Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “unhappiness”

I prefer bite-sized, individually wrapped inconveniences

It has been yet another week of “not my week.” Someone at work who is stressed is going out of their way to stress everybody else out. Including me. I’m having a hard time dealing with a group I belong to. There is a decision that has to be made that I have strong feelings about, and it remains undecided and I need to consider what I want to do about it for myself, my peace of mind, and my own integrity. And that sucks. I am a person who doesn’t remember dreams, and recently I have regularly been having nightmares. And then yesterday, we had sewage coming up from our bathtub. And after the plumber snaked the drain, one of the pipes to our water heater started leaking, soaking our carpet. So someone else came to fix the leak, and someone else came to dry the carpet because we thought the leak was fixed, but it wasn’t, so it’s leaking again and getting the carpet wet again.

Oh, and I cut myself with a knife I had just sharpened while I was making dinner.

I’m tired. I’m scared. I’m frustrated. I’m angry. I’m annoyed. I am having a lot of difficult feelings. And they are eroding my confidence. And that is a scary place for me.

In general, I walk around with a lot of confidence. I am happy with my life, with my integrity, with my honesty, with my marriage and how I interact in it, with my work and my work ethic, with my gifts, and with my resilience. I have a lot to be confident about.

And usually, difficulties come into my life in drips and drabs, in easily manageable portions. Bite-sized, individually wrapped inconveniences. Fun size, if you will. But this past 2 weeks have felt like non-stop bludgeoning. I’m unhappy.

There. I said it. I am unhappy. I’m feeling a little whiny, a little resentful. Why me? Waaah waaah waaah!

It hurts my pride a little to say it. I like being the girl who can shake stuff off. And I definitely like being *seen* as the girl who can shake it off. But really, it’s OK. It’s OK to be unhappy. It’s the truth. I don’t have to pretend to be invulnerable. I am definitely not.

I lived my whole life unhappy before I gave up sugar. I lived my whole life resentful, and scared, and angry, and sad. But then, I was the one making myself miserable with my lying, cheating, stealing and instigating drama, and I was entirely unaware of how I was responsible for my misery. Everything seemed like something done *to* me, not by me. And every circumstance and disruption seemed immovable, insurmountable, unchangable.

And I know now that very few things are immovable, and that the things that are usually have a workaround of some sort. Like I’m a sugar addict. And I believe that will never change. But I found a solution to my problem with food. I didn’t have to learn to live with being fat and obsessed. I just had to learn to live with being an addict. I had to learn to give up sugars, grains and starch. I had to learn to eat 3 meals a day in specific portions. I’m still an addict, but the things about being one that used to plague me, don’t anymore.

In some ways this is good for me. First, I am sure there is a growth experience in here somewhere. Maybe lots of them. And I am committed to growth, as a lifestyle. And second, I can sometimes equate my easy, happy life to some sort of virtue on my part. And that is not entirely misguided. I don’t lie, so I don’t deal with the consequences of having lied. I actively try to maintain a positive attitude, so a lot of my happiness is created by me. But life is not made so that only good things happen to good people. And it is not that a happy life is a reward for pleasing an old white man on a throne in the sky. Bad things do happen to good people. And apparently so do a string of uncomfortable inconveniences that cost time, money, and energy.

Oh well. Breakfast was delicious. And lunch is coming.


I’m sorry, I’m too busy to go out of my way to not give you the satisfaction

I have been unhappy lately. For a long time actually. Months now. On and off since I quit smoking in June. Pretty consistently since August. Generally blue. Occasionally in a lot of emotional pain. Occasionally just raw and irritable. And invariably thinking. Thinking and worrying and puzzling and solving and predicting and planning and scrapping and reformulating and worrying some more.


I am purging a lot of old pain. It’s hard to squeeze out of my chest and throat area. It burns. Letting it go is interesting. I’m not used to it. It’s the kind of thing I’ve been holding in since I was 4. For the most part, it comes in a huge wave and dissipates. It sneaks up on me and it suddenly occurs to me that I’m going to cry. And then it occurs to me that I am holding it in. Holding it back. And I don’t want to do that anymore. Hold it in. Deny that I’m an emotional, cry-baby, wussy-girl. I am. I am not cool. I am not too hip to care. I care. So I cry. And my face gets all red and blotchy for a minute. Maybe two. And my eyes get glassy and wet. And then it’s done, passed. And maybe a person or two on the street or subway noticed. Maybe.


I have been humiliated a few times recently too. I was the butt of the joke for an entire bus full of people during the snowstorm this week. With my train not running and taking an unfamiliar route home, I waited for an hour in the snow for the wrong bus. In retrospect, a few of the buses that would have taken me home passed by. When I realized I was on the wrong bus, and asked the driver to let me off, everyone began to laugh. Tell other passengers who hadn’t heard. The hardest was the little old lady in the front cackling about how stupid I was not to have asked. I was shocked by how delighted people were by my difficulty. How they thoroughly enjoyed my pain.


But there is something that I have given up. Not letting them see me cry. Not giving people the satisfaction of seeing that they got to me. I don’t care if they see. I don’t care if they enjoy it. I don’t care if they get off on my hurt heart. If I need to cry I will cry. I’ll do it with dignity too. Because I do not cry because I am weak. I do not cry because I am pathetic. I cry because nobody gets to tell me how to deal with my feelings. Nobody gets to tell me not to be so sensitive. And if someone enjoys my tears, that’s none of my business. But I can pity them for that. More than I pity myself for feeling the pain.


I do not enjoy other people’s pain. I feel it too easily. It seems too real. I actually have to work every day at not taking on other people’s pain. I have to remind myself that just because there is suffering in the world does not mean I cannot have peace and joy and love. That just because the world does not have peace does not mean that I cannot have peace. I have to remind myself that peace begins with me. Inside.


I love my empathy. I am honored to be a compassionate woman with a big sensitive heart. I don’t love everything that comes with it, but I don’t see it as a weakness. And I don’t need to hide it because some people are jerks.


Because I used to have a surefire way of not being affected by the sadism of jerks. I smoked it. Or ate it. Or somehow got high enough that it couldn’t scrape at me. But here I am, right on the ground. Well within reach to be scraped and scratched. Too available to get by unscathed. Though, really, getting by unscathed because I was too effed up to be available wasn’t exactly the cat’s pajamas either. Or I wouldn’t have gone through all the pain I have to get here. Present. Available. Hurtable.


The other thing that has me unhappy is trying to acclimate to a new level of confidence and self-love. I have a new understanding of what I deserve. What I am worth. And here I am in a life built by a woman who liked herself less.


It’s even funny to think about how I am in so much pain because I went from being a woman who liked herself a lot, to a woman who likes herself even more. I was already so impressed by my honesty, integrity, honor. Was already overjoyed to wake up every day with such dignity and self-respect. Had already done so much incredible work on myself. And yet the gap between this new understanding of myself and my life, and the (still pretty fantastic) life I was living six months ago makes for heartache. And sadness.


So I’m unhappy. But let me tell you what I am not. Depressed. And that’s important to note. Because when I was eating compulsively and addictively eating sugar, I was depressed. Always. The level of self-hatred I lived with was staggering. I hated myself so consistently for so long that I didn’t even know I hated myself until it stopped when I quit sugar. I felt crazy on sugar. I was crazy. I had no hope. I lived in the depths of despair.


But today I am not in despair. I know that this will pass. It’s just a difficult stretch. A very long, difficult stretch of unhappiness. And yes, I wish it would hurry along. Because I miss being fun and funny and easy to be around. But everything in its own time.


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