Friday, April 26, 2013

Ennui for Me

Clearly, I am in a rut.  All excuses aside (such as rabies shots and regular stress), I have fallen into the pit of boredom and cannot seem to climb out.  I've tried.  Believe me.  But it seems the moment I grasp some interesting rock in the wall, one that might get me engaged in something other than eating too much, my hands start to slip, I dig my nails into the mud and hold on until my fingers start to bleed.  Then I fall.

I know I am gaining weight.  Part of it is that I am working purely from home and eating when I'm bored, a compulsive habit I've had since I was a kid.  Part of it is that I am tired, and I tend to eat when I am tired.  Then I get more tired but can't sleep, which makes me turn to caffeine which disrupts my blood sugar which depresses me.  Then I get depressed about my weight, which makes me eat more.  See how this goes?  It's illogical, I know.  "Just stop eating," right?  "Get out of the house and do something" right?  But when I'm like this, I can't seem to get myself to do much.  So I tell myself to work in spurts and remind myself that if I'm going to feel this way, I might just as well wash and fold clothes at the same time because boredom is boredom.  I get some exercise in this way.  But it's not enough exercise to offset what I am eating.

It's amazing how much I can still eat even with the lap band tightened.  Actually, it's scary.  True, I am not eating nearly as much as I did pre-surgery, but it's enough to encourage weight gain.  To boot, because my diet was so restrictive at the start and I was younger, it was easier for me to lose the weight.  And I was heavier, so exercise burned off more calories.  Between my heaviest and lightest, I lost more than 80 pounds.  But I've put 20 back on.  My clothes are uncomfortably tight and I'm uncomfortable sitting.

There was a time when trolls used to visit this blog and make fun of me for my weight.  There was a time when I was called things like a "liberal fat chick" on black blogs run and supported by nativist, anti-immigrant hate groups.  I'm sure they would have a field day with this post, but mostly, I don't care.  They have no idea what it feels like to be me, on my good days or bad.  They have their own hurts to deal with, and it comes out as rage and loathing.  I would like to think my innocuous honesty trumps their hatred.

I believe these toxic people don't even bother with my blog anymore.  I'm under the radar, uninteresting, unimportant and no longer relevant.  That's a double edged sword, really, but having directly worked within the immigrant community, particularly the most needy, I no longer feel the compulsion to address every racist politician or resident anymore. You can't make lying politicians tell the truth, especially when they have convinced themselves they are giving people what they deserve and that their brand of "leadership" is the same as justice.  You can't change haters.  I've learned to do what I can in that arena.

Back to my current situation.  Working purely from home has advantages, given my family responsibilities, but I wonder at what price.  Yesterday, I read an article in which a young man with disabilities said when he works, he feels like a full citizen.  I know exactly what he means.  When you have disabilities and you are relegated to the house, doing work for no pay or even for pay, you feel trapped, disempowered, isolated, segregated and incapable. Your self esteem goes down and you wonder if you can function in the "real world."  My husband has suggested I apply at Lowe's just so I can get out of the house.  He jokingly said I could apply to work at Walmart as a greeter.  I said Walmart seems to run in the family (my mother is a greeter for Sam's Club--it's her second job) so I might as well.

Please don't think I am unappreciative of being employed the way I am.  It's an honor to do what I do, to have people ask me to help write and edit their important work and to have them offer me pay to do it.  It's the environment, the lack of structure, that is killing me and my arteries.

Today looms in a way that I don't like.  I have several hours to do what I want, yet I am not looking forward to it.  It is sunny out, something I am grateful for, so I might take the dog for a walk (in an isolated place, since she is still on quarantine from the stupid rabies incident).  If it is warm enough, I will take a short bike ride.  I will paint.  I will work on my paying project.  Most people would kill for these opportunities, but they don't realize running back and forth to appointments, doing housework and muddling through general ennui is enough to make others of us crazy.  I don't want a full-time job outside the home. I don't want a boring 9-5 environment, and I also don't want so much stress that I fall apart. I want something to balance out my hours, something that gets me up and out and makes me feel alive.  Most people want this kind of thing, and I don't believe it's unattainable.  It's just hard to find. 
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