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Category Archives: chocolate

Finding happy

Had a session with T last week. Of course we talked about my mom and her cancer situation, as well as the situation with my dad and brother. And gently, but firmly, T reminded me that I am not my mother’s sentry. I want to protect her, but really she knows how to protect herself. I have to take a step back and offer her my support without trying to take over. I had already started doing that before my session with T, but she did reinforce that for me.

So among some other conversation, T and I talked about my relationship with food. I told her how I feel traumatized every time I take the digestive enzymes my nutritionist recommended for my heartburn and stomach issues. The enzymes seem to work (this past week not so much, but prior they were working REALLY well), but they remind me so much of all the “herbal” pills I had tried to buy and take growing up to lose weight. There’s a smell to them, and the look of them is not much better. And I can’t help but smell them every time I open the bottle. She suggested I put a cinnamon stick in the bottle and/or to inhale before I open the bottle so I can’t smell them. We talked about being mindful with my food, but truthfully–as I told her–I either think about it too much, or I think about thinking about it. Which sounds weird. So I’m not sure what direction to go, because I don’t want to obsess over food, but I don’t want to eat unmindfully. One of the problems I have is that I have to think about food constantly because of my gluten/wheat issues. I can’t go out anywhere without spending time thinking about where we’re going and will there be food for me and will I get sick afterward and will it be worth it. I can’t go to other people’s houses without thinking about it, or even randomly pick up a chocolate bar in the store. I can’t even randomly pick something out of my pantry or refrigerator without thinking about the ingredients because Hub is not gluten/wheat free. So I have to think about what I eat all the time.

T asked me to think back to a time when I felt like I wasn’t worrying about my weight or my body image. And there was a time, shortly after we moved into our house from the townhouse we first lived in together. I was deep into my writing and felt that I was a part of a larger group…and that I was touching people’s lives. So she asked me how I could get back there, but I told her I wasn’t likely to ever be in “that place” again, because it was years before I realized I had food sensitivities. Back then we didn’t think about or worry about gluten/wheat. I ate what I wanted to, when I wanted to, and in the amount I wanted to. Now I can’t do that with pretty much anything. I eat too much cheese, I get sick. I eat split pea soup, I get a stomach ache. I eat GF pretzels, it makes my stomach hurt. My favorite cheddar cheese potato chips? They leave sores on the inside of my mouth. Pineapple? Burns my lips. Fritos (which I love but actually can’t eat at all anymore) makes my lips burn, too. Spinach upsets my stomach. Chocolate upsets my heartburn. Tomato sauce upsets my heartburn. Popcorn gets stuck in my teeth and gives me toothaches (stupid delicious movie theater popcorn that I haven’t had in about ten years.) I avoid sugar substitutes, so a lot of foods are off limits because I can’t take the sugar substitutes in them. I literally never pick anything up at the grocery store without reading the ingredients and searching for items on my no-no list. I’ll never be able to just eat what I want to eat. I’ll never not have to think about it. And it sucks, because it makes food an obsession of sorts for me, which is one of the last things I need.

And I miss writing. I know that I’m writing here, and I hope that I’m touching people’s lives…but I miss the writing that I loved so much. I miss being buried in those words, in my characters, in the worlds that I created. But I can’t seem to find my way back there. I can’t seem to be in that place anymore. And that hurts me, too, because that was a happy, comforting place to be. It made me feel like I was doing something good, offering something to people, and I felt fulfilled. I want that again, too.

 

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One giant step for mankind

Yeah, I’ve been trying to do better with my anxiety. I feel like I’ve been doing better. Not more conscious of it, but less wrapped up in it. Despite the fact that I’ve been trying to help my parents understand my elderly aunt’s panic and anxiety issues…she is still in the hospital with some issues. Some of it stems from her anxiety and panic, some we are not sure about.

My giant step forward was me doing better. I was really doing okay for a while. We went out to dinner in the city to a restaurant we’ve never tried, which means I hadn’t had their food and had no idea of my reaction. But I didn’t worry! I dressed up a little and we had a really nice time. I’ve also been driving myself to PT (even on wet roads) and taking care of my parents’ dog while my father is with my aunt. Stressful, yes, but I have been trying to keep a handle on everything in my head. Yesterday, hub and I went out after dinner so he could run a couple of errands, then we stopped to get custard from Rita’s Italian Ice on the way home. I don’t do chocolate because of my stomach issues, but I decided to go for it because I’ve been doing well with my stomach. And I figured the caffeine in the soft custard couldn’t be much…the custard is a really light color. Duh, probably a stupid thing to think. I’m not necessarily blaming how I feel this morning on the custard, it just happens to be the only thing I did differently in the last couple of days.

So I had to wake up early this morning (boring reason), and I’m sure that screwed me up as well. And my stomach started getting upset. And I started feeling nauseous. And dizzy. And I could feel my health anxiety poking at me. Hey, you, wake up. You’re not feeling well! You’re nauseous…and you know what that means! Your heart! Your heart! Now you can’t breathe right! Now you’re dizzy…and that all means bad heart! Henh henh henh. Yeah, that’s how I hear it in my head. So for a while I curled up under the covers and wallowed…thought about it, tried to breathe properly and deeply. Reminded myself that I had that custard last night and this was probably the after-affect of that. I’m fine, I’m okay.

Roused myself to go let the dog out and give her lunch, then decided instead of grabbing a yogurt, I would eat a regular lunch. Routine, normalcy, fake it ’til you make it. Ignore the nausea, ignore the dizzy, ignore the short breathing. Go, do, be as you are. So I did, and then I put laundry in to remind myself that I can. Lifted the baskets, carried them to the laundry room, put the laundry in.

Physically, do I feel better? No. Stomach still unhappy, nausea came back after I finished eating, dizziness/imbalance still there, breathing still feels too fast. Sucks, but I’m in it and I’m letting it be in me.

 

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