Sunday, April 28, 2013
When I was in elementary school I would complain of sporadic vision problems. When I was in front of the doctor I remember comparing it to a camera lens - I would be doing something or seeing something and my vision would slowly close in till it was black. It would be for a short while, sometimes not long enough to worth noting, but nevertheless something worth seeing a doctor for. The outcome of that visit was a room of adults impressed by my metaphor.
Nothing happened so I coped until it stopped.
I did not realize that as my vision issues stagnated, my jaw began locking. I thought it had something to do with my braces or later my retainer and so this time I did not express my "quirk". To this day it still pops in and out of place, but nothing of concern. But then my vision was wavering again, only this time I was grinding my teeth, and could feel my heart racing. The result was blacking out on the way to a few swim meets. It was chalked up to nerves and low blood sugar. I was told to suck it up.
So I did. I sucked it up.
And over the course of a year gained 50 lbs while still training 6 hours a day. I was feeling panicky to the point of withdrawal and enjoying every meal ten fold. I was unaware of what I was doing when I was doing it, but I was frustrated. I was swimming slower, I was having trouble concentrating, and (in hindsight) feeling an extreme sense of apathy. I was depressed according to the pediatrician, but just plain fat to my family. The solution? Lose weight.
So I did. I lost weight.
And continued to lose weight until I was down to eating one orange a day on 6 hours of swimming. I had coped, yet again, from physical ailments to food to a lack of food. But the same feelings were creeping back up again. Every so often I would feel "blah" or anxiety or a need for something (what, I still have no idea). I would go to my mom and say, "It's just not a good day." And she'd tell me to suck it up.
So I did. I sucked it up.
And I never expressed honest feelings to her again. Every so often I do now, but not to the extent I'd like to think a healthy mother-daughter relationship would. I don't always answer her calls and I do tend to shut down when she's being overbearing. She calls me her therapist and seems completely okay with that notion. But this isn't about my mom issues...
Back to the metaphor. I'm on stage or a platform, or a diving board, whatever, something with attention, use your imagination. It's great. I'm great. The whole thing is great. I feel good and confident and successful for a while. People are impressed - hell - I'm impressed. I like to liken it to plate stacking at this point because everything is stable and organized until there are one too many plates. Things get wobbly, people start to grimace, I start worrying that everything will fall. The plates become topsy turvy and then...
Metaphorically, of course. Throughout my entire life I have lived this cycle over and over and over again. And every time I asked for help or my body said help it was remedied superficially and to this day I still can't maintain a healthy coping mechanism. And this is how I've felt for the past two weeks. I have watched plates fall and pushed a few over myself to a point where I am frustrated and aggravated in myself. For what specific reason? I don't know. All I know is that stress is something I have never been very successful at handling long term.
I have had the inclination to sabotage my weight loss efforts quite a bit these past two weeks. I haven't (though my sodium has been a little high) and I'm proud of that, but I'm still shutting down emotionally and having trouble focusing. I'm too stubborn for therapy so onto healthier ideas.