from Tom Hussey’s “Reflections” collection

Church has always been difficult for me because from the moment I walk through the door, I immediately body check and compare myself, my outfit, my hair, etc. to every other woman in the room.  All these women are friends of mine, and they always measure up greater, better, and more beautiful than I.  This particular Sunday was hard because I had already done my familiar beat-your-body-to-shreds-in-front-of-the-mirror game and I felt uncomfortable in the outfit I had eventually settled on.  So, my body-check game only proved to myself what I had already believed in the mirror that morning—I am ugly and fat.

Now, these beliefs lead to feelings of disgust and sadness, and it is hard to sit with those feelings for long, so I did what I do best—I distracted myself with something else.  Distraction for me is a quick-fix because it stops the cycle of self-abusing thoughts.  But if I’m not careful distraction digs a chasm of thoughts so deep within me that I think they are really gone, when in reality, they are just hiding, waiting to sink their poisonous barbs into my psyche when I am the most vulnerable.

So, when I do use distraction as a vicious-cycle-stopper, I make sure to remind myself to call back later and deal with those thoughts and emotions (hence, therapy, this blog, etc.).


  1. Breanna – finally commenting after post #4. Great writing – and congrats on finding the balance between honesty and hope. This has given me a lot to think about AND an opportunity to begin good conversation with family and friends. This culture we live in is tough on women (and as we become even more materialistic and outward, men also have this impossible standard of beauty to live up to). The physical holy grail metaphor is spot on. Well done !
    Aunt Lisa

  2. I love you hunni. I have a lot of empathy for the thoughts you expressed here. You gave me a lot to think about with your point that it is important to go back and deal with thoughts and emotions later when employing distraction. As I have said before, your bravery in writing, and the depth of your honesty are a huge example to me. You are a heroine to women everywhere.

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