A couple of hours ago, I had an anxiety response, a spinniness about food intake/schedule for the rest of the day, a shaming response, a response that didn’t allow me to concentrate on what I was reading. So, I used a tool, part of my “prescription for peace” = exercise. I gained the following awareness after that workout, and I am writing this as I sit in the change room of the gym.
The anxiety could have been because of boredom or loneliness. The response sees sitting and watching TV (something that wouldn’t have been boring and would have been enjoyable all by myself) as not worthwhile, even if it is what I want to do and need to relax/rejuvenate (AS A SIDE NOTE, perhaps this is where the calories came into play to a certain degree, because shame around calories makes a whole lot more sense than shame around perfection/worthwhile activities; I don’t sit down because I will gain weight makes a lot more sense to a logical man than I don’t sit down because it makes me worth less; this opens the door for using other elements of the “prescription for peace,” such as mantras and positive affirmations, experiments around sitting down and not gaining weight or being unhealthy, breathing exercises). The anxiety was definitely separate from controlling my appetite for better food experiences, which I definitely make the choice of doing sometimes (case in point, snacks at school), separate from the eating disordered parts of the blackness (could very well be normal and separate from the blackness entirely) and could be because I am not finding joy/connection in other things (like not watching TV shows I’ve wanted to watch because they aren’t worthwhile activities).
In calming down from my workout (mostly during and enhanced by the stretching/music/alone time elements of the cooldowns), I find a peace of mind and ability to see through these things (and later, an ability to sit and read without the blackness/eating disorder voice in my head).
- ADDED AT 2PM: Came home and fucked with the blacklist in a handful of ways (see how many you can count) = made a decision by myself to work on the food blacklist and have a slice of pizza as a snack/just cause.
This brings me to the following learnings from today (and yesterday, to a degree):
- Euphoric exercise (especially cooldown)
- Stretching to music/mindfulness
- Taking the “edge off” with booze [didn’t say they were all GOOD tools]
- Therapy/consult (formal, but more informal including friends)
- Quiet coffee/tea and fireplace
Leads to CALM – PEACE OF MIND
- Ability to sit with no shame or anxiety response
- Emotions (often tears)
- POTENTIALS: Nap? Sex drive? Transition from work?
This growth and understanding I have gained brings me to something I need others around me to understand, something that I have to make them understand. This is incredibly timely given that today is my wife’s Letter D-Day (she wants to give a letter about my blackness to all those we want to include in the support system, many of whom have not understood or understood the extent of it or paid enough attention/affection to see):
Recognizing progress (and more importantly, believing in progress) means understanding that the rules of the past no longer apply; well, not necessarily anyway. From one encounter to the next, they need to believe that rules can and have been pushed and progress has been made. It is true, it means that they will be wrong sometimes in assuming that those rules have changed and they will have to be a comfort in these times, but they will definitely not impede the forward progress and growth – the blacklist doesn’t get chopped down, sexual desire doesn’t increase, calmness can’t be there, conversations about sex can’t happen. The belief that progress cannot happen doesn’t occur between my wife and I around food, and to a certain degree with Mom, but it certainly does with other things or with everyone else. The belief that progress doesn’t happen around food is the case with the rest of my family (whether it be due to lack of desire to know/look, the fact that they aren’t worth suffering for or asking to suffer for me, or my self-sufficient keep-it-to-myself-ishness); the belief that progress doesn’t happen around sex is the case with my wife, when she frames it as not pushing or causing stress (for the most part, stress is just anxiety and it needs to be pushed through to grow and avoid plateaus); the belief that progress doesn’t happen around my rigidity is the case with Family Friend and she made a huge mistake in withholding affection because of it.
I need to make those willing to suffer come to believe in progress as well, but I need them to understand what this is, it is about growth so that I can be a better me (which is different from an improved me; it is more like a more complete version of me, a more ME version of me) – a better husband, a better son, a better friend, a better human.