In the Thick of My Wilderness

I am still an all or nothing person, living in an all or nothing world.

Lately, I have been going from all to nothing.

Pushing forward to rebelling against.

Trust to mistrust, knowing how much I need to trust and that in some cases, I can trust.

I feel so much anger, resentment, sadness, and confusion. Maybe this is it: the thick of my wilderness. I’m at a fork in the forest with a hundred different directions. I am getting conflicting advice on all sides. I just want to sit on the dark, damp forest floor and never get up again.

I am angry at God. Angry at how completely fucked up this country is, maybe this world. Angry that God seems so silent in the midst of all the hatred and violence. Every time I try to open my mouth to talk to God, I am filled with “why” questions.

Why aren’t you doing something?!

Why are you letting these people use your name to spit their hateful, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, transphobic, fatshaming, everything shaming bullshit?

Like the Tegan & Sara song, where did the good go?

I deleted my Facebook.

I have the privilege of tuning out the violence against unarmed black men, LGBTQ people, women, and Muslims.

I can take a break from the heartbreaking stories of people in this country not having food or clean drinking water.

I can momentarily ignore stories of gun violence in school and impoverished neighborhoods. I can shut off the news of stories of war-torn countries.

Or so I thought.

No. I deleted Facebook and I stopped watching and listening to the news but yet, I still feel like I am burning up inside faster than the dry forests in the California heat.

I don’t know what to do with this anger and my own hatred and judgment and condemnation inside. I constantly ache for all of the horrible shit happening in this world, especially to those who can’t tune out what’s going on because they are actively losing mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends, and others they love to it and rightfully fear they could very well be next.

I hate our current president and government and all of the lies, manipulation, hypocrisy, and gaslighting, and I hate that so many are falling in step with him and dismissing the worst behaviors because they consciously or subconsciously agree with his racism and misogyny.

I hate that many of these same people call themselves Christians when Jesus would be flipping tables and chairs and condemning every last person in the White House, Congress, and Senate right now for the way they are treating others and for their greed and selfishness and legalism.

I hate the billion dollar diet and “fitness” industry. I hate that I can’t look up workouts and recipes on Pinterest or Google or Instagram for my own personal, non-weight-loss-related fitness and health without being bombarded with diets, “fitspiration,” cleanses, and “how to lose stubborn fat” pictures and videos.

I hate that this industry has basically stolen healthy foods and made them so goddamn triggering for anyone (me) who just wants to eat food their body needs. Same with exercise. I just want to move my body, not have rock hard abs or thighs or non-flappy arms or whatever.

I hate that every goddamn thing is about weight loss and being thin, and I hate how long and how much I have bought into it and how tempted I am to buy into it once again.

But I also hate that I am resisting the diet culture so hard that I am ignoring my body’s needs and feeling like shit and gaining weight like crazy. I am still feeding, no pun intended, into that shitty cycle that eventually leads back to some diet and some effort to “just try one more time.”

I hate that as much as I like my job and the service I provide to a group of people who are largely ignored and neglected, I have to constantly cover my ass.

Cross all my “ts” and dot all my “is” before I am reminded of any microscopic detail I missed or forgot.

Be micromanaged.

The disorganization and sore lack of communication and the apathy to fix either.

It all feels like too much and I am exhausted from the long, terrifying and stressful commute in Atlanta metro traffic where I am just waiting to be rear-ended again or worse.

My nerves are raw almost all the time. I keep dreaming about dying lately. I can’t calm my mind. I can’t get a break from all of the messages swirling around both outside and inside my head.

I am tired of being in debt and having to focus all of my money there. I hate that I don’t have the freedom to travel as much as I would like and that John’s current schedule doesn’t allow him to travel with me. We are short-staffed at work so I can’t take more than a day off.

I want to be able to build a wardrobe of clothes that I love and that look good on me even as I struggle with accepting that I am 270 pounds again and it is all in my belly and plus size fashion doesn’t cater to my body shape as much as others. But clothes are expensive, especially in plus sizes, and I am impatient to have the money to buy what I want.

I keep buying produce with the intention of making healthy dinners for John and me, and it all just rots in the fridge as we eat burgers, pizza, or breakfast for dinner. I am so exhausted when I get home, cooking is the last thing I want to do.

We live out in the middle of nowhere, Cobb County, where everything is a drive. Atlanta is 25 miles. Downtown Marietta is 5 or 6 miles but easily 20 minutes in traffic. I drove to Smyrna yesterday to return a shirt at Target, and it took me 45 minutes. Driving the 22 miles to and from work can take me up to an hour at times.

If I miss anything about Chicago, it is how easily accessible everything is. How we could walk damn near anywhere. It is nice to have a car again, but I don’t like relying on it so much to get anywhere.

By the time the weekend comes, I can’t even think about getting in my car and going anywhere. So, instead, I sit in my apartment with the dogs while John sleeps during the day and works at night.

I am alone and lonely and know I have friends I could go see, but I am too exhausted to venture out the door to do so. Just going to Target yesterday, I felt my head spinning.

I am overstimulated. Everything feels like too much.

I want so desperately to spend a day on the beach, eyes closed, listening to the ocean and a night in a cold, dark room, under warm, soft covers on a mattress that doesn’t make my hips ache like my own mattress does, and I want to sleep completely uninterrupted and wake up not knowing if it is night or day. Silence. Just for a few days, at least a week.

And as much as I understand that my friends I tell all of this to are trying to help me, I need all of the advice and recommendations and suggestions to just stop. I don’t want to be told what to do or what I need to do. I’d rather be left alone than that. Just sit with me and let’s talk and that’s it.

I feel so overwhelmed and all I want is to push all of this weight of anxiety, anger, resentment, sadness, hopelessness, and stress off of me and start anew.

Figure out my own sense of direction. Find ways to end the fear of deprivation that leads to binges, whether with food or shopping. Be patient with myself and the slow process of forgiving and showing grace and compassion to myself.

I don’t want this burden of anger and rage at God or this fucked up world or anything else. I can’t hide or run but I can filter. My privilege is not something to be ashamed of; I can use it to provide a helping hand. I am learning my strengths of detail and organization in my job and how much I can control.

This fork in my wilderness journey is knowing how little I am in control. That fucking terrifies me. Control has always been my crutch and it has also been the cause of my anxiety. Right now, I am spiraling and it makes me want to stop and stick my head in the sand.

How do I process all of this around me? How do I find and embrace the middle, the gray, in the black and white? What do I do with all of this angry that leaves me squirming and then exhausted? How do I sit with so much unknown? How do I let shit go?

I don’t think God is evil nor all humans, myself included, are. I know good still exists. Love still wins. I want to see this again. I want to feel hope again.

How do I see the good again? How can I allow myself to focus on the good without feeling ashamed or like I am ignoring what is so broken? I am tired of being swallowed up by so much negativity.

How do I come to love myself in the body I have and trust that I can be loved exactly for who I am and what I look like? I see John do it even though I cringe every day waiting for him to tell me I’m “too fat” and need to lose weight. I keep waiting for him to talk about my body and to me the way my family did growing up.

Back at my heaviest weight ever again, I wait for my mom to be embarrassed to go shopping with me or my brothers to call me a whale again.

But he doesn’t, she isn’t, and they don’t.

The only one to make a comment about it is my dad who said I “need to do something about that” when I told him I had started gaining weight again, but in person, he is kind to me.

How can I stop this feeling of constantly needing to “fix” myself? How can I stop being so hyperfocused on myself and what people think of me?

I just want to rest. To eat healthy because it feels good but also enjoy desserts and snacks. To run, walk, hike, cycle, swim, dance, and just move because it feels good. I don’t want an agenda anymore.

But is that a “nothing” in the all or nothing too? Why does this feel so goddamn hard? Why can’t I stop overanalyzing everything?

I don’t know what I am getting at, but this is where my head is lately and I hope writing it down will lessen my load.

I really hope it does because I am burning up and out.

2 thoughts on “In the Thick of My Wilderness”

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