Friday, May 25, 2012

Emotional Buffer Zone



One of the hardest things I continually struggle with is the emotional impact of losing weight. I would think emotionally things would be great! I'm getting skinny and feeling better. But what I have found is that I have a lot of "Emotional Baggage" that has to be sorted through. My weight gain is more related to my emotions than I ever recognized. I thought most of it was due to bad portion control. What I have found is that portion control was really a small part of it.

I was carrying around a lot of insecurities. Subconsciously I was adding a buffer zone between me and other people. I didn't think I was really trying to distance myself from people because I craved interaction with others. I desperately wanted people to know who I really was and to like me. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses or trying to gain anyone's pity...nothing really horrible happened to me. The fact of the matter is that I had depression and didn't know it. I don't have a really bad or severe case of depression, in fact I'm not even on medication any more.

In High School the symptoms of depression started to manifest themselves, but I didn't know what it was and neither did my parents. At the time the social trend seemed to be that everyone was going to therapy and everyone was uncovering repressed memories of child molestation. I was so scared of someone trying to convince me that something like that had happened to me that I didn't tell anyone what I was feeling. I didn't want to go to therapy because I absolutely knew beyond any doubt that I had not been abused.

Anyhow, the way my depression affected me was that I turn things around in my head that people say. For example: someone would compliment me on the dress I was wearing but I would hear sarcasm in their voice even when they were being sincere. So I had a very difficult time determining what people really meant. I honestly thought most of the kids around me were making fun of me in some way. Now, to be fair there were some who did make fun of me, and it was so obvious that I could not misunderstand it. But looking back I think the majority of what I thought was going on was really just my brain misinterpreting those messages.

Because of this misunderstanding in my brain my self confidence started to drop. I had good grades, I was a good kid but I often felt like no one really liked me. I know a lot of kids go through that in High School so this is no excuse for the way I handled it. My body went into self defense mode. I started adding on the pounds, just a little at a time. Between Jr and Sr year I went up 2 sizes, not so bad...I wasn't overweight. I had started a habbit though of adding that buffer which would keep people away, especially boys. As I got older and had more experiences that I misinterpreted and as my self esteem fell a little more, I made that buffer zone bigger by adding more weight. I desperately wanted someone to break through that buffer though.

As I have let the weight go I've had to face those insecurities. I'm amazed at how much there is to face! Luckily for me I have a wonderful husband who works hard to make me feel good about myself and to reinforce the safety and security I need to be able to let those emotional ties go, and let that buffer zone shrink.

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