Monthly Archives: December 2011

feeling fulfilled=feeling full

I’m pretty sure that at the moment I ended my last post about choosing how to feel I really did feel peaceful and resolved… but it sure as hell didn’t last and it hasn’t been so effortless to maintain.

I have been feeling angry a lot.  Anger is something I don’t “do.” At least not very well.  It terrifies me.  It overwhelms me.  It takes me to a place where I am without skills or knowledge about how to exist in harmony with myself and my environment and I flounder and flop around for far more time than I am comfortable with.

I was so focused on being elegant and peaceful in the early stages of this divorce process that some of my recent anger seems ill timed and focused.  I seem to be blowing through the stages of grief at a rapid pace, but then continuing to cycle through them from the beginning over and over and over.  I got the sense that wasn’t serving me well and decided to try and sit in my anger for a while to see if it would (eventually) pass.  I mistook denial for acceptance in the beginning, and anger is taking far longer than I would have hoped.  On to bargaining!  (ew, not really… on to acceptance please)

The anger comes and goes in waves and each rolling in is triggered by an interaction with my ex.  More specifically each occurs when I get disappointed in one of his choices, behaviors, or actions.  Of course, we all know that disappointment comes from expectations and because I am not quite ready to give up on expectations I try to only stick to reasonable ones.  Turns out, reasonable does not equal realistic and disappointment continues to occur…  Shocking, I know.  It’s killing me too.

In response to my  mind’s request that we sit in our anger my body has reacted with hunger.  Insatiable, false hunger.  The kind that cries out for salty and sweet and fatty and starchy and allows my stomach to open into a black hole whose limits know no bounds.  For the first time in my entire life I sat down with a carton of ice cream (thank goodness it’s only 1.5 quarts these days instead of the full half gallon it was before the economy turned and food prices soared) and ate the entire thing in one sitting.  I saw someone do it on TV as a coping strategy and I was so tired of sitting in my anger I was desperate for something to take it away.  It didn’t of course.  I felt worse, not better and even though I felt full to the point of apathy (and I could drift easily into sleep, my thoughts drowned in creamy goodness), I still didn’t feel fulfilled.

Right now (and for the past several hours), for the first time in weeks, I feel like myself and I don’t feel hungry!  I mean, I get hungry when hours have passed since I last ate something, but my hunger is satiated by reasonable amounts of healthful foods.

I had lunch with a new friend today.  Someone I met by chance a few months ago and was drawn to and made an effort to connect with (I know, very grown up of me, right?  me: 1, social phobia: well, it’s probably still ahead, but at least I have 1 point now).  We sat and ate and talked; and even though divorce, and parenting, and food issues came up I got to just be me.  The best version of me, but a completely genuine one.  Not trying to be some best version of myself who could also fit into social norms… but just the best me.  Not the divorcee, the mom, or the food addict… just me… and it was great!   I’ve wondered more than once in the last several years who “me” really is, and whoever she is, I spent a solid amount of time with her today and I really like her.

Cue the visions of unicorns running through fields of wildflowers with rainbow skies!

I feel that good!

Just writing that sent off a little red flag in my brain… a note to self: beware of high–crash imminent.  Shut up, self, that’s not what I’m saying here.

I do feel that good, but it’s not because of a manic high.  It simple feels that good to feel like myself.  I find connection with others to be the most fulfilling experience I have in life, but rarely (at least lately) have I been able to extract the joy from a new connection in it’s purest form like this.  I have some people in my life who really “get me,” and I am endlessly grateful for that.  It’s pretty amazing to be “seen” by others.  My new friend (who needs a blog nickname…  if you’re reading, what do you want your blog name to be?) “saw” me without a moment’s hesitation.  I had so many of those treasured moments where you hear thoughts from your own head come out of another person’s  mouth.  That and I had an instinct, followed it, and it paid off.  Go true me!

At one point, I looked down at my plate (I had an eggplant and goat cheese sandwich with a green salad, if you’re wondering) and realized that I had eaten half of the sandwich and all of the salad and was done eating.  Lately when I eat (and it’s usually something that involves a lot more cow cheese and a lot fewer vegetables) I look down at my empty plate at the end and wish I had more.  I just can’t seem to get full lately.  Today, I felt full and I was walking to my car I realized it was because I felt fulfilled.

Food, at least in the forms I’ve been trying with in and of themselves, can’t fulfill me.  Many other things can.

I suppose that’s my goal for the new year: be fulfilled.  Fully explore the parts of my life that fulfill me now,  find new ones, and to let go of the things that don’t.

It’s gonna be a fun year.

making choices

We all make choices constantly. Per Rush, even when “you choose not to decide you still have made a choice!” This is something I learned early in life (probably from my mother?  thank you, mom.  Pretty sure I was exposed to the song lyrics by my aunt. thanks, AC!) and have been fairly conscious of since. As a textbook first child I am great at taking responsibility… even for things that aren’t mine to be responsible for (namely other people’s feelings and actions) and as a rather judgmental person I have a hard time having compassion for people who I perceive as irresponsible (and I don’t mean that in the traditional sense in that there are certain irresponsible behaviors.  I mean irresponsible as in people who don’t take responsibly for who they are, what they say and do, and what their own life is life). I choose to have compassion anyway… but it doesn’t come easy.
And there you have it. We have arrived at the topic of today’s post. Choice.

I’m in a situation now where, in the darker moments, I feel like I don’t have any choices.

The situation in a few sentences (for any new readers): At the height of my contentment with my family life my husband decided he didn’t love me anymore and we aren’t together now. He made the choice to end our marriage and I have to live with it. I have to share our son’s time with him… I don’t get a choice.

The reality is I have lots of choices; an infinite amount perhaps. If I wanted him to still live here I could have turned a blind eye to the cheating (too late for that). If I don’t want to share our son’s time I could run away in the middle of the night and take him with me (I’m not going to).  There are more options, I can think of many… but the bottom line is that I don’t want to choose any of them. They aren’t in line with my values.  They would hurt me or people I love and I’m not okay with that.
I suppose that’s what people are saying when they say they don’t have a choice… That philosophical difference in interpretation aside I know there is one thing we ALL ALWAYS have a choice about. 

We can choose how we feel.

I used to think we couldn’t choose how we feel; we could only choose how we respond. But I know now we can do both. I can’t choose or control my immediate, internal responses, but I can certainly choose how I let those responses and the catalysts that triggered them effect me and ultimately how I feel about any situation. 

I can say to myself and I will say to myself now, “Self, you’re not going to run away to the Netherlands with spiderman.  We’re taking that option and any others that are of questionable moral fortitute off the table.  You’re going to choose to feel resolved, peaceful, and grateful.  The moments you aren’t with spiderman you are going to fill with people and things that you love.  The moments you are with spiderman you are going to continue to be singularly focused on being his mother (the most important role you have).  It doesn’t matter that his father doesn’t share in identical values and perspective.  Spiderman is loved and safe.  He will exposed to many people and ideas in his lifetime all of which will help him grow into the person he is destined to be.  You have unlimited opportunties to pursue the opportunities on your path and for that you are grateful.  Self, you feel resolved, peaceful, and grateful.”

I feel resolved, peaceful, and grateful.

I’m working on a project, and I expect it will begin on the ever cliche January 1st… still working out the details, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!