My Guilty Pleasure (TW)

Today’s Daily Prompt begs the question:

What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?

Guilt-Trip-Sticker

 

This is a good question, because I have many guilty pleasures.  Most of them are food-related.  A few are not.  I read several other blogs’ take on this question, and it seems that food or food-related items rank way up there as a guilty pleasure that they are making no apologies for.

It’s food and it’s fuel, right?  I know very few people who actually operate that way, although they claim they do.  It’s about taste and texture and comfort.  It’s about memories and celebrating and tradition.  Food can be art.  Can fuel be art?

Food can also be guilt.  Food can be a habit that is (seemingly) unbreakable.  Food can be a pattern, an imprint on our soul, a war that we constantly wage.  As a person who grew up dealing with bulimia, to an adult who constantly battles with Binge Eating Disorder, with very occasional purging thrown in for good measure, I cannot say that I am able, at this point, to have a relationship with food that mimics the “food is fuel” model.  As much as I would like, I’m not there.

I like food, actually LOVE food, but food is also the enemy.  Too little, while failing to try and eat in moderation, and I make up for that later with way too much food and a whole pot full of bad feelings about it.  If I eat an inordinate amount and am in a very bad place, I revert to old bulimic behaviors.  Why don’t I just stop already?

Food is my guilty pleasure.  But one that I do feel guilty about, which is not what the Daily Prompt really wants me to write about.  My relationship with food is better than it used to be.  I eat healthier, binge less, but it still happens.

My bingeing has been better since DSB left.  I am not keeping a lot of food around to binge on, and I had a better-than-usual experience my last grocery shopping trip in which the only real trigger item I bought was peanut butter.  Let’s just say that the peanut butter’s days were numbered and it is long gone.  And I feel really bad about that.  But there’s not much I can do now.

It will be interesting to see how my eating disorder moves along now that DSB is gone.  Already, I said, it has been better.  I want to know — will I be able to finally cure myself?  Given the right blend of vegetables and fruit and starch and protein, will I be able to banish those obsessive stuff-your-face thoughts out of my head?  I certainly hope so.

It’s certainly something I need to work on in therapy.  Something I haven’t mentioned in eons.  I’ve just been plugging away, not mentioning it because, well, I feel pretty guilty about it.

Which is why this is such a big post.  It is very hard to tell the world that you are overweight and have an eating disorder.  It is not well-understood.  “Well, just eat less!”  Right on.  All I have to comfort myself with right now, is that I am trying very hard, being extra vigilant, and hopefully with those two things and the help of my therapist, I can nip this life-long issue in the bud…forever.

 

Obsessive Tendencies Rosa

The theme of today’s Daily Prompt is:

Can’t Get it Out of My Head!

They ask “have you ever become obsessed with something?”

Me?  Obsessed?  Obsessive tendencies Rosa?  Ha!

It varies from day to day, but five constant obsessions include:

1) DSB’s health.  We’ve been in the ER most of the afternoon and evening, and DSB has pneumonia.  Like, in a bad BAD way.  They admitted him and, while we waited for a bed, he forced me to go home, laying on the guilt with, “the dogs need for someone to be home.  We left them in the middle of a thunderstorm.”  Gah.  So here I am, at home.  DSB is still sitting in the ER waiting on a bed.  And I am (in my head) writing my memoir, which at this point is stuck in the litany of illnesses, surgeries, accidents, and mishaps that DSB has had in the two years that I have known him.

Emergency

2)  Blogging.  Not blogging well, mind you.  But blogging.  Putting something up every day, even if I have to do it at 6:00am in my underwear or at 9:00pm before I’ve had dinner.  Even if it’s complete drivel and no  one reads it.  Hey, I’m blogging.  Daily.  I’d like to get away from doing “list and picture posts,” but I think I’m becoming obsessed with those, too.

3) Jelly beans. That’s right, it’s Easter bunny time and I am ALL about the jelly beans.  Year-round, actually, but right now, they’re everywhere!  Jelly Belly is my favorite, but I even like the $1 packages you can buy at Dollar General.  Jelly beans are my kryptonite.

These are Jelly Bellies...taken from Wikipedia of all places

These are Jelly Bellies…taken from Wikipedia of all places

4) My pups.  They mean everything to me and we treat them like they are itty bitty royals.  Treats, snacks, good (and expensive!) dog food, always up to date on shots and heartworm and flea/tick, fresh water, and a dog food bowl that never stands empty.  I can’t explain the love I have for these pups.  See below for yourself:

kizz

Kizzer Wizzer licking her chops

Rascal in water

Rascal in Kansas waters for the first time in his life

Kizzie and Rascal in water

Kizzie and Rascal wishing they didn’t have to be on leashes

5) Sticking to my schedule.  If there is only one non-medication thing I can do to treat my bipolar, to keep the bipolar demons at bay, it’s sticking to a schedule.  I have a wake-up schedule and an evening schedule and a bedtime schedule.  I take my meds at the same time each day.  I go to work on the same days, structure my days off, and generally not allow myself any down-time to brood over things.  If I’m not blogging or catching up on the 210 (yikes!!!) blogs I follow, I’m reading a book or scrubbing my kitchen or chatting up DSB.  Idle time is not good for me, and I learned that the hard way.

via I actually keep a day-planner.  Love!

via
I actually keep a day-planner. Love!

So, down goes another “list and picture post.”  They really are addictive!

Permission to Abort Operation Anxiety

Today has been a week of realizing and, eventually, accepting that my general anxiety level has risen to ridiculous levels over the past few weeks.  For a little while, around the time that Sondra started getting sick I started having a lot of problems with depression — lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, extreme sadness, problems with food/eating, extreme moodiness and irritation, so on and so on.  Of course I couldn’t just accept it as that, as some situational issues going on — I had to wallow and moan about how life was just so AWFUL. 

As that depression started to lift, my anxiety became more noticeable, at least to other people.  To Dr. Love, especially, because he’s the one who has to deal with my not-exactly-rare erratic behavior day in and day out.  I’m not proud or happy to say that I really get bossy, controlling, and mean with him when I’m anxious.  I work all day long and, if I come home and there are a couple of dishes in the sink, or some project isn’t done, I’ll go off.  If it isn’t apparent to me that he’s been busy all day doing different things, I get irrational. 

Little things set me off.  I have an obsession/compulsion about the bed being made, in EXACTLY the “right” way, all of the dishes being done and put away, the kitchen being spotless, clothes put away in closets in dressers, the living room devoid of clutter.  When I’m in my right mind, and even sometimes when I’m in the moment, I know that all of these little things aren’t super-important in the grand scheme of life, and I’m usually a little bit (sometimes a lot) embarrassed by the time I’m done throwing my temper tantrum. 

And sometimes I’ll just come home in a mood and I will sit and pick things to death.  It can get really obscene sometimes — I will sit and obsess about Dr. Love possibly leaving me or not loving me or not being attracted to me and it is a very slippery slope in my mind until it is to the point that I’m asking him ridiculous questions like, “Do you ever think about breaking up with me?”  This really pisses him off to no end and he really doesn’t like it when I go on and on about how his parents hate me, especially when I go into such detail about certain instances that I am SURE prove just how much they dislike me.  He usually ends up walking away when I start really getting into this “no one loves me, everyone is going to leave me, everyone hates me” topic matter, just because he can’t deal with how irrational I am being.  I can’t really blame him, although it really REALLY pisses me off at the time.  The problem is that, in that very moment, he can’t stop my bad behavior.  Only I can. 

Basically, my anxiety can lead to some very intense moments and I consider myself extremely lucky that Dr. Love takes these situations and generally turns them around, not getting angry or holding a grudge.  He’s really good about trying to make me laugh and get my mind off things by acting silly or distracting me with something else.  Unfortunately, there have been many days where nothing can snap me out of it.

As I said, I have been thinking a lot the past week about my ridiculous anxiety level and have decided that I really need to do something pro-active about it.  I had therapy with Goddess of Mindfulness today and we talked about what I could do to feel less anxious.  I pinpointed that my anxiety really gets ramped up after I get off work and this is when I’m most likely to go home and blow up.

During times of less anxiety, I spent a lot of time sitting on my back porch, meditating and doing mindfulness exercises.  I don’t do that anymore.  At all.  During that time, I also cooked a healthy dinner almost every night, whereas most nights now it’s just whatever I can microwave.  I’m tired of coming home from work, getting pissed off at Dr. Love, yelling at him, then eating something out of the microwave and watching TV for the rest of the night to block out (usually ineffective) how anxious I am feeling.  It’s no wonder I don’t sleep well, when I’ve been revved all evening.

As a response to fear about losing Dr. Love, I have it in my head that we have to spend every second together and I realize now that is not the case.  Dr. Love gets his “me” time while I am at work, and I come home to him every night and weekend, never having even a moment where he’s not around.  This is completely not his fault, but mine. 

I don’t take any time to meditate, practice mindfulness, cook, exercise, paint my toenails, or anything else that would make me feel good.  I’m (wrongly) driven to sit by his side, even if we’re not doing anything and are just staring at the TV together (which doesn’t usually happen because he gets tired of watching). 

I talked with him about it last night and he agrees that I need to be taking time out to do things for myself to feel better, to feel good.  When I talked with Goddess of Mindfulness about it this morning, she suggested that I need to find a way to relax at the end of the day.  When I was doing my best, I was in a routine of coming home, going for a walk, cooking dinner, and then maybe watching about an hour of TV or spending some time on the computer. 

When I come home now, my anxiety is at an unreal level and I’m so overwhelmed.  GoM suggested that, as soon as I get home, I go sit out on the porch and listen to some mindfulness exercises on CD.  She gave me a few suggestions of ones to try out and a workbook also that may be helpful.  I’m going to Amazon later tonight and will give them a try and report back, if they’re any good. 

My hope is that, with beginning to relax myself through meditation and mindfulness the moment I get home, I will have a less anxious evening and will be more amenable to cooking, exercising, blogging, LIVING.  Fingers crossed.

So this song is repetitive, but the lyrics (comments) get stuck in my head and I’m always singing it to Dr. Love.  Enjoy. 

Plain White T’s, 1 2 3 4

Radical Acceptance of Fear

My inner self-critic has been working overtime lately.  It has led to a lot of anxiety, leading to tummy problems, sleepless nights, crying spells.  Granted, life has been a bit stressful lately, but DAMN.  I hate feeling this way.

Of course, I need to start doing something about this — panic attacks are just no fun at all.  I saw Goddess of Mindfulness last night after work and she suggested that I need to be practicing mindfulness.  We talked about my “all or nothing/black and white” thinking and how this creates a chain of anxiety that doesn’t end and is hard to interrupt. 

I spend so much time obsessing about life, wanting to CONTROL my life and experiences, instead of just experiencing it.  I have recently acknowledged that I need to start living life, taking risks, stepping outside my comfort zone, accepting friendship and happiness that is being extended to me.  Life is about more than survival, a lesson that Dr. Love is trying to teach me. 

My thinking can be so rigid sometimes.  If even small things don’t go the way I want them to, I panic and have extreme anxiety.  Sometimes it gets to the point where I can’t leave the house because when I leave, I know things will be out of my control.  The unexpected, the uncertain terrifies me.  I have let small anxieties about life turn into major phobias — friendships, spontanaity, anything that is out of my control is completely out of the question. 

This turns into an issue at times with Dr. Love.  He hates to plan anything, likes to do things at the last minute — and I just don’t roll like that.  I have come a long long way as far as being less rigid in my thinking and having the even momentary ability to accept change for what it is, but I’m nowhere close to being able to really LIVE my life.  I am having absolutely no fun at all, I’m just surviving. 

The pity is that this is what I’m comfortable with.  I avoid happiness and things that I enjoy like the plague, because it means that I might have to relinquish control over my feelings and my circumstances.  I have a specific protocol for almost everything in life, and when circumstances vary from how I think it should be, I freak out.  And I don’t mean a little bit.  I freak THE HELL OUT. 

So what this all comes down to is that I need to practice mindfulness and living in the moment.  In my mind, everything is very much not okay if things aren’t perfect.  I let every little thing get to me and then I obsess about it, leading to anxiety, leading to panic attacks, leading to an inability to function — when really, everything in the bigger picture is just fine. 

And now I think I should post this because my inner self-critic is telling me that this post is a piece of crap, that it rambles and rambles, is uninteresting.  I wish I could leave myself alone, cut myself a break, give myself the benefit of the doubt.