7/17/2008

grief, compulsivity and a healthy dose of introspection

I feel like my life is one of those pinball machines right now, and instead of one metal ball there's like seven pinging around and knocking things down and going in every direction. I'll try to summarize, I guess.

I want to first say a few things about the strange creature that is grief. My parents put my childhood best friend to sleep today. My very first initial reaction was something like shock; I think I almost laughed. Then I sobbed and had that pit-of-the-chest pain at the realization that my DOG was GONE. Is gone. I laid down and tried to nap and wanted to be left alone immediately, but I could hardly even close my eyes much less sleep. Now this may have been due largely to the four cups of coffee I've taken to having in the morning, but I also think it says a little bit about my character. I got up and decided that they should start looking for a new puppy, and focused my attention at the new task. It was like, once I had that initial breakdown, I had dealt with reality, and I wanted to move forward as wholly and quickly as possible. At dinner, when I realized that I truly was not sad about the loss of my doggy, I started to wonder if there was something a little wrong with me, but I've given some thought to it and reminded myself that my entire life I have been extremely empathetic (as a child, I would cry when I saw a dead animal in the road) and compassionate, and certainly I have had plenty of emotion to go around. I think it's just that I did know it was coming, and I had actually thought earlier today about talking to my parents about finally putting him down. He's been really sick for the last few months; these past few weeks have been increasingly painful, even for us to watch. He could hardly get up once he was lying down.

What I'm getting from all of this is that different people really do react differently to grief. While I admittedly ate more than usual before dinner, I was still probably under 1000 calories for the day, and after dinner I went on another long grueling bike ride, followed by a 30 or 40 minute rollerblade session (take that, over-expensive gym membership that I can't afford). I actually just got back from rollerblading and I feel amazing.

I mentioned yesterday that I used to be a compulsive eater. I've realized that, perhaps due to my past pattern of destructive eating, I do have compulsive tendencies in other aspects of my life. Like the way I worked out for about an hour to an hour and a half because I ate some extra almonds, a banana, and had a big salad instead of plain fish and vegetables for dinner.

I feel the need to help you understand the full significance of my compulsivity so I'll help you out here by drawing up a picture of how I probably would have reacted to doggy's death a few years ago: once I got over my initial grief, I would have started munching in much the same way I actually did today. I had a few almonds, and realized how truly hungry dieting has made me become. However, in the past, instead of eating a banana and sitting down to relax and re-hinge my jaws, I would just keep eating. And eating. And EATING. I do not exaggerate when I say that I would eat 5,000 calories or more within the span of a few hours. Keep in mind, I am 5'2" and should be eating around 1,300 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. Writing all this down reminds me of how far I really have come. It's been years since I started eating like that, and a few years since I felt that emptiness that I thought only food could fill. Still, I don't think I will ever REALLY understand what made me do it. And trust me, I've spend a LOT of time trying to figure out why I would intentionally fuck up a (nearly) perfect life.

Shit I'm rambling. I guess I don't have a whole lot more to say, other than the fact that I do still feel a tad bit guilty for eating that extra stuff at dinner-- a tribute to my old guilt from the not-so-golden-days. Oh, also, K is sexy. I didn't get up the balls to ask him to eat lunch with me today but he did flirt a lot with me. The best part was when I was standing close to him he came up behind me and like pushed against me with his arm. It's shockingly difficult to explain these little things that feel like such a big deal at the time. Anyway, if the first time he brushed up against me was accidentally-on-purpose, this time it was on purpose-on purpose, like a cute way of saying hey. I pushed back. It was cute. I've pretty much accepted that nothing will happen though. So don't get your hopes up, my dutiful non-existent audience. Life is still good though. Also, I have lost a full three sizes. Hoping to be down five sizes in total by the time fall rolls around.

1 comment:

justjenna said...

Okay so a few things... I liked what you said about everyone dealing with grief in different ways. I came to a similar realization about pain tolerance. A friend of mine has a very high pain tolerance and I started to realize that it really is just a part of who you are how you react to certain things.
Dying pets is totally a soft spot of mine- I cried during Air Bud- so I can feel your pain and congratulations on losing the inches! It's really amazing. As someone who is self-diagnosed (well diagnosed by my friends really) borderline OCD, I can understand the compulsions and wanting to harness them to at least use them in the right way. Someone told me that stress makes it worse, so that's something to think about...

But if you didn't have me hooked before, you got to me with all that K business. I'm a sucker for a good sexual tension story... :) I'll try to keep reading!