Falling in the toilet at 3 am

I am only 31 years old, but most nights I find myself getting up in the middle of the night to use the washroom. I can only imagine what it will be like when I am 85! I suppose it is all part of contest prep; trying to stay healthy and hydrated! Water keeps me healthy and happy; but when I get behind on drinking perhaps I shouldn’t try to cram in two litres at 8:30 pm…just thinking out loud here…

Stumbling around in the dark is always rather ridiculous. Most nights I trip over my slippers, stub my toe on the door, and have some severe issues ensuring the toilet seat is in the correct position. Every. Single. Night.

Why don’t I just turn on the light? Wouldn’t that solve all my problems?

Turning on the light hurts and is ridiculously painful at 3 am. The burning sensation on your retina is enough to create the deepest of crows feet as you squint to block out the one thing that will help you not fall into the toilet.

I never turn on the light. Apparently I prefer to trip over things, bumble around, and potentially get a rude awakening from falling into the toilet. Overcoming a few seconds of blinding pain to see where I am going is too much to handle at 3 am.

Unfortunately many of us never turn on the light in our own lives. We don’t even know where the light switch is anymore; so we resign ourselves to tripping over things, stubbing our toes, and occasionally falling into the toilet.

I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and only see what is bad, broken, and tired and have overwhelming waves of hopelessness crash over you. Blankly staring at the reflection of the fat girl who can’t ‘get it together’ doesn’t help either.

You’re boxed in and you have no light to see a way out.

What you believe about yourself rules your life. For years I told myself that I would never amount to anything, that I was fat, intimidating, and misunderstood. Guess what? All the years I told myself those things I didn’t amount to anything, was fat, intimidating and misunderstood.

With some coaching, journaling, and musing I found I had two voices in my head that I always let sway me towards staying unhealthy and unhappy. They were so dynamic that I even gave them names – Disappointment Protector and Already Perfect.

Disappointment Protector

The Disappointment Protector is a 5’2” stout woman sensibly dressed in black slacks, a white button down blouse, and orthopedic shoes.  There is nothing flashy about her.  Her salt and pepper hair is always in a bun or braid; she only lets it down when it needs to be washed.

She neither smiles nor frowns.  Rather her face is frozen into grimace of acceptance.  Life’s experiences are not anticipated because she can’t guarantee the outcome.  The only thing that she does know is that it could be bad, REALLY bad.

Her shoulders are rounded from pulling around a lifetime of woes and troubles.  Whenever a possibility or opportunity arises she sighs deeply, puts down the huge rope attached to the truckload of woes and sadness, rummages through the pile of hurt, and pulls one out to bring to my attention.

The conversation usually goes like this:

Disappointment Protector – (in a soft, yet firm voice) Donloree.  Thought you just might want to see this…remember?

DL – Crap.  I totally remember.  I hated that.  I hated everything about it.  I died a little bit that day.

Disappointment Protector – Exactly.  Remember how your heart broke in two?  How you couldn’t breathe?  How you were mortified?  How everyone felt sorry for you?  How alone you were?  How shamed you were?

Do you want that to happen again?

DL – Of course not.  What do I do?!

Disappointment Protector – You don’t do it.  Don’t trust what they are saying, you know exactly what will happen because you’re smart.  So trust your instinct.  Say no.  Avoid.  Be safe.

Perfect in Every Way

This 6’1” willowy woman is usually found lounging somewhere dressed in fabulous clothing with coordinating shoes and jewelry.  She has it all together and is more gorgeous than Angelina Jolie.  Her initial reaction to questions is disdain, which is quickly followed with a condescending answer.

She travels almost everywhere with me and is quick to point out all my failures.  After all, everyone else noticed so I had better notice too.  If I drop something on the ground or spill she would make sure to comment.

“You spilled.  All over the place. How do you manage anything in your life?  You can barely keep coffee in a cup.  You are an embarrassment and need to get it together.  NOW.”

When I feel unsure, uncomfortable, or awkward she does nothing to help the situation.

“So you wore the tight pants.  AGAIN.  Everyone can tell they are too tight. It’s obvious.  Why are you so dumb?”

All my shortcomings and inabilities are noted with haughty comments and large sighs of disappointment:

    • Ummm…you still haven’t gone grocery shopping.  Get over yourself.  Can’t you get past your tiredness and do what you have to?
    • And you’ve blown up again at the poor man you married.  Way to go.  I am sure he feels great about himself now.
    • You can’t talk to her.  She knew you when you were fat and ugly.  You are going to make her feel uncomfortable and horrible.  Keep to yourself.
    • And what did you do tonight?  Clean the house?  No.  Write?  No.  Dishes?  No.  Call your girlfriend to go out?  No.  Reorganize the guest bedroom?  No.  Plan out your next three years?  No.  Heck, you couldn’t even get it together enough to finish knitting your Christmas presents.  Wow.  Reading a book is apparently more important?  It wasn’t even a self-help book.  Get it together.

After making these comments, she wanders off to another room in the house fully disappointed in all of what and who I am.

I flipped on the light switch and started to see the things I kept tripping over.

I don’t know where the switch is that needs to be flipped for you, but I think you just might. Listen to your heart and hear the truth about who you are. You truly ARE fabulous.

Turn the light on and embrace it.

It may be painful and you may have to squint for awhile, but don’t switch it off. A bit of searing pain in exchange for not falling into the toilet anymore is worth it.

I promise.

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  1. You definitely need to put both those women out with the trash!
    I will keep telling you that you are my hero! I have never meet a stronger person, and it seems you just keep over coming all kinds of obstacles thrown at you.
    Maybe you don’t need to turn on the light switch, just keep a soft night light burning so you don’t lose your way…and less harsh side effects.

  2. I have to agree. You are such a strong woman, I could only hope one day hope to be as strong as you! Gorgeous, smart, articulate, talented, and STRONG! Never doubt yourself!

  3. Amy Hammond says

    Your colorful story-of-a-life makes facing my voices that much easier. It has been very interesting and uplifting reading your posts Donloree! Thank you!!!

  4. I use a dim red lensed flashlight that I keep on my end table. A lifetime of not being able to sleep more than a few hours at a time has taught me to avoid tripping. Facial bruises are bad. Get a cheap light and use a red marker to colour over the lens.

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