Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flashback to junior hi

There is no reason I'm feeling blah, but I am.  At least this moment.  It seems I'm hopscotching all over the emotional landscape this week - feeling content one moment, angst ridden another, somber, perky, tired, stressed, resigned, sensitive, excited, snarky, irritable, judgemental, ....add those together and blah seems to be the average.

I don't want to be blah.  It's Christmas time - 2 of my 3 kids are home and doing well.  # 3 is safely in her Peace Corps environment and thriving.  The work of the big party last week is over.  The house looks great. Gift shopping is done.  The first pair of pants I put on this morming fit fine.  I just found out I now accrue 3 weeks vacation per year rather than 2.  Lots of good stuff.  Big whoop.

From the first paragraph's inventory of feelings, what emerges as prominent for where I am right now is sensitive.  Here's the deal...I got several calls from friends who came to the party Saturday night saying how great it was and how much fun they had.  Others told me in person.  I believe them because I was there.  But this morning after my meeting I was talking to a friend, Liz, who was at the party but had to leave early because she was working 11-7 (a nurse).  She said she'd have stayed longer had she not had to work (about 8 people stayed pretty late, just talking and laughing, and word got out that THAT part was the best).  But she'd come with another friend, Donna, who always has a hard time settling in to gatherings like that, and I commented that she'd have had to leave early for Donna regardless.  Liz replied, "Oh I know, when we got in the car, Donna said, "THANK GOD you had to leave early"." 

Now I know Donna's "Thank God" to Liz wasn't about me.  Or the party.  Or my house, or anyone else, other than about Donna.   But it's been gnawing at me ever since I talked to Liz this morning.  Everything isn't about moi, but I'm feeling really annoyed with Donna, and also annoyed with Liz for telling me that.  But I was the one who noted Donna's frequent need to dodge from an event or situation early in the first place.  Liz wouldn't have mentioned it if I hadn't.  See what I mean about junior high?  Why am I so sensitive?  Well....

I've not overeaten at all since Sunday afternoon when I dipped into the leftover sweets from the party.  Can it be that after 2 measly days of normal sane eating, I'm starting to bounce around emotionally?  I pose that question because though I haven't overeaten at all, nor have I wanted to, the thought is constantly with me that this is the time of year to indulge, if ever there is a time for such.  Not that I've ever needed a holiday season for an excuse.  Yet often when I get a run of "good days" with eating (sad to say that 2 days is a "run" right now),  I start to get squirrelly and eating takes the discomfort out of the squirreliness and refocuses my attention on my struggle with food and anger with self over the eating.  This feels like an insight for me.  At least hating myself for being overweight is familiar.  Free floating vague anxiety and emotional discomfort are much more uncomfortable because THEY ARE NOT familiar.  They have been promptly stuffed at their earliest entry into my awareness for years.  YEARS.  DECADES.

Something as insignificant as the junior high emotions noted above send my eating disorder into high gear.  But not today.  Just having written about it here (over the last 2 hours, because I'm at work and only blog between legitimate work stuff) has helped me get a perspective and not feel weird or upset by Donna's words, or Liz's mindless retelling of them.

From my long term sobriety in AA (and life, obviously), I've learned that most of my problems today are related to my thinking.  Not my drinking (since it's been 19+ years afterall).  Or even my eating.  Lack of feeling okay in my own skin is a reflection of all that old pain from childhood forward that is just murky mental memorabilia now - not reality.  The answers are in figuring out what's causing the vague whisperings of anxiety or pain du jour, looking at it squarely and setting it right.  Often that means letting it go.  Sometimes making an apology.  Or accepting that what was, WAS.  And isn't now.  The food thoughts have left, replaced by genuine hunger for lunch that will be coming up in about a half hour.  That's reality I can deal with so I can add another day to the 2 day run of "good".


  1. All those emotions and feelings you describe almost perfectly describe a hormonal, menopausal day. On the other hand, big insights here and you KNOW it. It's not just a feeling, you've gained some real knowledge. Where to go from here?

  2. I hate it when the overly-sensitive side steps up to bat, especially when you know that rationally, there is nothing really wrong. Sometimes that makes it worse! Hormones...why oh why do they mess with us so much?

  3. Yes. I think that we can get hooked to the drama of being 'bad' and needing to fix ourselves. Plus, the mental stuff is just hard for me to conquer. So, like your AA, I'm trying to make my mental approach much more long term.

    Good luck with the blah!

  4. Hi Leslie,
    I think your emotional angst is probably due to the time of year. It is the time of discontent for most of us, and you have had your party, so perhaps there is some let-down after all of your work.

    I also know what you mean about a friend telling you something like Liz told you. It's like someone saying, "You look so tired today." I always feel bad and self-conscious when someone says something along those lines. I always wish they would just keep it to themselves, because it is a negative.

    It sounds like everyone enjoyed your party, and perhaps Donna has some mental health issues that make social situations difficult (social phobia, low level agoraphobia??). Just know that your feelings will pass, and that there will be better days ahead. Nevertheless, I know for us weight loss folks, emotional stuff is hard sometimes. Take've done a great job with the planning and being a lovely hostess.

  5. Wow, this is deep. I'd say that the time of year is contributing to the weird feelings (since they do for me and we are soooo much alike) except for your little insightfulness you sneaked in there about eating to focus on something other than feelings. And I will say that I still seem to encounter that junior high stuff too. And those were sooo not good years for me. Hope today is indeed another "good" day:)

  6. Leslie, I love this kind of post. The thinking out loud and working it through "on paper" as you go kind of post. IMHO, these are the best kind. Real, honest, thought-provoking.

    And, well, it doesn't hurt that I've felt exactly the same emotions you have over the same kind of 'junior high' thing. :} Yeah, that doesn't hurt at all.

    And, of course, anxiety and the kind of eelings that result from Donna's comment are my number one eating triggers. Wouldn't want to feel those feelings for more than a minute, no siree, much better to sit in too tight pants for a lifetime. sigh.

    Love ya, girlfriend. I'm glad you've got a second wind for the day.


  7. I love how you take the time to analyze the bullshit so I don't have to. :)

  8. Funny how we will focus in on the one off remark. It all comes back to pride and ego for me. My self esteem depends on others. My SELF WORTH is constant, enternal and will never ever change! It's hard to have both at once sometimes.

    For the record I hated Jr High. That's when all my acting out started.

    Yippy on all the very good things you mention right off the bat!

  9. P.S. - I love your festive background. Have ment to tell ou for a while.

  10. Well, when I have a resentment, Leslie, I'm supposed to write about it, as in step work. Whether I do that each and every time is another matter! But I know that when I do that (and I know you know this is true!) the magic of the Big Book comes out. Right from page 65 (though I'm looking at a 3rd ed right now) and by the time I get to my character flaws - poof. Gone. Can't even remember who I was made at. The problem, somehow, is always me.

    Love you.

  11. After reading the first paragraph, I was like "wow - everything in Leslie's world is A-okay!"

    But its amazing how one sentence can suddenly make you unbalanced and blah. My husband always wants to leave early, no matter where we go or who its with - hopefully the hosts know its him and not them.

    Take a step back, re-read your first paragraph, breath, and be happy! :D Hugs!

  12. Parts of what you wrote:
    Free floating vague anxiety and emotional discomfort are much more uncomfortable because THEY ARE NOT familiar. They have been promptly stuffed at their earliest entry into my awareness for years. YEARS. DECADES.

    Something as insignificant as the junior high emotions noted above send my eating disorder into high gear. But not today. Just having written about it here (over the last 2 hours, because I'm at work and only blog between legitimate work stuff) has helped me get a perspective and not feel weird or upset . . .

    . . . Lack of feeling okay in my own skin is a reflection of all that old pain from childhood forward that is just murky mental memorabilia now - not reality. . . .

    Often that means letting it go. Sometimes making an apology. Or accepting that what was, WAS. And isn't now.

    Vickie writes:
    Such a good post.

    I agree on so many levels. We are not used to 'reality' and feeling the feelings.

    And some times it isn't even figuring out what is behind the feelings. Often it is just dealing with letting oneself FEEL.

    We are not used to feeling. It is scary.

    And for most of us feeling, in the beginning stages leads to rummination and woulda/shoulda/couldas.

    it is very hard for us to just stay on the feelings of the 'one thing'.

    I used to have commenters gently tell me I had to get out of my head and just accept the feelings.

    I was analyzing rather than feeling.

    it took me a long time to understand if I spend all my time analyzing, I am not feeling, but the feelings are still there. Thoughts can stuff the feelings down the same way food (or alcohol) does.

    as I said - really good post

  13. I love your posts.... and love to see the kind comments you leave here and there around Blogland!

  14. quoted this post today, how goes it now?