The Reasons Why

The water in the pool was 86 degrees tonight.  Thank goodness, because I really needed a relaxing swim.  Actually, it wound up being more of a “slalom swim,” since for some reason, the concept that “three or more people in a lane must swim in a counterclockwise direction” is far too difficult for most of these people to grasp… but  I’ll take whatever few minutes of mental peace I can get.

About Thursday night… I’ve just been freaking out in general here without really being very specific. Maybe if I outline why it’s making me so anxious, I will be able to manage it a bit better. So… here goes nothing.

Cammy put it best: What is stressing you the most: the menu, the fact that other people might be paying attention to what you eat, the timing, or something else? Or just a general anxiety over breaking your usual?

In short, the answer would probably be “all of the above”!

  • The menu does make me anxious, because I have no way of knowing exactly how anything is made or what’s in it, and obviously I don’t know the calorie content of it… I usually have at least a general idea. I’m completely lost at sea here.
  • Being able to go over the menu prior to arriving at the restaurant should be a positive thing for me, and I guess in some ways it is. But it also presents me with choices. I don’t do well with those. In some ways, it’s simpler for me to just go to a steakhouse, because there’s very little I would actually eat there! Too many “potentials” make me panic.
  • I love my family. I do. But I don’t feel like I belong there… it’s like, some people are quiet / shy with strangers, but I’m like that all the time. Yes, it’s a lot worse with someone I don’t know, but I feel awkward and socially retarded even when I’m with family. It’s so laborious for me to plod through social occasions, especially when I feel like nobody really knows or cares whether or not I’m there.
  • When we all go out like this, especially if my mom is footing the bill, some of us tend to go crazy. I’m pretty sure nobody else pays any attention to this — they just get whatever they feel like — but it is agonizing to me to be “singled out,” either because I order more or because I order less than everyone else. It does feel like I’m going to be under scrutiny, and no matter what I do, someone will have some sort of comment. (Have I mentioned that my family can be very loud and opinionated?!) And I don’t know why — probably because everyone is “assigned spouses” — but I always end up right next to my mom. Always.
  • But even more than all of that, what makes me most anxious of all is the timing of it. My mom is making a reservation for 8.30. It would be the understatement of the century to say that my family operates on “Jewish time,” which means it will be at least 9.00 before we’ve even assembled. 8.30 is already quite a bit past a time at which I am comfortable eating.

All of that is exacerbated because even if they do have good intentions, my family does not know how to be supportive. Honestly, I feel like I’m wrong to even complain about that, because I don’t exactly know what I mean when I say “supportive.” However, I’m pretty sure it’s not blowing up at me because I’m super-anxious about something normal people would take in stride. Clearly, I am not normal; you would think this would be obvious by now.

I actually mentioned some of this in passing to one of my sisters today (the only one of my siblings with whom I ever really talk about this at all), and I appreciate that she tried to understand me, but she can’t really get it. She told me that instead of bottling it all up, I should say something when I feel anxious. I reminded her of the last time I did that — a couple of years ago, we had a reservation that got screwed up, and we wouldn’t have been able to get a table until something like 10.00. I was hyperventilating. She said, “Yes, well, you were kind of freaking out that time.” My point exactly… I just got yelled at, which only served to make me even more anxious, and I’m still getting harassed about it. My mom can have the memory of an elephant when she wants to.

My sister also told me to “psych myself up” for it, so that I’m excited about it instead of dreading it.  I think what I am doing probably qualifies as “psyching myself out.”  Knowing what is coming doesn’t lessen the anxiety; I should be better able to handle it, because I am expecting it, but it is much easier in theory than in execution.  I turn into a ticking time bomb.

I guess there’s always Klonopin.  But then I still won’t be learning to deal with stressful situations.  And I’ll probably fall asleep at the table, which actually might not be such a bad idea…

This shouldn’t be such a big freaking deal.  I hate that it is, but I can’t seem to stop it.

Unsweetened Almond Dream… I actually liked this. Almond Breeze makes me gag, even if it’s diluted. (Because I am a disordered freak who is known to dilute things like that.) But I didn’t dilute this at all, and it didn’t make the cereal taste nasty! Speaking of cereal: Chocolate Cheerios!

Way better than the Banana Nut Cheerios. I’ve gone through “cereal stages” in my life (that’s another post in itself), and based on my previous experiences, I was expecting this to be overly sweet. Much to my delight, it wasn’t at all; there was a subtle sweetness that went quite well with the cocoa flavor. I’m guessing it was the cocoa that lent a brown tinge to the almond milk; I hope so, because I’m not crazy about cereals that turn milk colors. (Froot Loops, anyone?!)

Romaine, microwaved zucchini and baby carrots, tofu, roasted rutabaga. I was supposedly meeting my friend for lunch today, but honestly… if we’re always going to do everything on the fly like this, maybe we should just call it off altogether. It’s starting to really get on my nerves. (No, we didn’t meet.  Supposedly tomorrow.  Key word being “supposedly.”)

Since “Impatient” is my middle name…

…I had to try out the Barney Butter!  I like nut butters better when they’re kind of melty, so I can’t really just eat it off the spoon.  I put it on a rice cake and nuked it for fifteen seconds.

I think I liked it!  It’s definitely different than peanut butter, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Despite the most-unwelcome sugar, I thought it didn’t taste as sweet as peanut butter.  I didn’t hate it, though, which was exciting.

Check out this birthday card I bought for my dad… I wasn’t intending on buying such an expensive card, but, well, it was too perfect for me to pass up!  Remember how I said it bugs me when he and my mom fall asleep on the sofas on Friday night, because I can’t read when people are snoring?  Well, my dad falls asleep in the recliner practically every night.  We call it his second bed.  Either way:

It’s one of those sound cards — when you open it up, it starts to snore.  I loved it.

I did not love my Mr. J Moment — seems like every day has at least one of them.  I don’t remember why we were even discussing this, but for some reason I said to him that I am not picky.  (Well, except for in food situations, but he doesn’t need to know that!)  His response?  “Oh, so you must have been married a few times already!”

This is just his weird sense of humor at work, but it pisses me off.  He thinks that the only reason why I am not married is because I am “too picky.”  Yes, around here, to be my age and — gasp!! — still single is just… weird.  I told him that I am not one of those people who believes that marriage is the be-all and end-all of one’s existence.  Which, naturally, he totally doesn’t get.  Whatever.

There’s been a headache knocking behind my right eyebrow all day, and I think I’m finally going to answer it and go to bed.  I start classes tomorrow … and I got the full syllabus from one of the professors, and I can already see that this is going to be one fun semester.  (Yes, I am being sarcastic.  In a major, major way.)

You deserve massive props if you actually made it through this entire epic post… have a happy Hump Day!


15 responses to “The Reasons Why

  1. I just had some Cheerios tonight actually… the good old fashioned kind! lol I didn’t even know they made chocolate!

    I understand your anxiety when it comes to restaurants… I especially hate steak houses, because like you, there is almost nothing I can eat there!

  2. oh man. mr. j needs to get with the program. seriously. YAYYAYA I HAD tofu as well today—-twice!

    and sorry about your fears about eating. i deal with that all the time when my dad comes home. now they just forget to add me to come along, so i just eat by myself at home…not like i mind?

    CHOCOLATE CHEERIOSSSSS sound delicious. i like me some chocolate.

  3. barney butter will grow on you!! LOVE The chocolate cheerios!!
    girl, so sorry about your eating fears..i will tell you to not analyze it! pray for peacefulness..and try not to think about it! think about how many people go out to eat all the time! i know its tough, but keep your mind busy!

  4. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce

    sorry you have a headache, all the stress over thursday night prob doesn’t help! i think it was a good idea to dissect what exactly was contributing to your anxiety, instead of trying to wrap your brain around an abstract clusterf*ck of anxiety/panic. i too have had MANY cereal phases in life, i think an entire post about that would be justified 😉

  5. anxiety is definatly hard at restruants.. 😦 Bleh.


  6. Love the card! I also find myself buying fun, expensive cards for more special people 🙂 Anxiety is all encompassing at restaurants–especially with the change in eating structure and your comfort zone. Question….do you have to eat dinner there? I mean, can you eat dinner when you normally would and maybe have some sort of snack/appetizer there?

    Good luck with the headaches! Excedrin Tension headache has been my lifesaver lately!

  7. I really want to try those chocolate cheerios! I’ve been looking for them everywhere!

    So proud of you for trying the BB!

  8. Ack that does sound like a potentially stressful evening. I think I would probably go with the anxiety meds! I had to laugh at the comment about psyching yourself out rather than up – ohhh yes, I do that too. I think I have got a better handle on it these days but still sometimes I can’t get my brain to shut up. Usually then I just sort of imagine myself stepping out of the thoughts and wandering off to look at something else. Apparently being a very weird person helps in recovery 😛
    My family are the same as yours too, well intentioned but rather clueless. I hope you manage to avoid being shouted at, it’s not your fault that this is all so scary. Good luck!

  9. I just noticed those choco Cheerios at the store yesterday, glad to hear a good review of them! Chocolate cereals can be hit-or-miss, some have too much air in them for me.

    I used to be hugely anxious about eating anytime after 5:30, it was a big deal for me. Since I’ve been in college, my schedule has changed dramatically and now I almost never eat dinner before 8, and this started before my recovery. And pushing back mealtimes did not change my weight one bit. There is conflicting research and reporting about this, but in general your body really won’t store more if you eat it later. I know there can be some discomfort in going to be on a full stomach like that, but maybe treat it like an exposure challenge? It really won’t have an effect on your body this one night and might be a good way for you to break a taboo for yourself.

    My family and friends usually fall into the well-intentioned yet clueless category as well. Just remember that you are probably overestimating how much attention they will pay to your meal. I don’t know the people involved so I can’t say for sure, but this has been my experience in the past. Is there any way you can finagle a different seat instead of being tied to your mom, if that is going to make you uncomfortable?

    What did your nutritionist have to say about the menu options?

    Good luck, let us know how it goes, and I hope classes get off to a good start!

  10. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth)

    great card- haha! & sorry about that annoying comment- ugh

    as far as the dinner plans go, i know how you feel but i think you should do everything in your ability to enjoy yourself. remember, one unplanned meal will not do ANYTHING to you- you wont gain weight from it and you won’t be ‘unhealthy’ just bc therea re uknown oils, etc. try to embrace it!


  11. I would be stressed in that situation too. I had to deal with eating with family all weekend. It was mostly okay, but I got a lot of comments on what I was or was not eating, or how much. I hope the dinner goes okay!

    LOL! I think that card would be perfect for a few people I know!

  12. You can handle tomorrow. You can!

    That card is pretty cool. When my dad had his bike injury, Ari and I made my dad quite the naughty card. It involved a tootsie roll…

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