Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What's Wrong, McFly? Chicken?

DISCLAIMER: If I offend/hurt any of you, I do deeply regret that. But, this process is a necessary one. The words I'm writing are what I'm needing to get beyond my own limitations. This post is not about accusing my friends/family of neglecting me. Please don't think that, no matter what I said there in the middle of it. ;-) I know you don't neglect me, any of you. This post is about showing the most recent steps I've taken on my road to emotional/mental/physical health. I've always been honest with you. I just hope this isn't the one post that's too honest.

Right now in this very second as I begin this post, I find myself wishing that I still had an eating disorder.

Struggling with making my daily calorie and fat gram allowances match their targets; focusing on completing my challenge minutes of exercise; bitching and moaning about how much of a failure I am when I make the mistake of not achieving my goals; and praising myself for perceived success are all so much easier than dealing with my true self and the feelings that come along with it.

Bear with me, it's a long'un.

The other weekend, Alaskaboy and I enjoyed ourselves at a picnic with a group of people I found on a friend finder website. So much so, that we're going to a different event again this weekend, and another in August.
Most of last week I've already covered in previous posts, but Friday night I had a blast with Mum and Nan, and occasionally Dad, talking to them via phone whilst walking them through numerous zip folders containing photos of the new apartment. Then after that, we spent hours on the webcam and phone, just enjoying each others company and renewing memories of our faces. Eager for more face-to-face contact, I did it again after hanging up from them with a friend in Nebraska. Well, the webcamming bit anyway. This weekend just gone, Alaskaboy and I lazed around the house. Literally. Even napped on the floor at one point.

I woke up Monday morning feeling refreshed and like I'd finally gotten my shit together. But I had a lingering headache, that didn't go away no matter what I did. I tried caffeine earlier in the day, then water, then Ibuprofen, watermelon and finally a shower. And still the headache lingered. Knowing it was too hot to try a steam bowl, I finally gave in and attempted to use the Neti Pot I'd bought awhile ago.

Hydrated sinuses made headache go buhbye! I felt so clear headed and refreshed upon completion of it that I just had to call Alaskaboy and share the good news. After that call where we also talked about the phone calls he'd given to his sister and a friend, I hung up the phone and breezed on out into the kitchen to tackle the chores.

Next thing I knew I was in the midst of a full blown anxiety attack. All the same symptoms as before. Tingles, not feeling right in my own skin (especially the left side of my body), nausea, diarrhoea, pale, hot and cold flushes. I called Alaskaboy back to let him know what was going on and assured him I'd keep him posted as the night progressed or if I needed him again.

I thoroughly inspected myself in the mirror, and became completely convinced that there was something wrong with me. My left bicep, pec and breast looked bigger than my right, were in fact quite puffy and that coupled with the tingles and slightly numb patches had me convinced I had something horrible going on. Which of course made the anxiety ten times worse. In fact, I have made the tingles worse again typing this all up. Anxiety does that to a girl though.

Poking, prodding, and crying all ensued and eventually I put myself to bed after recognising that this was just another symptom of the anxiety attack--More specifically an avoidance tactic. (Rest assured that there's just extra fat on that side of my body, my non-dominant side, so it's naturally going to be a little bigger.) I settled into bed and called Alaskaboy on the phone. Three times in twenty minutes, and it went to the answering machine after ringing out every time. Logically, I know he was busy at work, emotionally it was the spark for the tinder and I blew up.

Using the neti pot had done more than clear my sinuses. It opened a floodgate. Hurt, jealousy, fear, anger, all this and more spewed forth from my mouth in a verbal torrent that shocked the shit out of me. Alaskaboy's inability to get to the phone when I needed him brought into sharp focus another issue I'd been hiding from myself.

Last night on an instant messenger conversation that I'd started with a friend, he admitted that he and his girlfriend had been worried about me recently. This after asking if it was okay to call me this evening. Now, I don't know if it is just them, or if it's actually a cultural difference, but, if you're worried about a friend, wouldn't you call to see how she's doing? Even if you are busy with your own life, wouldn't you make time just to call and see if everything's okay?

And then it hit me...

Not one of my friends had called or emailed to see how I was doing. Not one, not once in the whole month since we've been here. Not even after giving out my new details. Not even after explaining how I was feeling in a livejournal post. And it doesn't stop there. Not one of Alaskaboy's Aunts or Uncles asked to talk to me on the weekend when they played pass the phone whilst they're all visiting his parents for the week. Not one of my Australian relatives (outside of my immediate family) has sent me a real email in a very long time. Only one has made the effort to call in the four years I've been away. In that moment I realised I'd been doing all the contacting for quite some time. I've been making it easy for people by having my different online journals, emailing them, replying to their journals etc. What need to contact me when I'm giving them all the pertinent details?

What nurturing could the nurturer possibly want? I'm always the one with advice, what help could I possibly need? They have their own problems, their own jobs, their own lives to take care of, I'm the one who has gaping holes that need filling. I was the one expecting them to nurture me when I was doing my usual trick of putting on a brave face, and not really asking for help. Subtly hinting, yeah I'm great at that. Asking flat out, nope, no can do, sorry. But, should I HAVE to ask? Surely someone somewhere should give enough of a damn just to call and say Hi, even for the sake of saying hello.


I'm sick of doing this alone. Sometimes, I'm so jealous of my sister-in-law for having both her parents and -in-laws there in the same state. So bitter about the fact that I'm here all alone except for Alaskaboy. He is my everything, but he can't be everything I need. No one person can be. My family and friends can't be. They're so far away and living their own immediate lives. I need to get my own immediate life and stop living vicariously through others. I've put myself in this situation and it's not fair accusing my friends of neglecting me when I've set the situation up for precisely that to happen. They don't neglect me. I hold them at arms length, because I don't want to be a nuisance. I need to call them before they need to call me, because they have lives and I'm the little hermit stuck in her cave.

Wanna know the really fucked up part? I loved that volunteer job, but didn't go back after that first week. I haven't been to my intuitive eating group in nearly two months. I got the number of a friendly chick the other weekend that I really hit it off with, but I've been too scared to call her. And fear my astute readers is what you've no doubt garnered is what this is ALL about.

I've only barely touched on the feelings roiling beneath the surface, or the depth and length of the sobbing fit and temper tantrum I had last night, but they all stem from the one place; Fear. Now that the insulating food safety valve is gone, I'm erupting all over the place, and I don't know how to handle it. I'm scared to death to make friends here in case I repeat the mistakes I've made in the past. I don't think I can handle being burned again. I don't let my friends or family know how I'm really doing, in case they can't help me fix it or they somehow let me down, so I kid them (and myself) that I'm coping, and then complain when they don't call because they believe my false bravado. Shit scared about getting a job is what I am, even though I'm frustrated with my lack of financial contribution to this family.

So afraid of so many things, but now that the weight of all that numbing food is gone, this little birdy is restless to spread my wings and fly. In spite of all this fear, I'm ready to live my life. I'm done with avoiding my feelings. I'm so over my eating disorder. I feel like I'm flapping my arms for all I'm worth whilst running back and forth along the branch, yet I'm afraid that if I jump off I'll go splat on the forest floor so very far below. This fear is bigger than I can handle alone, so today I took hold of my courage in both hands and called a psychologist. Wouldn't you know it, I got the answering machine. But, I did it. I left a message.

The food issues are completely dealt with, and my confidence, trust, and fear issues have been identified. Who knows if there's more still hidden in my psyche? I thought I could deal with them on my own, but I can't. I've grown enough in the past few months to stand up and admit that the nurturer needs help and I'm gonna go get me some!

Stand back, Cocks and Hens, this little birdy's getting ready to soar

3 Nibbles:

Marshmallow said...

A biiiiiiiiig hug to you Kada, for getting all of that out. And a big congratulations for gathering up the courage to call that psychologist. I hope I don't sound patronising, since I'm no role model, though knowing the fear of making friends and the hermit like lifestyle, I can understand that this is massive. [And you can probably understand why this job I'm at now, involving making phone calls to clients and going to meet clients is massive as well. Gah! Peoples! *hiss* I'm melting!]

If ever you need someone, I'm here. If you want to SMS me, let me know, I'm up for that too.

Joc said...

I feel that fear bit too. Its hard to be isolated from what you know and feeling this kind of fear.

If I come up with any miracle cures I will let you know, but, I think as you have worked out, there are no miracle cures :( Going to a psych is a great idea, I hope they get back to you really soon.

In the meantime I am proud of you for what you have been achieving lately, you are taking huge steps forward, and here are some cyber(((((((hugs))))))) for you, one for each day of the week.

Marie Curie:
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

Here is to finding understanding

Wanna_B_slim said...

I hope you feel better for getting that out of your system...
It usually helps... Take care and stay safe...