Eating Emotions

This year, 2020, has been the pits. It started out great and then, just like that, March erupted into chaos and confusion and being confined to the point of craziness over the months. People not knowing what was right or even who to believe. Basically, the year ends the same.

The new normal will never feel normal as we hide behind our masks and avoid those we love for fear of killing them or dying ourselves. The hugs missed are to the point of withdrawal symptoms when we reach out and quickly retract our arms in fear.

Nowadays, anything we hear negative is no surprise. We shrug our shoulders and say, ‘It’s 2020.’ So many have received bad results of their health, job losses, even deaths, etc. Probably nothing new to you either. We just live day to day and hope for the best of the tomorrow and just maybe some laughter will be present. Make the most of each day and hope at times, a moment of normalcy returns that we once knew.

In my own little world, I have managed quite well, shockingly enough. My former counselor would be proud. Panic early on but I learned to build upon my faith and keep as calm as possible. We will get through this. I pulled out every trick in my bag to remain at peace. Then, the past two months, I have found myself snacking a little more than usual. The tide of it all has taken a turn. The sadness within is becoming more evident, not just in me but in all of the eyes peeping over the blue medical masks or those that have cute designs. Who would have thought that we would be accessorizing our wardrobe with facial masks.

As I ponder what I am experiencing, feeling overwhelmed with my own medical decisions, concerned over loved ones of how they are coping since our visits are few, perhaps they are not sharing so that I won’t be concerned, and vice versa. So many are caring for others compromised due to health reasons and in fact, cancer. This is the case of my sister and brother-in-law. I may never see my sister again if this virus is not contained. I may never see my other siblings or other friends and family members. I have lost two friends, just this week. This is down right grief. If I am feeling this, you are also perhaps.

To visit, many are doing so by text or if comfortable, FaceTime or other technology outlets with the holidays. Although nice, still it is not the same as a warm greeting in a hug or to sit next to and talk and laugh, sharing stories and drinking coffee. I miss these moments.

What does the new year bring? Is it a continuation of what we just had and adapting or will there be a glimmer of hope that seeps through the night and makes our days somewhat better and brighter? Hopefully, not worse. There are hurting people all around us, not just in their finances. The holidays season can tip the scale for some and only God’s Grace will be what intervenes. Oh God, keep your Hand upon those that are feeling no hope now or for the new year, I pray.

In my past when I was falling into a hole of depression due to my marriage that I always wanted but was not, I escaped within myself. I snacked my way through year after year, stuffing my emotions so deep that I became a soul of existence only. Walking and barely breathing, just enough to work and keep the home with my children moving forward. They had no mother really and I regret those days, I failed them in many ways. In that though, I lived for them and pushed through my pain. I did my best. All of my energy went to them. The lonely midnight hours, for many years, I could easily escape in a bag of chips or better yet, cookies or whatever carbohydrate-filled foods to fill the empty void in my life, but never filled.

Since those days, thankfully I have changed. I knew back in 2008, as I started with small steps to dig myself out of the pit of despair. It was at a point in the spring of 2014 that I gave it one last-ditch effort as I walked through my former counselor’s door months later. Many of my blogs will relate to this period. I was near death’s door and that was from her telling me the same. Hearing her say that to me after many months or even a year working together, it helped me move forward and take care of myself. My weight gradually came down from 2010 when I had weight loss surgery, as I had to do something. It was just a tool but I had to continually work toward results, as I still do. Again, slow steps and at times, I’d take two steps forward and one back. Knowing those chips and cookies can bring all the pounds right back, quicker than lost.

The reason I write this blog, is to remind myself that with everything around us and what I am facing in my own health, marriage, etc., my mind and it is my inclination to grab those chips and cookies to escape the emotional chaos within.

Perhaps others are experiencing the same. Life can be hard and the stress and anxiety is overwhelming at times, and not to forget, this year. Acknowledging and being responsible enough to control the urge to gobble down the wrong foods, need to be made.

As I look around those I pass, not in a judgment way but glancing at their eyes, many have that hopeless look and the obesity is proof. My heart breaks as I understand the pain because I have been there and still I struggle. In knowing this, too, heavy-weight people are looked at differently but if truth be told, there is probably a lot of hurt and stuffed emotions inside.

Many learn to camouflage, I for one, the extra weight under jackets perhaps and pop on the fake mask, not the mandatory mask, that everything is just fine and dandy. Sadness and worry exists. The mandatory face masks we all wear now, actually help in addition to the fake one. Double protection, knowing you cannot see the full face as there may not be a smile and actually the masks collect the warm, falling tears quicker so you don’t see those either. No matter, the eyes tell all to those that really care. Look around when you are out and about at the eyes of those you pass while social distancing, most are sad or think and feel what’s the use to smile because it cannot be seen. The masks have silenced our voices.

I do try to resist the stuffing of my feelings and emotions with foods that are not healthy, as I feel at times, like a person on drugs in withdrawal. That cookie will calm my fear I feel. Right? No, it won’t. I know to cry out to the Lord, as I remind myself and say, Lord I need you. You know my name, You know where I am. Sadly, it is still easier to grab that cookie even though I know better. It’s an easy and a familiar path I used for years, I don’t want to feel. Perhaps also feeling as though the Lord does not work fast enough or even hear me but that cookie will help me NOW. We have a choice, I have a choice to bypass the urge to ignore what is causing the issues or acknowledge and deal with what is causing discomfort within.

STOP! What am I feeling? Is it anxiousness? Am I fearful? What about anger?

Notice: What am I telling myself? What emotions are exhibited? How is my body reacting, including my breathing and even my posture? My bodily sensations, such as tense, nauseous, pain, whatever. What is happening? The ‘Notice’ was given to me on a post-it note, of what to recognize by my former counselor on our last, unexpected session. It is with me all the time, written in many places so that I can go back and focus, in what is going on with me. It does make me stop. What a gift she gave me in a small piece of paper that has helped me through the years. It’s being mindful, and that is taking care of ourselves.

I fail at times, many times. I also know that I need to give myself grace and start yet again to do what is best for my emotional and mental health, also my physical health. Let’s not forget the spiritual health we also need, very important. I can do this! You can do this!

Do you find yourself struggling?

https://freshhope.ca/2018/02/21/problem-stuffing-emotions/

https://www.thejourney.com/blog/how-to-stop-stuffing-your-emotions-with-food/

https://sunshynegray.com/do-you-stuff-your-feelings/

Stuffing our feelings is packing hurt feelings down only to have them resurface later as they go unresolved. We stuff because of the fear that’s rooted in our desire to avoid pain. Avoiding the pain of vulnerability results in missed opportunities for deeper intimacy and connection. Stop stuffing and start speaking the truth in love.”

https://www.mindful.org/7-qualities-mindfulness-trained-body-scan/

We may even gently make mental notes of the most prominent sensations that we notice. For example we may note the presence of “tingling,” “pulsing,” “throbbing,” “heat,” “cold,” “aching,” or “tightness.” We can notice these sensations without judging them as “bad” or trying to push them away.”

Driving Miss Daisy

No doubt you have heard, ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ or have seen the cute movie. Yesterday, I was Miss Daisy and have been in the past. My husband of thirty-one years is my Uber driver for medical procedures only when required, otherwise I am on my own.

I have had my share of procedures and surgeries in my life. The medical side of it all does not phase me, I find it interesting. To know what to expect, I usually Google or YouTube to watch prior to the actual procedures. I know some are reading this and thinking, Oh No! I do. If I mention or ask questions, which I do, the doctor or dentist will look shocked. I want to know. I found myself yesterday sitting up and looking over at the instruments going to be used on me, while waiting on the team to finalize their stuff. The nurse asked if I was okay, which made me realize what I was doing. Part of me wanted to be awake to watch and learn. Although, I knew I’d rather be knocked out and I was.

As with all medical procedures, as such, no driving, no making legal decisions and recommended that someone should be home or near the day of surgery or procedure, especially. Normal stuff, right?

No matter and all through the years, I have found that my husband stinks at this requirement. The driving to and from is fine. It is the aftercare that he has no sense of what to do, even when told. It’s free time off work and off he goes to play disc golf or whatever. Yesterday was no exception. Of course, I am resting and laying low but to not even ask if I was okay, needed anything, etc., did not happen. I see him drive off into the wild blue yonder. Part of me perturbed yet again, but I’ve learned to just throw up my hands and give up. I have to be strong and push through. Don’t mess with his routine of playing disc golf, the same time, every day. I could be dead and he’d never know. The routine business of his day for him is typical of having Aspergers.

I just don’t understand him and odds are he does not understand me. Opposites attract is correct, I guess. After this length of time, neither of us care. Just drive me to and from for required circumstances and we both can go on our own way thereafter. It would just be nice to have been doted on more in my life instead of just expecting me to pick up and go, even after major surgery, of which I have done numerous times. I am woman, I am strong, I can do it all. I have had to. It gets old and I am getting old.

To write and read this and to believe he does such, just trust me. I just don’t understand and find it sad. Once, I had written down what to do and how this day of surgery was to take place for me. I thought he understood, as we discussed. It was in black and white, numbered and all he had to do was follow the steps and be at the hospital at the time of my surgery. He was not there. The surgeon allowed extra time to wait on him and then talked to me as I am there in the surgery waiting area to go through the doors of the operating room. He did not want to continue with surgery because of his absence. He was mad. I was mad but what was I to do? I told him to continue on, I was fine with going forward. I was alone before, I was alone at this point and I will always be alone. There you go. Thankfully, I always wake from anesthesia quick, and I really think the Lord knows I need to do so in order to keep things moving forward at home.

Thinking back of such incidents, telling my counselor of what I have dealt with, it seems unreal. Like my thoughts and telling my stories are lies. Unbelievable, but they are all real. Whether it be Aspergers or just a lack of common sense, I don’t know but it is what it is. Knowing where I am now, my health has and is taking a beating from the pressure. This makes me angry and to see him drive off to go play while I could use a bottle of water and a snack perhaps. I’ll go get it myself.

One thing about it, I had a ride to and a ride from the procedure, as he drove Miss Daisy.

So in all of this, not meaning to whine and have a poor me, pity party, perhaps it will wake someone up that is reading this or knows of someone similar, as to how not to treat your loved one. They are out there, whether man or woman, and clueless of what is required and needed for such medical or just day-to-day existence.

We are wired to be loved and cared for in life, especially in a relationship. Otherwise, it is very lonely and after awhile you learn to let go and not need the other so much. Sad.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT)

https://fiercemarriage.com/presence-midst-lonely-marriage

https://drmichellebengtson.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/15-Bible-Verses-to-Assure-You-When-You-Feel-Alone-Your-RX.jpg

I’M A PRO

I have noticed that as I get closer to some big events in my life, as in this coming week, I tend to dread, I do anything other than what I need to do, I would do just about anything else. What is worse, I can totally shut down and waste my time with doing nothing. I feel overwhelmed.

I am a BIG PROcrastinator.

Of course, I tell myself I will start soon. Sounds good. I would rather not but I so want this task OVER. This time next week, if I pass, it will all be over. I know to study. I know I should bury my head in my book and endless amount of notes. I know, too, I would rather bury my head in the sand or under a soft blanket and watch Hallmark movies.

I really do hate this character flaw in me. It is like I am throwing an inside, emotional turmoil of a tantrum. As I walked from the kitchen with that much needed, additional cup of coffee today, I realized I was doing it again. Ugh! Still, I don’t want to do it, but I must. I am dreading this coming Friday. I have a busy week ahead, which is overwhelming enough and this weekend would be perfect time to study. I have but could have done more. I have procrastinated for this long-awaited test, thinking once I had a set date and time, I’d hustle and study until I know this information inside and out. What am I doing now? I am writing this blog, which is much more fun. Do you procrastinate?

GO FIGURE…. People often procrastinate because they’re afraid of failing at the tasks that they need to complete. … Furthermore, certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem and low self-confidence, are associated with an increased fear of failure, which makes people who have these traits more likely to procrastinate.

This test will give me a certificate, being a National Certified Phlebotomist. While I want, I don’t really, it is just an accomplishment for me. It is not that I will end my present job but it all came about, like a God-thing; feeling as though I needed this in my back pocket, just in case. One thing about it, if the bottom drops out in our economy, the medical field will always be in need of a Phlebotomist.

I just hope and pray, along in this procrastination, that my brain cells activate and can recall all the information needed to pass this dreaded test. Since starting this class, which as crazy as it was, it was an accelerated class back in 2018. What was I thinking, as I sat among all those young people and questioned what am I doing. It came at a time though, I felt it was to keep my mind occupied due to a loss in my life. I was a mess emotionally but managed to conquer this endeavor, which was not easy and working a full-time job.

The way this all started, was quite exciting but not understanding why. Lord, what are you doing in my life? This was a constant question.

Looking back, as my classes were starting, it was also when my counselor closed her office and that just about put me over the edge and my emotions were all over the place. If you have followed me for long and read my blogs, I share often about her and this incident. Finals for this class was right before Thanksgiving of which I canceled at our home, with our family. Struggling to be thankful and happy plus focus, was more than I could handle. Now feeling anger with it all. Lord, what are you doing in my life?

The process of this chain of events was an up and down battle. Here I am, my last and final step and I am dragging my feet, but kicking and screaming on the way. Still, I ask, Lord, what are you doing in my life?

I know there must be a purpose. One day I will look back and see the path I have been on and read my writing here. Hopefully, smile and perhaps say, Lord, I do see what you have been doing in my life.

This week though, I will be saying, Lord I need your help for whatever you are doing in my life. I have to trust the process and the timing, as I have done in so many areas and years in my life.

Sometimes we all need to be reminded.

Be Still… and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

I will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

I have a plan and a purpose for your life. Jeremiah 29:11

Photo from barbraveling.com

45 Bible Verses for Procrastination

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/procrastination

https://escapethewilderness.com/god-what-are-you-doing-with-my-life/

I now must study. First, I need to ….. just kidding.

I will not procrastinate.

I will not procrastinate.

I will not procrastinate.

Of which I am doing. 😜

Fear!!! I posted this blog. I removed this blog. If you are reading, I re-posted this blog. That has been my week of the ups and downs and ins and outs with this test, many medical tests and my emotions. Good News…. I passed my phlebotomy test. The others, I will find out soon enough, probably another pill and another test.