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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Honesty isn't Easy

Writing my blog has been one of the most freeing, and terrifying, things that I have ever done.  I have given myself permission to open up and allow others to look into my thoughts and feelings.  For me, this is a daunting task.  I've written before, that, thanks to the way I was raised, being open and honest is never easy.  I was always told that you should "put your best foot forward", and I have always tried to live that way, even though, on many occasions, it has led me into deep depressions.  Today, a lot of things have been coursing through my mind, and I'm going to take a big step towards being totally honest.  It isn't easy, but I think it's important.

Okay, here goes.  The last few days, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and I am starting to assess some of the things I'm learning about myself.  Even though I often feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, I try not to show that to the the people in my life.  I am very good at suppressing my emotions, stuffing them down so deeply, that even I think that they don't exist.  But, you can only stuff so many things into a container.  Pretty soon, that container starts to over flow.  Well, my inner container is full, and things are starting to fall out.  I can try picking them up and stuffing them back in, but soon, you realize that nothing else is going to fit.

Right now, I'm really angry about the way my life has turned out.  I take full responsibility for most of it.  I have made mistakes that have led me to where I am, and there is no way to go back in time and change these things.  I really thought that I had learned to accept my life as it is, but I do have regrets.  Some of the things that I'm angry about, however, are out of my control and these are probably the hardest to live with.  Chronic pain has stolen so much from me.  I want my life back!  I want to know what it's like to wake up in the morning, feeling rested and without pain.  I want to be able to just pick and go do things without having to access how I'm feeling, or how I'm going to feel if I actually do what I want.  I want to be more available to my children instead of always telling them that I can't because I feel so bad.

I'm tired of seeing the person in the mirror who looks back at me.  I have gained so much weight lately.  I talk about losing weight, but just can't seem to do anything about it.  I am an emotional eater.  Happy, sad, angry, it doesn't matter - I can find some sort of food to stuff in my mouth that I think is going to fill the hole.  But it never does, and then I eat more, trying to fill the hole that eating the first mass of food created inside me.  Now, you would think that knowing this about myself would be half the battle, but it isn't.  Knowing that I do this to myself almost makes it worse.  It's like I think I'm past the point of no return and nothing I do is going to fix it.

Food is my drug.  I love it and hate it at the same time.  I have been this way for almost as long as I can remember.  As many of you know, I was molested as a child.  I really believe that my emotional eating started with this monstrous act.  I was also an extremely shy and awkward child.  I didn't have many friends, but I always had food.  It was always there, and it always made me feel better, at least for a short period of time.  I was miserable in school, and when I got home, there was always something to eat at home.  I could always get my fix, and know that the pain would go away, even for a short period of time.

Over the years, I have been able to diet and lose weight, but it always came back.  Something would always come along to drive me back to my drug of choice.  I have gained and lost a couple of people of the years.  I think it would be far easier to kick a drug or alcohol habit, because you can live without those things.  Unfortunately, you can't live without food.  Whenever I feel hunger pangs, I feel terrified.  I almost feel like I am going to die from the pain, and I have to immediately eat something to stave off the pain.  I think that those pains of hunger represent the emotional pain throughout my life.  If I don't feel the pain of hunger, then I won't feel the emotional pain that has always been a part of my life.

I wish that I could end this piece by saying that I have a handle on this, and that I have started a diet which is going to be the one which is going to take.  I can't say that yet.  I wish I could say that I am ready to end my toxic relationship with food, but I can't.  What I can say is that I am ready to publicly admit what I am going through.  I am ready to admit that food is my addiction, and that I am powerless against it.  That seems to be the start of the battle, and I pray that one day soon, I will be able to say that I am at least fighting the war.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Please Don't Ask Me How I Am

Do you ever get tired of people asking you how you are doing, and then watching their eyes glaze over when you actually start to tell them the truth?  Have you learned to respond with the obligatory "I'm fine", because you know that's really all the other person wants to hear?  I know I am.  The real title of this post should be "Don't Ask Me How I Am Because I Don't Have The Energy To Lie To You Right Now"!

Through the years of living with chronic pain, I have learned that most people really don't mean it when they ask you how you are.  They want the short, sweet answer of I'm fine.  Most of the time, I can toss that one off with ease.  I can even smile when I'm saying it, and make the other person believe that I really am fine.  The truth of the matter is that I want to say, "I feel lousy right now!  Every inch of my body hurts, and just standing hear talking to you is almost more than I can bear!".  Of course, I don't say this, but boy, do I want to!

Right now, I am going through a really rough time.  My pain is about a 20 on a scale of 1 to 10.  I find myself avoiding people, because I don't have the energy to smile through the pain at the moment.  And to be honest with you, I'm tired of listening to my self complain about how I feel.  We've all known someone who does nothing but complain, and sometimes, I think that I'm turning into that person.  Then, I think if I am turning into that person, I don't want to inflict myself on others, so I find myself withdrawing.  It's a vicious circle to be caught up in.

I am supposed to be going to see my mom next month.  She is paying for me to fly down and spend a long weekend with her.  I am really excited about it, but in the back of my mind, I am almost afraid to go.  I worry about having a flare up or just complaining too much.  I worry about trying to get through an airport in this condition.  I worry about getting there and not having the energy to do anything.  I know my mom understands, but I haven't really traveled with this before and I don't know how it's going to affect me.

At the moment, I am just sick of the whole thing!  I am tired of the pain!  I am tired of complaining!  I am tired of the person I am now!  I am tired of worrying about offending someone else if I actually have the nerve to really tell them how I am!  I think from now on, I will respond to the question of "How are you?" by saying, "Don't ask me if you don't really want to know".  That way, the other person has fair warning that they aren't going to get a simple "fine" out of me.  They know that something is coming, and I'm giving them an out from hearing about it!  Once I get started, I may still see their eyes start to glaze over, but they can't say I didn't give them fair warning!