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.”

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.

Tunes & Tears

I don't sing in the car, I perform! #UAMP #quoteoftheday #perform | Singing  in the car, Inspirational quotes motivation, Singing

Once again, as I drive to work, I have a favorite song right now playing in the car and sing along trying to hit the notes that they do. I did say I was trying, but singing is definitely not my talent or desire.

On my twenty to thirty-minute drive, my mind can stay active in what needs to be done, etc., or I just get lost in the music and soon enough, I am pulling into the parking lot.

It is when my thoughts cross over to something or in this situation, someone I miss so much and the tears flow faster than I can catch as I drive. Imagining in my mind how it would be if I ran into them once again. What would I say, or would my throat close up not allowing words to be said, like a valve keeping emotions contained. How would I act, how would they respond, would we hug or with the restrictions of the Covid19, would we just wave and go on our merry way? Knowing if just a wave, my heart would be broken once again of the grief felt with this loss?

Immediately, I turn off the song to get a handle on my emotions, so my eyes are not red as they peep over my face mask. Some days, a mask with a smile for appearances only have been seen. Isn’t that true for all of us, at times? Life can be hard at times, a medical issue, fear of this crazy virus, the sadness of not seeing and being with our children, family or friends due to the pandemic. The beautiful Christmas music now playing in the background, which stirs your soul and emotions are felt.

I get frustrated at myself for even allowing those thoughts to enter my mind. Plus, the makeup I just applied, which is now off and my eyes are no doubt noticable that I had been crying from the memories they envoked.

I so miss my sweet friend. Actually, I guess she is not my friend and cannot be a friend, as it would unethically be wrong due to the fact she was my counselor for four years. Now with almost three years since our last session, how could she not be special to me and basically considered as a friend? I have done so well but perhaps with the holidays, music and colder weather or perhaps what I am dealing with, my emotions seem frail, more than I thought.

Just as in a death, this also felt like one. The four years together, sometimes once a week or twice, she was a part of my life, sharing my deepest and darkest thoughts and it was all cut off immediately. That’s grief!

In grief, my parents and brother have all passed and I do think of them and if a certain song, usually or something else reminds me of them, the tears come also. Grief can come out of nowhere and knock you down for a bit with the emotions. I could have got lost in this song and cried all the way to work but I knew I had to get a handle of myself, not that I was denying my loss or sadness. I felt it but the tune to this one song, this morning, just opened up the window of sadness of my loss. I feel at times, grief of somebody you miss that is still alive is harder, as they are within reach but yet too far away.

I don’t know how either of us would react if we ran into each other. Would we hug or just wave? I don’t know but I do know it would be a joy to just cross paths once again. Even if I choke from the emotions, the closed door on my car with dark-tinted windows will allow me to let lose and cry a river. Yet again, get a grip and move forward. Feel it, acknowledge but keep moving forward.

Daggone these tunes that brings tears. Even as I write, the tears flow. Years ago, I could buck up and keep them hidden but I cannot do that anymore, as they just seem to seep out and roll quickly down my face.

Thinking back, when I first started meeting with her for counseling, and maybe for the first year actually, she knew I was holding back and would not be emotional. The hard, rebellious part of me remembers saying, “I will not cry. I will not waste my time and money in these sessions crying.”

With everything that is happening, the chaos all around the world, the virus of those that have had it or feeling as if it will get me soon, is like a dark cloud, but I think many of us are unsettled. If you have lost a loved one(s), please accept my condolences. We cannot live in fear but use wisdom in mask wearing, even if we don’t like them, wash our hands often and perhaps stay home more. We all want this to be over or at least more manageable.

So as the tunes of the Christmas music that is played or a special song that reminds you of someone, it is okay to cry. I am not as strong and rebellious as I once was, as the tears flow. I do know that in those tears of sadness I feel, I am also blessed. Blessed to have had her as a counselor for so long and to help me so much. I am blessed with many family members and friends. I also feel blessed with the ability to share my heart with you through my writings. Thank You for reading. I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Have you ever missed someone so much that even the thought of them makes you cry?

Most praise and worship songs tell that God is always there to listen and to help us. Hearing these words trigger our spirits to cry out to Him for help.

Music is a way to connect sounds to personal memories. We often like a piece of music not because the music itself would be so moving, but because we heard that song when we felt a certain way. The music merely activates that memory and re-triggers the emotion. So no, you’re not the only one ;-).

This phenomenon is also the reason, why clubs, radio stations, Spotify playlists etc. bombard us with the same few songs over and over again: record companies try to raise their chances of you listening to one of these songs while you experience intense emotions (like your first kiss or that wonderful party at the beach with your friends). Because after that, you will pay everything to listen to this song again – sometimes these songs stay with us for our entire life! And – contrary to what we might tell ourselves – it won’t be because of the song itself, but because of the memory it triggers in us.” Matthias Orgler, 30+ years in the music business. RealWorldMusicTheory.com Quora April 21, 2018

Grief is not just about death. It’s about loss and that comes in so many forms. Learning to live with grief is a skill that takes time and patience along with the acceptance that there are things we can’t change, good memories that can comfort us in times of distress and new plans to make when we realise that plan A is no longer an option.

There is a saying that happiness is a journey and not a destination. In the same sense, grief is a pause, it’s not an ending. Be honest in those moments of great sadness and find the joy where you can in the moments that can still warm your aching heart. Grief is a description of a part of your life, it doesn’t have to be a definition. https://www.ouralteredlife.com/grief-for-the-living/

Ambiguous loss is a loss that occurs without closure or clear understanding. This kind of loss leaves a person searching for answers, and thus complicates and delays the process of grieving, and often results in unresolved grief.

“Normally we associate “tears” with “sadness”, but there are also tears of “Joy!”

Jeremiah 31:9 Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble. For I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my oldest child. (NLT)

The Bible tells us that God keeps all our tears in a “bottle”……… Psalm 56:8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (NLT)

Paul told Timothy…… 2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
2 Timothy 1:4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;

If you get a chance, listen to these two. They have two CD’s, one is Christmas. Mat & Savanna Shaw, a Daddy Daughter Duet