First of all, happy Friday to you all! I hope you are as happy to see the week’s end as I am. It’s been a doozy of a week for me. Glad to be able to get away from everything and just chill out for a couple days.
I faced two major triggers this week, one of which I did not see coming. So let’s start with Monday. I was scheduled to do a presentation that evening. Already a bit overwhelmed with everything I have to contend with this month, anxiety is triggered. I’m no stranger to anxiety, but it’s been a while since I’ve experienced it to this level. Usually, it comes and then it goes, so I’m not quite sure why I’m still struggling.
The wave of anxiety started around Thursday of last week. There were times when everything seemed like it was going to be okay and other times when I felt like I was on the verge of panic. I kept my schedule stress free for the weekend and managed to get myself to what I thought was a more comfortable place. Monday comes, all is well except for the low-level anxiety that is still present. I didn’t have time to give thought to my condition. It was all I could do to get ready and then I hear the weather forecast. There’s a strong chance of snow. I know…I know, what’s snow got to do with it? Well, it wouldn’t have much to do with anything if it weren’t for my anxiety deciding to invite PTSD to the party. Now I have to contend with even more negative thoughts compounded by front row tickets to worse case scenario theater and I’m the star. I begin to tremble.
I get in the car, put on a good CD. Snow is just starting to fall as I back out of the driveway. The weather’s not bad and I don’t have far to go. My anxiety seems to be leveling out. I call a friend, put her on speaker phone and partake in jovial conversation until I reach my destination. Okay, so far so good. The sidewalks are a bit slushy. I managed to get inside without slipping. That’s another thing. When I was much heavier, my worst nightmare was falling in public. I promised myself If I ever fell in public I’d just lie there pretending to pass out, hoping witnesses would feel a bit of compassion if they thought something was wrong. End of confession. On the elevator, I feel a rise in my anxiety and take a few deep breaths, thankful I arrived early so I could give myself time to calm down. Turns out that wasn’t a good idea after all. The person presenting before was beyond awesome. Her presentation was dynamic. Overall it was engaging, funny, impactful, insightful, and at times jaw-dropping. It was everything and a bag of chips with a drink on the side. Damn!
I’m thinking, why didn’t I stay home. As the presenter winds down my anxiety wound up and is set to go off. Panic in progress! It was too late to turn back. There’s nowhere to go but forward. So I did. A few minutes into my presentation I call it quits. This is the perfect calling card for a binge fest. Guess what – I didn’t binge.
I’m having a mental celebration of my triumph when the second trigger happens on Wednesday. This is the one I didn’t see coming. I was joking around with a few friends when one whispered something inappropriate in my ear. I was shocked, no, more like shook. I wasn’t able to respond as I should have. This is the very substance of the thing that causes me to gain and maintain an unhealthy weight. My weight was my badge of shame as well as a band-aid for pain. As long as I was heavier my dad didn’t rape me or sell me. As long as I was heavier I could go unnoticed, unwanted. I know this sounds like a bad thing to say and I apologize for that. Being heavy does not equate to being unattractive. What made me unattractive was letting go of everything and being my most possible worse. I told myself if anyone liked me in that state they were a true friend.
Have you ever been asked the question, “If you had a superpower which superpower would it be?” My answer was always to be invisible because I could not bear the thought of being seen. I’ve been fortunate enough to be aware of the severity of this feeling and have been working on getting better for some time. I have gotten better. I’ve finally worked my way to being a little comfortable with public speaking. I publicly share stories about my childhood and the things I’ve been blessed to learn and do toward having good mental health. Even with all the work I’ve put into this issue, I still sometimes fall into sabotage mode. Remember, I just got past my last bout with this problem a couple weeks ago.
The fear of someone coming on to me whether serious or in jest all feel s the same. What made this situation worse is that he knew my history. He knew about the abuse. I wasn’t able to respond the way I should have, which is not unusual for me in most situations. When he walked away, I just sat there wondering how something like this could have happened without me having the smallest inkling of the possibility. My head began to pound, my chest tightened. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to cry.
It is now Friday. I thank God for it being Friday. I survived two of my biggest triggers and am no worse for wear at the moment. Wow! Prayer is a mighty thing. I’ve been praying for God’s help with my fears, triggers, and weaknesses. He’s answering my prayers. This week I have not binged. My hope…to continue not binging. Taking it one step at a time, one day at a time.
Onward and Upward!
Onward and Upward!