Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mixed Messages & Emotional Eating

I took a day off yesterday and here's why: I hit a wall.

Not just any wall either.  A solid concrete wall.  A friendship was tested.  Is still being tested actually.  There are wounds there now - okay, so they're cat scratches rather than gaping chasms of blood and bone, but they're there.  And for a large portion of yesterday, I was fifteen again, walking past a group of girls who giggled furtively behind their hands, automatically wondering what it was that I did wrong, and exactly what I was going to do to fix 'it' when I knew.

I think it will get better.  Thirty-one offers perspective that fifteen is still light years away from learning, but oh, it had been such a long time since I'd felt so small.  And it was over such a silly misunderstanding.  But people weren't communicating, and messages were getting mixed.  I should have sat on my fifteen year old self until she suffocated and then just moved on, but I didn't.

Instead, I ate.

While I worried and fretted and wailed my way through the afternoon, my other best friend, Food, was right there beside me, waiting to offer comfort.  It's okay, Food whispered. I'll never misunderstand you.  I'll agree with you, always.  Whenever you need me, I'm there.  You don't even need to ask.  Just let Brain work on autopilot and she'll steer Mouth in my general direction.  Then you won't have to worry.  Then you'll feel happy.

This morning, in the cold, hard light of day, I realised what had happened.  I still felt horrible over the previous day's events, but I felt even worse when I realised just how easily Food had taken charge of the situation.  Again.

This is really the first time I've decided to cater for my emotional wellbeing as well as the physical.  It's kind of brutal actually.  I don't want to examine my food choices too closely because I suspect I'll find my problem lies way deep, buried under mounds and mounds of emotional exorcisms that have yet to be performed.  But...

I need to be stronger.  Not physically stronger - although yes, eventually that's the aim - but mentally tough.  I'm 31, and I shouldn't have to waste time sweating the small stuff.

I need to recognise that by putting myself first, I'm serving my family well.  Whether that's by leaving the domestic arrangement for an hour every day, to decompress while DH takes over, or by not being such a pushover when I hear 'no'.

I need to rediscover my voice.  I will not be walked over.  I will not be taken for granted.  I will find an alternative 'decompression device' - and avoid the seductive encouragement Food gives me.

I'm thinking all that will leave a much sweeter taste in my mouth.

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