Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hitting the Wall

My friend e-mailed me today to let me know how he's doing in his effort to quit smoking. He's trying to quit using a medication called Chantix. When I read the following paragraph I have to admit a surge of jealousy welled up in me (I hope he doesn't mind that I'm quoting him!):

"The Chantix works so well that even if I did have a cigarette now, within seconds I'd feel awful and wonder why I ever did it. What the drug does--and this is the freaky part--in "lame man's terms" ;)--is that it makes me forget why I liked smoking. There's a more scientific explanation on the website, but that's how it feels to me. "

God I wish I had a magic pill that would do this for me when it comes to compulsive eating. If I had a pill that made me forget why I liked eating in a disordered way, it seems like it would solve so much grief for me.

Of course, there's always a price to pay, even with my friend:

"The downside is I don't really sleep well--only a few hours at a clip. Hence, I've been cleaning, reading, blogging, walking...anything to occupy the time that I devoted for so many years to the act of smoking. That's the hardest part--especially after I eat, when I wonder 'What do I do now?'"

I've been there and know how hard that can be. You spend so much time concentrating on your addiction -- be it an eating disorder, smoking, alcohol, gambling, etc. -- that when you try to give it up it leaves a gaping hole in your life.

Right now I can't even seem to get close to quitting my disordered eating. I feel so lost, so adrift in the void, so caught up in the habit and compulsion of it, I can't even see a way out of it. Maybe it's the medicine, maybe it's PMS (time of the month will begin any minute now), or maybe it's some elemental weakness in myself I can't overcome.

Whatever it is, I'm feeling so low about myself right now that I'm mentally grasping for straws. I think about weight loss surgery, I think about going away to some intense program for eating disorders. Of course, in reality, I don't know how I'd leave my responsibilities (work, husband, child, house, etc.) to go away like that. And I'm always scared of WLS, even if it's the less invasive methods like LAP band.
I think maybe I'm hitting the wall. I feel like Wile E. Coyote here -- my head is spinning -- and I don't know what to do anymore. Dieting doesn't work; I think Intuitive Eating would work if I could get my head on straight. But how do I do that? I feel so helpless right now.
Of course, maybe feeling like I've hit bottom is actually a good thing, because it means I won't get any lower and I've got nowhere else to go but up. Feeling this desperation and hopelessness might actually be a sign that I'm beginning to feel emotions again, which is what I wanted, right? I don't know why it has to be so hard... God I sound like such a child right now. Life is hard! We all get handed our lot of challenges, and it's our job to work through them. I guess I just feel like I'm not able to handle mine right now, and I just wish I had a better arsenal of tools to cope.
To illustrate this point, I'm not at my yoga class right now. This is a bad thing, because I know how good it makes me feel. But I talked myself out of it with a list of excuses: feeling miserable from PMS and what is either the beginning of a cold or fall allergies. This triggers feelings of guilt and I proceed to feel even worse about myself.
What a whining, miserable post. I sure hope my attitude improves in the next few days.


Ty said...

I totally understand how you feel about the compulsive eating, once again your post could've been one that I wrote (though not so well).

I wonder why we stop doing things that are good for us when we need to be doing them the most? Like with yoga, more than any other time, you should be going. I am the same way and I just don't understand it.

Lori said...

Why do we buy the very things that we know deep down is going to be gobbled up sooner rather than later? It's why it's an addiction I suppose but it's no less annoying and painful.

I don't see you as weak, Andrea. I'm wondering if it's outside things that making you unhappy enough to eat. To be honest, and I'd have to go back and reread your blog, it seemed as if everything was moderately okay until the trip to England came up. But I may be (as I usually am) wrong.

I really do understand how you feel.