Today’s Happy Note: Flirting with a British guy at the grocery store…
I don’t know if my Happy Note has ever involved a boy. But male specimens have been flying around in my life like crazy lately! I don’t know where they’re coming from. Well, I do: the library, the gym, the specialty market. I suppose they have always been there. But now I’m noticing them. And they’re noticing me. And this is all so strange and new and, well, a little bit wonderful, for me. It’s sort of a little self-confidence feedback loop: as I have become more and more confident in my abilities, my personality, and my body, I think other people notice that confidence. Feeling loved and sought out then reinforces the confidence, etc., etc.
I will NEVER base my self-worth off of men. I am my own woman, my own beauty, my own happiness. But having others involved in my life is a beautiful, fulfilling thing. Relationships — of all varieties — are a component of happiness and self-fulfillment.
I am not sure if all this flirtation (interaction? fun?) means anything or will lead to anything. But I honestly regret not introducing myself to the man at the store. He truly seemed wonderful, and it couldn’t have hurt to say my name. I rarely get that sensation in my gut like “I should have done something differently.” I did this evening. But I can’t go back and talk to him now, can I? I’m pretty sure he’s gone by now. 🙂
I definitely was emotionally snacking this evening. I sort of got onto a weird eating schedule today and ended up being hungry at 10:00. Once I have one snack in the evening, I can never have just one. Does anyone else have this issue? I am still in the process of observing my eating habits, emotions, rhythms, and associations. I am not getting angry at myself at this point. More and more, I am beginning to realize that I deserve the best: I deserve to feel happy in my mind and body and to treat myself with love and care and kindness and respect. I know this sounds all soft and new age-y, but it is what I am thinking about a lot lately. In the past few months, I have felt like I have actually begun thinking about and repairing my relationship with food. The funny thing is that I’m probably at my highest weight ever right now.
A big realization in this process has been that hunger is not a character flaw. Food is not the enemy. Wanting to eat does not indicate some horrific problem in my body or in my heart. I haven’t had a chance to talk about this with L much, but do plan to soon. We have talked ever so slightly about my body image and general eating concerns, but that just isn’t an area we have explored yet. I am anxious to do so. Our weekly hour-long sessions never seem long enough!
I think this is a good segue into some vague therapy thoughts…
As I said last week, my relationship with L and my thoughts about the process of therapy are changing. This is okay. Thanks for all your sweet thoughts on this — I was a little nervous that people wouldn’t want to read if I changed the content of my therapy posts. But I need to do what I am comfortable with and what is right for my mental health at the moment. I still struggle with depression and anxiety, daily.
So I am not entirely sure of the direction my therapy posts will go on at the moment. I still write detailed thoughts in my journal. I might share all or some of those thoughts on the blog, or some days, none. I might just talk about the process, or something tangential, or simply verbalize some questions.
All I know is that my relationship with L has undergone a subtle but powerful, sudden shift over the summer. It is now painfully intimate. Lovely, raw, tender, delicate. Different.
It’s funny how sometimes my biggest revelations in therapy aren’t necessarily related directly to what we talk about. Sometimes the breakthroughs come from connecting things in new ways, or from writing about it afterwards. This week we talked a lot about stressors and money and the little things that tend to build up and make me crazy. Not in a structured way at all — our sessions are terribly unstructured, and I like it that way. I like that she never says things like “tell me a list of things that stress you out, and how those things make you feel.” It is so much more organic than that. That’s part of the beauty of it. It is simply, on one level, a deep conversation between two people — an open wound.
The revelation this week was that I am capable of relating to and empathizing with people. And, therefore, I am capable of growing and sustaining satisfying friendships, relationships, etc. I need not judge others — or myself — on their feelings. I can be calm and gentle with others. I can open up to them (even if it takes some time). This ties back to what I said about food earlier; I deserve love, caring, affection. From myself and those around me. In fact, I deserve it so much that I can (and should) be an active participant in the development of relationships in my life. In the last year, as I have come to understand myself better, I have also begun understanding others. And the ways in which we relate.
Sometimes, my relationships with other people hurt. And other times they are very, very soothing and right.
I loved how our dialog went back and forth this week. I love learning new things about L; it is important for me in terms of my ability to open up to her. She told me a lot about her career trajectory, especially in her 20s, yesterday. This was helpful to me both in terms of figuring out how the next few years of my own life might look and in terms of understanding and relating to her better. She got married when she was 22 and divorced at 40. I can’t imagine being married so young. I almost didn’t believe her. I don’t think that uncovering bits and pieces of her life is unproductive to my therapy at all. Many psychotherapists and mental health professionals thing it is. But I don’t. It might be hard for her to sustain several of these intimate relationships, but, first of all, I know that not every patient is as interested in knowing her and, secondly, I get so much more out of it when I have this verbal, emotional dance with her.
Random but important thoughts. That’s all for this week, I think.
Yesterday I did four miles easy, with 5×100 meter strides thrown in, and 45 minutes full body strength training. Today I did seven miles with hills. Marathon training=hungry Caronae. I will admit, I have a lot of anxiety about losing weight while training. I might need to come up with some more specific goals and plans. We shall see.
Goodnight friends! Have I ever mentioned how wonderful you all are? Seriously, every comment warms my heart. Blogging has led me to such wonderful friends. Even if you just stop by to read for a few minutes, I know you’re there, and it makes me feel so happy and connected.