Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Is my low-grade depression fueled by sweets, or is my mindless immersion in sweets fueled by my depression - a desperate search for seritonin, a crude attempt at self "treatment"? It doesn't really matter because it is sort of a chicken or egg scenario. I am thankful to anyone reading this, especially Sparkfriends who have stuck by me through this tiresome struggle. If you all are half as tired of hearing about this as I am of writing about it, and battling it, then you have my sympathy and gratitude because I am quite sick of this same stupid sugary struggle. Sheesh. What don't I get? Well, what I do understand is that this has been my go-to source for fake comfort since I was tiny and skinny, literally tiny and skinny. When I was very young, and very skinny, I discovered a temporary soothing in all things sweet and sugary. As an adult who has, for very good reason, given up alcohol, cigarettes, and pharmaceutical diversions, sugar remains my last vice. As my very wise mother once said, "let's hope you don't take up gambling" (SP reinforces my decision not to gamble every time I only get 2 points on that #@&% wheel). Anyway, enough of the problem, what am I doing, today, to live in the solution?
Well, for one thing, wacky as it may sound, my first decision today was that I was going to stand in front of the ridiculous pile of leftover Halloween candy and say a prayer acknowledging that I am "powerless over food, especially sugar, and my life is unmanageable once again, and I need HELP". When I went into the room where my husband had left it (though I had asked him to take it away yesterday), it was gone. Phew. I said my prayer anyway. I would never presume to preach to anyone else but, for me, part of this ridiculously disorderly eating pattern I have is very much a spiritual deficiency or problem or something - anyway, it is not caused by me not knowing about proper nutrition, or just a matter of bad habits - the problem runs deeper in me and I have always known that. As it turns out my husband, without further prompting from me, finally did remove the horde of candy that has bedeviled me for a couple of days. Of course, we all know, the candy isn't the problem, it is my behavior and reaction to the candy that is the true issue, but not having it staring at me is definitely helpful. Then, I opened a drawer in the living room and found a stash from my 7 y.o. tricker-or-treater. I said a quick prayer and shut the drawer. My boy, and candy, are a whole separate issue, and blog. As of this moment, the candy has no pull on me whatsoever.
One thing that has always driven up my anxiety level, and my compulsiveness around food, is when my life piles up around me and I begin procrastinating and feeling overwhelmed. So, rather than turn on the t.v. and shovel in food mindlessly (which I am embarrassed to admit, but feel the need to admit since it is old behavior from my obesity days), I began to deal with my unmanageable life. I made a phone call to untangle a problem with a bill - I was dreading this because it was the company's error and we have exchanged so many useless e-mails that I figured the phone call would be just as pointless, but, lo and behold, problem solved and credit granted. I tended to laundry that had seemingly begun breeding in the two whole days I have ignored it. I ate a breakfast that contained protein and fiber and other actual nutrients. I am, before the day is done, preparing dinner for the night, and dealing with several pieces of correspondence that I have put off for too long. I have tracked my food. I am posting this blog. I am spending time reading blogs posted by other Sparklers. In other words, I am, one more time, rising up from the debris of depression. I have struggled with depression since I was 11 years old. I imagine I will have to deal with it, in some form or other, until the day I die (if family history is any indication). Or, perhaps, by finally embracing better nutrition and dealing with the ever present obstacles presented by hormones, I will be freed, finally. Either way, I will keep trudging forward.
Finally, one of the most powerful steps I took today involved weeping. I finally acknowledged just how much I am affected by my 19 year old son being at college. I am a firm believer in letting go and not treating adult children as, well, children. I am proud of him for embracing college and ROTC and for doing very well at both pursuits. I have a life outside of being a mother, and I fully respect my diminished role in his adult life. All that being said, he and I have always been close and, when we were not driving each other crazy, enjoyed one another's company and so, I simply miss him. I don't need to do anything about this other than let myself have a little cry. I have long thought that "emotional eating" is a bit of a misnomer. I realize "hiding from emotions eating" doesn't have quite the same ring, but when I am truly facing up to and dealing with whatever feelings keep pestering me for acknowledgement, I don't have a desire to overeat. It is when I am playing "hide and eat" with my feelings, that I start shoveling in food, especially sweets, as if I am a furnace and it is coal. It's not pretty, it feels awful, and it will never take me where I need and want to go. So, for today, I will tackle my somewhat messy life head-on, grateful to have once again found the elusive willingness to function like a flawed but healthy adult. I sincerely appreciate your patience, both in reading this, and in putting up with my roller-coaster Sparkjourney.