Saturday, May 9, 2015

Stormy Week

This has been a rough week. Last weekend I came down with a bad cold. I stayed home from church on Sunday and work on Monday. On Thursday, the guy I started dating (who currently lives out of state) told me that he wasn't going to be able to visit me this weekend as planned. It's been three weeks since we last saw each other and I was very disappointed.

I started feeling lousy on Saturday. A little lethargic and extra sweaty on my walk to an appointment about a half-mile from my apartment. I thought perhaps it was the heat making me feel "off" since the temperature had jumped up significantly that week. But by that evening I was dragging, sneezy, and generally feeling lousy. And Sunday I was clearly sick. I stayed in bed, or on the couch, all day and spent most of the day napping. I called in sick that afternoon and spent Monday doing the same.

Still feeling lousy Monday afternoon, I emailed my boss to let her know I needed another day of rest. With three teachers planning to be out later that week, we were short on sub availability for the week. The principal asked me to contact her the next morning by 6:30 to find out if she was able to secure a sub and to see how I was feeling.

The next morning at 6:20 am I was still feeling yucky, but when I called the principal she made it clear that finding a sub was very difficult and inconvenient. Out of guilt, I gave up my need for self-care and went to work. I dragged through the day and after lunch put on a movie for the afternoon. I was there in body but not in spirit. After work I took a 2-1/2 hour nap and then went to bed early.

Wednesday, I was feeling physically better, but not back to 100% restored health yet. My guy, who had been great earlier in the week with supportive comments and desires to be there to care for me while I was not feeling well, started having things at work fall apart. Clients and staff not happy and he was extra-busy putting out fires. He was going to end up working late and wouldn't be able to talk on the phone that night as we have been doing regularly. At least we had our visit this weekend to look forward to.

But things really went south for him at work on Thursday and he sent me a message saying he wasn't going to be able to make it out this weekend. He was going to have to go visit a client over the weekend and try to do damage control. My heart dropped when I read that message and I tried to hold it together until my lunch break. It was not easy.

I knew that these words on my
page-a-day calendar would
be needed again.
At lunch I tried to call him to talk, but it went to his voicemail; he was busy leading his team. Life was feeling pretty stormy and rough. Mid-afternoon I was teaching religion to my students; we were on the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. As I read the story to the kids and the suggested teaching notes from the teacher book I started getting choked up. The words pierced my heart and reminded me that I was focusing on the storm, rather than the Creator. I felt comforted by the reminder that God will give us peace in the midst of the storms of life. I sent my boyfriend a quick email about the story to comfort him, too.

That night, we finally had the chance to talk on the phone, and pray together as has become our habit. It is such a blessing to be able to pray with someone you love. We can lift up each other's cares to the Lord. That night, his prayers for me and for our relationship brought tears to my eyes. I have never felt so honored and loved by a man before. I told him so and how much I appreciated that. It was a very special moment for us. We were both still disappointed at not being able to spend the weekend together, but encouraged by our time talking on the phone and praying together. Prayer is such a blessing.

Friday, I was back to full health, but still feeling blue about my guy not being able to come. When I received a bouquet of flowers and box of brownies and cookies from a student, I devoured two sweets right away that morning, and two more that afternoon. I was eating my feelings...maybe I wasn't in full health after all- my emotional health was not good.

In an effort to undo damage from my poor eating that day, and to earn back some calories so I could enjoy the dinner celebration that night, I hit the gym right after work and pushed myself extra hard on the elliptical machine. The exercise helped clear my mind, but my stomach was upset from all the sweets that day and no amount of exercise was going to help that. The damage had already been done.

I had started the week doing the best I could while I was sick. I had bought several cans of soup the week before, which were easy to fix while I was feeling less than energetic. And when I needed a few more things, a wonderful friend picked them up at the store for me on Tuesday morning. But Thursday and Friday, I started hitting the emotional eating hard. Lots of sweets on Friday.

Not only did I feel emotionally lousy on Friday, I made myself feel physically lousy by my eating. I paid for it that night. I was so bloated and my stomach so upset. I slept very poorly Friday night. Between the worries about not hearing from my guy because of his busy-ness and my upset stomach from poor eating, I tossed and turned all night until my stomach settled down late on Saturday morning.

Finally feeling physically better, I got up and headed to the fitness center late on Saturday morning. I exercised, but my mood is not improved. I still have not heard from my guy and I'm feeling disheartened and extremely disappointed. I had looked forward to seeing him for weeks. We had made plans for our time together. Now it is all postponed and I don't know when we'll see each other again.

But after yesterdays tummy troubles from poor eating, I listened to my body and I am determined to NOT eat my feelings this weekend. I'm taking care of myself by eating well and allowing myself to feel these feelings, no matter how uncomfortable they are. After all, they are just feelings and they will pass.

This, too, shall pass....

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