I have been just miserable since I started eating junk again, and it didn't end today, either. I felt mired in sadness, and as I posted in the comments of my earlier post, "broken." I also felt kind of angry when I decided to eat a lot of junk for lunch and couldn't. I don't have the capacity for it anymore and as silly as it seems, it is really frustrating when you *want* to eat a bunch of stuff but physically can't. I am pretty much limited to normal serving sizes now by my stomach, which is used to small mini-meals rather than the large volume of food I used to eat. I wonder if that is how weight loss surgery patients feel... if they haven't fixed the inner emotions yet, and still WANT to overeat but can't. Almost makes you want to cry. But it also makes you face the feelings.
This morning, I wrote that I felt broken. An hour later, I walked in to the counselor's office and sat down, looking sullen I am sure. Before I could say much about how I have been feeling, he sat down and pulled out a piece of paper. On it he drew a heart with the words "emotions" and "needs" on each side. Then he drew a giant crack down the middle of the heart and he said, "when we do not connect our needs and our emotions with what is happening around us, we feel broken." I sat there, stunned that he was talking about feeling broken, when I had never mentioned that to him before and had just decided this morning that I was, in fact, broken. I listened while he talked some more about healing that brokenness, about paying attention to our needs and emotions, and how to make changes that make us whole again. It was just what I needed to hear.
At one point, he wanted to do an exercise. You know I've been talking about my mother lately, and how I pretty much have felt like I am "over it" and have moved on and don't let it affect me... but he proved me oh-so-wrong. He wanted to bring in a neutral person to sit in place of my mother and have me talk to her and say the things I wanted to say but can't because she's dead. As soon as he suggested it I got internally very upset and felt the most raw, reeling emotions I have felt in a long, long time. It was the tip of the iceberg of the feelings from when she was alive, and when she died, and it was so frightening to me that I told him no, I could not do it. I was not ready. In fact I had to sit there silent for a minute collecting myself just to be able to speak again. And I remembered that feeling from when I came home after her death and I could not speak of it for MONTHS. I could not form a single word about my mother or her death to anyone who asked and I could not even write about it or think about it. I remember thinking that if I dared speak one sentence about it, all the very frightening emotions would burst out and I would be unable to control it and I might be... I dunno... incapable of functioning or something. That's how strong the feelings were, how traumatic the experience was, and it did not help that I had no one to talk to about it at the time. So I learned to stuff, stuff, stuff it down by whatever means possible. I remember thinking of The Event in terms of something I had to stuff in a box and get the lid shut and put a lock on it that could never be broken. I mean, for months I was having nightmarish flashbacks of things I still cannot even type out that happened when she died. Those images were the worst I have ever witnessed and I think I was in a really bad state, emotionally, for months afterwards. But over time... over a decade... I was able to talk about it in general terms and eventually even give a few specifics without ANY emotion leaking out. I shoved it all in that box, I got on top of the box and jumped and jumped on it like someone trying to stuff a suitcase full of clothes and shut it, until I got the lid down and I put the biggest, baddest padlock you can imagine on it. And now I could speak of it, write of it, share it with almost no emotion... like it was just a tale I read in a book and not something I'd gone through personally.
Death can be like that, trauma can be like that, and I think more people than you think have done the shove-it-in-a-box method of coping with tragedy.
And now this guy is asking me to open the box.
He says I have to do it to heal. He says it is not about the food, or the diet, or chocolate or weight. It is about healing what's underneath. But still, I am terrified of what's in that box and not sure if opening it is such a good idea. I can't right now, but maybe I should. Maybe he is right.
Friday Update and Reality Check
18 hours ago