Monday, February 22, 2010

Stuff it

To this day, anger stirs inside of me when I think about my dad's death. I shake my head and do my best not to think about it every time. After two years, one would think I could at least come to grips with the fact that he is gone. For some reason, anger and fear still overwhelm me.

A girlfriend of mine recently brought to my attention a family she knows whose teenage daughter died of cancer. As I shared the information with my husband, we stared at the pictures of our own beautiful little girls that hang prominently on our family room wall (ages 7, 4 and 1). "Could you even imagine...?" I asked him, "...raising our girls..." I paused, "only to lose them once they reach high school?" I've known a few other families who have faced this very tragedy. Just not to cancer. The cancer factor is what surfaced my emotions.

"I'm so afraid," I cried to my friend on the phone the other day, "so afraid that I'm going to lose someone else that I love." So I eat. Rather than face my fear and my anger that cancer has stirred within me, I eat. I eat to calm my mind. I eat more to fill the pain in my heart. I eat until I can't feel anymore. I eat until I can block out the emotions that attempt to surface. I don't know what to do with these emotions. I have no control over cancer or the health of my loved ones. So for two years now, I have been stuffing my emotions every moment I stuff my mouth.

To identify this connection may help me finally overcome this terrible addiction I have to food. If I can simply identify that I am not hungry but rather angry, afraid, or confused... can this allow me the choice to cope in a different fashion? I can choose to write. I can call a friend. I can run and clear my mind. I can cry. I can take my worries and give them to God. All the while recognizing that I have no control over some of these emotions that seize my heart but I do have control over the way I respond. I can choose to change. Not only my nasty habits but my attitude that goes along with them.

I can choose joy. And I find that in my relationship with God alone.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Tristi, I'm so sorry. If I was near you, I'd give you a hug. I'm sorry that you are going through this right now.