Friday, July 27, 2012
In about 2 1/2 hours I will find out if I still have a job. My program was defunded and the agency has said it would find a way to make our now part-time job back into full-time. A stress eater, I have been bouncing up and down weight-wise with the the same 10 lbs since the news on 6/29/12. I have tried half-heartedly to look at things as half-full, rather than half-empty since then with minimum luck. I can't stay where I am if the job remains part-time so I've started job hunting. Also hanging over my head is the realization that I can't continue to live where I am because I won't be able to afford it. I've investigated retiring but can't for 2 more years.
Getting ready for work this morning, I slipped lower and lower into depression, negativity, and catastrophizing (a term from Jon Kabat-Zinn). My stomach was in knots; I couldn't focus. I wandered the house unable to find my glasses, my car keys or even my lunch. I saw visions of my partner (who is unemployed) and me living in a shelter. Driving to work I couldn't focus on the road and so became a danger to myself and others. After I ran 2 red lights in a row I knew I had to deal with my fear and "get a grip." OK, I've had 35+ years of therapy (off and on) and 40+ years of reading self-help books, how could I do this? Then I remembered a conversation I had had recently with my partner about "comfort zones."
Yes, my comfort zone has been expanded whether I am ready or not; my mind has been jolted out of its complacency, again, whether I 'm ready or not. Hmmmm... if I refocus my thinking into a positive bent, how much better would I feel mentally and physically? Or, in the words of a useful self-help book, how do I "feel the fear and do it anyway?"
Eleanor Roosavelt said that life was either a great adventure or it was nothing. So I've decided I'm on a great adventure. My comfort zone is being expanded and contains growing pains. Another piece wrapped up within these changes is my worry over some minor memory "blips." I'm so afraid of getting Alzheimers like my mother. I've read that a key to keeping the brain healthy is to keep it active by learning new things - to stretch it, use it. Learning a new job(if necessary) will do that. Figuring out Social Security and Medicare will do that. Rresearching senior housing will do that. Reworking financial plans will also do that.
Maybe that's why I've been ambiguous about getting healthy. Being fat, in pain, and afraid has been my "comfort zone" for so long, I can't (on a deep level) imagine anything else. I can't imagine NOT stress-eating. I can't imagine NOT feeling afraid all the time. I can't imagine change. Stay tuned....