Friday, July 6, 2012

The Pain is Important

A dear friend reminded me yesterday that (1) no amount of food will fill the bottomless pit in my stomach today and (2) the pain is important.

The pain is something I always, always felt had to be avoided at all costs. In the past I cried but then turned to food or retail therapy. I never thought to try alcohol or drugs to dim the pain of loss but only because I am first and foremost a FOOD ADDICT.

Feeling the pain is still a new concept for me. I have grateful to have people in my life (and comments on my blog) to remind me that pain is not a roadblock. It is the bridge that will bring me to the other side. Without that bridge, we call into the sea of despair. Despair is eating with no purpose except escape.

Today I do not eat to escape the pain. In keeping the pounds off, I offend write about feeling things like pain without medicating with food. The pain in the past was a paper cut compared to the jagged wound in my heart today. No one would blame me if I ate to soothe myself - IF IT WORKED. We know it really does not work. Therefore, it makes no sense to do it. I do not need pain AND feeling crappy from overeating or eating junk.

I have a plan for my food. Today's food has been committed. I will feel the pain. It is important.



KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

What an important message Jane! All of our feelings are equally important and valid and all should be felt and processed. I remember once reading about how we tend to want to avoid the so-called "negative" feelings but when we do, they persist. It's like trying to hold and inflated beach ball under the water. Eventually it's going to explode out of the water. And that's why negative feelings often feel so's because we're not feeling them and letting them go. It's also why happiness seems "fleeting."

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry you are going through such an emotionally turbulent time right now. You are a brave and intelligent woman to have things planned out in advance for any potential scenario. You are one step ahead, not behind - so there won't be any surprises. I many times find that I can deal better when I know what it is that's trying to do the damage. Thank you for the reminder to face the fear.

bbubblyb said...

What a good message Jane thanks for writing it. You are really doing well in this tough time. Still sending you good thoughts and prayers. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Keeping you in my prayers Jane. Totally agree with Karen and love the beachball analogy. It is hard to acknowledge the feelings we have and then process them. So exhausting. It is OK to also normal to wake up one day and feel absolutely nothing. Like numb. I think that is normal too. Or regret.

When someone I loved died I was filled with all sorts of regret so I sat down and wrote them a note and then tucked it away. A while later I came across it and read it. I realized I had, over time, come to set aside that regret (mostly) and had replaced it with gratitude. Not something I did consciously, but over time the feelings change. Like maybe you recover.

Make sure you let your in person friends in and let them help you. You may not feel like it, but it does help and it will strengthen your bonds with people who love you.

Be loving and forgiving of yourself.


Vickie said...

"We cannot help the birds of sadness from flying over our heads, but we need not let them nest in our hair."

"It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized." (translated from I Ching, an ancient Chinese text and shared by my psychiatrist

"I'm learning, sometimes you gotta head straight on into the pain, to come out the other side. Sometimes the path of least resistance, just makes the road longer. " From "The Cleaner" TV show with Benjamin Bratt.

three quotes, among the many, which live on my side bar.

Karen said...

Glad you are going through the grief process rather than using food to avoid it. Thank you for posting about it. I know this will help me know I'm not alone , when the time comes for my loved ones. Hugs and prayers to you today. Karen P

Norma said...

That is so true, Jane, and I like KCLA's beach ball analogy. There is nothing wrong with feeling pain. Just like there is nothing wrong with feeling hunger. I actually sometimes suffer through the mild annoyance a headache or menstrual cramps for a while just to remind myself that I am alive.