw the face of God and Love
Would you change?
Would you change?
If you knew that love can break your heart
When you’re down so low you cannot fall
Would you change?”
Tracy Chapman – Change 

For those of you who have been concerned about me, know this –
you can’t keep a good yeti down.  


4 thoughts on “Is there a 12-step program for taking things personally?

  1. I love your posts. I have had this same realization of myself also. No one will fix me unless I do it myself. I hide from mirrors and hide myself in clothes as if others dont know I am a big girl. But I am and don’t like how I look and wish I was voluptuous and sexy instead of fat and dumpy. So I joined a gym, and do it for myself. If I dont have respect for myself who will? /a fan

  2. You are ………. Whatever you want to be
    You are………… An ever changing work in progress
    You are…………..a warm, animal loving, great writing, humorous Beauty that is a part time Yeti.
    Thank you for just being you and baring your soul for all to see.

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