I don’t know about you, but I have some very strong emotional triggers. Since I no longer spend most of my non-work time alone, I’m becoming very aware of my triggers. There’s not much that I can do to avoid them, but I’m trying to be aware that some emotional/physical roller coaster of some sort has been triggered and that I need to stop it. When you’re alone all the time, it doesn’t really matter. It just means that you’ll spend the weekend sleeping on the couch, trying not to think about things at all until you can get back to the welcomed distraction that is work. When you’re not alone, you have to be aware of these things because they will affect others and you will waste your time with your neuroses instead of enjoying the company of your loved ones.
Also, it’s alot easier to get your crap together for a few hours on a Saturday so you can enjoy an afternoon with your parents than it is to get your crap together every day so that you can make the most of your non-work time with people instead of enjoying the comfort of wallowing in your own self pity. Who knew?
Here are some of my biggest triggers:
- Money — I have none. I don’t usually spend it, so I don’t normally miss it. I also don’t like people spending money on me; it always makes me feel guilty. I’m a grown ass woman with a damned job, so why should I mooch off of other people? If I’m with a group of people participating in something, then it’s okay if I don’t fully participate so that I can save money. My friends and family understand that I enjoy their company more than I enjoy doing things, per se. Ben’s friends and family aren’t as familiar with my brand of crazy, though. So, I can be rude and offensive and not partake in things, or I can let people pay for me to do things so that I can be part of the group. It causes me alot of anxiety. When I can, I try to pay for some or part of whatever it is so that I don’t have to feel like such a mooch, but I just can’t keep up with them in that sense. Of all the people I know, it’s just Amanda and me that have this issue. So, yeah, I realize that it’s completely irrational for money to cause so much anxiety for me for those reasons, but it does.
- Food — Okay, this one’s not as weird, but it’s still unhealthy. Society’s materialistic standards, blah blah blah, I’m fat. More than that, I’m very short and asthmatic. So, my weight is tied very directly to my health. Even if I overeat at just one meal, I can feel my gut pressing on my lungs, threatening to deprive my body of oxygen at any moment. I don’t have any self control when it comes to food, so I only police myself by buying specific groceries and preparing specific meals so that I don’t have the opportunity to think about changing my meals. This doesn’t work quite as well with Ben. We went to the grocery store this week and the only produce we got was a small veggie tray that remains untouched in the fridge. The rest of the $80 of groceries were mostly crackers, cookies, nuts, and frozen pizzas. I’m a compulsive eater and can easily eat an entire meal without remembering that I’ve eaten at all if my asthma or acid reflux aren’t reminding me that I have. I also grew up in the 80s with a mom from a Third World country. So, I learned to eat whatever was on my plate, no matter how much it was or how sick it made me. For the most part, I still do that today. Even when I’m aware of what I’m doing, I can’t seem to stop. When it comes to sweets, all bets are off! I will knock down old ladies and children to get to German chocolate cake. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll apologize afterwards…when my belly is full of cake…So, I’m constantly thinking about what I have eaten, what I will eat, and what I wish I were eating, which makes me feel bad about myself, which makes me feel self-absorbed, which makes me feel guilty, which makes me depressed and anxious. (For the record, beating up old ladies and kids makes me feel like that too. I just think that those feelings are more appropriate for the situation.)
- Shopping for Clothes — Even just thinking about buying clothes gives me the heebie jeebies. Once or twice a year, I can get in a mindset where I can put aside my hatred of myself to focus on my love of quality clothing at good prices. The rest of the year, I just look at the holes that my thighs are wearing through my jean britches because my thighs are so fat and I pray that the jeans will win the fight for just a few more months while I eat a pint of ice cream to console myself. (I’ll see your #2 and raise you a lactose intolerant.)
- Man, that last sentence did not paint a pretty picture in any way, did it?