Wednesday, March 31, 2010

DAY 234 The Old Me vs The New Me

Hi Journal & Friends,

Thank you so much for all the nice, kind and understanding words... it means a lot to me. Not one person said "it's only a cat". Dusty was like family, and you all seemed to understand that. 

Yesterday was tough. Other than tea and a bite of cheese, I didn't get around to eating til dinnertime. We had salad and bbq ribs. I even weighed my one rib! I was tempted to act like the "old me", and chow down on half the cow, while Jim ate the other half. But it crossed my mind that doing so was not a way to honor Dusty.

I did eat too much of my snack later. I was assembling my homemade Trail Mix, weighing and measuring it out, wrapping them up in portions to keep in the freezer... and mindlessly watching the new V episode on tv. And I munched too much as I did it. My excuse was that I was just tired, drained, and didn't want to count any more for the day... that I would just add it up at the end. 

Yeah, right. Famous last words. Do you want to know how fast Trail Mix calories add up??!! Can anyone say 400 extra calories for the day???!! Ouch.

But overall, I feel pretty good about the day. I explained to MyGuy what I had learned from so many other bloggers... that when you aren't numbing your feelings with the food/the drug, that they can sometimes feel INTENSE. 

And I reassured him that I wasn't going to pig out all day. Instead, I was choosing to FEEL my sadness. To feel the whole experience... from hearing Dusty meow in a worried tone on the way in; to seeing her a little scared at the vet's office; to staying with her and talking to her soothingly so she would not be alone or with strangers as she passed; to taking her home in her Harley box; to acknowledging her absence in the house.

The "old me" always medicated any unpleasant emotions with food... lots and lots of food. I always made sure I had my favorite stuff available... and had stashes of the really pure "drugs", like peanut M&Ms... or Kraft Mac&Cheese... or various other assorted choices.

If my stash got low, I would get almost panicked, and try to talk MyGuy into making an extra trip to the grocery store. Of course, I hid my stash request amongst "legitimate" items, like milk or eggs or other innocent distractions. 

But I didn't do that yesterday. I faced it. And I almost made it the whole day, til I just spaced out and gave in to the tiredness, and forgot for awhile. But when I took the wrapped up Trail Mix to the kitchen to put it away, I caught myself as I opened the fridge, looking for something else to eat. I realized I had "zoned out", and was starting to revert to old patterns.

NO! I can't do that. I won't do that. That was the old me. 

This is Life, and we all go through stuff, it's normal. I can't go backwards, not even for a short time. It opens up the door for "exceptions". And I guarantee you, once I tell myself it's okay to make exceptions, I will come up with all kinds of excuses! And that will mess with my head, and chip away at my confidence, and erode my determination.

Anyway, I told Jim I was going to feel the feelings, not eat them numb. And that for today, I was going to cry as much as I wanted, so not to worry. He was very sweet about it... and I think I even saw him get a little misty-eyed himself once or twice. 

We can feel deeply... and be okay.

We can experience intense unpleasant emotions... and be okay.

We can hurt... and be okay.

We do NOT need to use food for comfort. It's not worth the trade off. It's just not.

From Dr Phil's book:  "There is rarely a time in your life when all is at peace and balance. That's neither good nor bad; it is simply the ebb and flow of how life works. To be alive means to experience emotions, painful or otherwise."

My verse for today: "The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace."

My quote for today: "Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen." --Peter Marshall

Soon, I will again be 
Enjoying the Journey,



Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

It is so very difficult to feel those feelings and NOT eat...I'm SO very proud of you!

I would never say Dusty was "just a cat". I am still emotional about having had my cat put to sleep. My husband gave me a little cat charm for my charm bracelet in his honor. Even this morning, I was looking back through some old photos on my computer, and there he was, splayed out on a chair, enjoying some sun.

Stay with the feelings Loretta. They might be intense and so sad and unpleasant, but you are really making some huge progress by doing so.

(hugs) again

that TOPS lady said...

This post was awesome. I know what you mean about "zoning out". I do that occasionally (too often) just because I'm tired. That's when I make horrid decisions. I'm glad you realized what you were doing before it was too late.

Totally unrelated, but I love watching your little hampy on your sidebar. I usually feed him everytime I come in. But he is napping right now. How cute!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing accomplishment!!! Not to give into those intense, hard feelings with food. I'm not so sure I could have been as my drugs of choice for numbing pain are very similar to yours. Take it one day at a time my kitteh friend, let yourself feel...and before you know it, the sun will shine a little brighter and the day will be a bit happier....and there won't be any guilt from binging to mar it!!

Anonymous said...

i can totally relate, and i am so sorry for your loss. I always say when i get to heaven i will have the smallest group of people waiting, but the biggest group of beloved kitty and doggie children! And i like it that way! Unconditional love, only cats &dogs and pets know how to do that and when they are gone, its so hard.

M Pax said...

Powerful realizations. I am glad you are feeling your emotions instead of eating them.

I personally like to think that whenever I think of someone not on this Earth any more [fur based or not], that it's them checking in on me, and I feel a little better.

It is all right to feel sad and mourn. It makes us human and that is what Dusty loved about you.

The pain will ease, and you will be left with all the beautiful moments you took the time to savor and treasure.

I'm hear if you need a shoulder. Hugs.

Sandra said...

I'm proud of you Loretta! I'm also sorry for your loss - I've got some blog catching up to do and missed yesterday's post.

Leslie said...

So sorry for your loss. Our animals are truly family members and leave tremendous voids in our lives when they pass on.

I'm also behind on blog reading. Glad you're feeling positive, and feeling your feelings rather than stuffing them. Not easy. Take care -

Tami said...

I just found your blog through your post on Kat's blog. Sorry your lost your little friend Dusty. Loss hurts, but good for you for deciding not to stuff the feelings down with food.

I love that quote from Dr Phil's book.

Wishing you well. Tami

Anonymous said...

Amen! Yes, we can feel, get hurt, be sad--all of that, and be okay! Don't need to medicate it or deny it--feeling it makes us real. You done good, girlfriend! Deb

Ice Queen said...

Thank you so. Much for this entry. I really, really needed to read it, right now.

The Brown Recluse said...

You are so strong! And wise. And I love how your strength shows through the pain of this season in your life.
I know that Dusty was/is part of your family...there's no doubt...I'm sorry you're hurting.

snoconegirl said...

iam sure sorry about dusty..i know how that feels. i left you an award on my page..i think you have an amazing have a great day!

Kat said...

I am so proud of you Loretta. You are walking the talk - we can feel deeply and be OK. I thought about you and Dusty several times today. Sending you love and light. xoxo

Scarlet Simple said...

A cat is never just anything. I think most pet lovers are keen to this. I think that despite the trail mix blunder your day was incredible.

Your post was also so very right on for me, it was something that I was helped by reading. Everything is more intense when we aren't numbing ourselves with food, and I forget that it isn't just specific emotions. It really is everything.

Thanks for that.

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