Feelings. I hadn’t realized how much I still run from them, run from them to food. And this past year full of one medical issue after another, including mysterious bouts of being violently sick in the night, I didn’t realize that my body has changed to such a degree that eating emotionally is no longer an option. If I choose that, then I can expect a night of violent retching until my poor stomach is emptied and quiets again. I thought on previous episodes that I had a stomach bug.

It was only after this last wretched one that I became aware of what was really going on. I just threw food down, without pleasure, without chewing sufficiently, and I suffered later waking up sweating, first one trip to the bathroom, going onto the couch, and another violent bathroom visit. And then I could sleep but not until wiping a tear from my face due to the pain and pressure, and a soft out-loud apology to my poor body, “I am so sorry.”

I cannot forgive myself for my inability to stop this. Because knowing I’ll be sick afterwards does not stop the tendency to get in the food quickly. Because whatever the feeling is that I’d rather not feel?—it needs blocking, numbing, stopping. I’m so good at it, eating fast, stuffing it and the feeling. I may not be able to stop the tendency, but I do need to work daily on it, more accurately, I need to just do it, do it right, do what my body needs… finally. Work daily instead on loving my poor body by chewing slowly. It is such a bother. What is supposed to be a pleasure is a bother to me. I’d rather not have to deal with it or deal with me.

That scratchy feeling of loss, of wrongness, of I don’t know what, I just don’t want to feel it anymore, is so hard. Days of it. One moment ok-ness, the next, that feeling. I want to make it better, a relationship gone bad, or complicated, or filled with friction. And feeling unable to do that, I eat. And get sick, so very sick.

And why or when will I stop? All the names I tend to easily call myself I try to keep at bay. My mother’s words, “Dummy,” for one, is right there beside me, in me. I can add many of my own names. But I don’t, yet still it is there, a very loud presence like a hovering shadow ready and all too willing to bash me down. Or maybe it’s a wise presence saying pay attention to this scratchy feeling. Be with it. Let it be there awhile until you figure it out. Or maybe it’s both that I deal with, riding that rocking iceberg, the loud banging voice and the gentle wise presence. 

But days, then weeks, it stays. And when I give up trying to run from it with food because that is just too much torture, the feeling begins to abate, dissipate, and even resolve slowly. Some paths leading to a sort of resolution make themselves known. It is a rocky, uncharted path, partly treacherous, and unfamiliar. Yet that feeling of riding an iceberg remains. I want to feel solid, knowing. Yet I don’t know. And riding that current of indecision and indecisiveness is uncomfortable.

So I get up and go back to the work of self-care each morning, right here in my own home. I try to shake myself from the stupor of zoning out. I mentally list daily goals: meditate, exercise, eat in a way that won’t upset this butchered stomach which 35 years after that regretful operation is falling apart—bleeding— and unable to tolerate any more abuse.

I try to remember to enjoy the fruits of the day given to each of us, the brilliant spring sunshine, colorful varieties of flowers erupting from the earth, the chortle of birds, the turkey crossing the road on my extended walks, a body that is upright and still moving, a husband I am getting to know maybe for the first time, and becoming friends with, and on and on my list goes if I let it, love it and work on it. It is just very hard during a time of turmoil and confusion, which too often seems to occur, to ride the waves of discontent, and to figure out just what is going on and how I want to proceed.

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16 thoughts on “FEELINGS

  1. You may have answered a question that I have had recently regarding my own body’s reaction to food lately. I’ve been binging (which has never bothered me as much as it does now).

    “I didn’t realize that my body has changed to such a degree that eating emotionally is no longer an option. If I choose that, then I can expect a night of violent retching until my poor stomach is emptied and quiets again…” <–this is a perfect description of my nights.

    I told my partner that I thought I had perhaps developed IBS. And maybe. Perhaps.

    I don't write much anymore but I do read your posts and always find a connection here and for a bit feel less lonely. Thank you for sharing your struggles. I can relate to them so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh geez, you just about bring tears to my eyes. I haven’t written much lately either because I am shamed by my old habits. Yet it’s in my truth where I find my answers. Thank you so much for sharing. I feel less alone too. I just wish we didn’t suffer so much. I aim to put an end to that. That’s my work. Thanks again for reaching out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read something online yesterday about PTSD and now I can’t find it but bare with me. It was a quote about PTSD and how PTSD is like the cancer of the psychiatry world. Coping with it is long, hard, tiring, etc, etc, etc, and sometimes there is no cure. That made me feel better in some ways because I could see why I struggle so much. But then, augh… it’s just the worst. What we have to deal with is just the worst. I just hope for something better some day.

        Take care of yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you. I miss posting sometimes. And sometimes its just too hard to write. I really appreciated reading your post today. I don’t know how to say this except that I just needed to read that.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I so identify. You describe it so well. I ran from feelings for years. Originally, they were involuntarily blocked out, and then came the years I consciously blocked them out, and then the decades of drinking and drugging them out. Off all that, they all came back or rather, I could feel them now. Ugh!!

    I struggle now with smoking. When I feel bad, sad, angry, afraid, stressed, I smoke and it’s taking away my breath. Literally.

    I say this to tell you, I am with you completely. I fight to stay with the unpleasant feelings, but sometimes it’s so hard processing them and waiting for them to move on thru.

    I’m so glad not to be numb anymore, though, to enjoy all those beautiful things you mentioned.

    How I love your butterfly photos! Perhaps the Spirit of the Butterfly will help you. I’m convinced there’s a connection between these creatures of transformation, lightness and grace — and you. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have nothing to be shamed over. It’s so hard. Everything you wrote about eating to stop the feelings, I so get it. (I just choose to throw up). These old behaviors, they are the “big guns”–the things we pull out because we know they work really, really well when we feel this bad, these scary feelings.

    Self care, choosing other habits, stopping the behaviors that are almost automatic in the face of overwhelming feelings, it’s a hard road. And it’s tiring, because it is never ending. Sometimes, the best we can do is to choose self care moment by moment and to start again if we fall.

    I’m sorry things have been so difficult. You don’t have to hide, though. You have nothing to be ashamed over. Take care of you. You are worth it. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember when I realized I ate oatmeal cookies to punish myself. I loved oatmeal cookies. However, the bran in them made me sick. It was awful to realize that when I ate badly I would punish myself with a treat, a oatmeal cookie or two or three. How did I not recognize what I was doing? Doing something to harm myself after harming myself was brutal. I stopped. It wasn’t easy. You can change this. I still overeat sometimes, because I don’t know what else to do. I’m learning. Keep fighting for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Please forgive yourself dear Patricia because it is not surprising that you would want to escape those feelings and numb them and stop them as you say. I think we all will do anything to freeze and not feel those horrible feelings. You are doing so well in your self care but yes of course there will be days when to feel them is too much. But do forgive yourself over and over again.

    Liked by 1 person

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