The number one source of anxiety in my life is money. Money makes me feel like a child like no other. I never have any of it, and it makes me feel incomplete, less than and undesirable. It's the one thing in my life that makes me apply the "pathetic" label to myself, and begin digging that hole of self hate. The reason I never have any money is a two fold onion. On one hand, I was never given the skills to critically think about financials as a child, and when I got older, instead of taking the reigns myself, I allowed my co-dependent relationship to take those skills away from me. Now, when I budget, I find myself getting everything paid for and then dropping the connection that tells my brain, "this $300 is for incidentals and fun for the next two weeks." I run out of money so quickly because I have emotional habits that cost just enough to bleed me slowly.
I eat my feelings. Since I moved into my mother's house a month ago, I've been hard up on that emotional eating. I have tried to fill this void inside me with beef, cheese and various types of bread. I've tried to take the edge off by popping one-bite snickers like they were medicine. I drown my sorrows in Jack and Coke, hold the Jack. I used to weigh three hundred pounds, I don't want to weigh three hundred pounds again, but I can't find the proper approach to stopping.
I can regulate diet no problem; when it comes to staying fed, I can make the appropriate choices to keep me healthy. It's when the emotions begin to drive that I become a bottomless pit of sugar, grease, fat and everything unholy and delicious. Emotion is the quickest way for me to lose myself, to become a being of pure impulse, the only thing that will get me to stop is an empty bank account. It's like my incidentals budget should just have a piece of tape over it that says, "SAD SNACKS."
My issues with food have become alarmingly clear; something about the way diet and food consumption was approached in my house was broken. My mother loved to splurge and enjoy treats, my father was very cut and dry about "food at home" and moderation when we were kids. Mom would sneak us treats and hardly regulated what we ate, my father on the other hand, almost always had something to say about what I was eating. The two of these behaviors apparently clashed in my mind and has led to an adult lifespan of hiding "rewarding" food, eating in secret and dousing everything in a thick blanket of shame.
When I moved into my mother-in-law's house last November, it became alarmingly clear to me that I had successfully run from that problem, rather than handle it. When I'd have anything even remotely out of her norm, she'd comment on it—analyze it to the point of asking me to read her the label, then sucking her teeth and having her mind blown over the sugar content. That was hard for me to watch, for some reason it felt like she was shaming me. I'm still not sure if it actually was the case, but I know how it made me feel and it got me thinking about why I feel this way.
Even as recent as Monday night, I've snuck food into the house. It's not because I think my mom will shame me, but she does get very nosey about what I have. I brought a bag home the other night that contained coffee creamer, a bag of chips and bread—and she hounded it like it contained the elixir of life. She would not accept the fact that it was none of her business, that it wasn't for her. It was a blast from the past, like I saw the reason I'm so private about my food. Whether or not I'm projecting this on to her or not is important, because all I know is that she tried to put her hand in the bag and it made every muscle in my body (and mind) clench with panic and anxiety.
It's something I'm working on, but like quitting smoking, it's a third-tier priority right now. I realize that I can't lump too much on to my body at once, it will lead to a guaranteed relapse, and another month of tire-spinning. If I need to eat, I'm going to eat—I just need to remain cognizant of my habits and keep them on deck to be handled.
I know that the two women I've talked about in this post are, in fact, not out to get me. Nothing is what it feels like to me with this food thing, but nonetheless, it stands in the way of me feeding myself at times, like I'm too embarrassed to admit that I'm hungry. Along with everything else that I'm facing right now, I do feel hopeful. That's what I'm trying to do more of as well, as per yesterday's pledges; show more gratitude. I am grateful for the hope in my heart, because I know that six months ago it would have been a pit had I landed here. I'm grateful for my resolve and ability to make the best out of of a bad situation. Now I just need to turn this resolve inward and release whatever it is I'm holding on to.
I guess that's it, today was rambly. See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.