Tag Archives: grief

Anxiety vs. Food

If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser, seen a weight-loss commercial or an interview of someone who’s lost a significant amount of weight, you’ve probably heard them say, I’m never going to be heavy again!  Personally, I’m too afraid to utter those words.  Rather than test fate, I know that I still have to take things one day at a time.   2012 has taught me many things – mainly, that nothing in life stays the same.  Never before have I been more aware of that than the past few months.

I spent the majority of this weekend working at Patty’s house, removing the last of her belongings and saying goodbye to the one remaining thing that linked me together with her – her home.  I’d been dreading Saturday and Sunday, becoming increasingly agitated as last week drew to a close, but attributed my emotions to a host of other, unimportant things.  With my anxiety building, I found myself wanting to reach for copious amounts of comfort food before the weekend even arrived. 

This time I tried to think ahead and made a plan to busy myself with painting instead of eating.  By the time Thursday arrived I was furiously working in my studio, finishing three watercolors before the day was over (quite a feat for me.)  All three paintings had themes that were specifically chosen to give a calming, zen-like feel.   Here are two of the three that I finished:

 

 

Thursday came and went and I climbed into bed exhausted.  I wish I could report that I didn’t give in to numbing my grief with food, but I’d be lying. 

On Friday, I woke up determined to not only begin, but complete a very tedious art project.  Working solely with cut paper and glue, I pushed myself for over 12 hours until I finished this: 

I regularly post photos of work in progress on my Facebook art page (which you are invited to ‘Like’ if you’re a Facebooker) and I love receiving comments and ideas from people.  On this particular project I had several comments from some very wise people who saw things that I didn’t.  Well, not until it was pointed out to me:  one – she’s a young Patty (who used to wear a red hat every time she went out) and two – she is me.  Two people combined to make a self portrait. 

Well now, that ought to make a good topic for a therapy session, no?

Again, when I was finished I’d hoped that the anxiety I was feeling would be gone and that I could wake up on Saturday and put myself into full work-mode.  The weekend came and went, leaving me feeling completely drained, both emotionally and physically.  I didn’t binge (I didn’t have time), but I did make extremely poor choices and ate without regard to any consequence. 

Today, I’m feeling disappointed in myself; I really wish I’d been able to channel my emotions strictly into my work – to completely lose myself in distraction.  After seven+ years in maintenance, you would think that I’d have worked out this part by now. 

If anything, this experience has shown me that I will most likely always be a work in progress.  Now that the crisis has passed all I can do is pick myself up and try again next time.  Until then I’ll just keep reminding myself that at least I haven’t thrown in the towel.  I’m still fighting to figure things out and hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to say that food and I have a very healthy relationship with one another.

Have a good week, everyone. 

XO,

~E

 

Dealing with it

There are Five Stages of Grief. 

  1. Denial and isolation.
  2. Anger.
  3. Bargaining.
  4. Depression.
  5. Acceptance.

In the last week I have paid a visit to all of these stages.  More than once.  Stage Four and I currently have a closer relationship than I’d like.  I’ve been hanging out there a lot; ceaselessly loitering, actually.   At first I tried keeping to a routine, so I got out of bed at my regular time and stayed busy.  By Wednesday though, I couldn’t seem to talk myself out of bed.  With nowhere to go and my husband at work, it was just me and the dogs.  They were great lounging buddies.  They slept close by as I buried myself under the covers.  I never realized how painfully slow time passes when your mind and body won’t cooperate with each other.  Evidently, sleeping the day away is only a saying because I actually tried doing that and it doesn’t work.  My mind kept looping back to reality and leave me wishing the days away instead.

For the last 72 hours or so I’ve added a couple of Stages to the above list: Fear and Uncertainty.  As I cope with the loss of Patty in my life I now have to come to terms with the fact that I am unemployed, and will continue to be unemployable for the next couple of months.  For a woman who totally digs her comfort zone, all of these changes bring on a fear that I can’t begin to describe. 

Life will move along whether I’m on board or not.  At least I have enough sense to realize that I can’t continue down this path.  I’m having major surgery in less than a month and it’s extremely important that I’m physically and emotionally prepared for it.  I firmly believe that attitude can aid or hinder recovery and that our bodies respond to the way we are feeling, so, I have put a plan in motion.  Not a big one, but a plan nonetheless.  One accomplishment before I go to bed every day this week.  It doesn’t matter how big or small; I just need to be deliberate in choosing a task that will distract my mind and take away some of these feelings of uselessness.  Getting dressed doesn’t count (she repeats to herself).

Because I need some accountability, this little series of assigned jobs is pretty much what you can expect to read about over the next few days. 

Today’s task was sitting down at the computer and writing this post.  A huge accomplishment, believe me.  Trying to find something of value to write about has not been a strength of mine lately. 

A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms out there.  See you back here tomorrow – task number one (whatever that may be), completed.

XO,

~Ellen