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.).