(Trigger Warning: Food issues)
When I am not feeling like myself, as was the case yesterday (and really the day before as well), I have found that I also don’t treat myself as kindly as I should or would like to. I tend to let a lot of things slide. Specifically, eating food. Mind you, I’ll almost always manage to get some coffee/caffeine in me, but only to stave off the inevitable headache. Yes, I did not eat until 7:30 pm yesterday and of this I am ashamed. I know better. I had food in the house. I just wasn’t feeling well, and obviously not thinking straight either.
I recall the long ago days when I was 19 and 20 years old living on little more than Taco Bell, Lean Cuisine and Jose Cuervo. Blegh! I could never do that to myself again. I know I was so depressed and truly suffering through the worst of my PTSD at the time (though I hadn’t a clue then) but I also didn’t really know how to eat or care for myself, either. How could I? I know at one point my grandma was worried about me and would pack me lunches for work, even though I lived and worked twenty miles away. Gawd how I miss her. Not because of the lunches, mind you, but her caring and loving and sense of humor and hugs most of all.
It is when I am not taking care of myself that I am truly letting myself, and those I care about, down. My grandma would scold me for not eating all day like I did yesterday. I can picture the face she’d give me and then I know she’d dash into the kitchen and rustle up some combination of simple, filling and awesome. When my family had so little, we always had Sunday dinner at grandma’s house. I looked forward to it all week! My favorite was the simple little green salad she’d serve before the main course. I didn’t even know what courses were back then, but I knew salad was so special and rare and my favorite!
I suppose growing up in a food insecure household meant that continuing food issues would be inevitable. I hadn’t realized just how much of our childhoods affected us as adults, on this topic specifically, until two weeks ago when I literally had nothing to eat in the house and relied on B for dinner one evening and felt like utter shit for it. He made no bones about it, of course, but how I felt was so triggering and awful that the next morning I went to the grocery store and spent $100 on groceries just to be able to breathe again. *Sigh*
I think I have used not eating as a way of feeling as though I am in control of something in my life when so much is truly out of my control. Like this one thing? I got this! Ugh! This is not who I am or want to be. I have worked very hard to break these patterns and behaviors. So why does it pop back up so suddenly now? Really things are going great for the most part. I just need a job! That’s it! So simple, three letters, all the difference in the fucking universe! I would have at least some relief if I knew whether I’d be getting unemployment money coming or not. I should be getting the word any day now, but it’s killing me! I just need to know so I can find another means of paying my rent in time if need be. I don’t know how I’ll do that, but I’m sure I’ll hustle something up somehow.
I also felt like a big phony faker on Sunday night and I hated myself for it. I went to my BFF’s birthday dinner and felt lousy and truly didn’t want to be there. My boyfriend (OMZ! I cannot believe I have a boyfriend! Ha-ha!) was supposed to go with me, but had work stuff to tend to. It was nice to drive up with “Q” but I think even she could tell I wasn’t the usual me. I did my best not to show how yucky I was feeling, but inside I just wanted to run the fuck away and hide under the covers. But I missed Steph so much and so rarely get to see her and if I’d bailed this time I knew she’d hunt me down and kill me! Ha-ha! It wasn’t that I had a horrible time or anything, but I did have to sort of grin and bare it through the evening. I felt like an alien, to be honest. I felt like I was surrounded by all of these smart and put together people with cool jobs and awesome lives and adult problems and here I am barely able to hold it together. Ugh!
Today is a new day and I shall treat it as such. I know how to care for myself, certainly better than the last few days. I will be more mindful of how I am feeling and listen carefully to what my body needs. I distinctly recall three times yesterday where I heard my stomach growling and rather than paying attention and providing food/fuel for my body and brain I actually thought to myself, “Ugh! Why are you growling? Shut up!” Whoa! NOT ME! I guess I just needed some comforting and didn’t know how or who to ask for it. I mean, I don’t think anyone else even knew or could know at the time that I needed such a thing, maybe I didn’t even know. I know now. But I also know that I wasn’t doing much to comfort myself.
Self care takes many forms. First and foremost should be the basics like food and water. I have not struggled with that part in so long I guess I actually forgot for a bit there just how that felt and can spiral into worse. I am glad that I was able to recognize it before it got out of hand. I know that I used to starve myself rather than ask to borrow a dollar from a single soul back in those Lean Cuisine and Tequila days. Older and wiser, eh? Ha-ha! Okay, I can do this. I will do this…there is no try, only do! 😉