Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Confrontation Can Be My Friend

I was so glad to have a mindful food day yesterday. Now granted, not all the food choices were healthy and low-calorie, but everything was portioned, and nothing was eaten compulsively. I drank lots of water, exercised and blogged, and I made real conscious choices about what I ate before I ate it. And fortunately, this morning the scale confirmed I'm on the right track as the bloat is coming off.

For the time being I'm going to go with this method. Instead of going extreme and trying to lose the bloat as quickly as possible by severely restricting myself, I'm going to take it easy and not risk the chance of falling into the perfectionist all-or-nothing cycle that leads to trouble.

This isn't a race, I keep telling myself. Even though the title of this blog is Onederful Bound, I'm not going to give myself a deadline to reach 199. My priorities have to be non-scale related, because if I don't focus on the mental aspects, the eating and the exercise, the scale is irrelevant, because even if I managed to get to a low weight, it won't last.

Wow is today hectic. Since 6:30 a.m. I've felt put upon, at that point by husband, puppies and child needing me simultaneously. Work has been even worse: I think every single person who occasionally needs something from me has called or stopped in today for their requests.

All of this leaves me feeling very ... jittery. My mind is racing because I'm trying to figure out what to get done first and making sure I don't forget anything. Plus I have to stop by my eye doctor and give somebody hell because they're messing with me.

(I'm going on a rant here because I need to -- skip ahead if it's annoying)
I switched to this optometrist on my husband's recommendation (first mistake). Our new health insurance covers the exam and your choice of contacts or glasses. I went with the contacts.

The troubles began immediately when what should have been a one-week wait for my contacts took over a month. I finally get them and didn't realize until after the holidays that what I thought was a year's prescription (I wear disposables) was only three month's worth. I called them a few weeks ago about this and their response was that this was a 6-month supply and that all of their clients wear these contacts for a month at a time. Well, I've been wearing these contacts for years, and I've always been instructed to wear them for 2 weeks. I told them this and they said they'd order me more.

Well, I still haven't gotten a call saying these contacts are in for me to pick up, but yesterday I get a BILL in the mail for $40 for contacts! I'm assuming the doctor's office informed my insurance company that this was an "extra" purchase, so they refused to pay it. Getting miffed, I go online to the manufacturer of my contacts to see what their recommended usage is for my type of contact. And there in black and white it says my lenses are designed for two week use, and only ONE week if you don't take them out every night! So why should I be penalized because my optometrist is incorrectly prescribing these lenses!?! And shouldn't I at least get my year's worth (to the optometrist six months) before I have to start paying out for more?

I'm going to call my insurance carrier about it this afternoon, just to make sure I have all the information I need before going in there. Part of me wants to go in there and really raise a stink, but I'm soooo bad at confrontation. I don't feel comfortable getting angry, even if it is to stand up for myself. But I feel like I'm getting screwed here, and I don't want to just cough up the cash without at least presenting my case. Besides the fact that I haven't even gotten the damn things yet! Unless something really impressive happens and things go well, you can believe me that I will never be returning to this optometrist and will tell everyone I know not to go to him.

(Okay, rant is over) I feel stretched so thin by days like this. Actually, it's been ongoing, hasn't it? Last night Hubby and I had yet another "discussion" (I'd call it a fight except we don't yell; I guess argument would be better) that left me mentally exhausted, too. Again, I hate confrontation, but Hubby had said something Monday night that left me fuming all day Tuesday, and I knew I had to address it or it would never go away.

What makes me furious about our arguments is that Hubby always tries to find a way to push the blame off of himself. It's always about me (or Mabel) taking things the wrong way, blowing things out of proportion, or interpreting things that he didn't intend. In the beginning I used to accept this, but more and more I refuse to let him off the hook, which makes him even more defensive, or the one I love, try to pull the guilt trip ("I better just learn to shut up and not talk at all; I guess I'm not allowed to have an opinion," etc.) I tell him he's entitled to opinions and to talk, but he better start thinking before letting things fly out of his mouth, and if he doesn't, then he better accept the responsibility of the reactions his words cause.

The funny thing is, after these "discussions," after he gets so defensive and blustery, he suddenly switches into this "forgive me" mode and tells me how horrible it is when I'm mad at him. I think I'm starting to figure him out. When confronted with something he's done that I don't like, his first instinct is to protect himself. But I think once this first automatic response wears off, his need to be a people pleaser takes over and he becomes more conciliatory and remorseful.

So what's to be learned from all that I've spewed here today? That confrontation isn't that horrible a thing. I always have so much fear and anxiety about standing up for myself, and I guess it comes down to the fear of rejection and failure. It's the misconception that if I tell someone I don't like what they're doing, they won't like/love me any more, and that will make me a terrible person.

The truth is, no one can know something's bothering me unless I tell them. A lot of things are a misunderstanding or miscommunication, and sometimes bringing it to the person's attention improves things immensely. I've learned that I can express my displeasure to my husband and he doesn't hate me or ask for a divorce; he still loves me and wants to make things right. And what's the worst that can happen by investigating and probing into this contact business? I pay $40 for my contacts and remind myself to set up my next annual exam with another optometrist. No one dies, no one goes to jail, no one goes bankrupt. In the grand scheme of things it's a minor annoyance and a lesson learned.

I think this knowledge will help me get through this crazy day without turning to the leftover Easter candy. It's good to know that confrontation can actually be a good thing, and I shouldn't dread it like the Grim Reaper knocking on my door. It takes effort, but usually the end result benefits me. Kind of like this mindful eating thing!


Beula said...

This post is making me squirm. I let a long time friend run over me again yesterday. She has been doing this since we were fifteen and I have been letting her. Bottom line is I am afraid of confronting her. I don't think a confrontation would end our friendship so it is not necessarily the consequences I fear, it is the process. The emotional strength needed to stand up for myself seems overwhelming. And I fear the emotions the confrontation would engender. Okay my stream of consciousness is over. Congrats on taking care of yourself.

Vickie said...

I am posting on this later in the week. Loved this post.