It has been a good day. I enjoyed a nice work day at the office, got several productive emails written and sent, acquired a tax-related client today that will need a lot of help with getting his entire 2015 books done for taxes, and even got some of my other client stuff handled when I finally got home from the office.

All wonderful stuff, that.

I have been contemplating weighty matters related to diet and eating and such today. I am not sure if I am wigged because I agreed to do food diary for at least 5 days or if I feel as if this is an opportunity, but it’s definitely something on my mind. Monday has been designated as my start date, and since that switch has been flipped, that decision made, I have the next few days to really wrap my head around it as well as obsess about it endlessly every waking moment (maybe some sleeping ones as well) between now, then, during, and after.

It’s little things, like making sure my counter is clean so I don’t look like the terrible cooking slob I can be while preparing food. Or how do I make the bland stuff I tend to eat look attractive? Will I remember what it actually was later when writing it down for the diary?

I think it’s easier to obsess over something like that than other thoughts trying to take over in my head. Or fighting the voices and their crescendo of negative messages trying to harsh my buzz on a very good day.

I rowed awhile tonight after dinner to feel physically tired enough to sleep without sleeping aids. Tomorrow is training Thursday, so I would like to not be the groggy zombie I felt like this morning. It was somewhat helpful, but again it feels like I was rowing faster and faster in an attempt to run away from the stuff inside my own head. It is an impossible task sometimes.

So I’m hashing out those thoughts and my on-the-brink-of-meltdown discussion with M. My thought paragraphs start with the bold, my recap of M’s voice of reason start in bold italic. Apologies in advance for sounding like a broken record.

The food diary feels like a failure waiting to happen. Is this registered dietician (RD) Someone I respect and wish to work with, or is he just another person in a long line of professionals who have disappointed me with their clinical, cut-and-dried, cookie cutter pronouncements on the ways I feed myself? I am still uncertain; the jury is still out whether or not he will be someone I will want to work with on this thorny problem. I don’t want to discuss nutrients; I do not want to talk about breakdowns in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, sodium levels, etc., etc., etc. He at least seems genuine enough, clear and direct enough to gain my attention, if not yet my respect. I will do this because he vibes like someone who genuinely wants to help me, not like someone killing time and trying to meet his patient quota.

The RD is trying to help, and I am under no obligation to heed his advice. As far as the diet and eating goes, he does not imagine the RD doing anything radical or extreme like putting me on a soy-based program or turning me into a quasi-vegetarian as the last one I engaged tried to do (and at which I failed miserably). However, suggestions and enhancements could be helpful, and stop looking at this as a pass/fail exercise. If I do not like what the  has to say after I put this list together, start dodging the messages and mailings and do not go back. M reminded me again that I am a well-controlled diabetic who has completely turned it around, so obviously I am doing a lot right with my eating habits.

I cannot get the Very Bad Incident to leave my thoughts for long. I find myself dwelling on that other woman and wondering if ignorance is bliss in this instance. The very spare description of her injuries had me waking up gasping for breath or screaming throughout the night, and I am even more fearful and anxious now. I close my eyes and I see that knife again, now knowing it has drawn blood, and my mind projects all the bleeding, gaping wounds I could have be coping with right now. It feels so selfish to be thankful that it was not me, yet I am grateful it is not me. I hunker down wherever I am when those thoughts come unbidden and wish her healing and peace.

Of course I am still upset; M would be worried if I were not. It was terrifying and has now mushroomed into a cautionary tale of what could have happened to me if I did not think quickly and react the way I did. If I had not been making strides toward better health, could I have gotten behind that dumpster? Could I have seriously contemplated running away? Yes, that other woman did not deserve what happened, but I am not the one who hurt her and I am as deserving of my safety as anyone else. There is not good person versus better person in this equation. And I am also the only person on the planet who has expectations of me being “over it” by now. (For the record, it’s not expectations, it’s a really strong and fruitless motivating desire to be over it by now.)

Work is going really well, and I suddenly feel anxious about it. Every time I open a client email I hold my breath about what they might say. Am I about to be fired? Have I done something stupid? Are they going to yell at me? It’s never that, at least not yet. I have always been good at my work, but now that it is just me, it feels like a big giant anchor has been strapped to my back and it gets heavier with each new client I acquire. I like the challenge. I feel good about it when I meet or exceed a client’s expectations. But in the back of my mind the whispers are that this time could be the one where I falter, fail, and am found out. Found out what even I don’t know for sure; I just know the inferiority coms on strong sometimes and brings me way, way down.

Work is work, I have superior instincts and perception with clients, and I would know if something were wrong. I have always been extremely disciplined and demonstrated great instincts about work – finding it, maintaining it, doing it well. My anxiety probably has more to do with other factors in our lives right now than my falling down and failing clients.

The exercise and my march toward better health – could it be a fluke? I went through my practice this morning on autopilot and find there is very little in my mind about it, an unheard of before now sort of unusual occurrence. I do not want to shortchange anyone on their efforts with me on this, from J and his relentless teaching and good cheer, to M and his unwavering support and belief in my ability to do well in this realm. Yet … my doubts are flaring brightly right now. Maybe I have reached the end of my ability? Maybe I can go no farther? Maybe I should just back away slowly while I still can?

I have worked very hard at being consistent about regular exercise and great strides are real.  M is very proud of me for the health achievements and breakthroughs I have made thus far. Not just with resetting things internally, but for my ambitions and ideas about where I might want to go next are broadening farther than M’s ever seen or imagined me progressing toward new milestones. That I have been getting up and going to the gym every morning for nearly 4 months, not missing practices, not cancelling appointments with trainer J, and talking about weight lifting with our friends who have interests and pursuits in that regard has been an entirely different direction than where he ever thought I might proceed. It’s  not a fluke. I have worked hard at it and for all I have achieved thus far. And I will continue to improve and make additional strides into the undiscovered country that is fitness and good health.

Sometimes I hate it when M is so calm and so reasonable and so right. While under the negative influence, I do not necessarily want to hear it. I want him to nod gravely and agree that I am a disingenuous poser who does not deserve to live. Put that way is the gentlest bitch-slap back to reality anyone can provide.

I worked on my breathing exercises TM is teaching me, and they help with getting myself calm. The voices? I am just going to have to accept it is an ongoing 2 steps forward, 3 steps back process. But I will keep trying. There is a day in the future where I will be further along in reprogramming the soundtrack in my head. Until then, just grit my teeth and try to turn down the volume.



3 thoughts on “Coping and listening to reason

  1. Recovering from stomach flu so don’t really have it all together at the moment but wanted you to know i was thinking of you. All of your thoughts are understandable – not rational – but understandable. The Very Bad Incident will be around in your head for a while – but you *did* get through it OK. Don’t feel guilty for that. Work – I’ve been running my business for almost 3 years now – and really only in the last 3-4 months have i started to believe what my business partner and others say and not feel like I am some sort of fake waiting to be found out. Take care of yourself please!

    1. Ohhh SAK, so sorry about the tummy troubles. It ran through my former office a month or so ago – so glad I was only there a couple of days and few hours per week and missed it.

      Yes, today is better. No sleeping aids and dreams of falling out down elevator shafts – like skydiving without a parachute I imagine. But at least that’s familiar; it’s what I dream when I am stressed but not feeling overly stressed. M, my voice of reason, must be getting through to me.

  2. It was a terrifying thing that happen and you are not going to shake it off soon but like you said you did everything right. And look how fast you thought of what to do, I hope if ever faced with the same thing I could think that fast. As for the sleeping aids that’s what they are aids and if you need them take them but if your sleeping well that is good. It’s funny how our stress comes out in our dreams. Or as insomnia types the woman who told you she was going to bed three hours ago and is still awake.

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