Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trying to Feel All the Feels

Personal scrutiny makes most of us squirm. It is hard to hold our thoughts and behaviors under a microscope, and evaluate what's going on, but I realized finally that is just what needed to happen. What follows are my thoughts about what could possibly be triggering my non-stop eating of late. 

What is happening with my eating lately? I'm pretty sure you wouldn't define it as INTUITIVE, which was my original goal, and you wouldn't say it's going WELL. It's absolutely out of control, actually. 

For the life of me, I can't figure out what has me consuming everything that isn't nailed down. I have tried to ignore my behavior thinking I'll do better TOMORROW, but I know binge eating is a red flag that something is wrong. Another red flag that went up these last couple weeks is the increase in retail therapy, shopping for things I don't NEED just because well, I seem to think new stuff makes me happier when I'm avoiding issues. And I just realized I've been sleeping. A lot. Eight hours a night, PLUS naps. When insomniacs take up sleeping as a pastime, it's time to evaluate. Three red flags. Something is definitely going on.

My husband and daughter are wonderful confidantes who understand many of my emotional issues, but I am feeling ashamed right now, and would rather not admit my old demons are back in full force. Shame is a terrible thing. It puts us in a vicious cycle of repeating unhealthy behaviors.

Yesterday morning, Chuck kept asking if something was on my mind. No, no, I was fine, I kept assuring him. I was just in the middle of a piece for my blog, and was trying to hold my thoughts until I could get them written down. When he kissed me goodbye for work, he suggested I get more writing done, and call him when I got to a good stopping point. 

I hate troubling him, and I know when I am lost in thought, he worries there is something we need to discuss that I'm avoiding. Yes, it is a bad habit of mine I am trying to break. Once I got my writing for yesterday done, I decided I would go ahead and share it with him, in an effort to be more vulnerable in our communication, and to assure him we're okay. 

As I grabbed my jacket and ear buds to go for a walk, I gave Chuck a call on his cell phone. We do some of our best talking during his long commute to work. I was going to grab my camera to shoot some shots in the fog. 

After I read my previous post to him about Trying Not to Eat All the Things, he started asking me questions. 

Was there something causing me to feel anxious or sad? 
Was I worried about Bridger going off to college? 
Was the concept of the empty nest a concern? 
Was I aware of anything else that could be bothering me?

There was silence for a moment. My throat tightened, and my vision blurred as tears welled in my eyes. I put away my camera, grabbed some Kleenex, and took off my shoes. My photography could wait. I sat on the couch in our family room, looking out the picture window at the soft fog gathered beyond the trees in the park as tears dripped off my chin onto my hoody. The time had come for me to face my fears.

How well my husband knows me. How well he knows my heart. The things I had tried to avoid are the very things I needed to address. When I started to cry, I was finally feeling all the feels, as the kids would say. I was beginning to make progress, although it wasn't exactly the kind that could be charted on a graph.

What was I feeling? Once the question was asked, I found there were so many answers.

Anxious. Sad. Inadequate. Regret. Fear. Uncertain. Overwhelmed.

Avoiding all the feels had been a big mistake; I see that now. It's time to sit with the feels; learn from them; grow from them. 

Dwelling in the discomfort is something I have to do from time to we go again.

In the next blog post HERE, I will share with you what happened when I took the time to feel all the feels.


  1. Dwelling in the discomfort is so difficult, but often helps us grow the most. As someone who has been avoiding anger and grief for the past 4 months if recuperation, I know it won't be pretty when I finally dwell there. I'm proud of you.

    1. Take your time; when you decide to dwell there, I know you'll make the most of it. It's never pretty, but it has always been worth it. Thank you, Denise, for your support. I hope we can be there for you when you are ready to deal with the emotional turmoil of recuperating.

  2. Your life has been a whirlwind, back and forth to Utah to manage a part of Bridgers last year, seeing the other kids often, being amongst your things. Then back to Chicago and Chuck, where life is grand...and yet doesn't have all those things (kids, home, stuff) and what will happen next year? I understand the looming questions. Hang in there...

    1. Luckily, all of the kids are planning visits to Chicagoland, so there's THAT to look forward to. We never know about the future. I'm hanging in there. Thank you again for reaching out to me. You are so thoughtful.

  3. Being an empty nester for several years, now. I remember all those feelings and know that they didn't quite do for me what they have done for you, but I had a together household and loving hubby and other kids around. I had a net. Yours is stretched tight for you and dwelling in the discomfort is what we all have to do. May your dwelling be a short one and know that sunshine comes on the morrow. I have great respect for you and love.

    1. Stella, your kind words of encouragement this week have meant so much. I'm so grateful for my circumstances; there's very little to complain about. Change, especially big ones, can be challenging. I'm up for it, though. I'm ready to say, "Bring it on!" Thanks again!


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