The last few weeks have been extremely fatiguing, with today being the worst of them all. One child is gone, visiting her grandma, and I miss her. My youngest two have been fussy and clingy all day, I feel saddled with just a whole lot on my plate right now, and I feel powerless to change or fix anything. And I feel alone. After my physically and emotionally draining day, I told my husband that I needed to go to the store for milk and things. I really wanted ice cream. I wanted it bad. So bad that I told myself after the shopping was done I could go get some. I even knew what I wanted (Rolo flurry). I wanted it to make the pain go away. I wanted it to replace the hurt and exhaustion. I wanted it to change my life. But as I sat at the intersection (after shopping), waiting for my turn to turn towards the Golden Arches of Mind-Numbing Goodness, I remembered something my mother read to me several days, if not weeks, ago. "Why am I hiding from the pain? What will happen if I don't self-medicate with junk food?" So I turned towards home instead.
I sat in my car, in the driveway. And I let myself hurt. It hurts to be alone. It hurts like a big, gaping hole in my chest. It aches with clawing hands around my heart. Feeling alone is painful. It's like being stuck in a void, in a black abyss. It hurts to feel helpless. It hurts like having your hands cut off. Being completely at the mercy of someone else's decision (or indecision) feels insurmountable. It feels like sitting at the bottom of a mountain, know that you have to climb it, but not having any legs. It feels hopeless, and feeling hopeless hurts too. It makes getting out of bed each day a chore. Some days I feel like, "What/s the point of getting up? I can't do a thing to change the struggles and burden we are under right now." And that hurts. I cry. I cry because crying is a release of tension. I cry because I can do nothing else.
So why do I bury these feelings? What will happen if I don't bury them? Why do I want to choose unhealthy junk to cover it up? I choose it because I don't want to feel that pain. Whether I eat the ice cream (etc) or not, I'm going to cry. But the reasons for the tears are different. When I cry after ice cream, it is because I have failed. I cry because I was weak. I cry because I am fat. I cry because I still hurt. So either way I hurt. But I choose ice cream tears because the reasons I cry then, are things I can control. I choose it, to give myself something, ANYTHING, to control. And I repeatedly choose it, because choosing "wrong" is easier than choosing "right." I can fix being fat. I can fix being weak. I can fix being wrong. And when I choose ice cream, I am controlling something. I get to have that power. I get to exercise that control. And I choose it, because I can.
But, that's not how I want to live my life. Now I need to figure out how to change that trained response to pain. That plan of "I feel bad, I eat junk," that choice has become automatic. It is now a habit. And I have to break that habit, before it breaks me.