Vacation

Very soon I will be heading out on what should be an amazing vacation with my family.  We are having a bit of a European adventure and I know this is something my parents have been working very hard to fund.  I am grateful and excited but also terrified.

Interestingly, the food fear is not the big one.  That surprises even me, but on that front, I see this as a great opportunity to have a vacation from my rules – let’s hope I can do that.

What really scares me though is being with people for 3 weeks.  I am a very introverted person and I need a lot of down time.  I crave moments of peace and solitude.  My family are not raging extroverts or anything, but they are all people who are paired or partnered or in some way have other people around all the time.  They are used to it and they like it.  They don’t understand the “energy” needs of someone like me.  They try but none has ever spent much time alone and so it is difficult for them to know what it is like to go from having solitude to suddenly being immersed with people.

I wish I was the type of person that felt only joy and excitement about this. It saddens me that I have so much anxiety about what should be a plainly positive experience.  It also causes immense guilt.  However, I am working to accept that this is a part of who I am and that it is okay.

My plan of action includes taking time each morning to meditate.  I am hopeful that meditation will be something they can understand and so it will buy me a few minutes of silence and self containment.

My other plan is to really recognize this is only 3 weeks, it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and, wow, this is incredibly exciting and I am going to have fun!!! 🙂

See you in September…

Life is short

Happy 2014 to all!

I’m not sure if it’s just my overall mental state, or the holiday season, but I have become quite aware of the fleeting nature of life.  The past few weeks everything feels painfully delicate and precious and fragile.

I would like to say that this awareness has brought with it a new embracing of life.  Everywhere else I read, that’s usually what such realizations are followed by.  For me, though, it has just made me feel desperate and scared.  I am constantly vigilant and fearful and worried.  I hope that this highly anxious state passes quickly because it is not making me live my life more fully!

Of course it’s not all bad.  There is unquestionably value in realizing that perhaps the way I am living my life just isn’t working.  It isn’t aligning with my values.  However, it’s frustrating to me that I don’t quite know how to proceed.  I know things are “off” in my life and yet I still feel paralyzed as to how to move forward.  And I feel that weight of time ticking by and knowing that I can’t get these moments back.  I can’t get this time back.  Which fuels the anxiety and leads me again to feel the “stuck”ness of it all.

It was a real blessing to be home with my parents over the holidays.  This is where part of my indecision and angst comes in.  It was good in many ways and it made me realize how much I value my relationship with them.  And how they are aging and I don’t want to miss a moment.  It was safe and healing and part of me wants to move home (or at least to the same city) and just melt into that comfort.  At the same time, it also made me see that I want to have a family of my own like that and I know that won’t happen if I am hiding under the covers at mom and dad’s house. 🙂  I am getting older too and that does limit the time to have healthy children of my own.

For now, I will try to reframe this whole experience as one that will lead to growth.  Sometimes just acknowledging that something is wrong IS the first step.

But do let me know if you have any ideas about that second step… 😉

 

Break

I’m headed home for the holidays tomorrow!

I am truly excited to get to have this time with my parents this year.  It has been a rough year and especially since September, I’ve felt that I am constantly flailing and failing.  I need this respite!

My parents are kind and accepting and will hold me safe while I am there.  I am going to work very hard to simply be present with them.  This is in contrast to what I usually do, which is start dreading having to leave the minute I arrive.  This serves to taint the time I am there.  Instead this year, I will strive to savour the moments as they come.  Tomorrow will still be there.

I have no explicit posting plans.  On the one hand, it may be nice to try to disconnect and leave the blog until 2014.  On the other hand, I may have more time on my hands being at home (it’s a small town!) so I may be inspired by extra time to reflect and write.

We’ll all be surprised to find out when we “meet” again. 🙂

Happy Holidays to all!  May the season bring you peace and serenity.  May 2014 bring you new joys that you have only ever dreamed about.  Be well my friends.

Christmas parties

I have always loved Christmas – it is pure magic to me.  I could (and have) spent hours simply sitting beside the tree and staring at the twinkling lights.

However, my eating disorder make it hard to relax and enjoy the holiday season.  I want so badly to be able to relax and enjoy the festivities but the abundance of food-based gatherings throws my anxiety into major overdrive.

This year, I’ve been trying to be kind to myself while also pushing myself a bit.  Of the 4 parties I was invited to, I went to 2.  Which is a big for me.

Each holiday event is preceded by at least a few days of exceedingly anxious thoughts.  There’s the internal battle between starving myself so that I can “indulge” at the party vs. maintaining a more normal eating pattern so that I’m not famished but then not allowing myself to enjoy the holiday foods.  There’s the obsessive planning and internal bargaining… “if I work out for an hour first, then I can have a glass of wine”, “if I stick to the veggie platter, I can have a sliver of dessert”, “if I skip lunch, I can have an appetizer”.  There’s the worry about how my eating will be perceived.  Sure, I *know* that no one really pays much attention to anyone else, but somehow I still, at 34, fall victim to that imaginary audience, full of criticisms and judgement.  There’s the fear that everything served will be simply too triggering and that I won’t be able to eat anything.  There’s the equal fear that I will want to eat, but just find myself too paralyzed.

Throw in the fact that I have social anxiety, and you can see why the holidays can threaten my peace of mind monumentally.

But I made it through two parties.  And while I can’t lie and say they were easy, or that eating disordered behaviours didn’t factor in, at least I was able to be social at this festive time.  It’s a small step but an important one.

I believe that one day the holidays will resume their magic and this disorder will be only a distant memory.  That I will enjoy Christmas baking and mulled wine and there will be no regrets and no torment.  That I will have happy and joyful holidays.