I mentioned last week that I had some ideas for some posts, and was wondering when I would write about them, which week I would handle this or that idea. But I’ve been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster in the last week, and there’s no real cause, so I thought I would talk about that instead.
Since I started doing my blogging and telling my story, I have felt all my nerve endings range from totally dead to constant sparking, at least emotionally. Last week, I was dealing with a bit of disappointment (as I went back to work) about the fact that I hadn’t accomplished more logistically in my six weeks off, or hadn’t had greater results for my health situation. Going back to work itself is also a potential source of stress as I return to a new job, new environment, and a lot of uncertainty. Even with the great news about my A1C numbers, it was an up and down week.
Then the bus crash happened in Ottawa on Friday. And everytime something like that happens, it affects me A LOT. I picture the aftermath for the families, the fickle hand of fate knocking your men over on the chessboard that is your life. Man plans and God laughs, as the saying goes. But trying to explain some of it to Jacob was VERY emotional for me. Hell, I can get emotional at a Bell commercial, so that’s nothing new, I suppose.
Yet later, on an unrelated activity, I was doing some story imagining techniques to kickstart my creativity and I suddenly found myself following my brain into stories and ideas with high emotional content. Eulogies and traumatic events, how to handle them, process them, etc. I was trying to distract myself and instead my internal squirrels took me there anyway.
As I started writing this, I had just finished watching an online video, nobody I knew, about a blind woman who was reluctant to put a lot of energy into a wedding that would no longer be her dream experience, and yet her photographer cum organizer created some really special techniques for her other senses. Sad in some ways but mostly happy, and I started bawling like a baby. FOR NO REAL REASON. It wasn`t that universally amazing, I didn’t know her. There was no real emotional content for me in the story, yet it wiped me out. Because my emotions are so fragile these days, or maybe just raw. I’ve been doing a bit of reading, and the most likely cause in these circumstances is the actual weight loss process.
It caught me by surprise. I assumed, as most do, that successful weight loss would lead primarily to simple feelings of happiness, but I am not naive enough to think it would cure all life’s ills either. But apparently the “heightened emotional response” can go hand in hand with weight loss.
First and foremost, lots of weight issues are tied to emotions…if you deal with the weight, it often digs up other emotions. Makes sense, and nothing new there in my view. I’d even go so far as to say I was mostly ready for it, it’s how I got to where I am.
But beyond that, I hadn’t really thought about some of the other aspects. Like that simply trying to lose weight in a visible fashion, such as taking pictures and sharing them on a blog (!), can make you feel extremely vulnerable and insecure. No longer am I hiding my true self, and thus in the parlance, I might feel exposed. (Check! By choice, because I need it to keep my motivation alive, but still check!).
That same process also attracts attention, and on a subject that I normally have shunned. I’m ill-equipped to handle it in whatever form I get as interactions (such as my normal Dive! Dive! Dive! response I mentioned in an earlier post). And regardless of the form of attention, my self-esteem is on the front line.
There are some who report anger (i.e., new attention from people makes people think the others are shallow or if the new attention isn’t supportive in the way they hope), fear, anxiety, disappointed, etc. It can even make people self-aborbed. (hmm for the first, check for the additional elements!).
Unfortunately, most of the advice out there is of the form, “The only way out is through”, and while I agree with the sentiment, it doesn’t do much to help me through the mental side of managing my emotions. The blog helps of course, as does trying to avoid comparisons, working on my self-confidence in other areas, and celebrating my achievements as I go. They also recommend setting aside time for self-reflection but I think I have that one already covered. 🙂
However, I think most importantly for me, I just have to be aware that my emotions are heightened and reactions like I’m having today are not uncommon. I just have to be ready for them. And buckle myself in for the ride.