Mind over Matter?


When my husband left I cried pretty much all the time.  I was deep in depression and felt like a failure.  I thought my life as I knew it was over and it was.  I didn’t know how to pick up the pieces of my life because I didn’t even who I was apart from him or us.  I lost about 15 pounds and was miserable on the outside and the inside.  I felt like I had been rejected for everything I was which couldn’t be good enough, worthy, desirable, or otherwise attractive.

This time I know I am worth it.  I know I have lots to give.  This time I am not blaming myself for everything that happened.  I’m not turning inwards and second guessing my every move.  I know in time I will be okay and better for the break up.  I admit sometimes I hold out hope he will get his act together and surprise me years from now and maybe there is a 1/2% chance.  But mostly I am resigned that it is over.  And I’m also resigned to being brave about it.  No puddles this time.  No pity parties that last weeks…only hours if not minutes.

This time I have lost the, for some reason, required 15 break-up pounds as well.  But things feel different.  In my effort to rise above the pain while looking at it square in the face I have seen changes in me that are either healthy or alarming. I am honestly trying to strike a balance between the amount of food I consume and the amount of exercise I perform.  I don’t work out every day.  Depending on my week it’s about 3-5 times.  I run about 3 miles and sometimes do other workouts like yoga or bleacher climbs.  But I don’t think anyone would call it obsessive.

The problem is I’m going on month four and my appetite has not returned.  And I find myself holding off eating on purpose because I like feeling hungry.  When I eat, I don’t like the feeling of being full.  I do love the taste of food and enjoy eating.  It’s just afterwards I regret it.  I’m also enjoying being the skinniest I’ve been since I got married.  At 21 I was 98 lbs.  I was a rail.  And I loved being something many people couldn’t be.  Tiny.  Now at 42 I’m pushing double digits again as I hover this week around 105 lbs.  And I’ve started to keep track of my calories using a phone app. to see if I’m eating enough to maintain my weight, lose, or gain some back.  I wouldn’t call it an obsession but I do have keen interest.

I’ve never really cared before.

This time instead of my bad dreams stopping (recall that my tornado dreams stopped after 15 recurring years) after the break up with my ex, dreams and not good ones have returned with a vengeance.   I have several dreams a night that  aren’t necessarily horror films in my mind but unsettling nonetheless.  Often times I forget them quickly but I’m always waking up to them and trying to work them out in my brain.  Sometimes they scare me.  Every night I go to sleep hoping for a peaceful sleep but every night despite taking my sleeping pill which I’m now down to taking only 1/3 of a pill.  I wake several times a night sometimes as many as 5 times.  I check my phone like I have done for the past two years even though I know nothing new will be there.  I just do it on impulse even before I’m fully awake and then get mad at myself.

When my ex left I simply couldn’t sleep at all and until I got my sleeping pill prescription, had difficulty getting through my day without feeling so tired I was almost dysfunctional.  So I guess I have my 15 pills left to be thankful for which if I play it right will give me over a month of continued sleep at a descent hour.

I know every break up is different, or so I’m told.  I know I’ve been through a lot in the last four years.  I know I shouldn’t be too hard on myself and I’ve shown a lot of courage, growth, and am mostly being a good example to my children and those who know me.  But I can’t help but think I’m just fooling myself.

The courage is a mask for what I acknowledged the first time.  Utter weakness in the face of loss.  This time I’m pretending to be strong.  Mind over matter.  As much as I talk about surrendering to this new fate and trusting God I’m grasping for some ounce of control in my life and I’ve settled on controlling the food that enters my body.  Classic.  Stupid.  I can even analyze myself doing it.  So last night I went to In N Out Burger.  I do not want to come out of this crisis tweaked.  I obviously don’t want to be fat or unhealthy either, but yesterday was the first day I made my calorie limit in weeks.

The courage I walk in during the day disappears at night as my mind wrestles with my fears of every kind.  I’ve had dreams about money, love, family, health, housing, abandonment, personal attacks, you name it.  One common denominator in these dreams are that I am usually alone.  A common denominator in my tornado dreams was that I was always with people and trying to help them.  Interesting.

Mentally I know what I am doing is the right thing to do.  My heart screams to go running back into his arms.  Even now.  Even when I know it is a stupid move.  Knowing I don’t want to have to deal with his antics for the rest of my life.  If only for the smile, laugh, hug, and that settled feeling I felt when I was with him…my heart longs for it.

I think I’m in a tug of war with myself subconsciously.  I know God wants me to be alone right now.  I don’t know for how long.  In actions I am being obedient.  Mostly.  But I know right now I have to get to that place internally where I am at peace with my aloneness.  It’s the one thing I’ve avoided doing ever since my ex left.  Being truly alone and content there.

I’ve often heard and said that you can’t go around a problem  you have to go through it.  And the only way out of something is to deal with it.  Aloneness is the one thing I have not dealt with.

H.S. Guy texted me last Wednesday telling me his life was too hectic right now to talk and he hoped I was good.  I took right now to mean that night.  But after 8 days with no word and two unreplied texts from me I’m thinking right now meant in the foreseeable future.  Ohhh.  So no upcoming dates.  No more hikes, or yoga, or dinners out.  Ok.  I can do that.  Bummer.  But ok.

Martin and my conversation the other night showed me how much work is left for Martin to do on his own.  He is still in that place of wanting, longing, and I can tell he would still tell me anything just to get more time with me.  In our short conversation I got the feeling he wasn’t being completely honest with me about where he was living now.  Could be that I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him.  But that is kind of the point. I can’t trust him so I can’t entertain the notion of any kind of a relationship with him friendship or otherwise.  So…

There are several other men who have expressed an interest in spending time with me.  And for many different reasons I know that is not what I want.  So…

SO.  God is telling me I have to face aloneness finally.  OK.  Somehow I will.  I just want to stop losing weight.  I want the bad dreams to stop.  And I want this courage I seem to have these days to be more than a shield I use to deflect bad thoughts and feelings.  I want it to be what I really am.

Matter is what is real for now.  I’m seriously sad and wish things were different.  Mind is ruling over matter trying to control things but under the surface doing a less than adequate job.

One day and night at a time.  Ok.  I get it.  Lord, I pray, stay close.  I know You will.  But I have to ask.

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