A big, thousand-watt light bulb went off this morning. I was reading "My Formerly Hot Like" (courtesy of Leslie, thank you!) (And yes, I'm reading it s-l-o-w-l-y, lol!) and she writes about her part-time obsession with plastic surgery. She hasn't had any, but she thinks about it a lot, and sometimes researches it on the web.
I started thinking about my own obsessions. Back in L.A., it was, of course, my body, which I thought was too fat and roly-poly. Yes, I obsessed over it. And I remember when we were moving up here, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought, "Hey, I look THIN!" And realized that that happened a lot: in L.A I felt huge, but anywhere else I felt (and looked) fine.
Then we moved here permanently, I gained 30 pounds, and now I really am roly-poly.
I still obsess about it, but not quite as much. I think IE has helped me to accept that will never be a stick figure, and, more to the pint, I don't WANT to be. I've lost a few pounds, and plan on losing more. But not in the same way I used to. 'Cause look where THAT got me!
However, all that obsession had to go somewhere, since I obviously haven't learned to truly deal with it yet. So it has turned to politics.
And I can't decide if that's better or worse. On one hand, I'm glad I no longer have the same level of body hatred I used to have, but all that hatred has turned outward, toward people I don't even know personally. And I don't like the feeling. I may not agree with a person's politics, may even truly believe those politics are harmful, but does that mean I have to hate the PERSON? They're human, after all, and like I said, I don't actually know them. I always thought of myself as a fair minded, decent person, willing to give pretty much anyone the benefit of the doubt. But now I feel myself getting so enraged at certain folks that I, yes, believe I hate them.
But it's a relief to now that a BIG part of that hatred is not necessarily directed toward them, any more than it was really about my waistline. It's something else. Something I really need to think about and talk about (with my therapist) so I can finally just LET IT GO!
Last week she asked me an interesting question (she has a lot of those, lol!): What would I do with all the energy I use in obsessing about things over which I have no control if I STOPPED obsessing?
This is probably a big reason I'm so tired ALL THE TIME. It takes a lot of energy to be so obsessive, lol!
I know a big part of all this is trying to feel that sense of control. For someone like me, who hasn't always had a say in my own life, control can become very important. And feeling helpless or at the mercy of someone else is just awful. Like living on a fault line. (Which, actually, we kinda do, but that's another post.) The idea that someone could come along at any moment and pull the rug out from underneath you is maddening and frightening. And it has happened. I think I mentioned my uncle's suicide when he was let go from the mental health institution he'd been living at after they lost a lot their government funding. It makes me think the same could happen to my kids after I'm gone. Who's going to take care of them? What if they're in a group home and the funding goes away? We're trying to save money for their future, but what if it's not enough?
And it's not just that, but also the million different ways that, growing up, I was powerless. Made to feel less than I am. It's hard to let go of all that, but I'm doing my best.
One of those ways, possibly, is Krav Maga. I know I've said it before, but I'm going to go take a class and, if I still like it, get back into it. Not only will I continue to learn how to defend myself, I think it will help me calm my mind. Give me a sense of control, yes, but also help make peace with the things I can't control. (Serenity Prayer, anyone? I could use some of that, too!)
Anyway, I've felt more at peace today than I have in a while. Hopefully I can stay mindful of all this, and calm the heck down!