I finally just had internet installed after four days without it. So here's an old blog post for you.
I predict a summer that isn't very long,
And before you know it, we're singing Christmas songs
Then we get another April, May, and June
I think I'm ready for something new
I feel overwhelmed this morning, but not in the same was as I did yesterday. Yesterday, in my mind, was a special day for several reasons, despite the challenges we faced.
I want to be totally honest about our yesterday, because I think it's valuable for other people to understand that they are not the only ones who struggle.
I was so tired after a week of packing that my mental roadblocks were unravelling. For about a year, I've been having a lot of memories of childhood, and some of my university years, coming back. Some I think I had repressed on purpose, others I think were pushed back over and over by the relentless stream of work that university provided for me. There were griefs I hadn't properly grieved, and joys I had forgotten. Since my time at Make Your Mark, the business mindset event, I made so many changes to my mental architecture that a few things came loose, and even though that resulted in me finally beating the eating disorder beast, which I'll talk more about later, it also came with side effects, like any medication.
That side effect is that I'm getting triggered by all kinds of stimulus, visual, auditory, flavours, and feelings, and when something triggers me, I never know what kind of memory will come back. Right now, they're coming at a rate of about one a day, but this week they were coming fast and thick.
Being surrounded by boxes, seeing a certain kind of pipe in a basement, having Paul rely on me when I felt spent, even lying in bed cuddling with Paul when I was tired, I never know what will come back.
Yesterday morning, after being up way too early and being the lead car in a caravan to the walkthrough of our new house, I kind of lost it. I had tried to deal with 2-3 triggers within the span of an hour while driving and going through the walkthrough taking photos, and the first thing that happened to me in our new home after the walkthrough was me locking myself in the room painted all over with fishes and sobbing and wailing (for at least 15 minutes) and praying, for things so far in my past I thought I'd buried them already. Paul came in to pray and comfort me and talk about what I was experiencing and he really helped me back into a real space.
Some people prayed for me, and I made it through the day in a pretty good space. Just as mornings are not my thing, evenings aren't Paul's. We left the house at 11pm for my newly discovered 24 hour Subway that's 10 minutes from our new place, and it was time for Paul to lose it and cry from the stress and for me to help him.
I am not one of those people out there that doesn't understand mental health, in fact I have a much better grip on it than your average bear. In the past few years, we've learned coping strategies, grounding tools, and spiritual concepts that have allowed me to thrive and overcome, not least of which the trip to Calgary just over a month ago, which has had a massive impact on the way I see my life and the kind of decisions I make day to day.
Subway is the place I used to go after a long, hard day, and have a good binge. For those of you that wonder what differentiates a binge from emotional eating, because it is different, there are a few clinical items I can pinpoint from my own experience. First, the speed of eating - I eat fast day to day, but when I binge it's like cramming it down the hatch at warp speed. Second, it's like a blackout. Often after you binge you can't remember doing it, it's like you went into some kind of trance when you ate and came out of it to a wrapper and crumbs. Third, it has nothing to do with flavour or quality of the food, in fact for many with the disorder they have a preference for mild foods. In my case that wasn't how it presented, mainly because the disorder was severe, but I'm actually a foodie under all of it, so I wanted to try and taste something good.
Last night, after what could generously be described as the most stressful day of my life in several years, we went to Subway. I was starving since I hadn't eaten in almost 9 hours. I ordered a footlong sub with lots of flavour and many delicious vegetables. And then, according to the discussion I had recently with my new dietician, I chewed it twice as much as usual, I tasted almost every bite of it and focused on how wonderful a meal it was. I ate chips - once the centre of one of my most horrible binging behaviours, and I ate them one by one, savouring the combination of the sweet, cold iced tea and the salt-and-vingar crunch.
It was the first day that I can remember in my entire life that I had a day this stressful and didn't binge.
There will come a morning you won't open up your eyes
But it's what you do until that day arrives