Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

I was thinking about using songs as a theme to my blog posts. I might do it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY-EOYJQMMY&feature=endscreen (turn volume down a bit, least til you know you like it or not. I promise future links to more gentle music. Harder music too. We’ll see.)

So now that I’ve slept, and somewhat reflected on what I wrote, I came to this conclusion: FUCK sadness.

Like my therapist said, my boredom comes from the need for progress and stimulation. I’m not meeting my potential. She’s not exactly telling me things I’m unaware of. Still, it helps to hear it from an outside source. There’s only so much consulting I can do with myself before I’m appreciative of another opinion.

I did end up going to a family gathering for the holidays. Even though I knew no one was expecting me, I was surprised when so many expressed shock at seeing me. It actually was a good exercise for later this month (surprise party for my great-aunt). It helps to realize that I’m not as socially awkward as I tend to think of myself.

Anyways. I haven’t mentioned the state of my room in a while. I should really post a picture, cause words fail to convey the utter wreckage I live in. I have selective eyesight regarding my room (like selective hearing. I can look at my room, and see nothing). So my assignment for thursday is to pick up the garbage and to start sorting through some of the clothes I no longer want. Sounds deceptively simple. I said to my therapist that it’s a fucking dumping ground. And she asked me if that’s how I see myself.

Kinda took me aback. A couple months ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated, that was exactly how I saw myself. Now… I don’t. Obviously, I have to change my environment to reflect the change within. Fuck.

I’m also looking for ways to positively occupy myself. I joined meetup. http://www.meetup.com/ I’ve founds things I’d really enjoy doing. Part of the problem is that I don’t run into anyone I used to know. And the more I put myself out there, the higher the likelihood of that happening. Scary stuff.

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who’s begun following me, or liking my posts, or commenting. It’s both weird and validating to know my words are reaching others. If my experiences can help even one person, it has all been worth it.

 

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The holidays always seem like a very volatile time to me. At a time when we are pressured to be “thankful”, all we can think about is the stressors and triggers in our lives that are all coming to the forefront.

Personally, I have checked out from all the holidays and get-togethers the last few years. By now, my family is more surprised when I make an appearance then when I am absent. For a long time this used to make me feel incredibly guilty. I felt I was being a bad daughter/niece/cousin/granddaughter.

This year I have come to the realization that my actions have meant that my mental health has been better preserved for all the avoidance. It means I was better able to care for my Self.

Because it is not just the pressures of family we end up contending with… It is pressures surrounding food, and how we end up reacting (emotionally) when there is such abundance.

Being around our triggers, it is normal for us to turn to something easily accessible to comfort us. We evolved with a sweet tooth as a survival mechanism (as part of our primal ability to stave off starvation). Often this means that the overabundance of calorie dense, sugar and carb laden foods become a substitute for more constructive outlets for our emotional distress.

There is a growing body of evidence showing that there is no such thing as “all things in moderation”, and that willpower, although possible in small doses, really does us no good. The real saying should be “out of sight, out of mind”.

Why am I talking about food?

I find that many of us use food as a reward or a punishment. We either go all out and shove our emotions down with unhealthy foods, or we deny ourselves to the point where we do not recognize our hunger. Actually, both ends of the spectrum do not recognize real hunger. And that hunger can be a metaphor for emotions such as love, grief, sadness, anger, happiness. Overeating or starvation is a good way (and “socially acceptable” way) to numb out.

Going on a holiday binge can lead to the “abuse voices” critisizing us, berating us. It can start a downward depressive spiral that is hard to dig out of.

If you cannot avoid family on the holidays, consider modifying the holiday recipes you usually cook. If you don’t cook, look up some easy recipes with simple ingredient lists and short cooking times. Focus on desserts. They are the typical trigger foods, and if you have something that you know is “safe” to eat, you will be less likely to binge.

On a personal note: I have gone both extremes, I have been anorexic, and am now a recovering emotional binge eater. It was a snap decision to change when it hit me that the source of my health problems were dietary. I have now gotten off one antidepressant, off one pain med, reduced a mood stabilizer, and an anti-anxiety/anti-migraine med. I had suffered from edema in my feet for months, and not only is it gone, but I can now sprint in intervals, when I was previously unable to run for years.

My focus is health, so it is a bonus that I am down 10+ pounds (necessary weight loss though!). I have increased my intake of healthy fats, like coconut oil, and butter (!), and I find that that has eliminated my cravings for sweet and carb-y foods.

The desert I had tonight was an almond flour muffin with cacao nibs and coconut sugar. It is dense and filling, so while it is a small muffin, one is enough, and fills me up.

Looking at the cause of your emotional eating / starvation can help you tap into emotions that you thought were long dormant. Healing needs a synergistic look and effort. It is not linear, or easy. But the results can be well worth the effort.

Stay Safe ❤

 

I’ve been asking myself how one can stand to celebrate important live events when they have been made to feel subhuman.

Even having made a complete 180 from the person I was back then when I was abused and enslaved, I still struggle with feelings of self-worth on important days of the year – holidays, birthdays.

For the most part, I avoid holidays. I used to feel guilty about this… I would be the only family member who was glaringly absent. But the truth is, I do not fit in. And if I am even more honest – the reason I do not fit in is because my abusers made sure I would always feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.

I’m now unapologetic (mostly) when I avoid important events. I would rather look after my own health and well-being then risk a set back.

I had even become pretty good at avoiding my birthday. I would not answer the phone, or tell friends of the impending event. I would not announce it on any social media I took part in.

Come to think of it, I still don’t.

My goal in celebrating the day of my birth seems to be a bit different then my peers who are also in their 20s.

I am not looking to get drunk (I quit drinking), I’m not looking to smoke any illicit substances (ditto), I do not want to go clubbing (I love to dance, but have been assaulted in clubs before… Not my idea of a good time). I don’t want a huge celebration, or even a small one.

I’m not sure I want anyone other then myself to acknowledge the day by doing anything.

So how do I celebrate a day that once brought me more misery then usual?

I focus on good things.

I count my blessings. I reflect on how far I have come, and how far I still want to go, and review the steps I have to take to get there.

I do something to pamper myself. I made plans with myself to order some skin care items online. Self-care shows me I am worth taking care of. Who needs a man when I have myself?! 😉

I might ask a couple of my close friends out, maybe for coffee, maybe for lunch. I usually wait for friends to contact me, as I feel I would be bugging them if I *dared* asked them to do something with me, instead of wait for them to ask. This is the remains of the voice of my abusers. But I’ll attempt to overcome it.

I look forward to a peaceful birthday. I am thankful to be single. I am thankful to be free. I am thankful I am happy. I am thankful for my support system.