Ridding myself of material things was an easy enough task. Dealing with emotional baggage seems to be much harder. I´ve been pondering for the last two months which approach to take in terms of health and diet. The scales show plus 7 kilo since leaving London. For every one centimeter I carry one kilo, and I am a petite person.
Some friends have success with the 5:2 fasting diet which is very alluring for a control freak like myself. But haven´t I learned anything from a lifetime with fitness addiction and food restriction, emotional eating, binge drinking and such?
The complexity of life
I guess I have learned something. I do know what triggers these unhealthy obsessions with becoming “perfect” or hitting that magic number on the scale where all shall be glorious. So why can´t I stop with the improvement regime?
Let me cut myself some slack right there! Is it not human to want to better oneself? I do care about my health, not just appearances. I enjoy working out. And I can acknowledge why I had the urge to drown my feelings today, health is much more complex than diet and exercise alone.
What YOLO really means
My brother was diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial condition aged twelve. We are a year and a half apart. There is no cure or medicine for his condition, no known life expectancy and symptoms get worse with age. He has muscle weakness and pain, migraines, impaired vision and hearing, and stroke-like episodes.
In 2011 the latter hit and he spent six weeks in hospital. I thought I would lose him back then. In 2014 he was back in hospital and we hung out there all of Easter. We made a pact then; when they let him out we`d get him a cat, a very much wanted companion. He got two.
Coping with death
Death has been lingering in our family since I was ten years old. My coping mechanisms has been to toughen up and go explore the world. To live a little harder without thinking consequences. And to really go after what I want. It has made me super-independent, driven and brave.
On the flip side I haven´t learned to deal with or express difficult emotions, but suppress them. Fear of loss, in addition to other anxieties, has made it difficult to open up. Which has made me struggle with romantic relationships. I´ve escaped from anyone who got too close.I have been straight out furious with my parents inability to talk about the severe impact this has on our family, on me and my little brother as siblings. But then I have to try to understand how it was for them to find themselves in that position, fearing the worse. Not knowing. Not being able to do anything. And I forgive them.
And I will forgive myself for thinking there was something fundamentally wrong with me, when it was my coping mechanisms that needed revision all along.