I woke up this morning with a thick layer of sludge in my coffee cup. Not literally, but that’s how I describe the feeling I have when I wake up feeling shitty. Today something is rendering me off balance, and I don’t know, yet, what’s bothering me.
I feel agitated, down, disturbed and upset. It’s not my way to just sit with negative feelings. I dig them out, acknowledge them, affirm them, then begin the mental and emotional work to figure out what caused them. I understand that they will pass, but being an active participant in my own mental/emotional health, I’m willing to do the work. Call it mental health surgery, if you’d like.
Armed with a pencil and notepad next to me, I’ve asked myself a few questions. Is there something I need to accomplish that I’ve procrastinated doing? How is my nutrition? Have I moved my body lately? Was there something said yesterday (or recently) that I responded to in a “correct” way, but wasn’t honest with myself or the other person? In that situation, do I have hidden emotions and thoughts that need to be brought to the light? Have I acted in a way that was hurtful to someone else? If so, how can I make amends?
Negative emotions have a tendency to hide in my cells. They are like blobs of tar, alien, attaching themselves to my internal systems, clogging up my being, primitively silent, without any communication skills except to make me feel awful. I have to become a translator of a foreign language, trying to figure out what these “blobs” are telling me, so I can eliminate the toxicity from my body.
I don’t feed on negativity. I know people who do. I don’t know how they function, because I end up incapacitated. Today, it is my wish to be free of anything that hinders me from living each moment in peace, clarity and authenticity.
So. I’ve vomited on paper. No editing, using a #2 pencil, as is my tradition (the sound of the lead on paper, the smell and the texture as I write, brings up the child in me; I can access my most honest and primitive feelings using this method.) My writing is helping. It always does. My husband is at work, unavailable to listen to me verbalize everything that is on my heart and in my head (I call him my human notepad!). He’s wonderful at that, listening, giving no solutions or advice, though it’s his nature to solve problems presented to him. He’s learned well! He knows that I just need to verbalize random thoughts in order to make sense of the chaos in my body. He knows that if he does this for me, I will figure everything out, and come back to him healthier with solutions of my own on how to alleviate whatever is ailing me. If I ask for his input, suggestions or observations, he’s ready and willing to do that too. He’s a wise and loving man with my best interest at heart, so I always listen to him attentively, with a trusting and open mind. Without him here to partner with me to get to the bottom of what’s bothering me, pencil to paper is the next best thing.
Some of what has come up in the untangling process this morning, is what is normally behind all of my negative emotions. Fear.
1. My food intake has been unhealthy lately, which will account for my body feeling like a huge slug. My fear is that I will gain back the weight I’ve slowly lost (with much more to go), and become obese again, unable to fit into the clothing I have in my closet, and helping me to feel unattractive, sick and ungainly.
Solution: Today, to begin with, I can commit to drinking lots of clarifying water, specifically in my favorite blue, thirty-two ounce cup. I will enjoy my favorite protein drink for breakfast (protein powder, banana, ice, water), order a lovely salad for lunch out with a friend (fruit/Chicken salad), and plan a healthier meal for dinner (protein, broccoli, brown rice). NO overt sugar today. One day at a time!
2. I need/want to respond to emails I’ve received in the past two days. I feel guilty and irresponsible not writing back immediately.
Solution: After I finish this post, I will make my breakfast, and sip it while I respond to at least one of the three emails. When I get home from lunch, I’ll respond to the other two.
3. I haven’t had the desire to exercise or move my body in a purposeful way. I, again, feel guilty, unfit and fearful that I’m going to die before my time.
Solution: I need to consider a viable beginning plan for exercise that I CAN do and would be willing TO do for a period of thirty days. I will have a plan (and a commitment) in place by this evening.
4. I had a touching conversation with my daughter last night. She would like to see me adapt a healthier lifestyle like we’ve discussed on our joint podcast and she wants to support it, but she was worried that she was helping me to feel anxious and resistant with accountability questions when we were recording our latest podcast yesterday. She told me that she doesn’t want to lose me, she wants me around for a long time. I felt sooooo loved and important to her last night…and horribly powerless over the unhealthy choices I have been making for some time. Powerless and guilty. Enter FEAR again, too.
Solution: Changing my lifestyle by instituting the other behaviors and actions I’ve written about, will ease the powerlessness and guilt I feel here.
5. Again…another fear aspect of my health…while chatting with my husband last night, I found myself out of breath, struggling to finish sentences without straining. When I went to bed, I could hear the blood roaring in my ears. I knew my blood pressure was up, even though I didn’t feel stressed. Normally, my blood pressure is around 110/70, so this felt foreign, and again, I was frightened. I wondered if it was because of pain I’m experiencing in my body, using new muscles to create quilts. Yes, I’m being serious lol!
Solution: Take blood pressure this morning, so I can see the numbers first hand. A reality check.
6. I left this one for last, because I don’t want to say it out loud. I’m a smoker. Other than an eight year stretch where I quit, I’ve been one since I was twelve, almost thirteen. I smoke about a pack a day, sometimes more. YES, I’m aware of the horrible health risks….I KNOW what it’s doing to me. I KNOW it would be in my best interest to quit this horrible habit, like I quit drinking. There is SO much fear behind the thought of quitting. It’s not just being without nicotine….it’s the routine behind smoking, the oral fixation, the relief this nasty addiction provides me. Here’s the other thing…when I quit drinking on May ninth, I cautioned myself to NOT pick up a replacement fix. Being an addictive/compulsive/obsessive personality, picking up another addictive behavior is inevitable without a plan. So, alcohol being primarily made up of sugar, I warned myself to stay away from sugar products. Alas, I’ve been unsuccessful. My added fear is that I will pick up something else to take the place of cigarettes.
7. Me time. Creative time.
Solution: Even if it’s only for thirty minutes, I need to spend that time with my quilting or stitching project in progress, giving my body a joyful dose of endorphins.
Obviously, I have much work to do. Getting to the bottom of WHY I find it necessary to self destruct, to ruin my health because I can’t imagine being without my addictive crutches, is really the heart of the matter. And there’s that fear again! I’m sure the fear isn’t sane. I know it isn’t. I’m willing to continue to dig and imagine how I would like to live my life, so I can be around to see and experience the wonderful events still to come in my future.
Time to make that protein shake and respond to that first email. Take good care of you, and have a peaceful, healthy day Loves!