I had a low day yesterday. It was one of those days where I felt overwhelmed and invisible. It wasn't necessarily a logical state of mind, but I just couldn't snap out of it. It started because I ran into a guy I really like who couldn't even remember having met me. Ouch! I thought I'd been witty when we met, and even if I hadn't, how many twenty five-year-old obese chicks with braces does he know? You'd think I'd have made an impression, even if it wasn't positive. Things went downhill from there culminating with a meeting at work during which I just couldn't make myself heard.
I probably should have brushed all of this off and went on with my day, but instead these issues plunged me into some existential lines of thought that were anything but uplifting. When I got home last night, I felt like a caged animal. I was overwhelmed by that hollowness that I so often stuff with food.
And why do I do that? God only knows. I've read a lot about this common experience on a number of blogs. Most recently, Lyn from Escape from Obesity, has done an incredible job of putting words to something that so ferociously takes hold of so many of us. For a lot of people who binge, eating has become a way of soothing emotions that they feel are beyond their ability to deal with. Sometimes that hollow manifests in really physical ways. It seems like there really is an emptiness inside, so I eat out of a desperate desire to fill it up. While eating never makes me feel better, the truth is that it makes me feel bad in a different way. If I have my regret and disappointment in myself, I don't need to focus on all the other difficulties.
But yesterday, I knew I couldn't turn to food for comfort and it was agonizing to not be able to escape the way I was feeling. I've always known food wasn't the answer to my problems, but in its absence, I began to entertain the possibility that maybe some of my problems just don't have solutions or at least solutions within my grasp. All I could do was sit and wait for the sadness to subside (since eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's would have made me feel like a hypocrite after yesterday's post).
In the end, I accepted the fact that I was going to feel crappy the rest of the night. I took a hot shower, made some tea and wrote in my journal for a while before turning in early. I feel a little less melancholy today and am looking forward to the weekend.
I'm not sure what to do with all of this. Should I find a new way to self sooth or should I learn to sit with my emotions no matter how unpleasant? What do "normal" people do? Does everyone use a crutch to get by or is there some better adjusted way of being?