Sunday, May 12, 2013

on mothers day

I haven't felt much like writing these last few days, which means I've probably needed to more than ever.  I'm not perfect.  Not even close.  They've been up and down kind of days for the most part.  Today is Mother's Day and on the whole it has been a good day.  It is also my youngest's 5th birthday.  How the time has flown.  It has been good to have the day be about him as well because it takes my mind off missing my own mother or my own needs of feeling particularly valued and special.  People, do you know how much women need written words of praise and compliment to refer to?  Do men need the same thing?  I don't know.  But I don't know a woman who doesn't battle with comparing herself to others, measuring herself up- even against herself and her own ideals, issues of self-image and those put out by the media.  We need something to refer to when we are feeling bogged down.

Anyway, so it has been a good day.  I have to say that I have eaten very mindlessly because I told myself I just wasn't going to worry about today.  Know what?  I don't feel good.  It isn't a guilt thing at all.  It is that I don't make good food choices when I eat mindlessly and my body and brain suffer as a result.  I am sluggish and tired and just feel kind of 'bleh' even though it's been a good day.  So I find myself looking forward to tomorrow and starting a new week fresh, and eating lots of fresh and healthy foods.  I am kind of dreading weighing in in the morning after the day I've had, but what's done is done.

I had an incident on Friday that I want to record.  I was very angry with my husband and struggling with a lot of triggering feelings.  He did something that was reminiscent of some of his 'telltale' behaviors and that coupled with the general triggering of this weekend (due to some past Mother's Day experiences as well as the fact that just plain missing my mom is a trigger), I was feeling myself spiral.  I am happy to say that I did not binge, and in fact I ate all good foods....though it was hard.  I did find that I went a lot of the day without eating at all, which is also not a healthy reaction.  I was okay in the end though.  It was supposed to be my exercise 'rest day' so I had not worked out.  I think that made a difference as well.  By the end of the day I was just struggling so much that I decided I needed to simply get out and go for a ride.  I initially wanted to tackle 'the hill' because I felt angry enough that I determined I would make it to the top and that was certain to make me feel better.  However, the sun was setting and it turns out the road isn't exactly lit.  I determined that no matter how upset I was I still wanted to see my own children for Mother's Day, so I felt it best to play it safe.  First of all, just putting on my workout clothes made me feel empowered.  I was amazed at how differently I felt just making that step.  I don't know if it was how the clothes felt on me or if it was the fact that I was taking a step to regain control of a situation I felt I had none.  So I went for a bike ride, in the windy night, and rode until my head cleared.  I went a route I'd never taken before and I rode overpasses that have always made me nervous....not just for the size of their hills but also for the fact that I have a thing about bridges.  There is this thing about biking uphill that just feels so much like life.  You have to keep moving at even the slowest but most steady pace or you will lose your balance and stop.  You might feel like you are going so slow and making even no progress, but if you set your sight on a goal even just the slightest bit ahead you will see that you make it.  You do it little by slow little.  The long hills that you don't even recognize as being hills are the worst that way.  The bigger, but shorter, hill was much easier.  I was surprised at how very quickly I was able to power up it.  In the end I biked for about 11 miles and it really did feel good.  I was glad to have made a healthy, empowering, choice rather than a bad one.

My mom and I at our last Christmas together.  She passed away suddenly 7 months later.  Guess I do look kinda like her. :)
Happy Mothers Day to all you women out there.  I know from my time attending support groups that it can be a pretty difficult day for women whose spouses are addicts.  They are in relationships where their spouse has become desensitized to their intimate needs.  I mean on a very emotional level.  They do not feel loved and cared for in a deep way.  If they know of a husband's problem with pornography then today can serve as a reminder of his disrespect of women, and of their sacred and special relationship.  That can be very hard.  They do not feel they are the most important woman in their world.  Even if their children adore them and shower them with love, it is inadequate if it does not also come from the person to whom they choose to commit to living their life with.  For those who are no longer in the relationship, today can serve as a hard reminder of not having someone there to make the day special.  I want you to know I think of you today too.  You may be a mother but, particularly if you are a mother to younger children, you may not have someone there to lead in making the day any different than the rest and making you feel important.  You are important.  Women who are struggling to repair broken relationships and trust need extra love and attention on this day.  It needs to be a bigger deal than it might under normal circumstances.  It becomes an opportunity for the other person to show some forethought, to show that they think about them in times other than the last minute when the pressure is on, to show them that they matter and that they are important and that they are grateful to have them still in their life.  I don't mean to put undue pressure on a holiday.  I just say this because it has been not just my personal experience, but what I heard repeatedly from other women independently in recovery group settings.  We are often (or I hope we are) aware of the women who have a hard time with Mother's Day: those who are unwed, who struggle with infertility, who have lost their own mother's.  There is another, often very silent, group who struggles as well and I want you to know that I know you and I understand and it will get better.

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