I was having a bad day the other day. Feeling scared, depressed, and lonely…and then I got into an argument with my husband. So, I bundled up in my long down-filled coat and headed down to the conservation area. I walked fast and hard with tears streaming down my face, letting the cold air bite my skin. I could not seem to stop crying. There are days when it feels like we are all alone; as if no one cares about us; as if no one loves us; as if no one understands us!
I sat by the pond for awhile watching some mallards paddling around. The sky all around me was robin egg blue. The sun was shining. The trees, bare and grey, contrasted sharply against the bright sky. The field was gold with dead grass. It was a beautiful day! I found myself thinking that I would like to climb into the woods and find a place to hide out for a few days; a place to sleep in the woods; a place no one could find me. And then it happened; I broke out laughing. I found myself thinking, “Oh my God, I am becoming the character in Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Edible Woman; the character who finds herself hiding behind the couch staring at dust bunnies; the character who starts to believe that her food is alive and breathing on her plate; the character who can no longer eat anything until she makes the decision that is needed.”
I laughed but found myself thinking that while that character could not eat, I can not seem to stop eating. I eat when I am scared. I eat when I am frustrated. I eat when I am angry, bored, restless, anxious, depressed. It is like I have been swallowing my feelings for years. All of them. Trying to keep them down; trying to keep them at bay. What am I so afraid of? I think I am afraid that I am unloveable and unlikeable. I think that I have worked hard all of my life to earn love that was never given freely to me. It feels like I had to become a good student, a good worker, a good writer, a good activist to prove that I was worthy. Worthy of attention, caring, respect, liking, loving… And now, that that has been taken away from me, I feel like I am nothing.
So, there it is…out in the open. The deep dark demon that has been lurking in the recesses of my mind; driving me to work hard; driving me to keep busy; driving me to eat. So, now that my deepest, darkest feeling is out in the open … can I get out from behind the couch??