I was in Los Angeles last week at a conference and I had the worst attack of the uglies I’ve had in years.
It started with the small skirmish of an anxiety attack the morning I left and by the time I got to my hotel and then headed to the conference, it was a full blown battle.
It started on the surface, hating my outfits (all of them), my hair that wouldn’t curl and somehow managed to look frizzy and limp at the same time.
And then the big guns came out. Feeling fat, ugly, out of place, not worthy of notice, nobody’s first choice to be with.
In my head, I know these things are untrue. But, somehow my heart loses touch with that knowledge. And, it just wants to fill that space where self-love used to live with the comfort of isolation and food. King size bed in my little hotel room, warm bread and melted cheese, like a lovers arms surrounding me with safety.
Luckily, being a veteran of these battles, my head knows that won’t work.
And so I slogged through the four longest days I’ve had in many years. I got up, went to the conference, socialized and smiled and met people, tried to keep the food healthy and get some exercise each day.
None of that helped with the uglies. But, I made it. It felt like climbing an emotional Everest followed by a marathon every day. But, I made it.
And, the weird thing is that the minute I saw Vancouver out of the plane window, it all went away. I felt it leave my body and head out the window into the sky (apparently, the uglies can survive at 30,000 feet). And, in came this incredible wave of relief and somehow my self-worth was back. I felt like me again.
People say LA has a weird energy. Too many broken dreams, maybe. I don’t know why the uglies attacked. I suppose that trying to unravel the reason it happened would be worth some time and energy. Maybe something triggered it. Maybe understanding those triggers will leave me better prepared if/when it happens again.
But right now, as the wounds close again and my heart heals, I’m not sure I want to pick at the scabs. Yet.
I do know two things. First, that I am so grateful that I don’t have to do that battle every day. I remember when I used to feel “never good enough” all the time. When I thought that if I could just be perfect enough then I would be worth loving. The days before I knew that there is no such thing as perfect, that I am enough and that love comes from the self.
And second – I never want to go back to LA again.