Sorry to have gone completely AWOL! I’ve been driving back and forth to a neighboring state while my father is critically ill in the hospital. It is taking 150% of everything I have just to get through it and be there for my kids (minimally). Blogging is one of the areas of my life that has had to be cut for now. I hope to resume blogging and working toward becoming healthier as soon as I can manage it. I’ve handled things very badly, using food as a blatant crutch to try to get through and have gained a bunch of weight. This past week I’ve managed to get back in control (after about 6 weeks of not being in control), but today I have to go back to NV to see my dad and I probably won’t do very well–not being fatalistic, just realistic. This is the hardest time of my life and I have to do whatever I can just to survive right now. I hope everyone else is having a better time of it and I’ll “see” you again when I can get some extra energy for blogging back.
Spinning wheel got to go round
Talking about your troubles it’s a crying sin
Ride a painted pony
Let the spinning wheel spin
spinning wheel is spinning true
Drop all your troubles, by the river side
Ride a painted pony
Let the spinning wheel fly
What a difference a week makes.
The sun is shining again. The birds are singing. Life is worth living again.
I can feel hope again.
The spinning wheel has gone round again. Full circle.
Part of my reason for writing about my ups and downs is because I want to be able to remind myself that it will go around again, just like this old Blood, Sweat & Tears song that most of you probably don’t remember.
I was in Kindergarten when that song was a big hit (I’m old) and remember performing a cute little dance to it in a school show. I loved it! I always pictured a Ferris Wheel, but on 2nd thought think it must have been about a Merry-Go-Round (duh).
What’s it telling us? To just ride with it until it stops? Things will get bad but then they’ll get better again. Just go with it. Life’s sometimes a struggle, sometimes a joy. I always thought it was sort of a “don’t worry, be happy” message. On the other hand, it has a more serious, almost fatalistic, undertone to it. Maybe it’s the trumpets, I don’t know. What do you think? Am I reading too much into an ancient song? (I can’t buy the part about “talkin’ ’bout your troubles is a cryin’ sin” since that’s what my blogging is all about!) It’s probably just about drugs since it’s from the ’60′s (or maybe a salvation message?).
Some would say that I’m a roller coaster of emotions, but it’s definitely more of a spinning wheel going around full circle. On a coaster you’re still moving somewhere ahead. On my wheel, I’m going around and around in the same place.
I realize this could be construed as bleak and depressing. But really, it isn’t. I think the lesson I am finally learning is to accept that I will go down and up (or round and round). To remember that when I’m down, I’m going to go back up is actually very encouraging. That means hope to someone who’s gone back into the darkness and can’t see ahead of them. There’s a comfort in feeling like it is somewhat predictable or, at least, predictable that it will get better soon. That maybe, sometimes, we just need to hang on and wait til it goes around again. Does that make any sense?
I have never been very self-aware so it takes me a long time to learn these kind of lessons. Last week, Colleen Arnold wrote an article about emotional eating at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. She wrote:
People who overeat (or have other addictions) often have trouble identifying their emotions precisely. In fact, not being able to articulate emotions is called alexythymia and it’s been shown to be related to binge eating in bulimics.
I never heard of that before and I had no idea there was a name for what I’ve known about myself for a long time (that I’m terrible at knowing how I feel). This is very interesting and I plan to do more reading about it. (She recommends rating how you feel but I’ll try and write more about that later.)
But blogging is helping me be more aware. Maybe not at the moment of my emotional fluctuations, but soon after. And I’m creating a record that will help going into the future. When I feel bleak, I can only see darkness. If I have a self-created record of how I always come back out of it, I will be able to come out of it quicker. My depressions haven’t been as deep and I hope that documenting my craziness will help me and anyone else who comes across it while feeling hopeless.
In the meantime, I’ll just keep holding onto that pony while the wheel keeps on spinning.
- Control food and track everything (this one is giant)
- Exercise every day even if only 20 minutes
- Take supplements (more about that in a sec)
- Smile and hug kids, try to remain calm and find your sense of humor
- Take a step toward improving finances when you figure out what that is (1st step: figure out what that is)
- Plan meals (always makes me feel better to have this planned out)
- Clean house (never-ending, god-awful, thankless job that it is)
- Try to be nice to myself in my head (no, really–stop being so mean!)
These are all things that make me feel so much better about life and allow me to cope. The controlling food part is very challenging right now, but I’ve proven I can do that for the last 10 months, so I know I can get back there. Exercising for 20 minutes (actually shooting for 30 min) a day may sound incredibly wimpy to most people, but considering a year ago I could barely make it up the stairs in my house or tie my shoes, it is huge progress for me. And I have noticed an improvement lately from doing my little bitty “workouts.”
I recently read a book (which I’ll discuss more at a later time) that talked about food problems and depression and found (alleged) great improvements with amino acid supplementation. I’m very skeptical, but desperate enough to give it a try. I’m going to try taking some things and see what happens. I’ll report more on that after I experiment on myself.
There is a gleam of light visible from my pit now. I’m coming up out of the darkness.
Actually, I’m doing a lot better today.
For those of you who commented or emailed me yesterday, thank you so much! I didn’t begin blogging to try and get that kind of support, but it is a wonderful and unexpected bonus.
I’m sorry for sharing such yucky bleakness as I did yesterday. On the other hand, part of my thinking about this blogging business was to try and describe what goes on in the twisted mind of a depressed food addict. My hope was that it would help me come at my problems in a different way (and it has!), and, also, that it could reach other desperate people who were in a similar place. I think there is value in trying to document this process, even when it’s unpleasant. So, I kind of made myself share that awfulness despite my tendency to just run away and hide from everything. I hope I didn’t depress too many people!
My eating has been un-good for the past 4 days. On the other hand, the un-goodness has still involved some control. I tracked (albeit a bit haphazardly) but went over my calories and ate bad things. My calories ranged from 1800 (not too bad) to 2400 (oh dear). I’m going to try to do much better today.
The worst part is that I got on the scale this morning and nearly had a heart attack. It says I’m up 5 pounds! Huh? I know I’ve been bad, but not that bad! I’m hoping it’s fluid retention and other weirdness that will just go away over the next couple of days.
I’m trying to move on from the wallowing in depression that I’ve been doing for several days. I’m behind on many things including the project from the challenge at the Sisterhood from last week. I’ll try to do that this week. I need to start with planning meals and shopping for the week. I must do some cleaning before the city comes to condemn the house. And I have business things to do too. The most important thing I have to do today is get some exercise! That is usually my last priority but I’m trying to move it up the list because I know it will help.
Thank you again blog peeps for sending hugs and support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!
I’m going along. Doing ok.
Then, for no particular reason, I’m not.
I’m sliding back down the slope. . .
into the pit. Back into the darkness.
I hate myself for letting it happen again.
Hating myself makes it much harder to do anything about it.
I know I should do some things.
There are things that are good for me and might help.
But I’m in the pit.
And, in the pit, I don’t want to do anything that might help.
I want to lie down and curl into a ball.
Because food will love me.
And validate me.
And make me feel pleasure when it seems impossible to feel anything good.
I feel so weak. So guilty. So flawed.
I’ve been on a bit of a pretzel binge. It began when I decided to wean myself off of microwave popcorn due to it’s chemicals and general nastiness. But. . .
I need a snack in the evening so I started replacing my popcorn with pretzels. I don’t know why I thought this was better. I don’t think I can justify it except that I would eventually like to get off microwaved and more fakey foods. Really, I think I just wanted pretzels and this was a way to get them.
The key thing is though, that I don’t love popcorn, so it was self-limiting–not terribly satisfying either, but it gave me something without making me crave more. It also comes in a package with a single serving in it so I wasn’t tempted to exceed a serving.
Apparently, I like the pretzels much, much more. I would still choose chips over pretzels if I were going back to my old ways, but I know I can’t control chips so they can’t be in my house. However, I’m having trouble with these blasted pretzels.
I have been controlling myself to a degree. The pretzel bag says a serving is about 48 sticks. Ok, so I count them. In groups of ten. Meticulously. . . .
20. . .
30. . .
40. . .
48–oh, might as well make it 50
–go ahead and stick that broken bit in your mouth while you’re counting the rest,
–look another broken bit–let’s have that one too.
I put another extra one in my mouth while I close the pretzel bag because, you know, I can’t wait that extra 2.7 seconds before I eat one.
You get the sad, salty picture.
I’ve been having way too many servings of these salty demon sticks. Yesterday it was 3. That’s way too many. One is supposed to be the max. Crap. I’m not controlling myself very well, even though I am counting and tracking. I have to battle myself continuously–last night I put an extra pretzel in my mouth while closing the bag. I grabbed it out. Oh no you didn’t! Take that pretzel outta your mouth! I did, but it’s an ongoing fight.
So, I find I’m sneaking in several extra pretzels whenever I count them out. Still not a big deal, right?
Except it kinda is.
Those extra bits are a problem. They are not ok. Not because I need to be ultra rigid forever about every broken pretzel bit. But because, right now, I’ve decided to count stringently to get myself back on track.
The first thing I need to do is to keep my promises to myself. So if I say I’m going to count my pretzels–I need to count them–every damn one.
It’s not about the pretzels. The pretzel has come to symbolize me being accountable and not cheating myself. Because cheating myself is how I ended up 366 pounds and almost dead.
So, self, put the dang blasted pretzel down and live up to your promises!