For years I perfected the art of building walls around myself. To keep people out. To keep myself safe. Because if you let people see the real you and they don't like it...........then what? Then you have to deal with the realization that maybe there are things about yourself that are unlovable. Or worse yet, you could get emotionally hurt. That's what happens in relationships. Hearts break. Feelings get hurt. It can be messy.
So I built my wall. And my weight was a physical barrier between myself and others. A way to keep people at arms length. And if someone did break through the wall (and a few have), they become my friend for life. I am one of the most loyal people you will ever know (my true friends can testify to this).
But occassionally, people leave. Because I let them down. Or they let me down. It happens. It has happened. It will happen again.
I don't deal well with this. Rejection. It rocks me to my core.
And so I seldom (if ever) let someone back in once they have broken my confidence. Sad, but true. I can forgive, but somewhere in the back of my mind the situation will be on a continuous loop. Replaying again and again, as a reminder to keep my guard up. Keep that wall in place.
I come from a long line of deny-ers. My nana was the master. She taught my mom. Who in turn passed the skill on to me. So, if someone really hurts me. Or a situation is too much for me to deal with, I put it in a little box. And wrap it up with a pretty bow. And set it somewhere on a shelf. Where I convienantly forget about it. Until, I have to deal with it (if I ever do).
And here lies the problem.
Because these uncomfortable feelings eat me up. And in the past, I ATE and used food as a crutch to deal with things.
At the beginning of my journey, I remember being so upset one night that I stood in front of the fridge with the door open wanting desperately to eat something. Wanting to build that wall of weight back up around myself so I would feel safe.
But, I didn't eat. That night, or the next time, or the next time. And so, I have broken the habit of eating to escape my feelings.
The problem is, until recently I still put my feelings in a little box and denied them.
Last week, I HAD to deal with the resurface of feelings from years ago. And all of a sudden, I didn't know what to do. I am not a crier. And yet, I sat bawling as each feeling came up. Because now, I don't have my weight to shield myself from the pain. And so, the pain is real.
This is the emotional part of the weight loss journey. And, it ain't pretty. But, it sure is necessary.
Until we deal with all the emotions and feelings that tie us to food, we can not break the cycle. It will just resurface again and again.
I am a work in progress. I will always be a work in progress. Especially when it comes to my emotions.
But, at least now I am progressing.
Refusing to build up a barrier to keep my feelings and others out.
I haven't mastered it yet, but I am trying.
Surely, that is half the battle.