Thursday, July 15, 2010

Returning to normalcy

Confession time: My life has felt pretty not normal since June 22nd.

In addition to Chassis' death, around then Joe started working more and I became aware that my home with Joe was less OUR home and more of his home with me staying over. I found myself struggling with immense sadness and while sometimes I wanted to reach out, I often didn't.

The sadness led me to some pretty bad eating when I wasn't hungry or eating for the wrong reasons (like when Joe comes home - it's one of the few meals we get to share together during the week, so even if I'm not hungry, I want to share something with him).

The result is that I'm a few pounds heavier than I was.

Although to be fair, this past week, I lost a pound. But I wasn't really dedicated to my path of having a healthy lifestyle - not really. You know what I mean? It's like I know WHAT to do and I know that it works, but I just don't do it.

After I wrote my post about me having issues with my mom, I was lucky enough to have already had a therapy appointment scheduled that evening. I expressed my anger (which was tapped into quite by accident while blogging) and my sadness that good, bad, or indifferent my mom and I aren't a great fit sometimes.

But to be clear, I love my mom. And you'd have to know my whole story I suppose, but she really is a great lady. Some of the things that I was angry about in my blog post, she DID know about. And some, she didn't. I guess as a kid, I didn't feel like she addressed some of the small things, so in some cases, I didn't go to her for some of the bigger things. Who is to blame for this? Well, maybe both of us.

I'm not a mom and although I have the best goal to be the best mom I can be, I'm sure that years from now my kids will have a list of things they wish that I would've done differently too. But I would hope that they would know how loved they are. Just as I know that my mom loves me very, very much.

My mom did the best that she could with what she had. She was a mom and a dad (since my dad wanted to have nothing to do with us when we were little) and gave us enough love for both. Which left none for herself.

Even though I know she did the best she could, it doesn't stop me from wishing that things were different and that our relationship would be less fraught with conflict and unresolved emotions. Like Lesia wrote, I know she isn't going to be around I just wish that our time was spent more harmoniously. Perhaps I didn't explain that completely, but there you have it.

Anyway, the appointment with my therapist AND the ability to blog truthfully here allowed me to get over it more. I still wish that we both could approach things differently and I'll try the approach that Lainie and Robby recommended - treating her like an old friend rather than a mom that I have decades of issues with. Hopefully, she'll follow suit. But if not, I'm still lighter inside.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I released a lot of the pain and frustration by tapping into some feelings that I had - feelings that I didn't even know I had. And while it was hard to be honest about my anger, it also was cathartic. Suddenly, I didn't crave sweets at all. I felt immensely and immediately better. VERY similar to how Missy described her recent experience.

And since Tuesday evening, I've felt more like me and less like I was being controlled by my cravings. It may not sound like a big deal, but yesterday I actually ate the food that I packed for lunch - for the first time in WEEKS (sad, I know!). And last night? I didn't stop for take-out on my way home.

My breakfasts have returned to the old reliable ones that I've eaten with success and things are slowly returning to normalcy.

It's a welcome change.

After all, what prompted her question in the first place, was her comment that I'm more relaxed and at ease with myself than I have been in years. And really? She's right. The work that I've done to love myself (because I didn't feel worthy of love for MANY reasons when I was a kid), IS working.

Joe is still working 15 hour days multiple days a week. The rest of the days, he works his normal 10. 65 hour work weeks means that he's burnt out and doesn't have a lot left over for me. Sure, some nights I've already been asleep when he gets home. Even if I were awake, I don't have the heart to burden him with more problems and questions - ones that he really has nothing to do with in the first place. He's so weary and exhausted as it is.

So I'm being tasked with the challenge to soothe myself in a place that I don't quite feel like is my home yet. And I love a good challenge.

Now, I can't change Joe's schedule, but I can change our environment. With the $1000 I save religiously every month (due to us living together) I do have some money to spend on things that will make my new home more...well...inviting and less like the bachelor pad it's been for a decade. Throw rugs (even just one - we have none on our wall to wall hardwood floors), candles, or (gasp!) throw pillows might make it feel more comforting and less cold. I'm also going to "shop" in my storage unit (which is where 98% of all of my stuff is) and try to find my stereo - something that I can enjoy listening to soothing music on. I'm not going to spend a $1000 - or anything close to it, but spending $100-$150 on some throw rugs and candles sounds like a good thing to do.

I'm going to return to my one new recipe a week challenge because I loved it and it rejuvenated me and tonight I'll be baking fiberlicious blueberry muffins - which are a tasty treat that Joe, myself, and my colon enjoy.

TMI? Well, sure...but what else do you come here for?


P.S. Yesterday's post contained a picture from our hike in Steamboat Springs at the end of June. I took that picture specifically with the idea of the blog in before my mom visited. We've all had things that have hurt us in our lives and while some of my mom's actions are things that hurt me, there have been plenty of other things that I've held onto way past what was necessary. It was not intended to be about your role as a mom, my mom, your mom, or anyone else's mom. Although, if that's what you got out of it, great! I'm so lucky to have readers that write comments about things that resonate with them! Thank you all for your comments, concerns, and emails - I am so lucky!


Katy said...

retail therapy, good music and some FAGE morning yogurt...the recipe for a happy Anne.

Fat Girl vs. World said...

You know... one of the reasons I got fat was because I ran from my feelings. Reading Thich Nhat Hahn say "turn towards" those negative feelings was scary at first... but after a while the cummulative fear of things unresolved lessened.

I can only hope your mom follows suit. She should also want a good relationship with you. You're an awesome person to know :)

Lanie Painie said...

I soothed myself by re-arranging furniture today.

Lyn said...

I was actually thinking about you and the loss of Chassis this week, wondering how you're doing. I hope time heals your heart! I do think making the house a home will help you feel better. A woman's touch is nice for a man to come home to :)

Margie M. said...

I am on the opposite of your post I guess. I am the MOM and I face my own guilt at how I was back when my kids were young. I didn't abuse them or neglect them. We always had 2 parents in our home. But as I've gotten older and become a grandma, I have all these guilt feelings about..."why didn't I do this...or that?" "why did I holler at them so much?" "why didn't I spend more time with them?" I did spend a lot of time with my 2 kids and their acitivies (school helper, scout leader, summer day trips, swimming with them in our pool) but now as I'm getting closer to 60, I have such guilt at times. I feel deep down that I should have been perfect. Not a good thought since nobody can be perfect, but that has all been part of my struggle to lose weight and keep it off, too. None of us can change the past we can only learn from it and do better in the present. I try to live in the present, but my past failings haunt me DAILY.

Margie M. writes at:

Ginger said...

so good that you were able to come to stop the cravings and be more happy. therapy is awesome!

Misspudding said...

It is so weird about the emotional eating, then venting, then not eating, isn't it?

Emotional hunger really can be confusing.

Glad to hear you're going to make the place a little girlier! Have fun. I hope it "distracts" you from your grief.

TinaM said...

So glad you have someone to talk to that you can trust. It sounds like you have a good therapist that really does help!
It's good that you feel better about the whole situation. Bad feelings might come up again from time to time, but hopefully it just gets easier and easier.

Making the home more your own is a great idea! I can't wait to read about your shopping trip. Have fun!!!

Joy said...

So glad you are feeling better!! Keep up the great work and have fun shopping!! Hugs!