It occurred me to today that for the last four months I’ve been engaged in a very passive-aggressive form of self-harm. Nothing so aggressive as cutting, or burning myself with cigarettes or using alcohol or drugs to excess. But very passively just letting go of the few good choices I was capable of making in my life.
Emotional eating is always my baseline. The more extreme the emotions or things I do not want to deal with, the more junk gets hoovered into my mouth. Before my dad died, I’d been doing a fairly decent job of tracking my calories for a couple of months, because I could already feel my good habits slipping away. The stress of living in Tr*mp’s world was wearing on me, along with the ever-present work-related stress. It was a bad summer at the office. But then dad died in October, and fuck that calorie tracker. I ate what I want, as much as I want, whenever I wanted. (well, except in the presence of other people because I didn’t need the judgement.)
Christmas came, then it was 2019. One cat died. Work continued to be awful. The world at large continued to be awful. Then five weeks later the other cat died. A teetering stack of sadness and anxiety that I have not handled well.
I haven’t weighed myself because I don’t need to do that to know I’ve gained at least 15 pounds. My clothes are tight. I hate how everything feels.
I also became extremely sedentary. Not that I’ve ever been the most active person in the world, but as a person without a car, I do fair amount of walking. Instead, this winter I have become a large, soft potato who has given a decent percentage of her income to Lyft. I worked a lot of late hours, so instead of taking the bus home (and having to do some walking in between) I would just take a Lyft from door to door. When I do walk now, I have no stamina. My hips hurt, my feet hurt, my back hurts (which always happens to me in the winter, but this is worse than normal.). I think back to my trip to Italy three years ago, where I was walking 10 miles+ every day and I don’t know who that person is anymore. I couldn’t do that in my current state.
I have a gym membership at my office building and I haven’t been there in probably a year. I could do yoga or pilates at any time right here in my home and I haven’t done it in at least six months. I think about doing it almost every day. And then I consciously choose not to do it. (I think partly because I’m afraid of seeing how much I’ve deteriorated when I’m not able to do things I used to be able to do.) I can only conclude that this is self-harm.
So is this me, hitting bottom? Have I finally become as miserable as I can stand to be? Am I ready to take responsibility for digging myself out of this hole? I know I need professional help and will be seeking such.
In the meantime I’ll continue to behave fairly normally if you see me out in the world. Don’t be afraid.