Abstaining vs. Moderating, A.K.A., Why, Yes, I Did Just Feed Raisin Bran Crunch to the Birds, A.K.A. Shutting Down is Not a Good Way to Handle Hurt Feelings

What an apropos article to pop up in my inbox today: Are You an Abstainer or a Moderator?
It’s especially timely in that I ate 2 bowls of Raisin Bran Crunch each of the last 2 days.
A slip. I’m not beating myself up. But I am holding myself accountable by writing it here. I just dumped out the remainder of the box in my front yard, under my bird feeder tree.

I’ve got to learn to handle feelings without diving face first into sugar, even when it’s disguised as a reasonably healthy cereal. Even when I go for a while doing really well, if I lose touch by looking for ways to tune out of my feelings, it’s soooo easy to fall into this hole again: this hole that looks like a cereal bowl. That bowl doubles as an ice cream bowl, but it hasn’t done that lately.

Besides that, look at the nutrition grade this stuff gets.  This one site gives this cereal a D+. Each serving has 19g of sugar, which is 1/2 the recommended daily allowance. Well, honey, in that case, I’ve eaten a few days worth of sugar. It tastes like oatmeal cookies. It reminds me of oatmeal cookies my mom made.

I could lie and say that I’m unsure as to why I’ve been eating this stuff. Part of it is because I’m still dealing with effects of having the flu, although they are much more minor. Physical pain is a trigger for me. But so is emotional pain. I stopped working on a new novel to write this post, by the way. I need to make sure I am keeping myself honest and accountable.
I was triggered yesterday when my feelings were hurt by a person saying really mean things to me; undeserved things. I chose not to engage with him, and I told him so: “I am not going to engage with you when you are acting like this, especially since I have done nothing to deserve this,” and his response was, “Who the fuck said you did? Get the fuck out of here!” The behavior is most likely due to a medication reaction, but that doesn’t make it right. It’s been apologized for, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t suck to be in it. I didn’t respond except to say, “You need to straighten yourself out.”

Sooooo, yeah. Yesterday, I kept to myself, pretty much shut down, as I am prone to do, even though I was telling myself, “Hey, you’re handling this really well,” I suppose because I did not do as I would have when I was younger, i.e. screaming back OR throwing all his shit in the front yard (confession: I thought about throwing his shit in the front yard yesterday…but I didn’t because I’m MATURE NOW, DAMMIT! LOL).  I recognize extreme thoughts like destroying stuff to be coming from a place of feeling helpless in the face of someone else’s rage. When I was a child, I was helpless in the face of someone else’s rage, A LOT. I made a lot of plans in my head for revenge. It’s kind of a natural “next step” for me–to imagine what I’m going to do to indicate to the person how pissed I am, without, of course, actually doing it. I guess that imagination is what makes me able to write books.

I was kind of proud of myself yesterday for advocating for myself with my loved one and another person and leaving it to the other people to feel whatever they would feel about me advocating for myself. I still think that was good.
But there’s still this little girl part of me whose first instinct, instead of feeling how helpless I feel when I don’t do something wrong but someone behaves badly, to turn to sugary food. The fact that I do that is not the other person’s fault–how I choose to handle my hurt feelings is on me. One of the people hurt my feelings. The other situation was not hurtful, just irritating, and I handled it and moved on.

If I were one of my friends stuffed to the gills with Raisin Bran Crunch and asking, “Why did I do that to myself again?” I think I would tell her, “Well, you proved, once more, that you are human…what can you do to soothe yourself instead of eating over it?”

On that note, I am going to take a nice shower, put some lotion on this beloved body to show it I love it, and get back to writing my next novel.

P.S. Here’s a strategy: I will just imagine there are overacting children in my cereal bowl…that’ll keep me from eating it….