Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fighting the fight

When I said that I was excited about December and excited about the holidays last week, I was completely lying. In fact, I've been lying to everyone (and myself) for weeks about how excited I am for the holidays this year. The simple fact is that I don't even want to celebrate the holidays this year and I just want this time to be over. But in my quest to live a less anxious and stressful life, I tried to mask my anxiety about the holidays with excitement and it worked for about.. 2 weeks. And then it stopped working. And instead of acknowledging that it had stopped working, I just buried all my feelings inside of me and didn't talk about it and didn't think about them. This doesn't really work though because things have been ROUGH for me the past few weeks. I feel myself slipping into my old ways of not working out, eating whatever I want, eating all the time, eating to feel better. I tried to tell myself that I was just being hard on myself and I tried to make myself realize that healthy living is about balance and there isn't any reason to feel bad for having that balance. But, that didn't really work either because I still found myself slipping to the bad side too often. And I hit rock bottom this morning when I decided I was going to stop watching what I was eating and stop making myself work out when I didn't want to (which is every day, by the way).

I don't want to focus on what I've been doing and what I haven't been doing. I just want to tell you that the holidays are a really hard time for me every year. This is going to be my 6th Christmas since my dad passed away. And even now, 6 years later, I am still brought to tears as I type this. This particular year is one of the hardest years yet because I lost not only my uncle this past year, but my Oma (grandmother). Since my dad and my Opa have passed away, the two single most important people in my life have been my Oma and my brother. They are the only direct ties that I feel to my dad now. And now that my Oma is not here, my worst fears are being realized and I can feel my dad's family slipping apart. We didn't have Thanksgiving together this year. I'm going to spend Christmas with Matt's family, but even if I wasn't - I don't know if my dad's family would be celebrating together. I was always terrified that Oma was the only reason we still got together, and this year it's proving true. I know that everyone has had a horrible year and probably for some people - like my newly widowed Aunt (who also lost her mom a month later), putting together a holiday celebration is the last thing she wants to do. But unfortunately, for me, that's what I need. I need to feel as close to my dad during the holidays as I can and this year I am not feeling that.

But like I said, I haven't been acknowledging these feelings. I've been burying them. And so they are showing up where I don't want them to show up - in my dreams, in my habits, in my attitude and demeanor every day. My heart feels broken and I feel empty inside. All I want to do every day is go home and lay on either my couch or my bed and just sleep. All I want to do is eat. I can't be bothered to go to the gym. I don't want to do ANYTHING social. Yet, I've been fighting myself. I have still been attending as many social events as I can and I've been scheduling more. I still pack my breakfast and lunch for work every day and make a solid attempt to eat as healthy as I can. I still plan my menus for the weeks and shop as if I'm going to be my normal healthy self. And some nights I still prepare those healthy meals I've planned and purchased. But then I'll have times when I lose the fight with myself and I give in. I eat my emotions. I lay on the couch the second I get home and I don't get up until it's time to move to my bed to sleep for the night. I don't go to the gym. And worst of all, I've been consumed with fear and anxiety for the past few weeks about my own life and when I'm going to die and what if a tragic accident happens to me and feeling like every single day that I wake up is another day closer to the day that I die. It's been eating away at me. And of course, I didn't tell anyone because I just wanted it to all go away.

This morning I woke up and I cried the entire way to work. I cried because I know exactly what I NEED to be doing, I just don't feel like I have any fight in myself. I debated blogging and I debated how much I would share on my public blog. I debated if I could deal with everyone's comments about "how to get back into it" and I decided I didn't want to hear what anyone had to say about it because I HATE cheerleaders and I don't want to feel positive right now. Then I played the scenarios in my head and decided the best thing to do was to give up for right now. To stop tracking my food. To stop pushing myself to get to the gym. I told myself that I could eat intuitively and I could handle not losing weight right now, because frankly I'm NOT losing weight anyways. And when I started to think about what would happen if I GAINED weight from essentially giving up, I just stopped thinking about it and cried more because it was too hard.

And so I got to work and I opened my email and I had an email waiting from one of my very good friends that I do not speak to very often. She had sent me a link to an article talking about "diet" blogs and about how these bloggers show the world that you don't have to be perfect to be healthy. Because these healthy lifestyle bloggers share both the good and bad, it helped one blogger in particular to realize that everyone struggles and that we shouldn't give up. The one thing that really struck me as I was reading was the woman's pictures of her body where she had put the great things her body CAN do for her. When I read that on her stomach she said she had lost over 100 pounds I was immediately inspired. Reading that article helped me to realize how far I have come and how I'm not ready to give it up. I don't want to gain weight because I'm not paying attention. I don't to lose my fitness because I stop going to the gym. I've worked very hard to get to where I am and I still have a long way to go. I'm going through rough waters right now but it's not the first time I have and I can get through it. Giving up on myself and allowing myself to avoid my health is not the answer though.

You all know I have an extremely all-or-nothing personality. Right now I'm not all in. And that's an impossible feeling for me because when I can't give something my all I'm very inclined to give it nothing. I'm done being naive with myself and pushing myself to do things that I don't want to do right now. It's time to tell myself that right now is a time that is hard for me and sad and I need to be sad. I need to have some days where I indulge myself and just exert all my energy on making it through that one day. But on the good days, I need to focus on being healthy. So I'm just going to work at finding a balance between doing everything and doing nothing. I don't know how to do that. I have a bag full of tricks but none of the tricks have been working lately. I'm not ready to give up but I'm not exactly full of the fight that I have been in the past. That's an impossible place for me right now and I'm just doing my best to get through it as I can.

I know I'm not the only person having a difficult holiday season this year. And I know I'm not the only person that is struggling with my emotions and fighting myself to be healthy. I just want everyone to know that is what I'm personally going through and that it's okay. It's okay that I'm having these problems and it's okay if you are too. But if you aren't talking about it and it's eating you away inside, maybe it's time that you confront your emotions and try to process through them. I'd be lying if I told you I feel better right now after writing this because I don't. In fact I've been crying at work (yippee) as I write, but I know, for me, I just need to get it out. I need to acknowledge and share my struggles. And so I thank you for reading this and I hope that all of us have as safe and great of a holiday season that we can.

1 comment:

  1. I feel you on this one. This holiday season has been so hard on me as well - it's the first since losing my baby last year. Sometimes life just feels so overwhelming it's a battle to keep our head above water.
    I hope you know that YOU'RE not alone. Your words find hearts that understand.