I Am That Girl Now

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Nothing more than feelings, part deux

Things fall apart. They fall apart entirely too much these days. I give myself credit for one thing yesterday: when the Hub was exhausted after work, and so was I, I rescinded my offer to make dinner. I knew I was too tired and would just resent it. We had lots of leftovers to graze on; it was fine. That was a good choice.

The problem being that I was still hungry after I ate. I did something right again; I waited half an hour, then I ate a pear. It's after that point that things spiralled out of control; I went into the kitchen to make roasted papaya, and my husband was out of the room, and... whoa. If I hadn't gone back in, I might not have lost control.

The main thing, though, is that I remember feeling entitled to this stuff. I don't know why. I am aware that I am short-tempered and irritable from being sore, hormonal, and low on sleep; that seems like it must be enough to make me act like a spoiled child in the kitchen.

I didn't want to exercise this morning, because I had slept badly-- again. (And because I was sore. And because I was hormonal.) I did it anyway-- both the extra strength training that I've tacked onto my morning routine and my jog. Distance today on the jog was pitiful, because I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't push too hard as long as I jogged rather than walked. 3 miles in 40 minutes, instead of my usual 3.30 or so. I've got a 5K coming up on Sunday and I'm mad at myself for not doing better with this. Now that I'm writing it down on my daily fitness log, it seems even worse.

(The habit remains intact, at least.)

While I was jogging, the Oh So Pitiful Me voice in my head began to talk about what the change in my purse could acquire once I got to work. Vending machine food. Chocolate. And, since that voice has no idea when to shut up, it went on to ponder the fact that I had to run to the drugstore anyway, and that I might have enough in my $10 budget to buy a bag of chocolate miniatures or a bag of Doritos. I could hide them in my desk drawer. I wouldn't have to tell the Hub.

It's a good thing that the OSPM voice doesn't know when to shut up, because that's the point at which I realized that I was in bad territory. Mentioning the hiding-bags-of-food-in-the-desk phenomenon is now a trigger for me to recognize this; at least I've got that part recognized, thank God. When I was in the shower I started considering options for how to deal with this. And when I was putting on clothes-- one of my new shirts, a tailored shirt-- I was reminded that dude, I need to get a handle on this, because having to buy new clothes again is just not an option.

That's when I came up with today's challenge: Feel bad, and just ride the wave. Don't expect to feel better. Just go ahead and go through the experience of having negative emotions.

Seriously, this is a challenge to me. In the past, I have done all sorts of things to deal with feeling bad, and the thing is that if/when they don't work, I always end up resorting to Kitchen Prozac. (Which really doesn't help either, but it is distracting and I always seem to feel smugly accomplished in an evil way-- I imagine this is the same sort of mood and rationale that leads people to vandalize public property, and the same feeling they get from it.) And the rationale is so flawed. I have negative emotions. This is just something that happens. I read about women living with constant pain, or constant exhaustion, or terrible loss, or constant stress of a level I've never imagined, and it occurs to me that if something like that happened to me, I'd eat until I died, trying helplessly to make the bad stuff go away.

By anyone's standards, this is not a particularly bad day. I am just tired, sore, and hormonal. I am going to be tired, sore, and hormonal all day. I am going to have a short temper all day. I am going to be frustrated with people all day. Things will happen to spike my mood even worse. I will, considering what day this is, doubtless end up with cramps and an upset stomach before the end of the day, too.

I am not going to Deal With This. I'm going to experience it and accept it and manage my reactions as best I can. I'm not going to expect that anything will make it better. I am going to wallow.

The Oh So Pitiful Me voice is the spoiled child of my subconscious. It demands things and is never satisfied when it gets them. I would not take this shit from a spoiled child-- hell, if I saw this behavior in a woman demanding presents and jewelry from her husband, I'd roll my eyes and tell everybody about the bitch I'd seen in action today. I shouldn't take this shit from a part of my subconscious that's taking shameless advantage of my bad mood and weakened state to chip away at my health and my precious, precious wardrobe.

So. That's today.

I also came up with an image last night when I was contemplating how one food had led to another and another and another... this chain of linked items. I got this very strong visual image of sawing through the link-- that it was a tough bitch to saw through, but possible. I have to keep that in mind next time.


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