Friday, March 14, 2008

All Bent out of Shape

I poisoned myself on sugar earlier this week. This is Day 4 without it so that must have been Monday night. So Monday night I poisoned myself with sugar.

Take two rather innocuous sugar items & combine them with a sugary Grapenuts sort of cereal & the next day was pretty dreadful. I felt like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Woman for about 24 hours after & it's only to day that I didn't feel ill at the thought of raw vegetables.

So, after a pretty good run of things, did I poison myself? I've got my knickers in a twist over too many things on my calendar & too many things not yet real.

I've had 7 a.m. walks with the 16-year-old Zeke, as well as 3.30 p.m. & 9 p.m. walks. I can't really take Daisy with me because, at 16, Zeke needs to go his own pace (which is mind-blowingly slow & boring) & he's too frail to fight interference on whatever pee-mail must be smelled first. This means I either get Daisy out before or after the morning & night walks. She's getting the short end of the stick & I'm getting the shortest yet.

It's tough when one's day doesn't really end. There's less sense of relaxation &, of course, NO relaxation in the morning. I finished the second-to-the-last chapter this week but until I did, my guts were gurgling over that as well. I haven't started the last chapter yet. I want to. I want to at least take some notes. But 21 Zeke walks as well as my other dogs & the mountain of things that went to hell while I was hell-bent on finishing the chapter have left me in another kind of panic.

Panic & resentment: the order of my days. I'll be paid for Zeke &, although I swear I wrote down the dates to include this weekend, Zeke little human brother informed me Mom is home. So maybe I won't be doing any more walks until Monday.

Little down time -- little time, that is, that I could really sink into -- was the "destructor" that led me from resentment to poison, the destructor I chose.

I am tired of the cold. My hands are especially sensitive to it & yet I have to manipulate leashes so I end up taking my gloves off. My skin is rough that even cotton catches on it.

I am tired of this book that never seems to be done. I'm tired of the prison I'm in with dogs all day & on weekends, the obligation to be writing even when I'm not (especially when I'm not), a profound desire to take everything out of my kitchen & restore it all. I'm tired of being a good girl. So I poisoned myself.

Resentment & rebellion are two states of mind that I absolutely cannot afford. They are, to begin with, helpless by nature. Resentment of dogs & a book to finish is ridiculous. Resenting the cold will get me where? It's not like I can call up the North Wind & say, "We've got to talk. I've been harboring a resentment toward you." Rebelliousness over walks & writing I've committed to & been paid for is rebelling If I'm going to rebel against myself, why not do it destructively (you spend too much money! Your abstinence sucks!) or constructively: don't spend money, stick to my food plan & cheat the diseased portion of my brain.

& rebelling against the weather falls again into the category of absurd.

These have been Serenity Prayer days. Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance. Get the resentment out of my brain.

The weird thing, though, is that I'm also bent of shape because the book IS almost done. There are so many things I've put on hold for that moment -- going back to the Rooms, cleaning, working on my novel, going to the movies, reading books that don't mention the phrase "BMI," dating, seeing friends, getting my hair colored & eyebrows waxed, going to the Botanical Gardens in High Spring, going on the academic job market, returning letters & emails, taking stuff to donate to Housing Works.

& that's just a start. There is ironing to do. There is John LeCarre I want to read. There are 2 years of New Yorkers in a dusty pile. There is, slowly but happeningly, a trip to Ireland to plan...

All of that has me just as panicked & resentful & scared as the book. I've gotten comfortable out here in the Heights, putting the rest of life on hold. Zeke walked me one block across & up Montague Street last night & I realized that even one block has become foreign territory to me. I'm scared to go out in the world. I'm scared & I don't know where to start first. I'm scared & I haven't started that last chapter that will be the gate to the freedom I crave but no longer know how to use.

My head is spinning. I have inadequate words for individual people. I'm going in all kinds of directions. I wouldn't mind sample part of the poison again even though I feel good eating chicken & broccoli & kidney beans & yogurt on a daily basis.

But here it comes: one more dog to walk. Maybe.


Anne M. said...

It's been a long road to the end of the book and you're right, a lot of life has been put on hold in the process. A world bounded by certain streets and shops, populated with dogs and not so many people.

Your food, your abstinent food, is regular as clockwork and safe and yummy - but I can see how easy it is to slide into the sugar devil when things feel rocky.

Hang in there. You are so close and you have the wonderful Miss Daisy to keep you company. Take it one step at a time, not blocks and blocks.

Vickie said...

I so relate to the hands - with morning papers with the oldest - I have chapped, cracked, bleeding hands through part of the winter - for 7 winter's straight. When it is at its worst - I do the heavy moisturizer and cotton glove thing that I think I have heard you talk about too. Son can wear two layers of gloves - black one size fits all with lined leather on top - but I - like you - do better with bare hands.

Laura N said...

Your bike picture with the bent wheel is a fitting metaphor for what's going on with you right now.

I'm glad you can come here and vent. You have a lot inside you that needs to come out. And sugar happens. I ate pancakes and muffins on Sunday simply to get numb. And it worked. And I felt like crap after my two hour food coma nap. Today it's back to good stuff. But Sunday, I really needed those pancakes.

You'll find it in you to pull this out. And a trip to Ireland is a fabulous thing to finish the book for. So beautiful there.

Cindy said...

Resentment, rebellion, panic and fear. I've been living in them lately. Until I got so sick I had to halt everything and take care of myself. Then I surrendered everything and now I feel better. But I only surrendered it all because I was incapacitated. It felt good to give up. All my stuff is still there, my work, my kids, my unfulfilled aspirations, my this, my that, and so on..but things no longer loom over me like unpaid bills. It's just there, patiently waiting for me.

Anonymous said...

For the hands? Bag Balm, baby. I swear by it. Hey, if it works for a cow's udder... It smells a little, so I put it on my hands and feet after a bath, then put on some cotton socks and cotton gloves and let the stuff sink in over night.

I don't know about NY, but up here (in Canada, and I assume Minnesota) you can buy Thermal(something) lined mittens with flip up tops. Underneath are fingerless gloves, which allow you to manipulate things while still keeping your hands warm. There are nice leather patches on the palms, too -- perfect for hanging on to leashes.

Sounds like you're getting what I call "postpartum" depression... finish a big project, then wump. A trip to Ireland sounds like the perfect cure. Hang in there, Frances!

Bea said...

I can relate to the cold thing. It snowed again here last eve. I am sick of the white. Too many things to do make me crazy and when I am crazy I eat. Ergo do less stuff. Is this possible in anyone's world? Who knows, but I am trying. Keep typing, you can see the finish line. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Love your heart! You've got a LOT going on and a LOT waiting for when you can get to it. That "deer-in-the-headlights" feeling is dreadful.

I can relate to feeling the need for sugar-anesthesia. It's an automatic and very effective medication for the irritation and resentment and frustration...the side effects sure suck, though.

I hope that one of the things on your list of things to do when the book is done, is to just spend a few days just being you and doing what you want, not anything that you have to. I know it sounds nuts when you have SO many things waiting...but it sounds like you need a break from "having to".

And I hope it gets warm soon! It's long past time for spring to be here. I'm sending you some warm-weather type thoughts.

Oh and also, thanks for stopping by my blog!


Anonymous said...

Have you read "Good calories, bad calories" yet? it has explained so much about my addictive behavior. I'll send you my copy if you like.