It's really hard for me to unwind, especially when I'm with other people. It doesn't matter that the "other people" are the part of my family that I love the most. It's the fact that I'm still a mom and a wife. I still feel like there are expectations. And when I feel like I HAVE to do ANYTHING, then I don't know how to relax. Maybe I don't know how to relax regardless. Or maybe I honestly have such a hard time dealing with change that, no matter where I go, it takes me a good 2 days to acclimate. Or maybe I'm so insecure that when I have freedom, I don't know what the heck to do with it so I put needless expectations and pressures on myself.
I think part of the reason I had such a hard time our first 2 days here was because of the book I was reading. It's called "Running in Heels" and it's about a single girl who's struggling with every corner of her life. A third of the way through the book, the reader discovers that the heroine battles with anorexia and her newly developed habit of binging and purging. It was at this point in the book that I began to relate with the character and my focus began to shift inward.
Those who know me well, know that I struggle with food. I've never been anorexic or bulimic. The only reasons for this are that, 1) I don't have the self-control to starve myself and, 2) I hate to throw up...and I'm barely successful at making myself throw up when I'm truly sick anyway. But I can't tell you how many times I've thought about how much easier my life would be if I could cultivate one of these 2 habits.
(And yes, I know it's bad to think that starving or purging could somehow make life "easier" or better in any way.)
At one point, Natalie (our heroine) says:
"As I work on the toast, I add and subtract--calories gained, calories spent, eating it on, running it off--the sabotage is involuntary...What do people do, who don't think of food? Their lives must be gaping holes, chasms of nothingness punctuated by random meals. What would I think about, if I didn't think of food? I'd think the unthinkable. So food is what I think of."
I get this. I wish that one day I will know what it's like to not "think of food". It's constant. I feel good because I've (finally) made a healthy choice. Or I feel guilty because I've eaten a "bad" food...or too much of a "bad" food. Or I'm thinking about how I'm going to eat as much as I can in order to not feel the things that I'm feeling. Or how I'm going to burn enough calories to make up for what I've eaten. Or I don't want to go out to eat socially because it means appetizers and heavy foods and looking at deserts (and wanting them). Or I'm worried that I'm going to become the 286 pound Leanne that I've been able to avoid for the last 6 years. And it's all because I'm afraid. Afraid to feel. Afraid to make a bad decision. Afraid that people won't like me if I assert myself. Afraid that I'll feel lonely if I don't have it. Afraid that if I have another goal, I might fail. And I can't fail at food. I know food. It knows me. Intimately.
"I'm bored of using my body to speak my pain. If only I could learn to use my voice instead."
Those of you who've struggled with these types of addictions know that this quote speaks to the root of the issue. We use food, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, sex, work, money, things, hobbies, ANYTHING to occupy us instead of dealing with what is real. We don't use our voices. We act out. Like children.
My daughter doesn't have much of a vocabulary yet, so when she gets upset, she hits someone, she bites something, she throws herself on the floor. She acts out. But she is 17 months old. She doesn't know how to use her voice yet.
And apparently neither do I.
Oh, I know how to use my voice when it comes to others. I can see straight through most other people and I can tell them what their problems are and how they should deal with them. But when it comes to myself, I'd rather hide in a corner (or any other dark, solitary place) with a bag of Oreos.
But like the quote says, "I'm bored" of it. It's annoying. It's tedious. It's tiring. And it's time to use my voice. Time to be an adult. Time to stand up for myself and take my life (my body?) back. Again. Because trust me, this isn't the first time. Or the 2nd time. Or the 50th time. This is everyday. And y'all, I'm so tired. It wears me out. And a lot of you are sitting there right now knowing exactly what I'm talking about. You're tired too.
If I'm writing this to you, then know that I feel for you. You can comment or not...these kinds of issues aren't for the faint of heart. These aren't things that most people want to publicize...just the ones like me, who are just 'off' enough to not care if people know they're crazy. So know you're not in this alone.
As for me, I'm going to cry a little bit for myself, and then I'm going to try to live my life. And enjoy it all the while.