Yes, I think too much

The Opaque Jar

with 2 comments

The past month or so has been an incredibly busy time for me. I posted previously that I was having problems mentally adjusting to all of the exposure to the outside world and changes in my life beyond the changes involved in continued weight loss. Going out and about was overwhelming. Spending money was creating anxiety. It was the next level of change and I felt as if my mind was somewhere back in my almost hermit-like existence while my body was ready and at least semi-willing to start living more “normally”.

Somewhere between infrequent posting, my mental transition made a jump, and I developed not only a sense of calm and acceptance with the increased activity of life, but a craving to push forward. Part of it was deciding to climb a mountain and actually succeeding, and part of it was simply wanting to make the most of the past holiday season and the time off. I’ve found that FaceBook coupled with a potent motivation to imprint highly meaningful memories before I leave this country coupled with a very much improved confidence level in my capacity to navigate the world physically has spurred me on. I wouldn’t say that I’ve cleared all hurdles, but I would say that a serious alteration has occurred.

The interesting thing which I have discovered about all major life changes is that there are always periods of struggle and fear which take energy and effort to cope with up until the moment they are suddenly gone. I have experienced this twice now in the past year. First, around February of 2010, I stopped obsessing about food and seemed to reach an adaptation point where it no longer became necessary to fret over when and how much I could eat. The problem  just evaporated as psychological and physiological adjustments reached a critical mass. Then, sometime in the last month, the same thing happened with a lot of my anxieties regarding going out, spending money on things which are utterly reasonable and well within my means, and generally living life in a normal fashion.

These changes psychologically are difficult not only because I had to push on everyday, but because the changes aren’t gradual. It’s like putting marbles into a huge opaque jar without any sense of how many more it will take to fill up. You spend a great deal of time and energy constantly adding them in. It’s laborious and feels like it will never end and suddenly, it’s full to the top and you had no idea how close you were. This is what these changes have been like for me. Each step and every internal dialog and mental readjustment is hard work up until the work is suddenly done and I’m free.

I don’t know if it is like this for other people or if it’s just this way for me, but I want to recognize and comment on the pattern. Knowing that this is the way it works will make it easier to be patient with future challenges when it seems like I’m getting nowhere. I have to have faith that eventually I’ll arrive unexpectedly, because I have done so in major ways twice already.


Written by yesithinktoomuch

January 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Posted in psychology

2 Responses

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  1. Excellent post…

    But I’ll have to admit, when I first saw your title, the first thing that leapt to mind was Sylvia Plath’s book “The Bell Jar”. (one of my faves in my battles w/chronic depression)

    I wish I could say I’ve reached that nirvana-like state of no longer obsessing about what I am or am not eating, but unfortunately not that far evolved yet!


    January 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    • Hi, Val! I can see how you’d see a connection, though I’m glad to say there isn’t one!

      I can’t say that this feels like “nirvana” but it does feel like “peace”. There are days when I’m hungry all day and want to eat and have to push that away (but this is almost certainly hormonal), but most days it’s just fine. At the very least, it’s just nice not to feel oppressed by it all. I’ll never forget that sense or lose my empathy for others who are still suffering as I suffered for so long. It was so hard.

      It takes a lot of mental conditioning, but I think one can get there on the “not obsessing about food” front. I think that one can get there on nearly any obsession, but it takes a lot of time. Good luck to you!


      January 5, 2011 at 2:55 am

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