So I’ve changed my relationship with my Exes: Stress and Food. We were in a weird Love Hate Triangle relationship. (Don’t worry, my husband knows about these affairs. He was there.)
Because of how much I misunderstood Stress, I would overly attach myself to Food, but Food was absolutely destroying me inside and out even as he comforted me.
I tried breaking up with them once (or twice… or thrice…) but they broke me instead. And now I think I have a much more friendly and healthy relationship with them both. They both can be actually quite nice and positive if I can keep my perspective and stay mindfully aware of what they try to say to me.
In the past, I think I took Stress far too literally, and I misconstrued everything that he said. So I got overly invested and emotional, interpreting everything as a catastrophe or a slight on my character. It really wore me down. So I would run to Food, who made me feel better. He would comfort me with sweet nothings and we would make out like nobody’s business, especially after dinner… which (now I’ve come to realize) actually made me sick, literally and figuratively.
So I tried the break up route, you know, thinking of them as evil and wrong and bad. I tried to escape Stress by ignoring him and demonizing him. Whenever he talked to me, I’d plug my fingers in my ears and go ‘lah lah lah lah’. Food then really stepped up and invited me to hang out with him more and… it got bad, like really bad. Food became my escape from Stress and he really took advantage of me. He’d show up all times of the day, tempting me with wonderful thoughts and the promise of happiness forever. Well, truth be told, I guess I should describe it as *I* would go to *him* all the time, even when he wasn’t really calling to me. I tried breaking up with Food, but going cold turkey only made him more desirable and caused me to turn to Stress more often than not. These relationships were slowly but surely killing me, even when I was trying to run away from them!
It wasn’t until I opened my heart to Honesty that I understood how warped these relationships were. My relationship with Honesty is very different. He forces the hard work to be done upfront. We talk more and we don’t shy away from the tough stuff, which is difficult to do, because I just want to escape from pain and suffering. Food was better about that. Food helped me run away from the horrible things I thought Stress was trying to tell me. Stress was often trying to tell me things I didn’t want to hear. Honesty makes me rethink everything I thought I knew about myself, Stress and Food. He’s calm, analytical, factual, strong, not always kind, but not intentionally mean. Honesty encouraged me to confront my fears, go to the source, stop ruminating, stop creating crazy narratives in my head, and just focus on the facts. He made me rethink my relationship with Stress and Food, who, at the end of the day, are pretty good guys, just not the way I was relating with them.
So now, after months on working on these relationships, I finally realize that Stress was just trying to warn me about things that could be fixed, if I so choose to. If I didn’t, the ongoing pressure of dealing with the fallout could potentially cause me bigger problems. Food was just showing me the wide range of possibilities. When I listened more carefully to Food and my body, I got into a healthier, no longer co-dependent, non-addictive, even more fun phase of our relationship. I don’t feel married to him anymore. He has a real practical side to him that I like now AND when we do hang out, I really, really enjoy our time together. I feel no guilt, no shame when I’m with him. I don’t feel horrible the day after. And symbiotically, I now don’t let Stress’ words give me pressure from the judgment I thought he was tossing my way. Instead, I let his words be a starting point for further discussions. They both have become my very good friends. I talk about them with my husband all the time. He knows them well. I think he likes Honesty better, even though from time to time we have to figure out difficult things, (but that’s a whole other blog post!) Honesty doesn’t insert himself forcefully, he just makes himself available to help.
So there you have it. The Exes and me. We all good now.
Love and peace to you all!