Sunday, May 7, 2017

Life lately

I'm almost two full months into my thirtieth year, and so far I've found it to be exciting and fulfilling, or depressing and frustrating, sometimes within the same day. I felt myself get really inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic and subsequent Magic Lessons podcast, spent a week waking up early to do 30 minutes of writing/book research for an idea I had, and then suddenly flatlined on inspiration and energy, struggling to get out of bed by even 7:30 to make it into work at a reasonable hour. I was offered an amazing job earlier this year, but had to turn it down because of its associated 30k per year pay cut. Then it looked like another opportunity was headed my way, only to be blocked by circumstances outside of my control. This stop-and-go momentum has sent me spiraling a bit back into old habits I thought I was far away from, and this time with some new excuses.

In order to make emotionally overeating feel OK during all this time, I've indulged more in being drunk and/or high on a regular basis. We're not talking every night, but we are talking at least once a week, which is a big deal for me. I don't feel out of control in that respect, but I do know I'm engaging in this unhealthy behavior and deep down, I'd rather not, so I'm trying to find a way to even out and listen to my body. I've used my mindfulness app (Calm) to fall asleep to, but haven't been practicing breathing techniques that I know help me. I let my Prozac prescription lapse for a couple days, which I know is not good for me (especially because what I really need to do is get in to see my Psych and talk about a new dosage, as panic attacks have returned on the reg).

One healthy thing I do for myself, physically and mentally, is box. I still love going to boxing lessons 3-4 times a week, and I'm now even assisting in some of the larger classes with basics like wrapping hands, demonstrating punches and sharing tips on how to hit a speed bag successfully. This is my sanctuary, but because of the eating issue I sometimes head to class underfed, or overfed with candy and other junk that's not really helping to fuel me.

I've been riding the body acceptance train for a few years now, and it's helped me immensely. I want to continue to embrace myself physically, but part of this also includes taking the best possible care of myself. This sounds like it should be easy, but it just isn't. I know that when I tell people this, they look at me like I'm an idiot - like, just change your eating habits, Caitlin, doy! But it's not that simple. I was anorexic before I had binge eating disorder, so I don't want to go back to super-restrictive eating habits because I know that's not healthy and backfires in the end, anyway. I really want to practice mindfulness, but this has been tricky with all of the stresses (primarily job and money-related, although our current political environment certainly hasn't helped). I know all I can do is take each moment as it comes and be kind and gentle with myself, but it's especially hard when my place of work seems to have these health "challenges" every other month, wherein you can opt in to track your calories and weight loss for x amount of days to win a shirt or something. In theory I can appreciate the idea behind this, and I've been able to participate a couple times when it's just tracking my activity level. But when we get to calorie counting and weigh-ins, I have to exclude myself, and it's always awkward when, every single damn time these things come up, my girlfriends at work are like, "OMG let's be on a team together this will be so fun!" and every time I have to say, "...nope still can't do this, it's about weight loss." In fact, there is SO much weight loss/calorie counting culture at my place of work that it basically makes me crazy. It's another reason I desperately need to find something new.

Anyway, there wasn't much point to this post other than to try and let some of this stuff out. I want to get back to letting it out on a regular basis - reminding myself that, this is for me. This is a self-love practice, to work through things "out loud," in a way, instead of thinking about content-as-product for others. I find that I always am wanting downtime/free time to work on my hobbies - writing, sewing, reading, drumming - and then when I have it, all I seem to be able to do is binge watch Netflix shows and eat candy on the couch. I'm trying to make myself be active because I know it's what I want to do, but the depression I feel at having to go back to the same old job makes it really difficult to be motivated to use my time for anything, productive or not, that I really want to do. It's a strange conundrum that I want to fight because I don't want my job life to mess up my real life. With that - time to go sip some lemonade on my porch and read.