Food is the problem. The hurricane is just a situation.
I am in Corpus Christi, hunkering down in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey. I am writing this on Friday, even though I will schedule it to post for Saturday. There is some worry about winds, but really, my biggest worries are flooding, and what will happen when we lose power, internet and cell service.
I went out early Thursday morning, made sure I had enough food and water to last a week. But the truth is I didn’t need to buy much for myself, because being prepared “for anything” in terms of my food boundaries, is how I roll in general. I already had a house full of non perishables for my food plan. I mostly had to make sure that my husband wouldn’t starve. We even have a propane grill, if we need to cook. But frankly, he has enough bread and PB&J to last the duration.
Keeping a house full of food has long been a means of calming myself and creating a sense of peace. For me, knowing that my food is taken care of means that I can take care of anything else. There’s a woman I know and she says “I only have one problem: Food. Everything else is just a situation.” I love this saying because that is my experience. Food was always my problem. I was miserable being fat, I wanted to stop eating but I couldn’t, and both my body and my obsession with food were a constant source of pain and shame for me. Eating compulsively colored every aspect of my life. It affected how I thought about myself, what I said to myself in my inner dialogue, and how I treated myself. It was a problem. And it created a million other problems for me.
When I got my eating under control, slowly but surely, I had fewer and fewer problems. Which is not to say that things didn’t go wrong. Life is still life. But I could get out of my own way. I was causing myself less trouble. And when something happened, I could deal with it with clarity, and a modicum of self-respect. Coming from a place of self-respect drastically changed the kinds of actions I took in the face of trouble and hardship.
So I am not in the best situation right now. It’s a little stressful. I have had an eye twitch pretty much nonstop since Thursday morning. (That’s the most common way my body deals with stress.) But I am doing my best to make good, rational decisions, and take proper care of myself and my husband. (And the neighborhood cat that was left out in the storm. No seriously. My husband brought the cat in…not that I am complaining. I like the cat.) But it’s not a problem. It’s not debilitating. It doesn’t feel like a horrible hole that I have fallen into and cannot get back out of, the way food did. It’s just a situation. And I will deal with it, moment to moment, with humor and grace. Or humor and grace is the plan anyway. Either way I will deal with it. And this too shall pass, like everything, good and bad alike.