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Denial is so not my friend!

 Just yesterday morning I was thinking about the fact that my biggest problem has been the denial of having a problem. I've skirted issues, squinted carefully and so very fearfully at problems but my real expertise has been in burying my head in the sand. Its hard to look directly at the fact that my life is different from the way I imagined it going; and even harder to accept that its not going to go seamlessly back on track. Overweight, single, middle aged - there are no instant magical solutions to any of these. But denying that there are things that bother me about my life and that i would like to change is not helping. While I wait for God to correct this mistake (I'm a good person surely you can't leave me like this - if I can just change my attitude, have more faith, everything will miraculously go back to being the way it should!), well while I wait I'm neither changing anything nor accepting my life as it is. So I guess its time to commit to step number one - Accept reality. I am an ordinary person - not magical, not the superior specimen I think I am. If change has to happen it can't happen because a mistake was made and is corrected automatically or because I am 'worth' the instant miracle. Actually its pretty liberating to be ordinary - my life doesn't have to be lived in fear of future public scrutiny nor do I have to live up to external or internal expectations.

Anyway, a few moments after sorting these new thoughts out in my head, I picked up Tim Harford's new book 'Adapt" and it talked about a common human failing - the ability to deny losses and then make things worse by chasing after them instead of making peace with them. Apparently he's met me. Alternatively, I'm not alone - yeah! 

According to Tim - " Acknowledging the loss and recalculating one's strategy would be the right thing to do, but this is too painful. Instead, the player makes crazy bets to rectify what he unconsciously believes is a temporary situation." (Hello me!) Also, quite a lot later he says " While denial is the process of refusing to acknowledge a mistake, and loss chasing is the process of causing more damage while trying to hastily erase that mistake, hedonic editing is a subtler process of convincing ourselves that the mistake doesn't matter ... that everything worked out for the best." Smart man, Tim.

I have always had a tendency towards putting on weight in response to stress. It doesn't matter so much how much I actually eat, stress puts on pounds - and pounds. In times of crisis, grit and sheer stubbornness helped, but when the peak reality of life changing crisis points turned into a low of a life I didn't want, the very resistance to that life caused me to put on weight. Eventually of course the chasing of losses in the belief that they are temporary meant piling up of the weight virtually unchecked (I'm not really fat - this is temporary!) and a brand new source of stress and resistance. Opening my eyes to my life is painful but keeping them tightly closed is not helping at all. in fact its stealing away bits of precious time and giving me more of disliked life to stress about. So time to take a deep breath, take a long hard look at me and figure out a way to accept me. Self indulgent blog on the web - who am I?

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