Sunday, January 29, 2012

Empathy

Happy (not) Sunday.

I feel sick, I am in a sour mood, my shoulder is quite painful, but at least I am back to eating on plan again.

I find that I tend to dwell and take things internally and let them stress me out, even when they are not things that affect me directly. I am the kind of person who reads some story of child abuse or neglect on CNN or hears about someone being harmed on the news and then I am sad for the rest of the day thinking about that poor child or family. I had to stop reading and watching the news because of it. I have an overload of empathy that reaches too far and is difficult for me to turn off, so I stick to the very limited local news, where very little 'horrible' happens. I don't watch much TV. I can't take crime shows... even fictional ones... because, to me, there is enough real suffering in this world, and watching fake suffering just reminds me of real suffering I have seen. I always want to fix everything and make everyone better and I can't always do that. I have to keep my circle smaller, so that I am not constantly overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and despair for others.

So when those in my little circle experience pain or loss, it deeply touches me. That includes online friends and it includes people we spend time with in real life. In the past month, two friends of mine have had to suffer their small children, my daughter's age, having cancer. My heart breaks for them, truly. I weep for their little ones. I hold my daughter tighter and am ever so grateful for her being well. I want to fix it for them but I can't. When a child dies it is tragic. Seeing a mother grieve is crushing. Helping my daughter make princess cards for her little friend who is beginning chemotherapy is bittersweet. No child should have to suffer so. And I know being supportive and praying is all I can do, but I still take it rather personally and internalize things terribly and let it all affect me, probably way too much.

So, that's where I am. Sad but trying to turn the sadness into action for the families involved, trying to separate myself from that sadness to enjoy the life we are so blessed to have.

I didn't weigh this morning; my eating was off for a couple days this week. I am back on track and will weigh on February 1 for my official monthly weigh-in. It would be nice to get below that stubborn 199.

5 comments:

vp5109 said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel...it's what I feel on a daily basis. Mine centers on children and animals. I have to literally force myself to quit thinking about their plights, or I get overwhelmed with sadness. I limit what I watch on tv and read. I pray, I support and then I have to let it go - many times a day. God be with you, Lynn, in your journey.

Robin said...

That sounds familiar to me too. The part about picking up on the world around you. I had to stop watching CSI because it would cause me to worry about the "what ifs"! If I watch a movie that has a terrible scene in it, it bothers me for DAYS. I avoid movies like that but once in a while I don't know about it before hand and mistakenly watch it. There were a few I think I watched too young and they traumatized me. I am VERY rigid about what my daughter is allowed to watch.

As for the weight and binging. You probably have heard this and told yourself this...don't give up! Hang onto your goal. Don't beat yourself up, these set backs happen. The beauty of each new minute...its a chance to do better. I hate the words start again...but I guess we have to accept we can't be 100% perfect...its impossible to think we can be. We will have days and moments of set backs.

Living in this world of "on tap" food is tough. Its not how we are biologically made. Over the span of time...this "on tap" food source is EXTREMELY new. These struggles and this battle is NOT your own...not to take away from you...but more to let you know...the environment is setting us up for failure. Its not just our own demons, we are not defective. We need to step back and realize there are broader issues at work against us here.

Take a deep breath. You have done amazing, you will continue with amazing, don't let it get you down.

swimmermom said...

You are so right that there is more than enough that is disturbing and scary in the real world to spend time on fake versions as "entertainment." I stopped watching TV news years ago and am happier for it (and no less well-informed -- I get my news in print and online instead, where the sensationalism is less and/or I can filter it). Gavin de Becker's books, The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift, were great at helping me put things in perspective.

Rose B. said...

I can relate to everything you have said. I had to shut down my Facebook account because I just couldn't leave things...cousins with major marriage issues, another status grieving the loss of a loved on, another message about sexual abuse, etc. I would carry all those things in my heart all day and be sad all day. It was taking too much emotional energy out of me. I don't watch crime shows (especially Law & Order Special Victims or Criminal Minds) or parts of the news for the same reasons you mentioned. I remember my Grade 2 teacher telling my parents what a sweet kid I was because I really could show empathy and sympathy for other classmates who were struggling. That was considered a wonderful virtue, but in some ways it is real hard for the person like that. I pray and now rest and look to Christ and try not to overeat to deal with emotional pain.

bamagirl said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I too suffer from BED. I am going to get the book you mentioned. Again thank you for the post!