It's also what most middle-class educated American women -- female members of what I call "the Googling class" -- desire for ourselves. Change. Reform. Get skinnier. Exercise more. Dress differently. Cook healthier. Keep everything nicer, neater, cleaner. Resolve. Improve. Be better.
And it's no wonder. Every cover of every women's magazine for the past 60+ years has featured a list of imperatives. Organize! Lose weight! Change!
Fifteen years ago, I bounced between severe anxiety and severe depression. I took medication but was too fucked up and too immature to manage it very well, so I had to deal with the problems of sporadic SSRI levels too. I saw a psychologist I trusted in high school and college (along with several I never liked through my college's counseling center and in town nearby), and I tried really hard to get better. I went to the hospital when my doctor told me to. I participated in the groups earnestly, shared and cried and tried to learn and grow and rewire my brain.
I did the work then, and I continued to do the work, as best I could, for a decade and a half.
And now I'm... well, I'm pretty much okay.
One of the most difficult transitions I've ever had to make is the internal shift required when radical change is no longer necessary. My entire post-adolescent life -- my identity -- is based on the idea that everything in my life needs to be WAY different. So how do I approach each day when the need to change is no longer such an emergency, when the idea of myself as a broken person in need of radical reform is no longer true?
Habits are hard to break, and the habit of resolving to overhaul your whole shit turns out to be no exception. Every day I have to talk myself down from radical self-improvement projects, potential cross-country moves, and other brave and lofty and utterly unnecessary life makeovers. It turns out this last step to self-acceptance is the one where I finally accept that I've already accepted myself. And then, well, what do I do?
I guess... I blog, apparently. Sometimes all you can really do is blog.