Friday, April 3, 2015

Why Can’t I Just Be Normal???

“Some days I hate myself. I just wish I could be normal”

That’s what I said to E this morning on the drive in to work.

And it’s true. Some days I hate that I am this person that I am today. Some days I hate the person I was that got me here. Some days I just want to yell and scream and say screw it all because I am just so sick and tired of being me.

Why can’t I just be normal???

Now I am not really sure if there is a normal or if what you would call normal is what I would call normal but here’s the thing- I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make it so I could go back to the beginning, back to the start of this problem, and stop it. Being overweight then morbidly obese that pretty much sealed my fate. There were only two paths that I could take- continue to gain and further lose control of my life and my health or lose the weight and get my shit together and get my health back.

I am thankful I chose the latter. Don’t get me wrong. I am beyond thankful. Even when I come here and complain and vent about the other side of weight loss I am still, always, happy that this is the life I chose. No matter how much I say I hate it. It is still a million times better than the limited life I had before.

But I digress.

I would give anything to have the ability to fix all my mental shit back then that caused these behaviors and addictions. I would also love to educate the younger me and teach her why we eat and why nutrition and good foods are paramount to living a healthy life. Because then, maybe, I could have prevented years and years of suffering.  

But I can’t. I can’t go back into time and fix the past in hopes to alter my future. Instead I must live with the decisions I have made which serve as a constant reminder that I did this to myself. That my life today was molded and sculpted by those decisions. My path is carved out. And I just have to suck it up and carry on.

What am I complaining about? What is so bad that I wake up days hating my life?

Well, nothing- in the grand scheme of things right? I mean, honestly I don’t have it bad. I shouldn’t complain. Others have it worse. But that being said, I am still human. I still have emotions and feelings and struggles. And some days I just want to vent. So here it goes…

It is annoying having to always think about food. I always have to have a plan. I always need to be prepared. I feel like food, and eating, is always (ALWAYS!!!) on the front of my mind. I hate that I always need to know where, when and what I will be eating. I hate that food is always such a big deal for me. I hate that when it comes to food I only have two options – complete control or reckless abandon. I have no middle ground. I have an addiction. I can’t just be ‘normal’ and just eat whatever, whenever without thinking about it first.  Trust me. It gets old. And again, I will say that yes this does get easier and yes meal planning and keeping a stocked/pantry and fridge and always having backup plans/ideas is really just part of my life and it is something I have accepted. But yes, there are definitely times when I wish it didn’t have to be this way.

I go off of the assumption that people that know me and know ‘my story’ all understand that my previous weight gain did not come from health issues and it clearly did not come from eating too many vegetables. But maybe I need to tell you more. More about how I got here.

My weight gain came from an unhealthy relationship with food. Addictive behaviors (re: binge eating), poor habits (inactivity, mindless eating) and a very large lack of knowledge when it came to diet and nutrition. Through this journey I have been able to create healthy habits, I became more active and learned how to follow my hunger cues as signals for when I should be eating. I learned more about nutrition- eating to live, not living to eat- and have been able to make better choices for my health and wellness. Those are great strides and I am proud of what I have accomplished. But the fact of the matter is I am still an addict, although I like to think most days/weeks/months I am an addict in recovery. I know better now how to take care of myself and because of it I have more control over my addiction but that doesn’t mean I am healed. I mess up. I lose control. I have days when I just don’t give a shit and I eat, and eat, and eat until I want to vomit. I know I shouldn’t. And almost always in that moment I can tell you exactly why I am doing it, what triggered this behavior. But it is so hard (so unbelievably hard) to stop once you have started.

I know I don’t talk much about this and maybe that is something I should do. Because I cannot be (or act like or give off the impressions that I am) ashamed of this part of my life. It is who I am.  It is no longer part of my every day behavior but it is still there. That demon. He isn’t gone. I just learned how to quiet him better. But he comes back every now and then and shows me that I am not in control. I am not as strong as I think I am. That nothing has changed. And I feel defeated. I feel like shit, honestly. I feel like the lowest of the low. And it just fuels the fire. I binge and feel like shit which in turn keeps the cycle going. I feel like shit, I eat. I eat, I feel like shit. And you know by eat I don’t mean a few stalks of celery or a handful of carrots but I mean I eat everything. I eat like my stomach is a bottomless pit and it is my goal to fill it. That is how I eat. And then I cry and feel ashamed and I hate myself. This is one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced. It sucks.

But then I find hope. It is a little thread of hope but it’s enough to begin to pull myself out. This week it was recognizing what I was doing and wanting to stop. Right then. I wanted it to just end.

So I sent my friend a message and I told him what I was doing. I have never done this before. I have never reached out during a binge and ask for help. And we talked. And I felt a bit stronger.

And then I told E what was happening. I have never shared these details of my food addiction with him before, not this way. And I felt a bit stronger.

And so I went out to my FB page for this blog and I told you all about it. Again, details I don’t often share. And I felt strong. I felt in control. 

I had gotten to that point where I saw the trigger and my reaction and was able to acknowledge that how I was reacting wasn’t normal. It wasn’t healthy.  It wasn’t how I wanted to react. I was able to stop it. And I was able to pick myself back up. No, it wasn’t easy. And no, it probably won’t always happen that way. But I saw it this time, a break/shift in my pattern and behavior and I can see that maybe there is hope for me to find my new normal.

I guess the reality of all this is I won’t ever be normal. Not like someone that has never fought through obesity and food addiction. I will always struggle because, well…I can’t quit food. But I can try to find a new normal for me. One that I can, happily, live with. And it starts with this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Love and hugs,