This month a friend of mine achieved a great accomplishment. As the word came through on my Facebook News Feed a wave of jealousy swept over me and logical thought went out the window. Instead of being happy for her all I could think about was what this meant for me–here she is achieving great things, while I sit at home teaching myself how to eat.
Filled with stress, I ‘knew’ that from now on everything was going to change–she was going to move on to better friends and leave little me behind. I became filled with disgust towards her for crimes she hadn’t even committed, crimes I had created in my mind that, in actual fact, in NO way fit in with her true character.
Needless to say, ED was taking over my mind–taking my friend’s success and turning it against me, making me believe that I dimmed in comparison to her and that I was no longer ‘good enough’ to be around her.
I spiraled into chaos – bouncing between bitterness, fear, and sadness.
It was all over. I was nobody and I was about to lose my best friend.
Extreme, I know, but that is how ED likes to work – in extremes that thrust you into the darkest depths of insecurity.
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I had the urge to not only eat everything in the fridge, but also eat the fridge itself…but I didn’t. Instead I recognized ED’s voice in my mind and I tried conversing with him – I wanted to make sense of what was going on because I knew that the thoughts I was having were not coming from truth. (this is HUGE progress for me)
I remember reading that writing down conversations with ED can help separate logic from ED’s lies.
So I wrote down the conversation in my journal, hoping I could separate my wise voice from ED’s abusive one.
This is how it went:
Me: Maybe I should support her. (This is me speaking the truth of what I want)
ED: What’s the point? It’s not like she needs your support – she has all those other people.
Me: But I want to support her and she has always supported me in everything…and if it were me, I know she would be happy for me.
ED: But it will never be you.
(Notice how he jumps at the opportunity to beat me down)
Me: How do you know that? (I have finally learnt to question ED)
ED: You? That’s a laugh! Plus, when have you ever achieved anything?
Me: I’m published and I get emails from people telling me how my writing has impacted them. ED: Well aren’t we high on ourselves? If you support her you will just become a pathetic ‘fan’ who will inevitably be discarded when you can’t keep up with the pace. (notice the extremes – not only will I only be a ‘fan,’ I will also be discarded)
Me: How do you know that? First of all, I can keep pace; secondly, she has never stopped supporting me. Clearly, what you are suggesting she would do is so completely far from the person she is – I will support her because I love her and because I want to support her, and it will be great.(and just like that, ED loses)
As you can see, ED takes every opportunity he can to knock us down. It didn’t take long for him to completely change the subject from whether or not I should support my friend to simply bullying me and messing with my mind – playing off my insecurities to win me over to his side.
Jealousy is such a great tool for ED to use against us.
It spawns directly from insecurity – in this case ED took my insecurities about my looks and my feelings that I am ‘not going anywhere’ with my life and used them against not only me but also one of the most important relationships in my life; had I not been aware of his tactics it is very likely he could have pulled my friendship apart. Luckily, I am learning more about ED and his intentions everyday and I am finally able to separate his voice from my own.
So now when jealousy takes over and I am flooded with bitterness and insecurities I remember that the lives that others live don’t impact my self-worth. And the impact my friends have on the world does not overshadow any impact may have – their successes say nothing of the extent to which I have succeeded.
My contentment with my life and who I am is not subject to comparison with others.
I now realize that the achievements of my friends do not speak against me; if anything I should consider it a compliment, because these beautiful people have chosen to share their lives with me – they are my people and they love me the same way I love them and they will support me in everything the same way that I support them.
So the next time you look around and find yourself surrounded by greatness to which you feel inferior, let go of the jealousy and the insecurity, and, instead, pat yourself on the back – these are your people! You are flying with the eagles and with them by your side you will reach such great heights!
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