I started today's session by talking about a couple of disability insurance appeals I'm working on. In both cases, the chances of success are slim to none. I've read the medical records. I have a Crohn's patient in remission worrying about what if, and a chronic pain/fibromyalgia patient who has a lousy rheumatologist who hasn't documented any trigger points, and who is not accepting any standard treatments, choosing instead accupuncture, herbal meds -- things insurance companies think are basically worthless.
The fibromyalgia patient has my attention today. She's 29 years old. She shouldn't give up. She can't give up.
I can't give up.
And so I go down the road of talking about how driven I am, how I would push myself through any health crisis, as I have done, working full-time even when truly deathly ill. I always had the feeling that, if I stopped, that would be it. It would all be over. Stopping for me means giving up. And giving up is not an option.
And so I close my eyes in search of an explanation for why I drive myself so hard. (For an explanation of guided imagery, see Weight Part 5, below).
The little girl wants nothing to do with this conversation. She used to be in motion all the time. My clearest recollection is of her building a brick wall. She was doing it to keep her family intact. She worked so hard, and it was all out of fear. Her mother would die without her. Her father would fall apart. She could not stop. Stopping meant death to her. She had to keep her parents alive because she needed them in order to stay alive herself. Once I convinced her that I would take care of her, she no longer had to be afraid.
The teenager isn't really up for this conversation, either. She wore her intensity as anger. She was angry that she had to do all this work. She wanted to be taken care of. Once I convinced her that I would take care of her, she was able to let go of her anger.
And so I took on the driven-ness that propels me through life. Instead of fear and anger, the adult me has an insane level of intensity. I can't take time off. I can't work an 8 hour day. I can't let up for a minute. I have to push and push, no matter what. It's not just work. I have to go to the grocery store every Monday and Thursday morning. I have to cook my current diet on Saturday morning. I have to make sure all my meds are refilled at the same time of the month so I only have to go to the drugstore once. I have to return every call I get the day I get it. I have such rules for myself, such discipline. It's not healthy. It makes me exhausted. I work so hard at life.
In every area except one: Food. Food is where I let go. I do not push myself on my weight.
The driven-ness is the reason I can't be happy.
My spirit guide chants a mantra: Balance. Balance. Balance.
"I want you to take those words and plant them, Jenni." I'm so afraid I will lose them. Indeed, I feel like I already have. The driven-ness is the reason I can't be happy.
"Now, water them. Feed them."
Amazingly, the blueberry jam girl feeds those words for me. She usually doesn't stop eating, doesn't engage in the conversation. It's usually not entirely clear that she's even listening. But today, she fed those words for me. The driven-ness is the reason I can't be happy.
It took all of my will-power not to stop on the way home for junk food. But I made it. Jennifer
Note: Ellen is going on vacation, so we are taking a brief hiatus. I will try to check in with my self in the meantime. But if I don't post another Weight entry for a couple/few weeks, don't worry. I'll be back.