Life Ain’t No Box of Chocolates

…it’s a roller coaster ride. I feel so up and down lately.

Three great days, followed by three miserable days, and repeat. It’s so emotionally taxing. Lately I’ve lost so much motivation. For example, my room is trashed right now, but I have no energy to do anything about it. I just add to the piles because I don’t know what else to do. I compete with clutter just to sleep on my bed at night.

I had my first exam this semester today and it was such a struggle to study for it. I finally dedicated time to it, but it was certainly a battle of will to make myself do it. I constantly feel exhausted and overwhelmed. I also feel alone a lot, and sad. I try to reach out to people when I’m feeling down, but I often get discouraged when people start responding that they’re busy. I end up sitting in my apartment miserable and feeling empty.

And then I pass the time by eating. Not gonna lie, today I ate at least 15 snack baggies of graham cookies.. there goes portion controlling. Ugh. So disappointing. Obviously they weren’t eaten out of hunger, cookies aren’t terribly satiating, but 15?! Come on, you’d get full after 5. Right?? No, they were eaten for some other reason. Entertainment? Possibly. A little sugar spike so I can get a happiness spike? Certainly played a part. A distraction from thinking about how sad I am?? DING DING definitely the number one reason.

It’s fascinating, I understand all of this SO freakin well. I totally get it. Does that make it easy to stop? Nah. Easier? Maybe, but it’s definitely not easy. I still have a really hard time, but I’m trying to come to terms with that.

I have to imagine that a lot of this has to do with my dad passing away. That’s the thing I don’t understand. I don’t understand this whole mourning thing. I don’t understand this underlying loss feeling, I don’t understand these delayed emotions, I don’t understand what a loss like this is like.

I can’t be mad at myself for having a tough winter. Anyone would have a tough winter under these circumstances, and a lot of people would eat in response to such an intense loss. In fact, did you know that more people eat in response to loss than don’t eat? For so long it was assumed that people wasted away over misery. Some do, but the vast majority actually gain weight during the grieving process. I’m eating because I’m missing something in my life, and I’m not alone in doing that.

I’m trying a few things that will hopefully help.

  • Taking a long weekend at home. I got permission to miss one class tomorrow and my Friday class, so at around 9:30am tomorrow I will be in the car headed home, estimated time of arrival: 11:30am. I’m really looking forward to seeing my mom and escaping the college scene for a few days.
  • Just got two books about emotional eating & mindful eating in the mail from Amazon today. Looking forward to reading them and seeing if anything strikes me.
  • I’m actively pursuing off campus therapy. I have my first initial meeting next Monday. The lady sounded nice on the phone, and it was one of the top people the on campus counseling center suggested for me. The office is located ~20min off campus. Normally that would be nerve-wracking for me, I hate driving to new places, but, lucky me, the building happens to be down the road from the hospital I interviewed at. I should have no problem finding it, what a relief. I hope it goes well, I’ve had bad experiences trying to get off campus help. Cross your fingers for me!
  • Considering reaching out for help from friends. This one makes me feel very nervous. I really don’t like being vulnerable, at all, and I really don’t enjoy asking for help. But if my main problem is feeling isolated when I’m alone in my apartment, then obviously I need others to be around me. I was thinking about talking to some of my closer friends and just saying Hey, I’m having a hard time. A really hard time. When I’m alone for too long, I end up doing self-destructive things. I need help, I need company. Sometimes, when you’re sitting around doing homework, or just sitting around doing nothing, send me a message and see if I’m doing the same. Then we could do it together. It would mean a lot to me. Just writing that out on the blog felt so uncomfortable to me. I really have no idea if I’ll follow through on asking for help. I’m also always afraid of saying “Hey hang out with me?” because I’m afraid the response will be no. :-/ What do you all think?

So the moral of today’s blog post:

It’s OK to have a hard time. It’s OK that getting back to “normal eating” takes a really loooooong time and has a lot of bumps along the way. However, it’s not OK to not do anything about it. Once you realize you have some sort of problem (any kind of problem, food-related or not) you should try to fix it, because you don’t want to waste any more time on a problem than you have to. So, it’s alright by me that I struggle, as long as I’m doing my best to put up a good fight.

I got my boxing gloves on. Emotional eating better be ready for a fight.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Life Ain’t No Box of Chocolates

  1. Aimee

    Hey :). I came across your blog randomly and I just wanted to let you know I’m following you. I don’t have a blog of my own but I’m a 20 year old girl struggling with depression/emotional eating problems. It’s really nice to know (though I’m sorry you’re struggling) that I’m not alone. I can relate to much of what you’re going through. I really admire your efforts and wish you all the best. ❤ Aimee

  2. Michelle, this post hit home for me in a few ways. I’ve gone through a bout of severe depression, as well as the pain of losing someone close and overeating during the time of mourning. These are tough times, no doubt.

    And I really like how you admit (here and in other spots on your site) that everyone else has these ups and downs, too. It means you’re not the first person to go through this stuff, but it DOESN’T mean that your pain and struggles are any less important because of it.

    It looks like you have a good handle on your self-awareness, and you’re working towards managing these things going forward. Good job, and keep it up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you WILL get through this.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Many of us have been there and can relate, and your determination to get through it is an inspiration to the rest of us.

    Nate

  3. dear michelle,
    i know such times so well! and it´s true, knowing yourself so well, and knowing the reasons for the bad-foot-eating doesn´t always save you from doing it! and in such times you just feel so discouraged, frustrated and as if you would begin from the start again. But you don´t. The bad days don´t make the good days that you had before dissappear. Nothing can take away the good experiences from you… U know u can make it! But it just sounds like a lot of things hit u at once at the moment, and the fact that it´s winter doesn´t make it easier! Be patient with yourself, don´t put too much pressure on yourself and forgive yourself in bad times! You know you have the power to do better, but don´t rush it…EVERYONE has bad days sometimes! I sent you all my support girl!

  4. Hey girl! I am sorry to hear you’ve been down lately, but I’m glad you are ready to put those boxing gloves on and fight it out! I’m here for you, and if I was at your school, I would definitely hang out with you…too bad I’m thousands of miles away 😦

  5. katyainsf

    Blah I know the feeling! It’s not a fun one by any means! I myself have been quite the rollercoaster lately. My bf helps a lot with it. You need to let your emotions get out in other ways. Cry! Crying helps SO much! Also getting out of the house, going to the library, going shopping, bookstore etc..even if you’re alone – it’s good to get out. And I’m happy you’re seeking therapy, that’s one step closer to ultimate success! Keep your chin up!! XOX 😉

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