Good Morning! It’s time for breakfast! Jello and Gatorade! Yum! I’ve become accustomed to that horrendous backache, a nasty stitch in my side and having to squeeze by fat self between the bed and the wall – hey, and when I’m in jeans I’m like a big “permomarker” in blue denim marking a solid line across the same line every day! Now there’s a line and that’s my new goal – to not add to that line! I think that’s a worthwhile goal, don’tcha think?
But in the meantime, it’s getting to that big day when the bit “G” on the right, G for Gall bladder, has to come out and so I drink “G” for “Gatorade” to keep me hydrated. The doctors didn’t want me to DRINK anything red in color in case it came back to haunt me. They didn’t say not to EAT anything red so jello it became. It’s funny but when our POTUS decides to not go forward with our secretary of Labor who happens to be with Carl’s Jr. all I was thinking of? Not politics..
A Super Star with Cheese, LOADED with mayonnaise, cheese, grease, fat…THE WORKS! I CRAVED it, baby! Oh how I wanted that burger so badly it was killing me!
But here I am in Minnesota – but there was Hardee’s that had the same menu. And I STILL wanted that burger. Then I had to remember – can’t have that anymore.
Then came the next morning after meeting with the surgeon. What does the scheduler have on her desk? CHOCOLATE! I’m thinking I’ll have some. Then, I have to stop myself; not anymore. Can’t have it. The pain is too great a cost for that. DAMMIT!
In Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT) we have a concept called “mindfulness” where you are aware of everything around you, what goes into your body, your mind, your soul, what comes out in your speech, your breath, the noises that are surrounding you, the feelings that surround you: hate, love, joy, anger, happiness – you get the idea. Then extend it out to “mindful eating” a new concept in eating. “Be mindful of what you eat.” Right, “I’m mindful I’m about to devour this Carl’s Jr. Super Star Loaded with Cheese and I’m mindful that this is going to cause me to keel over into the worst gall bladder pain in the history of gall bladders.” I’d probably get applause for that statement as “YES! YOU’VE GOT THE CONCEPT!” Me? I’d be performing a facepalm and saying “That’s all that is? Give me the burger and run….so I can keel over in pain later.” Marsha Linehan would not be so kind as to give me a “pass” for that statement; NOT EVEN CLOSE.
I’m coming to realize that mindfulness means that I must be in total balance with myself and with everything surrounding me. I must know what true hunger is and know what it is my body is craving. It is truly that hamburger or, it is something else? Am I truly thirsty, tired, sick, lonely or is it my hunger or thirst at all? Is it something else that’s not right with me? I’m angry at someone else and I’m going back to eating to self-soothe when I’m not hungry at all? Then when I do eat to self-soothe, I’m sabotaging myself by choosing something that will harm me making things worse. Am I actually happy? Did something wonderful happen to me and I’m turning to drink to celebrate but even THAT is going to harm me? Am I paying attention to my body THEN or am I too wrapped up in what’s going on around me to get refocused. It’s interesting that in therapy we started to refocus on this concept as my body was really starting to “talk” to me – ok, “scream” at me – that now was the time to pay attention. Now is the time to learn about what true mindfulness was all about. I’m starting to notice what my body CAN’T do right now and it’s frightening. I’m not old and my body has limits it’s not supposed to have! I have issues that have been missed for years but surgery is going to be the only way to fix it all….or is it? I will need a way to cope with some very tough choices and mindfulness was tool in the past that helped and we started using it again and now I realize it’s not a coincidence; it was perfect timing. I needed the reminder. I wasn’t paying attention but now the student is willing to listen.