I read Lori’s post about being fragile and know exactly what she’s talking about.  I know that when I was successfully losing weight, I did hit places along the way when I suddenly felt very exposed and vulnerable, as though a big scab had been pulled off and revealed tender skin that hadn’t seen the light of day or been touched in a long time.  Those revelations were hurtful because they were unexpected; I couldn’t really plan for them so they blindsided me, even when the things themselves were not negative, the fact of them made me fragile.

Suit of ArmorAnd when I feel fragile, I go into self-protective mode.  It’s enormously hard to just breathe into the moment and not fold into a little fetal ball around that newly revealed place, and say “please don’t hurt me.”  It’s possible, you know, that we will be supported and not hurt when those new places are revealed but they have to be seen and experienced so that we know what we need when we’re there.

But having them pointed out to us by other people is annoying even when they tell us the truth.  Maybe especially then.

I’m feeling that way right now about myself.  I’m in self-protective mode about who I am and where I am.  I am a fat person who successfully has maintained a weight loss so I’m not as fat as I was.  But I’m still fat and I don’t like it or what that makes me.  And I don’t like that I am so obsessed with defining myself by my body size and not other things about myself that other people see but that I put in a closet behind the clothes that don’t fit in my quest to only see the huge elephant in the front of the room – that I need to lose weight and I need to lose it now.

I read blogs from others of Us and just get depressed, not inspired.   I’m just not in the same place that those who are actually motivated to lose are right now and reading their stories just reminds me of my failures.  But not reading them makes me feel out of touch with people so it’s a lose-lose situation and that depresses me.  It’s a good thing I’m on anti-depressants or I would be a real mess.

Life is hard.  I want to learn to really prefer to eat an apple over a cookie but I’m not there.  I want cookies and comfort food and apples aren’t it.  Carrots are crunchy but they don’t comfort and celery is worthless.

Believe it or not, I’m trying to be kind to myself right now because I’m sleep deprived and my knee hurts and there’s lots of stress going on at work with deadlines and projects, not to mention the travel.  I feel as though I’m being pulled in about 27 directions at the same time and there is no space for me to just be me, whatever size I am, in comfort and safety, for just a little while, before I need to gird up for the next attack.

I’m obviously not in a very good place right now.  I’ll get out of it – but two weeks off without email access and without people sending “you need to do this” emails while I’m gone would help a lot.

5 thoughts on “Self-protective

  1. Anne, so sorry to hear that you’re hurting, physically and otherwise. I always thought it would be nice to go away for a week or two for a quiet retreat — one of those places where they don’t let you talk for most of the day and you meditate and walk in the woods. I think now with email and cell phones, it would be even more of a departure from “normal” life.

  2. Vickie

    I think you are doing great with all this travel – because you have had a LOT of it – I know much of it is/was fun – but I couldn’t do it – not one single trip – let alone all the ones you have gone on – cheerfully gone on!

    I also think you do a great job of dealing with work – because I could not do that either – couldn’t cope with all the interaction and all the stress and demands.

    I have things come up all the time – where I have to just say to my kids – this is my stress free zone and you are trying to bring stress into it – please take it somewhere else. I don’t think that would work at a job – but I couldn’t deal with the stress there at all.

    I go days without having the phone ring. I am lucky if I check e-mail once a week. I have very little there either – which is good. I have all the delivery men trained to never ring the doorbell.

    YOU COPE with all of these things – I could never do that (now). Give yourself a LOT of credit!!!

    I am sure that your family is very glad to have you just the way you are – I know we all are.

  3. Lori

    I think in reading these blogs I have many of the same feelings you have. I’m happy for my friends and I go, “why can’t I do a treadmill for “X” number of minutes?” You saw how hard I was with myself about the swimming (not that I have changed that much). I think, I should be eliminating this or that from my diet and carrying around 2 pounds of vegetables in a tupperware bowl for lunch every day. (Not that I know of anyone really doing that, I’m exaggerating a bit.)

    None of us make our lives look easy by any means and when we’re on the outside looking in, it’s tempting to see it that way or dismiss what we are doing.

    But the point is this: we are who we are and we are traveling down the same road but at different speeds, in different vehicles, with different directions from mapquest, etc.

    Right now, you and I are traveling with the top down and the weather is a little weird and we may be behind a dump truck with an occassional pebble being flung at us.

    I have to wonder how these actors and actresses do it; change their hair color, sculpt their bodies for different roles, gain or lose at will for parts and not wonder who in the hell they are when they look in the mirror. (I mean, the supposedly normal ones.)

    Trust me, I know very well how it is in academia with deadlines, stupid forms, dumb evaluation forms, budgets and going through HR to get a new person that “only” takes 2 months (if you’re lucky).

    I hope you are having a good time on your trip and reconnecting with a friend or two. I am thinking of you.

  4. Vickie

    I have always wondered if the actors/actresses

    have a STRONGER sense of self
    to do what they do,

    or actually almost no sense of self at all
    to do what they do.

  5. Vickie

    The other thing is that you are (mostly all of you) much more balanced than I am – I am very black and white at this point.

    I have the things that I do (and I do them nearly 100%) but the things that I don’t do – I do 0%.

    I recognize this.

    It is not good –

    I can only work on so many things at one time.

    And I have SO many things to work on. . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s