Monday, November 15, 2010

Crazy Thinking

Starting this weekend I have been struggling again emotionally because of stuff that is stressing me out, unrelated to food. Little stuff piles up... like my daughter being nauseous all day Saturday and hanging out by the toilet while she cries because she doesn't want to puke. Like my sheets needing to be washed and it keeps getting put on the back burner just like the other cleaning. I do the cursory basics, the dishes, the vacuuming, but the piles of paperwork build. The kitchen is not up to standard. The fridge needs to be washed out. And the yard needs attention. I do bits here and there and then get called away with some other emergency like a nearby mother who needs me to watch her child or a stray dog showing up on my doorstep. The bills sit unpaid until I get a shutoff notice, and the kids eat frozen burritos and turkey sandwiches because I can't gather myself enough to cook for them. My emails pile up unanswered and the To Do list gets longer and longer. I pull myself up and start tackling things, and then crisis hits.

Two things upset me terribly this weekend. One involves my oldest son, who is once again in a bad place, and the other involves a witchy person who has something of mine that is very dear to me (something that was my mother's) and is threatening to ruin it out of spite. Both of these events plus the big hormonal shift that comes mid-cycle for me were enough to throw me for a loop. I started crying at things I'd see on TV. I started moping around feeling like my whole life is a failure. From the crumbs on the table to the dust on the bookshelf, everything seem to point to me being an absolute failure as a person. Catastrophic thinking at its best.

It makes no sense, the thoughts and feelings I have sometimes. My son struggles, therefore I am a horrible mother. As I sit and eat my Medifast chili I think, "how stupid is it to worry about this diet and my weight when there are so many more important, upsetting, terrible things I should be wallowing in?" Well, I didn't think quite THAT. I thought "this is dumb, eating this Medifast food when my kid is suffering. I should go get a cheese steak and to hell with the diet."

Yeah, really sensible. But at least I recognise it and say "what the heck?"

What the heck indeed. How does going OFF plan and eating a cheese steak and probably some other crap too (because it would snowball) honor my child or make things better? I almost felt ASHAMED to be concerned about weight loss when there are other things that are so much more deserving of my attention.

It's crazy thinking. Reality is, whatever I eat or don't eat is not going to affect the outcome of what is upsetting me. It's just going to affect my weight and health. Maybe it's just the old voice kicking in trying to get me to comfort myself with food, I dunno. But the thoughts sure are coming from a different angle.

Well, I finished my chili and I didn't go get a cheese steak. It feels ridiculous to be considering spending an hour driving around to get a cheese steak when what I ought to be doing is washing the sheets and cleaning the kitchen. Food as avoidance, yet again. But it's still my choice.

I will control what I CAN control. I am still eating on plan, working in bits and pieces to get the housework up to standard, and getting tasks done that are important.


Rosa said...

You are living the life that I've been living since having children. It is a struggle. It is very hard to balance everything. And now I am working out of the house with 3 kids under 8. But I realize that some things do have to be let go. One thing that has helped is a MUST DO TODAY list. Things that have been lingering must be done. I've created a system for bills. I've literally ripped sheets off of the bed and put in the washer, only to come home, spend evening with kids and find that they have to be dried. So it may take another hour to dry, but it gets done. Then they get on the bed. It helps if you have two cheap sets. But the second set have been dirty for a few weeks. Yikes.

You are a great mom. You do a lot for others, but it is high time you say no to that stray dog or that neighbor and focus on YOU and your FAMILY. Paying bills is required to keep your family safe. Thinking of the family unit in your home should be top priority--all the other stuff, animals and people can wait.

I hope your daughter gets better. It will all get better.

Anonymous said...

Can your children help you with some of the housework?

Lyn said...


Yes, they do help. But I do 80% of the housework... or am *supposed* to do it... (plus bills, other paperwork, cooking, etc)

foodmasochist said...

i think Rose is onto something. That is life when you're a mom! my sheets are dirty. my kitchen floor needs cleaned. All kinds of things need to be done! it happens. And it is easy to say "i need to eat, can't do it now!". It's much more fun to eat :) hang in there!!! We are here for you.

Anonymous said...

I had a very stressful, sad weekend too, and I went through many of the same thoughts. I hope things get better for you soon!

Anonymous said...

Paying bills online through my bank online pay service is one of my favorite things. Click and go. I know that crushing stress of needing to sit down and sort through them, writing out checks, putting them in an envelope, stamping it and getting them to the mailbox. I set them up once online and love it, love it, love it.

Some of the bills I have canceled getting paper copies of, some that I want to revue every month still get mailed to me.

Once in a while, when I am too busy one week to wash my sheets, I will grab the pillow cases and quilted pillow shams and fit them in a towel or colored load. Then put them back on at bedtime and have that fresh feeling again.

I like the 12 minute thing. Give yourself 12 minutes to be a fury in the kitchen and dining area. Load the dishwasher, wash or at least soak pans in hot hot sudsy water, do a quick wipe of counters and table and appliances. It's amazing how much 12 minutes can do.

I know it's a lot.

Lynna said...

Hey Lyn,
I strongly believe that the self-love we give ourselves by choosing to honor our bodies, changes the world. Little ripple, by little ripple.

And I firmly believe that we only have so much psychic energy to affect change and to deal with stress. What you are doing... taking care of yourself, that is... is HUGE! If the bills go late or other things don't get attention right now, someday they will. And for now, you are taking care of the most important thing. As I see it.

LN said...

"Reality is, whatever I eat or don't eat is not going to affect the outcome of what is upsetting me."
So true, and it won't put it off for a better more convenient time, either. A time that fits into our schedule. Life seems to have it's own agenda and it often feels like it overwhelms mine. But you are reminding me that I can choose to eat well anyway. Eating badly won't solve the problem or help me avoid it in any way.

Ann K. said...

Sounds like you're having a tough time. Have you tried mediation or similar calming/mindfulness techniques?

Julie Lost and Found said...

"It's crazy thinking. Reality is, whatever I eat or don't eat is not going to affect the outcome of what is upsetting me. It's just going to affect my weight and health.

That just about sums it up! Great statement. I'm going to print that one!

Anonymous said...

it IS crazy! but i totally relate to it. awesome job, and good luck <3 <3

if it's useful for you... for me, i've noticed there's another weird paradox/lie in the crazy. it takes the form of a feeling, not a phrase, but if it spoke, it would say something like this:

"life is scary. i am selfish to be taking care of myself when life is scary for other people. i should be taking care of them instead of worrying about my health....


...fuck it, i deserve to eat X as my drug. i don't need to be taking care of myself anyway, so it doesn't matter. i will help other people by wallowing in pathetic worthlessness, because then i am confirming that i am pathetic/less important than THEY are. they are worthy, i am not.

... this is painful, i may as well have the damn sugar fog.

by demeaning myself, i confirm others are worth more than me. it's a loving recognition of their importance.

it sucks to be me, sad like this. where's my fix?"

perverse, eh?

Kimberly said...

Amen. Once we conquer the crazy thinking then we can conquer anything. Sometimes real life is all that causes the crazy talk and if we know this, we can prepare for it much better. You've done some amazing work.

PamL said...

I agree with the others- do what you can and let the rest go. If you can afford help, do it without a 2nd thought. With kids around, things are never going to be the way we want- after all, we're not the only ones making the messes! But once they are gone, don't you think it will be kind of lonely? Sometimes I think about that and realize I am over-reacting.

But a mess does stress me out, too, so I try to get them to help some also. I have 6 children, 12 and under. They can help but sometimes the whining I hear isn't worth the help! Oh well, it's another stage we just have to get through! One day it will be over and we'll miss it!

Oh yeah, online banking is awesome!

Steelers6 said...

Hugs to you, and a pox on wonky hormones. Sheesh. No fair.

I suggest getting outside and going for a walk when you can. Not sure how soon that will be, since princess is not herself.

I think you need to stay on your plan now more than ever, ya know? Bc it would make you even more glum if you wavered, methinks.

I hope tomorrow is a "sun-ny day, sweepin' the clouds away...."


Ziemowit said...

Hey, you didn't mess up everything.

I looked at your before and after pictures and realized that true change can really happen. So I pulled my britches back up and started walking and exercise to lose weight, and I have started on my journey.

Anonymous said...

oh, lyn! how i know the feeling like a failure when we ARE NOT! the ONLY thing that has helped me is reading the bible - over time, I have learned and been reminded that God is in control, even if I have a deadline to meet soon and start panicking/eating w/ no control (i'm a student) - one of my favorites is reading Isaiah b/c God keeps saying in that book that HE is in control, not us. another thing i have recently been doing to be healed of my turning to food is repenting as often as i can, repenting that i don't want to do it bt some part of me or my body or some part of my mind does; i still turn to food but have noticed that i don't think or lust after it as much. Keep eating from the word of god and we will one day no longer turn to food as comfort at all!

i hope you are not offended by my advice since it is religious - but those who hope in God will not be disappointed! (isaiah 49:23)

It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good.

He is sweeter than honey, honey from the comb.

-also if you don't have a bible, i can order you one and send it to your address (i use NIV study bible) plz email me at

Anonymous said...

Let Go, and Let God.

My house looks like a audition for Hoarders, and I don't care. Because my kids know they are loved and cared for. Housework is a distraction. Say 'no thank you ' to the neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lyn,

Every woman with kids has been where you are, and lots of us who are living on our own.

The Flylady site has helped me a lot, particularly with feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. The site is encouraging and hopeful, and breaks household stuff down into little manageable bits. She's at Take a look if you have time!


-J.Darling said...

As women, we often forget that taking care of ourselves IS ALSO taking care of the things and the people around us. If we can't be there for US, how can anyone trust us to be there for them?! If we can't be honest with ourselves, how can anyone trust us to be honest with them?

Hang in there! It'll get better. I promise!

Sounds like you need to engaged the kids to help around the house a bit more? Or invite a friend over to help make a bill pay schedule for you? I'm good at those things, so if you need some digital assistance, let me know! :)

Anonymous said...

Goodness it is so difficult to balance everything that needs done, isn't it?! I don't have children and yet feel so overwhelmed sometimes! My first tempation is to sit down and have a snack - for some reason I feel like I am "allowed" to sit down to collect my thoughts if I'm eating, but NOT if I'm not eating. Goofy yes, buts it's an important thing I've learned about my eating.

I hope things work themselves out so it's a little more calm for you. Does anyone else notice that it seem like chaos breeds more chaos and calm breeds more calm?