Sunday, June 23, 2019

It's Just Too Much

What am I supposed to do with the overwhelmed feelings I have about everything? I thought it was weight loss that was overwhelming to me. I thought it was about the food choices, the meal prep, the little minute-to-minute decisions about what to eat and how much. I thought it was about getting the motivation to take a walk or get on the bike or exercise. But it's not. It's everything. It's life I am overwhelmed with. I feel like it is just too much. There is no way I can handle it all or even begin to tackle it all, even just emotionally... forget about the physical. I got so mad at God this week that I took my Bible off the nightstand and tossed it on the floor behind a chair and I took my cross necklace off and literally threw it across the bedroom onto a shelf. I got so alone-feeling and the burden felt so heavy that I said to God, "You're not doing your part! You promised!" and refused to talk to Him for the rest of the week.

I went to church today. Stubbornly, but I went. I sat in the back, I halfheartedly sang the songs, most of them, although some of the lyrics were just too much. I want to believe them, part of me is trying to grab on, and another part of me is just too hurt and broken to sing a song of praise and hope right now. The weight... that's just one very small, really tiny part of the sense of overwhelm in my life right now. Some of it seems to ridiculous, like the fact that I am shortly going to leave my 40's and enter my 50's, or the sense that no matter how much brushing and washing and vacuuming I do there is always dog hair all over my house. That's the kind of thing that doesn't really bother a person who has the rest of their life in order, right? There's so much to be thankful for, my guilty conscience chides. But like I told a close friend this week: I feel like I am standing by a giant pile of poop that is barricading me in, with a teaspoon in my hand to move it. In a case like that, every teaspoonful counts and adds to the sense of overwhelm. Every little thing is another spoonful I have to move. But the really big stuff, like my daughter's recovery from surgery (which will take months) and my own new health issue (radical hysterectomy coming soon, and I am scared) seem to take over my brain... and I freeze, feel very alone, and then can't deal with all the in-between, medium-grade issues like my weight or home repairs or money problems. All of it goes into the same big poop pile and I stand there like a dummy holding my spoon, not doing anything.

In the big scheme of things, my weight is a blip on the radar (or is it a deafening siren? I can't be sure) but obviously it is something I am not coping well with, as I regained that 8 pounds I lost just a couple weeks ago. I don't know where to put my attention, where to focus my fight (when I have any) and whether to dig into the edge of the pile over there where my dogs need to go to the vet or on this side where my son needs some blood draws... or do I take a little scoop from the center where the debt is or from that top edge where my daughter needs braces or right by my feet where the paperwork needs sorting and filing? Or do I drop the spoon and just sit in the pile and give up? No, I can't bring myself to do that quite yet, even when I feel mired. Guess I will just stand here but hang onto my spoon, just in case.


Anonymous said...

Ugh! Doesn't it suck when life sucks this much?? It shouldn't be so hard - your daughter should not be sick, you should not be facing a scary surgery, your higher power should not be MIA, and yet...

There's no one right place to start. Well, maybe sleep. You sound tired. Even just one night of good sleep can give you just enough energy to move forward.

You're already doing the first best thing by feeling your feelings and acknowledging where you are. Even just sitting with them is okay. Take away their energy.

Reach out to family, friends, your church community etc and keep talking to them. Don't worry about finding the right place to start - your body and mind are smart and they will take care of you. A deep breath, a cup of tea, a good night's sleep.

You are prevailing and you have the strength.


Anonymous said...

You sound depressed. Most of the things you describe are regular life for many of us! If you are feeling this way time to check in with a professional

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this. It must be very difficult. Please know that people who love you and people you don't even know and will probably never meet are praying for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those you love so dearly. We're praying for your healing and for peace in your heart and mind. Angels are walking with you.

Anonymous said...

For gods sakes! Get yourself together. One thing at a time. Do what is right in front of you. Take your dogs in. Make appointments for yourself and son if you need to. Then bathe, eat and sleep. Get up and do it again!

LuckyMama said...

Stress can make things look insurmountable particularly when there are others who depend on us. Having said that, I would venture to say that out of the many things you could do, getting enough sleep should be at the top of the list - are you doing that? It may make dealing with the stress easier.

Relative to the hysterectomy, various doctors hounded me for almost 15 years about the need for a hysterectomy, but I resisted. I finally relented last year and had a radical hysterectomy. Had a complication that was quickly resolved. And now? I wonder why I waited so long.

My mother always had an interesting saying: "Who wants to keep their sh*t in one sock anyway?"

MaryFran said...

No! Don’t give up! Keep that spoon on your hand! I have been there my friend. It’s not an easy place to sit...feeling as if there is no way out of where you are! However, there is an just hasn’t been revealed to you yet. Some part of your story is just not ready to move on yet. A lesson still to be learned, some cog in the wheel that is not ready to turn! But rest assured that it WILL get better!

That said, sit back and let’s look at what you CAN be doing in your life to make it better. When I was in that position I decided that the ONLY thing I had control of was my exercisE and food. I focused on those because they WERE completely in my control. I couldn’t control my job and I certainly had no control over my marriage (and a cheating husband)....I was totally buried in a corner. So I focused on the one thing that I could food and in a bigger extent my exercise. Eventually the empowerment that I received from taking control of just that one small thing built and I was able to gain more and more control....the teaspoons that I was using to shovel the dog crap turned into tablespoons and then shovels and finally a bulldozer. The control builds!

Keep swimming....or should I say keep using that spoon. I see the opening for happiness and peace for you!!!

Susan said...

Hi Lyn, I am so sorry that you are having such a rough time. I think we all go through terrible times to different degrees, Mine was never weight related but my only child was killed and the next month I found that I had breast cancer. Well, after my son died I felt like you do and I had no use for God. I was completely lost and it took about 2 years for me to be friends with God again. He is very patient and did not hold a grudge!
My advice would be to try to accomplish one thing each day even if it something small. When you look at everything at once it is overwhelming but just keep your focus on that one task.
Sending you love and positive energy.♥️Susan

Janet said...

Oh, Lyn... I am so very sorry to hear all of this.

If you have the patience for one more piece of advice, I will gladly say this: You need to find a way to calm your mind. Relax, breathe, center yourself and remember that all you have to do is get through THIS moment and then the next and the next. For just THIS moment, can you sit somewhere quiet? For just THIS moment, can you be still? For just THIS moment, can you take in ten deep breaths on the count of seven and exhale them for the count of seven? If you can, I believe you will experience an immediate drop in blood pressure and your anxiety level. We begin moving giant piles of poop one teaspoon at a time (see? not so crazy that you feel you only have a teaspoon vs. a bulldozer!) Center, breathe, quiet your mind (always come back to your breath when you feel it wandering) and know that YOU can do this. You WILL get through this. But for now, either on your own or with help, find a way to meditate and pray your way through the moments when everything feels like a giant pile of poop that's about to smother you.

As I've offered many times before... Our weight, that being the number on the scale is NOT our problem - the WHY we eat and weigh what we do is the real challenge to be faced.

I felt like you did last year in May - tipping the scale heavier than I'd ever been (AFTER losing 125 pounds on Optifast!) and feeling like I couldn't show up for my life one more day. I'd just gotten my tax refund and decided to spend every cent of it on myself (something I'd never, ever even thought about before!) and I checked myself in at Hilton Head Health for a week (their Jump Start program). Once there, I learned three things. I learned how to eat REAL food and lose weight. Not "diet" food; nothing processed, no shakes, nothing boxed, bagged or otherwise prepared for us dieters, just REAL, whole food. I learned how to move and exercise for strength instead of force-marching myself to a gym because I needed to burn off the cheeseburger I just ate or because I needed to punish myself. I learned to pick something I loved (and would actually do) to exercise my body in a way that strengthened it - the fact that I lost weight and felt infinitely better was just a bonus! Lastly, Hilton Head Health taught me to be nice to myself. Through meditation and the practice of beginning each day in gratitude for everything that's NOT wrong at the moment, I learned how to tune out my shitty-committee; that voice in my head that constantly told me I was too far gone to even try, that I'd blown it and needed to eat everything today to get it out of my system because I'd start over "tomorrow." I learned how to show compassion to myself for my struggles and that a slip is just an FGO, (a fu*king growth opportunity)to stop and consider for a moment what I'm feeling and what I truly need for my body and mind BEFORE I make another bad choice.

Did going to Hilton Head Health for 7 days instantly cure me? Am I now a super-model and perfectly happy with how I look and feel? NO! But what it did do for me was instill a PRACTICE of CONSITENTCY for these three areas of life and wellness that WILL get me to that place where I want and need to be.

What I learned is that the key to losing weight and keeping it off for the rest of my life is CONSISTENTLY making the right choices and allowing myself the grace and patience when I don't - Being kind enough to myself, (as I would be to anyone else) to say, "It's okay, you left yourself for a moment but RIGHT NOW is the moment to welcome yourself back and to keep going."

I hope you will consider what I've shared and that you know you are never alone!


Anonymous said...

I feel like that sometimes--once a month, tbh. Everything just feels bleak and overwhelming.

Like others are saying, if I just DO something--complete a goal, no matter how silly--I feel almost immediately better.

Also, for me, a huge, enormous, never-to-be-overestimated part of my psychological wellbeing is eating and exercising.

I would, without question, be horribly depressed without regular exercise. I recently got injured and couldn't work out for two weeks. I felt exactly like you describe in this post. Totally mentally bleak. I leaned heavily on social support at the time, though (friends and family). I also kept my eating meticulous and thus didn't gain weight and add to my depression, which brings me to....

I also feel emotionally lousy when my eating is off track. Being too full and sugar-buzzed causes serious depression. Eating healthy food--not processed junk--at regular mealtimes to emphasize a daily routine--and letting myself get hungry between meals--these are essential to my mental health.

Caring for yourself physically is a HUGE part of caring for your mental health. Especially since losing weight is also an important goal for you. You are probably partly depressed because you have given up on taking useful action toward this goal. You're throwing yourself into a negative cycle: eat too much of the wrong thing --> feel physically and mentally depressed --> eat for the wrong reasons [i.e. not hunger] --> feel more depressed.

As others have said, therapy might help you to find other ways to manage emotion than eating for comfort.


Laura said...

Lyn- I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles and feeling frustrated and defeated. I feel like I have the exact issue going on; I'm so mad at God that I haven't even gone to church for the last month (I think?). So unusual for me, but I don't know how to get past the anger when so much in my life feels like it's gone wrong, and I literally have zero control over the issues causing me to feel that way. I get it.

One thing I've done in the past that kind of helped was to make a list of each of the things causing me stress that I wanted to work on or improve; it included marriage, spirituality, finances, health, diet, exercise, etc. I went through and detailed the steps I would take for each issue to get it to the point where I would be happy with where it was at. It helped a bit to visualize it, and I think it also helped that when I got some things under control, like finances and eating for example, that everything else felt like it started to come together and my stress level was so much better!

You're in my prayers. We all need them, some more than others sometimes. :)

Amy said...

I'm sorry you are going through all this! Just remember it doesn't define your character. When the rough stuff rolls by you will have the mental energy to get your feet back on the ground. Don't beat yourself up for where you are now, you have come so far. You never gave up and something tells me giving up is not even in your nature. You have time to do everything you need and want to. All these things will shake themselves out.

Lyn said...

I don't have it in me to write a long response right now, but I wanted to tell you that the kind words most of you left mean a lot to me. I am going to come back tonight and tomorrow morning and read them again and try to take some kind of action or take some breaths or pray. Thank you.

Deniz said...

Zen hugs to you Lyn. Try to treat yourself with kindness and lean into the support you need and deserve. You are a strong woman and an inspiration to me and many other people. I'm not much one for prayer but my thoughts are with you. Deniz

Susan said...

He allows the famine and then He gives the food.
He allows the draught and then He gives the rain.
He allows mourning and then He brings comfort and the latter provision is always more prominent than the former.
All these things are not meant to harm you but to purge you.. you have to see this from a higher perspective..
You are not experiencing anything is common to all people..
Murmuring about it will only make it worse..
I can share all my heartaches that continue to this day. And I too had a radical hysterectomy in February for endometrial cancer...
Choose your support group wisely..
None of this is God's fault...but it is God who is using it to gtow you up into Christ..
Aa a believer you must remember you are a pikgrim..a stranger here.. this,world is not your home.. His children have no continuing city here..I pray the help you need would be found..

LHA said...

Lyn, my heart goes out to you! I totally understand how you feel. Most of us who have lived to middle age of older have had times like this and it is so overwhelming it's just debilitating. I am not religious so I cannot comment on your religious feelings or attitude toward God, but I know there are many other people who can make constructive comments on this so I'll leave that to them. For myself, I had to learn the HARD WAY that if I didn't take care of myself I couldn't help anyone else. I have been through similar periods of time with a huge set of problems that I won't bore you by listing and it nearly took me down completely. I put myself, my well being, my sleep, my free time, my friendships and my health LAST. I was constantly trying to put out fires everywhere else and it didn't work out well. I have had years of therapy and it has been pounded into my head that unless I take better care of myself I can't help anyone. Weight is just one issue, and at this time may not even be the most important one for you. As you have pointed out, you are not as heavy as you once were and maybe that is enough for now. I agree with the comments telling you to take one thing at a time, and tackle what you can realistically do. Next, take another problem you can make headway on. Little by little you will find your way out of this! It is all anyone can do when life piles it on like this!

A doctor told me adequate rest was the foundation for better mental and physical health. Rest and sleep when you can. Be kind to yourself in any way possible. If a bubble bath is your thing, take one. If you like to watch silly tv shows or read mystery books, take a little time to do it. When you are in the middle of a crisis I do recommend two apps that I use. One is called "Calm" and the other is "Insight timer". They help me just relax enough to get my breath, and both were free. They have guided meditations if that appeals to you too. I'll leave you with two sayings my mother always used, as she was quite religious. To me they have meaning for everyone, even nonbelievers like me: "This too shall pass" and "Be of good cheer. God is in the plan". The universe has spun out of control for you, but little by ittle things are going to improve, Sending all good thoughts your way!

Jami said...

Lyn sorry things are going rough for you. I echo LHA's sentiments. Especially the part about sleep. Try to get out of the house everyday. Isolation will only fuel being depressed. You can get out of this. Just start slowly. Take care.