Transitions, change, and old habits dying hard

We’ve all heard the adage, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”  That certainly seems to be true for me in some significant ways.  However, I was reminded today that seeing myself in the absolutes – I ALWAYS think/do this or that – detracts from me recognizing and acknowledging the whole truth about myself.  It keeps my mind in and drives my emotions into the cycle of negativity, the basis of my depression and eating patterns.

Since my most recent post, I have to be honest and admit that I haven’t been abstinent with my food.  These past three or four days have definitely fallen into the compulsive eating/overeating category.  I mentioned this when I met with the EAP counselor for the third (and final) time, today.  She asked me if it was emotional eating and I had to admit that there was an emotional element to it.  However, as I thought about it, I think it was less about me hiding from emotions and it was possibly more about the need to feel something, even if it was negative emotion toward myself about overeating. I’ve dealt with so much recently and cumulatively that I had already begun numbing out mentally and emotionally.

The past two weeks have been especially full and challenging with a death in the family, preparing for the memorial service, being around A LOT of extended family I seldom, if ever, interact with in day-to-day life.  I was surrounded by and immersed in all of their emotions and family dynamics.  This was immediately followed by a severely sick near preschooler while my “fiancee” was preparing to leave town to hopefully start a new job, which will, essentially, have me single-parenting our daughter while he’s on the road.  Add into the mix the ongoing issues in my relationships with my adult children, and I’ve been pretty much maxed out in practicing my constructive interpersonal skills, navigating emotional landmines, and just getting through one day into the next.

Saturday night my fiancee got on a Greyhound bus and it was just me, our daughter, and one of his nieces who was visiting for the weekend.  At that point, our daughter was still recovering from being sick and I didn’t think she would be well enough for us to fellowship with our spiritual community the next day, but Sunday morning arrived, bright, beautiful and clear and the toddler was wide awake, bright eyed and bursting with energy.  So, we navigated public transportation and hung out with some of the best people I know.  Sunday evening the niece left and suddenly it was just the two of us: me and the little one.

I couldn’t get her to go to sleep until around midnight and had difficulty staying asleep past three am myself.  Last night she finally went to sleep around 10:30, whereas I, once again, had difficulty sleeping.  I wish I could say that disrupted sleep patterns are unusual for me, but that just isn’t the case.  I’ve seldom experienced more than 4-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep over the past 20+ years.  It’s one of the things the doctors have used to label my health issues as fibromyalgia.  So, she’s not gotten enough rest and neither have I.  She’s barely eaten and I’ve eaten too much.  The things she’s gotten used to her daddy doing and I’ve come to rely on him for we’re having to figure out how to get done with just the two of us.

Anyway, the past two mornings I’ve dealt with a very irritable, upset, angry, whiny, and demanding little girl.  Personally, it’s setting my teeth on edge and grating on my nerves like the off-key wails and screeches of the AI contestant, put on national t.v. so the masses can mock and point to in order to feel better about themselves.  Rationally, I know it’s because she’s three and her world has just changed in ways she doesn’t yet understand or know how to cope with.  Emotionally, it’s taking everything I’ve got to parent her lovingly and rationally while struggling through excruciating back pain and physical exhaustion.  Yes, I know that’s life and many, many others go through this.  But just as cleaning my plate won’t help a starving child in Africa, neither will not acknowledging how I’m feeling help anyone else going through struggles of their own.

The outcome of my final counseling appointment today is that I need to not just take time for me, I need to actually do something for me with that time.  I need to do my writing, regardless of whether I believe it to be blog worthy or not; I need to discover whatever it is that helps me connect with God in significant and meaningful ways for me; and I need to connect with people.  Oh, and I need to give myself credit, forgiveness, tolerance, and acceptance – like I give to others.

Here’s to transitions, change, and old habits dying hard.

Advertisements

7 comments

  1. Dear Human,
    There are somethings in this life that we must pass through, seems there are no shortcuts, and only we ourselves can do it, it is meant for us alone as a part of our own personal transformation.

    My own journey has brought several very powerful understandings which I have come to believe and embrace with all my heart. One, is that “God don’t make no junk!”. Another is that God does not waste anything or any one. Everything, every experience, every triumph or set back serves a greater purpose in His world / Kingdom.

    Like it or not, I have had to learn to willingly accept whatever comes my way in this life. If I want to complain bitterly or shake my fist at God with anger or resentment, that’s OK, He’s big enough to take it. Part of my problem is that my own perception and understanding is so terribly limited, I cannot see all the connections between everything nor understand the wisdom or logic which holds everything together, and I balk at not being able to see the outcome which I think aught to result.

    I can only offer my empathy and compassion as I travel with you.

    Your friend……

    Like

  2. I am genuinely touched by the encouragement, acceptance, and love I’ve been getting from everyone’s comments lately. It really helps me to know that there are others out in the world, both whom I know personally and those I have yet to meet in person, who share in this journey and can relate to what I have to say and the experiences I have to share.

    Early on in my adult life, I made it a point to sea cucumber my life story to any and all I would encounter and rehearse all the drama. Well, that got old and after a while many of the people who were around, couldn’t handle being sucked into my vortex. So, I stopped talking about it, but still wallowed in it.

    I’m so very grateful that I have had healing, growth, transition, and levels of recovery in many areas of my life and that, through this blog and this stage of my process, I’m able to move out of the story and into the meaning. Thank you all for sharing this with me.

    Like

  3. I so get the “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. I don’t know the half of all that swirls around you. I will not advise nor will I presume. But if it helps, I do want to share something that helped me; namely flipping the life algebra equation and running it the other way (e.g., “the only Constant is Change”). It helped me realize that for me, I was the one getting in the way of my recovery every time I ‘paid’ one old destructive habit or another – all of them routinely lying to me in each promising me the comfort of the ‘known’.
    The other bit of good news in what I read is you don’t Need the food to feel something. Seems to me you’re feeling a great deal already. You know you’re alive because you’re writing…there is so much truth in your words I can almost feel the raw as I read them. I’ve gotta funny feeling you’re already on your way to reclaiming You. Please keep writing. I’m interested in hearing about what you learn next. My toast to you? Here’s to bold-faced acts of courage.

    Like

    1. You are so right about not needing the food to feel something. It was just such an interesting realization for me to understand that, at least this time, I wasn’t using the food to numb out, but as a reaction to having numbed out mentally/emotionally for a bit.

      There is a lot of good news in and behind my post and I’m in a good place or at least facing in a good direction.

      Like

  4. C. S. Lewis once said, “Our old habits whine and cry for attention…when they do we have to sometimes dash the little bastards heads against the rocks”

    I’ve been overwhelmed several times in my life as well. Even knowing things will get better doesn’t always make it feel better. Again, hang in there…courage and peace to you

    Like

    1. Thanks. I know it will get better, it usually does. And you’re right, the knowing doesn’t necessarily change the feeling. Thankfully, I’m learning how to let the knowing be what determines the doing and not the feeling…sometimes 🙂

      Like

Your feedback, thoughts, and input are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s