I received that message from my mother tonight, after I thanked her for giving me such great advice (and insight) the day before.

“Be the true you.”

It’s an easier thing to say than to do, but I have spent the day thinking about how to get back to being my best me. I am not 100% there. I may not be 75% there.

There are times when I feel like I am in the zone — everything zips along, I feel strong, I feel healthy, I am able to convince people that I am correct or that my way is the right way. When I am in the zone, I feel powerful and limitless. When I am not in the zone, everything can be a struggle. It all still works, it is mostly seamless, but it takes so much effort to be me.

So, who am I? Who is the true me?


  • I am attractive and vivacious.
  • I am very smart, well-educated, and well-read.
  • I am reasonably hot — a combination of physical attractiveness and self-confidence that attracts men who could date anyone.
  • I am supremely self-confident.
  • I am experienced and talented in things other people find cool or interesting.
  • I can convince people that I am an expert, even when I am filled with self-doubt.
  • I am flirtatious.
  • I am playful.
  • I am conversant on a variety of topics and high and low culture. (This makes me unbeatable in trivia games.)
  • I have a mild eating disorder and body image issues.
  • I am afraid my health is failing (and the pain in my foot is causing me anxiety on top of actual pain).
  • I am spoiled.
  • I am self-involved, but not very self-aware. (An oblivious narcissist . . .)
  • I suffer from mild depression related to pmdd. (It does not affect me completely each month, but when it does, it is brutal and damaging.)
  • I am loving and affectionate.
  • I am loyal and true.
  • I am a survivor.
  • Very few people know all of these different sides of me.

    My mother, my brother, my cousin T (who is like my little sister), probably BP, and definitely A. My closest friends do not. They each know some stuff, but just some. 

    BFD has heard me speak of such things, but I do not know he has yet experienced all of it. It’s like when I remind him I was an athlete when I was young and he chuckles and says “yes, you’ve said that.” (It always makes me laugh, and I always smack him.)

    I have been extremely stressed for the past 5 weeks and I have lost some of my essential me-ness. My severe stress has gone on for much longer. That internal battle, that fight for balance while in the midst of a hurricane, that is so much of what is keeping me from being the true me.

    Since I am a planner, I need a plan to find my way back. It is going to be difficult, but it is essential. Here is my general outline (with apologies to Johnny Mercer)

    1. Accentuate the Positive
    I will remember who I am, even if that means I have to reread my “who am I” list from time to time.  I will do things that make me feel good — exercise, cooking very good meals just for me, getting dressed up when I feel like it, and considering what I want to do and then expressing that.  (For BFD, that means I will be much more assertive about things because I will actually think about what I want first.  I am already implementing this and seeing success.)

    I will act like the true me, whether I feel it or not. I know how to get into that zone and I need to live there. Eventually, it all clicks into place, but I need to be my best, most confident self all the time.

    I also will focus more on my family and on the people I love. I will spend more time with people I find positive in my life, even if they are not my closest friends. I get such energy from being around people, and I need to do that more.

    2. Eliminate the Negative

    I have decided to do some emotional and friend house-cleaning.

    Everything negative goes — and that which cannot go will be contained.

    I am having some problems with my closest friends, especially W and JF. They are highly critical and extremely negative. That is just not healthy for me to have to battle my own demons and them at the same time.

    For example: last night, I spoke with W who said something absolutely appalling to me: “When you meet BFD’s assistant, you will be able to look her in the eye and see if she’s fucking your boyfriend.”

    Who says things like that???????

    And he was serious. My question to him: “what the fuck is wrong with you?”

    My stress about meeting the assistant is wondering who she thinks I am (i.e., has BFD told her about me?  does she know we are dating?  am i  girlfriend?), not whether she she is sleeping with him.  

    For W, his question is something I should think about.  (For perspective, W’s girlfriend during a breakup started sleeping with a good friend of ours.  The two of them lied about it. After W and his girl reconciled, the truth was revealed.  He is still with her, and she still hangs out with the friend until 3 am.)

    My “friends” are not pointing things out they think I am not seeing so much as creating drama.  It’s one thing for K to say, have you thought about this to W living out his worst nightmares under the auspices of giving me unsolicited advice.

    On the chopping block: W and JerkFace.  I am not cutting them off completely, but I am also not reaching out to them.