Thursday, 29 October 2009

Week 7 Day 53

Well, I haven't posted here, but not because I've been busy doing lots of things I don't want to do. Nor have I been wallowing in the bath, doing my nails for three days.

I've been laying the groundwork.

Firstly, I realised that October is coming to an end, which means it's almost time for NaNoWriMo! That's National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated, in which you join an online (and often local) community of frenzied writers trying to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I know it sounds like an insane task, especially for someone with no time, but once you get past the insanity of the endeavour and realise that your only objective is to complete 2,000 words - any 2,000 words - per day, you start to stop monitoring yourself and it just becomes a pure creative rush. Which, for someone like me, who's been stifled by various things (of my own making) is extremely attractive.  I did it last year - and I was already doing about 15 other things that November - and loved it, and really want to do it again. For no other reason than I like it, which seems a very flimsy reason for doing something.

So anyway. How was I supposed to do all this when I could barely move now for extracurricular activities? Well the obvious answer was to ditch the stuff I didn't enjoy for the things I do enjoy.

So I did.

I told the people I freelance for that I needed some time off. I was very uncomfortable doing this - I wanted to lie, to say I had family problems, or that I was ill. To make people pity or excuse me - anything to avoid saying just that "I want this" - even thoguh I'm perfectly entitled to. I'm still not comfortable with it - I still think that someone else would be perfectly entitled to it, but for me to do it seems like an incredibly selfish thing.

I know that makes me sound like a complete doormat.

But I asked for it. I said I wanted a break because there was some other stuff I wanted to do. I didn't make out that I was a poor old thing, or that something was wrong in any way. I just said I wanted a month or so off so I had time to do something else I wanted.

And you know what? I got it. My freelance employers weere more than helpful. "Go and do your thing," they said basically. "We love you so come back when you're ready."

So I didn't quit entirely - after some wise words from my ex-LL friend I realised that LL is huge. So huge. So much is happening to me right now, inside and out. So I shouldn't make any rash decisions right now. She also cautioned me against doing NaNoWriMo because it is so gruelling, but when she said that I felt really sad! Like someone was taking away a toy I was really looking forward to playing with! That's what made it clear to me that I really wanted to do it, and I should make time and prioritise what I really want to do. I just won't push myself if I don't make the 50,000 word mark. It is the taking part, after all.

So that's positive.

Also, a couple of things have happened that I haven't yet dealt with on LL. Somebody in my personal life did something that I found upsetting, and on the same day I had a disagreement with someone at work.

The personal upset really got to me, and it was interesting how I dealt with it. I got angry, I got hurt and eventually I turned all that inward, and a horrid voice told me "they wouldn't have done this unless you were a really crap person". But I knew it was just a voice, it wasn't the truth. And it was patly through my own working out, and through the validation of my friends' reactions to what happened that made me realise that it wasn't me, it really was a hurtful action from the other person. I was still upset about it, and about the very fact that there was a voice in my head telling me it was my fault - and I didn't really know what to do about it - but, I dunno, it was a different sort of upset. I felt one step removed from it somehow.

With the disagreement at work - essentially I communicated something in a certain way, and another person took it rather badly, and reacted badly. Normally in this situation I would apologise. Then I'd apologise again. Then a third time just to be sure. I wouldn't examine the situation to gauge whether it was really my fault: partly because I just don't like conflict and I want it to be over as soon as possible, and the quickest way to end it is to accept the blame for everything! And also partly because I just assume it's my fault because, you know, everything is my fault. Later I would examine the situation and realise, perhaps, that it wasn't all my fault after all, and that the other person was also to blame, and I would become resentful. Even then, the next time I saw that person I'd cringe a bit and be meek, all the time feeling angry and self-loathing inside.

This time I didn't allow myself to do this. I still felt like apologising my bum off, but I just kept it to apologising for my tone, and made it clear that it hadn't been my attention to upset this person, and I left it at that. I felt awful. I blushed all afternoon and found it difficult to concentrate, but I knew that I was upset over the personal thing, and I somehow knew that it wasn't my fault. I think in these situations I've always known that it wasn't my fault - I just never let myself listen to that voice. So I sat on my urge to throw myself at this colleague's feet and offer up my firstborn, and nominally at least, kept my dignity.

Being on LL strips away more than your fat. Fat can be a shield - it certainly is for me - and you start to learn to live without it. My shield kept me a shrinking violet - stopped me being a force to be reckoned with, and stopped me having to "reckon" with the world. And being without it is opening my eyes to how I deal with the world based on my beliefs about the world - and that those beliefs might be wrong.

However, on that day I really felt the lack of a nice stodgy pizza and couple of bottles of beer when I got home! Normally I would curl up with my byofriend, in my nice warm house, and bury myself in these and use them to hide away from my problems. But it never really works. Your problems are still there the next day when you're feeling bloated and rubbish, and to be honest they never really went away. They were there, niggling at you at the back of your mind the whole time, and rather than being a nice food you enjoy, it's something that makes you more guilty - not only has an unpleasant thing happened, and perhaps you haven't dealt with it effectivelly or you've done something to betray yourself somehow - but now you're trying to solve your problems with a pizza, like a loser. So you become filled with self-loathing, and you eat more to try and push that feeling down, as well as all the stuff about your problems.

But I didn't do that. Instead I went on the Minimins forums and posted about my week. I always feel guilty posting about negative stuff because they're always so upbeat, but I just had a vent. And I got such brilliant responses. Which is when I realised how I was supposed to making this feel better: admitting to it. Saying it, expressing it, not internalising it.

Obviously it's not as simple as that. But it's another strategy. One that doesn't involve blaming myself for everything and punishing/rewarding myself with food.

Today I made a boo-boo. Another thing happened at work, not a massive thing, but it made me uncomfortable. And I wound up having 2 peanut bars in one day! I did it nominally because I was going out tonight and i had loads of meetings today, but I could really have fitted in my two porridges. It was a tiny self-sabotage. But I see what I did. And it's not like I had a cheeseburger!

Tonight I went on a ghost walk around London towne. We must have walked 3 miles, and I really enjoyed it. We walked past so many restaurants, I felt like a ghost myself, I was so removed from that world. Not that I would have dived into every eatery before LL. It was just odd. Here in week 7 I seem to have become more susceptible to food smells! I want to eat everything. For about a second. Just smelling food makes me almost unbearably hungry for a second, where it was much easier to handle before. All quite odd.

Going to pop into Minimins so will wrap this up now.


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