Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weight Part 13

I've been feeling unsettled, uncomfortable, like last week's session didn't quite hit the nail on the head. I feel better physically and a little less stressed this week -- I got some good rest this week-end and that clearly helps me cope with the stresses of daily life. But still, something's just off.

Ellen thought I was trying to avoid talking about my weight and the fact that I'm not losing any. No, I don't think that's it, or not quite.

I feel trapped. I keep thinking of how well I did in Miami, swimming an hour a day, losing weight, getting tan and fit -- and I keep thinking: How can I do this now? If I swim an hour instead of a half hour, then I start my day later, then I don't have the time in the morning before the phones start ringing and people start showing up to ease into the day at my own pace. Everything feels like that -- like I have no wiggle room. I answer every email in the day I get it, every phone call the day it comes in. I don't stop working at night until everything I have to do is done. I start every day with nothing to do until I get medical records or a release or whatever else I'm waiting for from clients and doctors. I am afraid, if I let things pile up, everything will become overwhelming and out of control.

I know this feeling. I've felt it before. This is very old. This fear of letting things get even mildly out of control, of things piling up.

I'm driving myself so hard. It started when I started practicing law. I had to get there earlier than anybody else; leave later than anybody else; get more done in a day than anybody else. Not because I was better than anybody else, but because I wanted the approval of the man (yes, man) I was doing it for.

And so it snaps -- this is me taking care of my mother for my father, wanting to be my father's ally, his team-mate. I kept things running at home for him so everything would look okay to the outside world. So when I went to work for a male attorney, I did the same thing for him. And then the Attorney General, and I did the same for him. And since then, I have completely lost track of why I was doing any of this. I've just been driving myself into the ground. And eating for a whole rash of reasons, not the least of which was that I am so incredibly tired that the urge is to eat for energy.

My life has become about everybody but me. I care for thousands of people a year. I spare no cost. I get up at 4:30 am to read all the newspapers before I go swim so that YOU will have a blog post summarizing the morning's health-related news first thing, and the same on Facebook. I swim at 6 am, am finished, showered and dressed by 7:15 or so, and then I have breakfast and get to work. I work until there is nothing left to do. I even make sure Facebook's quiet before I log off at the end of the day. I'm nuts. I've driven myself nuts. This has to stop.

I feel so trapped. I have no idea how to practice law any other way. And so I feel trapped. If you've been reading my posts, you know I'm already making myself nuts about funding for next year. While it's good to look ahead, there's no reason to assume that there will be no new funding next year. Indeed, the more people know us, the more likely we are to get funded. So maybe I won't be able to hire Nicole full-time. So either she'll stay part-time or I'll hire and train someone else to work part-time. It can be done. The world won't fall apart. And if I swam a half-hour later and started my day a half-hour later, who's really going to complain? Indeed, if I had to allow the veneer of perfection to be broken and had to not be my Jewish-American version of Mother Teresa, what would happen? Really?

People like me don't change easily or quickly. I need to tap into some of the rebellious teen-ager in me. It's almost like I'm too well-behaved. I need to let myself do something really radical like swim an extra 15 minutes and see what happens.

I know I have to do something. Because I don't want to live like this. I want to be healthier. I want to enjoy my work and my time off. I don't want to feel trapped, like I have no choices. I have to give it a try. Somehow. Jennifer

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