I thought I knew what I was going to write about tonight, its Friday and Friday is my official weigh in day so I thought I would probably write about my weight loss journey that currently looks more like a board for the game Chutes and Ladders. But tonight I am working on “feeling my feelings,” and not trying to push them back below the surface with food, wine and either zoning out in front of the TV or getting lost in other people’s posts on social media. I am working on feeling the feelings, allowing them space because I understand all too well that if I don’t I won’t loose weight. Food is my drug, food is my security blanket, food is my companion and I am working on learning how to eat when I am hungry and stop when I am satisfied and that’s not so easy to do when there is a part of your brain screaming at you to JUST PUT THE COOKIE IN YOUR MOUTH! because that’s what you always do when things get tough and the cookie will make you feel better for about 5 seconds.
So here’s the deal, because I know my Mom and Sister might actually read this I want to start off by saying that while I am not 100% Okay, I am actually okay. Am I tired after 3 solid weeks of work with 1 day off and averaging 10 hr days, yes. Do I feel a sense of responsibility – guilt, anxiety, even a little depression – about the fact that 7 of my residents have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 2 ½ weeks? Yes, I do and you know what, that’s okay. It is okay for me to feel those things; what I am learning and working on is how I create space for those feelings, how I offer them a seat at the table, but I don’t allow them to drive the bus. I can have those feelings, but I don’t have to allow them to change how I show up, how I choose to take care of myself and how I react at work. Yesterday was not a good day, I let anxiety take over and my responses weren’t always what they should have been. What I am grateful for is that I am much more self aware and open to noticing when this happens, learning from my response and working to be better prepared for the next time because I am certain there will be a next time and it could very well be tomorrow.
Tonight I am tired and I am angry that the world seems to be continuing to carry on like 250,000 people didn’t die from Covid-19, that my company has to compete with the likes of the NFL and the NCAA for testing supplies, that I spend more time on tracking, reporting and keeping up with the regulations than I do actually caring for the people that call my community home. I feel guilty that this most recent outbreak happened on my watch, I think through all the things and wonder what did we miss, where was the gap, how did we let this in; even though my rational brain understands that I can’t control all of the variables, it’s still how I feel tonight. But instead of letting myself drift slowly into the dark place I am welcoming those feelings in, I am allowing them to be, but not dwelling in them. They are there, I know they probably won’t just go away anytime soon, but I don’t have to let them pull me down. Keep me from taking care of myself and stop me from reaching my goals.
Putting these words and my darker thoughts on paper is a little scary, but it also feels good to just put it out there, to write it down and let it go into the universe. And know that if you are struggling tonight, struggling with heartache, uncertainty, fear, and anxiety; you are not alone. I see you, I love you and you are not alone even though we are not together.