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Chicken Fried Hunger

Holy shit! Something amazing happened today. I was reading this book about appetite, eating disorders, and desires. I was reading it while eating lunch at work today.

I was having a kind of crappy, stressful day (most days at my work are extremely stressful). I was talking to a co-worker about KFC. I don’t like KFC but it made me really want to eat some fried chicken.

So I went to Popeye’s and ordered my favorite thing there (hint: it’s a lot of food). Since I started eating more like a non-disordered person I tend to eat a lot in one sitting. An unhealthy lot.

I was sitting there, eating fried chicken. And I got to this part in the book about eating your emotions. Eating as a way to sublimate desires of all types. Or (in my case) not eating to sublimate desires of all types. And I realized that for the past year, since I started eating again, I have been doing exactly that.

I got a more stressful job and instead of responding to that in a healthy way, I ate. Then some relationship stuff went down and it ended badly, and I ate even more. And that’s definitely why I’ve gained close to 40 lbs this year.

So, I was sitting there with my fried chicken. And I realized not only did I not want how much food I ordered. I didn’t even want what I had ordered. It didn’t taste good. It didn’t make me feel better.

All it ever made me feel was full. But not in a good and satisfying way. In an unhealthy “I hate myself. Why did I eat so much?” way.

In a weird way I can see how that feeling of fullness is comforting. But it’s really only as comforting as that feeling of emptiness was when I wasn’t eating. Now that I am starting to recognize it for what it really is; it doesn’t offer much comfort.

The hunger and the fullness is the exact same feeling. I feel like my hunger was consuming me all the time. It was filling me up and seemed to take up the same amount of space inside my body and my mind as the fullness does now.

I feel like today, for the first time in more than 20 years, I was listening to my body’s hunger cues instead of mindlessly eating nothing or everything.

I actually almost cried.

It makes me wonder if a few books on eating disorders (in combination with my therapy and journaling) can help me so much. Maybe I should read a few books on some of my other issues. It can’t hurt.

I read so many books about so many things I can’t help but wonder why I never picked one up on any of my emotional issues. It feels like I was being willfully ignorant. But I wasn’t. It was all subconscious.

But I don’t want to pretend this stuff never happened anymore. I want to face it and work through it and fix it and move past it all.

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Making a point

Today was suddenly more than I can handle. I feel like I am barely in control. Like I want to go ahead and have a nervous breakdown, but I won’t let myself.

I feel like attempting to deal with my emotional problems is making it much harder to handle my normal daily issues. I was a totally energetic, responsible adult. I was getting shit done in my life.

I was cleaning, exercising, cooking, making art, writing, going to work, hanging out with my friends, dating. Now, I’m not even bathing every day let alone doing those other things.

Maybe this is what depression feels like. Apathy, insomnia, and inability to handle mundane shit going on in my life. I feel like I was doing better when I wasn’t dealing with things. It was easier in many ways. And I was more productive.

In some ways I was even more satisfied because I felt I had more to show for my life. But I didn’t have the things that really matters. Emotions, friendship, love, a sense of purpose or fulfillment. I still don’t have the love. But the rest are starting to come along.

Is it more important than creativity, motivation, fitness? I don’t know. I feel like I should be able to have all of that at the same time. I guess I’m just not there yet.

I suppose I expected it to be more of an uphill battle but that I would make progress every week. And that isn’t happening.

I have been working on my problems. I’m trying to get through this. Things just feel so bleak right now. It’s like I’m waiting for a breakthrough that isn’t coming. And I’m starting to wonder what the point is…