It’s a BLAWG!
In November, I was all chugga-chuggin’ along and finished up NaBloPoMo with nary an idea to spare, so I took off a little time in December. Holidays! You know. Then January — well, there’s a holiday in January! And recovery from the holidays. And, well, February. There’s not much excuse for that. Now it’s halfway through March and — yeah.
I had a rough go of things in January. Panic attacks in the middle of the day brought on by goodness only knows what. It felt like PMS that just wouldn’t go away. (And why are people so much MEANER when you have the PMS? It’s certainly not me, after all. I am a hoot.) I cried a lot and I took a long hard look at everything. I couldn’t just sit and languish, but when you’re in it, that’s all you can do.
I decided to take the baby steps I’ve taken before to pull myself back out. Fish oil. B-vitamins. And my diet. Oh, you guys. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, my meal planning went out the window. Chicken nuggets became a nightly occurrence. Boxed mac ‘n’ cheese. No fresh produce. Frozen peas and corn were as nutritious as it got.
And I was feeling it. I would worry all day about what I’d make for dinner, and then 5 o’clock would come and go and I’d never come up with anything. It was, for whatever reason, the thing I was using to punish myself. For what, I’m not sure. But then it would go in a cycle, where the more meals like that I’d prepare, the more I would convince myself I was a horrible person. (I’m nothing if not of sound mind and completely rational.) The more I thought I was a horrible person, the more I would abuse my body with processed food.
Believe me, you guys — I know this all sounds painfully dramatic. I can see that from here. Real hardship would be no food at all. I am not claiming this as a reason to feel sorry for me or that I should have felt sorry for myself. But at the time, I was so buried inside myself (for reasons I’m not really detailing here), it was what my brain chose to fixate on. The scapegoat of all that pain.
So, with the vitamins came an overhaul of the pantry. I didn’t toss anything, but once those foods were gone, they weren’t replaced.
I looked at my day and I realized I was not leaving a moment of it for myself. (Or for my husband, either. Which is what comes next. That man has more patience in his little finger than I’ve got, well, anyplace bigger than that.) I had free time — but I was wasting it all on misery. On self-flagellation and stupid, pointless, loathing. I’d sort of stare at the internet and hope it would entertain me. Perk me up in some way. But it just made me feel worse. I’d open WordPress and find I hadn’t a funny thing to say. (But I’ve still managed this little gem of giggles, so all is not lost.)
I needed an outlet for myself, and I realized cooking was that outlet. It was something I could do for myself — spend free time perusing recipes and preparing complicated meals — while not feeling guilty, because it meant healthy, whole foods for my family. In the past couple of months I’ve baked bread and hamburger buns; we’ve had eggplant and Swiss chard and quinoa for the first time; our meals focus on vegetables with the meat mostly an afterthought. (If it’s not too LOOK AT ME I AM A FOOD BLAWGER LOLOL I might talk about some of the things I’ve cooked recently, because there have been some big, big hits.)
And I’m coming out of the fog. Slowly but surely, like the tortoise of yore, plodding toward my goal of being a better me. It is still pretty hard. But I have an incredible life — beautiful, brilliant little girls and an incredible husband — there is no external reason for me to feel this way. There is no one out there to blame and point at and scream “YOU DID THIS TO ME” at.
I feel silly talking about all of this here, as though my internal monologue of WOE is somehow interesting or pertinent to the internet at large. I guess I just figure there must be other people out there like me, with incredibly blessed lives, who find themselves beneath this sort of weight. I hope it’s made a little sense.
I’ll try to be back again soon. If I’m not too busy making funnel cakes, that is.