Scary Demon Thoughts on Halloween.

Sepia Selfie. Sepia = Spookier.
Amy Poehler was on Fresh Air this week, and within five minutes, I was near tears.
Not tears of laughter, tears of solidarity.
Terry Gross referenced the “Demon Voice” in Poehler’s head–a chapter in Poehler’s new book–that says “I hate how I look,” and asked Poehler if she still hears that voice.
“Mmhm. Yeah. Every day,” Poehler replies.
And she goes on to talk about the demon voice and how the key is to learn to live with it; it never goes away. As she says, “It pokes its head out every once in while to remind me that ‘You’re ugly,’ or ‘You’re not as pretty as this person’ or whatever mean thing it wants to say.”
She offers a way to try and deal with the demon voice, and says that she’s made about 15% progress, and she feels good about that.
This whole exchange blew my mind. Have you seen Amy Poehler? She’s beautiful and funny and smart and kind and beautiful, and her demon voice still tells her she’s ugly. My brain cannot comprehend that data.
I’ve been letting the demon voice win a lot lately. In fact, I’ve been letting the demon voice bitch-slap me around for a good two months. It’s partly what led to me quitting online dating and completely giving up any hope at all that anyone will like me enough to date me more than once. The demon voice also likes to tell me that going to the gym is pointless because I’m not an athlete, I never will be an athlete, and even if I try and I happen to lose fifty pounds, I still won’t be able to find anyone who will like me enough to date me more than once. At least now, with the weight, I have something tangible to point to as a reason why I’m not dateable. Take that away, and then maybe it really is my personality after all, and I should just start wearing muumuus and quit wearing makeup and sit on a lawn and swear at kids.
(Full disclosure–I’m coming off a two-week hopefest in which I thought I might actually go on a series of dates with someone. That someone has since disappeared. So I’m irrationally vulnerable at this particular moment in time.)
But there is tiny piece of me–like Jo-Jo in “Horton Hears a Who”–telling me that maybe November is a chance to try something new. Maybe I spend November working on tiny fitness goals, like increasing my plank time or just getting 30 minutes of walking in every day. Maybe I take Sundays in November and pop in my yoga DVD and allow myself time to breathe and relax. Maybe I read something from Beauty Redefined every other day. Maybe a gratitude post here and there can be about the good things my body does for me, and the good things I do for my body.
Maybe these are ways to beat back the demon voice for the time being. I think I have to try. Because I can’t keep letting him (or let’s face it, it’s really probably a her) reduce me to a a dress size, a hairstyle (awkwardly growing mine out right now) or whether I have a date before Christmas (which will not happen).
I’m pretty sure my life is more than any of those these, even combined.

One Comment

  1. Again, I love this. Sometimes I wonder if living in a tribal culture in a desolate land would be easier mentally than what we put ourselves through because society. Or do they have a Demon Voice, too?

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