Sunday, April 18, 2010
When you post a blog on SP, be prepared for a variety of responses: supportive, yes. With advice, yes. And finally, with sometimes surprising insight from the experience, strength and hope of others.
Yesterday I blogged about anxiety related to my housekeeping "failures", as defined by myself. Predictably I got a variety of responses... from pure statements of support / empathy, to suggestions of things to try, to insights for further self-examination. To you all, my thanks. It's humbling to see how this community responds to the needs of one another.
For those few who may be following long-term like a serial... the end result of the day was mixed. Sometimes just blogging feelings helps me deal with them. I did better than I sometimes do, but not perfectly. I did indulge in some self-soothing eating. But I also stopped myself from some of the worse excesses of which I am capable.
I also did not clean like a crazy woman. I did do ordinary weekend chores. And some careful self-examination while pondering some of the responses.
Yes, it's me that does the judging. I have internalized the voices of my grandmother, mother and sister. Why do I care about their opinions? I think I am still seeking their approval! Two of them are dead, the third has mellowed out... but my reaction is now internal.
The suggestions about having someone else help / buddy up led me to contemplate the social aspects of housekeeping, and I went on to think about my childhood, living as part of a family of seven. There was a lot of social interaction in my childhood related to cleaning house, washing dishes, etc.
I once commented to my son that I have observed myself starting to pick up and straighten when he comes over... it somehow makes me feel more comfortable to clean in the presence of others. But it had never occurred to me to actually ASK someone for help... maybe because cleaning my house is my own responsibility. There is a sense that "I should be able to do this on my own" is strong.
Now doesn't THAT sound familiar, fellow Sparkers?! How many of us think we should be able to lose weight on our own? Ah, I see a number of raised hands in the room!
Maybe this is an area that I need to also give myself some patience on...
So, three reasons to rejoice today: first in the support that comes from this site. Second in that I didn't do as badly in handling the stress / anxiety in my life as I sometimes do. And finally in having a few more insights into another area for future growth and self-acceptance!
Blessings to you all this Sunday.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Even when we know this, we still do it... why?
The current comparison I'm having trouble with is one I've always been more embarrassed about than even my weight at its heaviest. I'm a lousy housekeeper. I do not take good care of my things. It probably should be no surprise I didn't take good care of my body, either.
I'm getting better about my body, although I still do have those times when I get overwhelmed and neglect it in favor of some other shiny / distracting object / event in my life. But my house and its contents? Not as far along that path.
Night before last we had a rain storm and I had a leak. It was pouring down from the threshold between my bedroom and the hall. That means I'm going to have a roofer come take a look. As it turns out, the roofer is married to a work mate of mine.
And... my house is in a horrible state. Some people have a "junk" room or closet where they throw things? I live alone in a 3-bedroom house. Two of those bedrooms are "junk" rooms.
I have a dog that has done a number on my carpets, too. And like I said, not a good housekeeper.
I had finally got to the point where I sort of forgave myself for not being able to do it all (i.e. everything my dad did to earn a living plus everything my mom did to make a home... come on, SOME of you know what I'm talking about here). But when someone is going to come over and actually see the status of my cluttered home? Ouch.
The fear/anxiety point in this is he sees my house, he says something to his wife, it gets back in the workplace and everyone KNOWS what a horrible housekeeper I am.
Like they couldn't see how my desk is kept at the office, already! It doesn't have to be rational, it's an anxiety thing, right?
Some folks have weight / size issues based on commentary they heard in the homes of their upbringing? I have a soundtrack loop in the back of my head about housekeeping standards... from my grandmother judging the homes of others, from my mother feeling not up to her mother's standards, and from myself!
So, this weekend, I have two choices: try like a madwoman and fail to make my home live up to those standards in the head... or take another giant step down the path to self-acceptance. I will do what I can... but this is who and what I am.
I am the "Aunt Grace" of my generation... the one my grandmother clucked her tongue over. But THAT'S OK! Aunt Grace was a wonderful woman, smart, caring... just not a housekeeper... OK? OK! She had a master's degree in math education and well into her 70's and maybe even her 80's she was tutoring students through their high school math.
Embrace it, Barb! Your own sister may cluck her tongue, too... but you don't really need fixing... you just need acceptance. And not to overeat in reaction to this particular anxiety!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
OK, as you might have surmised from my status, I've been sidelined by allergies for a few days. "Recovery from illness" differs from "recovery from binge"... or does it?
When recovering from illness, you want to be sensitive to the needs of your body *today*, as opposed to its every day needs. You don't want to restrict, but you do want to eat things that your body in its current state can tolerate well. It may be a slightly different balance from the norm. Fair enough.
What about activity? Well, you want to pace yourself, not overdo.
Attitude? You want to be gentle with yourself, mentally and emotionally. Patient and kind.
When recovering from a binge, you pretty much want to do the same thing, right? What is a binge but a lapse, granted perhaps a mental / emotional one, but with physical effects? Those physical effects have to be dealt with gently, as do the mental / emotional ones.
So, not so different after all. What's the difference? We tend to add blame and shame to binges that we don't put on the flu, the allergies, or a trip to the surgery. With illness, we tend to rejoice over our increasing abilities. With illness, we tend to be grateful for life itself.
If we can bring that attitude to recovery from a "bad day", "bad week" or even "bad month" with food or exercise, won't we be so much better off?
To our health!
Friday, April 09, 2010
Did you think I was going to say "binge"? Gotcha!
Actually, this is a serious blog entry. News articles some of my FB friends have pointed me at today have the photograph of the man who killed five of my son's comrades on November 5th last year. I have not been able to look at photos of that man's face without a huge feeling of disgust and ache and hurt. Why is it that the perpetrator of so much violence gets his picture plastered all over like he's some kind of hero? Meantime, those killed and wounded on that day remain obscure and anonymous to most of the world. Those of us who knew them keep them close, but are THEIR photos in the news today? No!
I believe that this is how prejudice gets started. The man's face has certain characteristics associated with his ethnic heritage. He perpetrated a heinous crime (there's no doubt he did it folks, he was personally known to the victims!) Plastering this face across the media along with tales of what he did... caused me, ME, raised liberally, taught to have tolerance toward all, to subtly begin to feel uncomfortable around one of my own doctors, who shares that racial / ethnic background... whose face has some similarities. To feel relieved when that doctor no longer needed to see me. I am not proud of this, in fact, I am shamed by it. But I recognize it as a fact, a gut-level reaction. Education is a tool to try to battle this, but eons of genetic selection have trained us to classify and learn to stay safe.
Sometimes I think too much news is bad for us. I know in my heart that there are many people of peace who share the same heritage. But I've been imprinted... do you look like this? I'm going to be very watchful around you.
How does this relate to healthy habits? Well, *not EATING uncomfortable feelings* leads me to write about them. And health goes beyond nutrition and exercise. Feeling safe is a huge part of being healthy. Having the ability to reach out to others is a big part of being healthy.
I'm facing a hard truth about my feelings. This, too, can be accepted, and given up to God, praying for the willingness to let it be healed.
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