Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Simplicity = Peace

I woke up at 4:18am this morning and couldn't go back to sleep, so I gave up at 4:40 and got up. After walking the dog, I baked two pies, cooked 8 lbs of potatoes, baked cornbread for tomorrow's stuffing, set the table for tomorrow (I'm now hosting 12 or 14), did the dishes, washed some laundry, bathed C, exercised, and got ready for work -- all before noon! I'm very glad that I got so much done today. Tomorrow will hopefully be easy and stress free. I told my therapist yesterday that I've forced myself to dial back about 25 times over the past few weeks. Every time I got the notion that I would cook this or that fabulous dish for thanksgiving, I'd remind myself that every year I end up hot, tired, miserable, crabby, and resentful by the time the meal is served. Then I end up soothing myself with too much dinner and/or dessert. This year I'm keeping it simple. I'm not baking homemade rolls. I'm not making three desserts. I'm not trying four new casserole dishes. No, no, no. People are bringing various dishes and I'm making only turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie. So what if we have store-bought rolls? I will be relaxed and able to enjoy my guests and the meal.

I confessed my episodes of going hungry to the therapist, but assured her that I realized what I was doing and was now having a snack mid-morning. I told her that I'm feeling so good that I'm sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. There have been periods in my life when I've been stable emotionally, not starving myself or bingeing, and kept a lower weight, but something always happens -- I overeat at a few meals and gain a few pounds, or some other trigger -- and suddenly I'm right in that cycle of waking up every day determined to be on a diet and "blowing it" by the end of the day, cycling between going hungry and having a binge. She pointed out that I am a different person now. I am now someone who deals with her emotions without using food. I now realize that overeating at one meal is not a diasaster. She suggested that I continue to remind myself of that and say to myself that things are great and will be great from now on, rather than wondering when it will all fall apart.

It had been ninety days since we wrote out a treatment plan and as we looked over the goals we'd set for the past ninety days, I was pleased to see that I'd achieved most of them. I haven't binged, I've improved my relationship with food, I've stopped obsessing over food and my weight all the time, and I've been more expressive of my feelings at work and at home. I still need to work on the last one though, and we made that one of the new goals.

We had a long discussion after I admitted that I often feel resentful that I do so much more at home than my husband does. He tries hard and has vastly improved in doing his share, but there are still many times when, for example, I am sitting and paying bills while he reads or plays around on the computer. I realized that it isn't so much that I expect him to be scrubbing the bathroom while I pay bills, but I resent him relaxing and enjoying himself. If he were playing a game with the girls or reading to them, I'd be okay. I promised her that I would have a talk with him about this issue. I'm dreading it because in the past, I often managed to say the wrong thing, he got very defensive, and we ended up not changing anything. I will try to choose my words very carefully, This is a very important issue for me and I don't want to end up stuffing my feelings because I'm afraid to confront them.

1 comment:

Emma said...

Perhaps transfer the bill paying duty to him so you can go do other things he'd never do. You should both know how to do it and how the money is going - it keeps peace in the family. Then you can get to all that stuff.

Also remember you are cleaning for you not for him. It's almost never an equal partnership. Oh wouldn't it be nice. I am terribly cleaning challenged. If you have kids they should be doing chores too. You wouldn't want them to grow up feeling entitled like I do.