Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hello! Is it me you're looking for?

How many times have I heard these words and scoffed over the years? “I was so upset/excited/anxious/whatever that I couldn't eat?”

Countless times have I mocked the very thought of not eating.
“Your body always needs to eat.”
“How can you not be hungry?”
“When I'm upset/excited/anxious/whatever I eat more not less!”

Having felt that squirrelly, nauseous, yucky feeling in my belly for the last few days, I now understand how it's possible to go without eating when anxious.

That feeling before, for me, was a signal to eat. There's sensation in my belly, I must be hungry. Yes, yes I'm hungry. I don't like that feeling, so I'll stuff it down with food. I'm not a cry baby, I'll keep a stiff upper lip and cram my feelings down under food... and then cry later because I'm vomiting up all the crap and I feel awful. Or I'll cry because I'm so fat and miserable and a failure as a human being because I can't stick to my diet when there's a crisis going on. I'll cry, vent, swear, argue over everything else BUT the real reason I'm feeling anxious.

The last few nights I haven't slept well. First because Alaskaboy was sick, and then because I've been anxious about having to move out, and not knowing where to, yet. Every so often I've felt the urge to throw up, but it's just been the anxiety doing it's fight or flight response thing to my body. Fight or flight? Why only two options? Why not stick the head in the sand and hope it all goes away? Because sticking the head in the sand doesn't solve the problem. Only fight or flight does.

Fight? Move out for a few months and fight to be able to move back in when it's all finished? Fight the actual eviction? Fight with my husband over every little thing he won't throw out? Fight with myself over spurious things?

Doesn't sound like any fun to me.

Flee? Back to my in-law's house? To a friend's house interstate? To another friend's house several hours north? Find our own house interstate or in a different part of this state?

None of those sound appealing either. (For various reasons, but especially having to do with the realities of finding brand new jobs for us *both* there.) And, I'm sick of running away!

Oooh look, a fork in the road.

Option one: Buy a house.
Option Two: Keep renting and saving for option one at a later date.

Send the scouts down each path!

Scout one is still dealing with the financial stuff to see if the trip down path one is even worth attempting.

Scout two says that there is options we hadn't even considered until now. Many options.

Hmm... let's wait on scout one's report and if it's viable let's see if there is any thing worth looking at down that path. If the path is still too treacherous, we can always say no thanks and detour down path two.

Expedition leader says. “No more sitting by the roadside in a rut. Procrastination break is over! On your feet, form up, and head on up the road at my command!”

In the short term, dealing with the situation has been very stressful. So stressful that I've not eaten much the last few days. I'll dish out a sensible portion of food, then have to stop eating a quarter or halfway through it. My belly is tied up in knots and it's an awful feeling.
I have those weird moments where I'm fine, and then all of a sudden my face is all scrunched up and I'm crying... and it only lasts for less than a minute. But, in that minute I'm admitting my emotions, letting them out and dealing with them. I'm not hiding them behind a mountain of food. There have been a couple of times where I knew my body was hungry, even though I didn't feel it. So, I'd eat a bite or two of a protein bar, or half a banana or something, just to get sustenance in my system. Usually that would whet the appetite and allow me to eat a little more an hour or so after that.

But, that makes sense. A shaky, exhausted body that hasn't eaten for more then 6 hrs needs something, even if it's telling you “I couldn't possibly.” Sometimes the mental intuition needs to be followed rather than the physical.

Last night I got us out of the house to go and do laundry. It felt awful coming back in afterwards. Usually I love to come back inside after being out and about. Last night, it truly hit me in that moment: this is just a house, it's no longer our home. It has been, but it no longer is. So I had another quiet weep or two over that. We made the bed, showered, discussed our plans for today, then went to sleep.

I slept like a log. Exhausted, but not overly full and therefore uncomfortable, I was able to get the rest I needed. This morning I feel sad. Which is natural, a stage of our lives is ending, but we're moving on to the next!

I've felt the first glut of anxiety and dealt with it and am now ready to deal with the actual situation to the best of my ability. As I said to Alaskaboy last night at the laundromat, “I don't want to whine about it anymore, I'm sick of being afraid all the time. I want to live how I used to live...There's a problem, it needs fixing, I just wanna fix it and move on down the path.”

“Welcome to adulthood.” was his reply.

Where's the strong woman who took on two jobs in order to be able to afford her first trip to America? Where's the woman who boarded a plane to America, in October 2001? That's right, a mere month or so after that awful day. Just because she knew she had to find out if her true love really was waiting at the other end of the flight.
Where's the woman who's had the courage to move to a foreign country?
Where's the woman who isn't afraid to speak the truth, even when the truth can be uncomfortable or hurtful, to herself or others?
Where's the woman who left one career because she hated it and went after her dream career. Not once, but twice!

She's right here.

I gave away my power for far too long. By letting my past disappointments dictate my current choices. By letting the false comfort of food cloud my judgment. By letting my life slide on by second by second instead of taking an active role in it. I've let fear rule my life.

I moved to a foreign country and my backbone became made of gelatin. Well, guess what? Even gelatin solidifies if left alone long enough.

We're moving house. We're up and out of the rut. Whether we buy a house now, or continue renting and saving, we'll do it. Once we're settled, I'm going to go and get me a part time job. I can work and write at the same time. Two jobs at once, I've done that before and will do it again. I'm an equal partner in this marriage, it's time I started being one!

Goodbye, overeating ostrich. Hello, intuitive eater and self-possessed woman!

3 Nibbles:

Erin said...

First off, I am sorry you are dealing with this whole mess. And secondly, good for you in realizing who you really are and I wish I had some brilliant wisdom here but there is nothing I could say that you don't already know. Positive thoughts are shooting your way from Dallas, Tx.*hug

lisa jane said...

just wehn things are going along fine something comes in and turns our whole life around.I get really nervous now when i am feeling content and happy sort of waiting for he thing to come and knock me off my feet.But thats just life I guess and at some point you have to stop resisting change and learn to be flexible,adaptable and up for the challenge.
I really struggle with this but Im getting better.But I can sympathise that moving house unexpectantly and against your will is one of the most stressful things,right up there with divorce,death etc.
It makes sense to with shelter being one of our most basic needs,of course it is going to stress us out not knowing what happens next.
You are doing great,i love your attitude.Hopefully by this time next year all this will be a distant ,unpleasant memory :)
hang in there lovely xoxoxox

Wanna_B_slim said...

You go girl!!
Well done for turning this all around to positives!!!
Sorry i havent been about..but I am here now!!
Sorry to hear you have to move.. But sometimes a change is a good thing!
Good luck on job hunting. I am doing the same thing myself.
Keep in touch.