The struggle is real – but it’s not insurmountable

I’ve been struggling a bit lately; had a bad week where all I did was sleep (and still wanted more); where I couldn’t manage too much peopling (still limiting that as it really drains the few emotional resources I have); didn’t have an interest in anything: not exercise, not sex, not BDSM play, not writing, not work, not school, not meal planning or cooking, not crochet. Even committing myself to mindless binge-watching was too arduous – I couldn’t manage the thinking that my usual binge-worthy shows required. But little by little, I’m clawing my way out of it. Not all at once, and not with giant leaps, but with careful, considered, baby steps. And I want to congratulate myself for these steps, however small. Because they aren’t always easy to take when all I want is my pillow-and-blanket fort. Sometimes I need a little pat on the back, a little encouragement.

So what have I been doing good for myself?

  • Using Pokemon to make myself get outside walking
  • Using my dog to make me get outside walking
  • Using one of my boyfriends make me get outside walking (by making eating breakfast out contingent upon walking to get there)
  • Eating fruit during the day (instead of other “bad” snacks)
  • Eating more veggies and salads as part of my meals
  • Treating myself gently when I really do need to just burrow in, and not castigating myself for it
  • Asking for snuggle-time when I need it
  • Asking for alone-time when I need it
  • Canceling engagements when I realize I’m overwhelmed and just need space
  • Letting my puppy love on me, and asking for him to come over
  • Focusing on work when I’m at work – doing GOOD at my job, no matter what fucked-up-ness my head is at
  • Writing a little bit, no matter how stupid, each day (even if I don’t post it)
  • Building small, workable habits into my morning routine (a work-in-progress but I’m doing it!)
  • I took all my medications for the full time I was supposed to, and didn’t drink a drop of alcohol while I was on them
  • Working – even if it’s only a couple hours a week – on programming
  • Staying firm on my no-coffee pledge
  • Not eating fast food
  • Taking myself to a nice dinner when I need to

That last bullet point is a topic all in itself. Sometimes, when I am especially gray, I take myself out to a nice meal. By myself, not fast food, and to a restaurant that isn’t one of my standards. I read on someone’s FB timeline about their reasons for NOT eating out, mainly, feeling good about being frugal. Not liking to spend money preparing a meal that they could do at home for far less money. And while that is definitely a legitimate reason, my reasons for eating out are the exact opposite. My time is more valuable to me than the cost of having a meal prepared for me. The time it takes to meal plan, shop (even with grocery delivery) and then to prepare it, is just not worth it to me. And when I am feeling the way I have been, that little bit of…being cared for?…at a nice restaurant makes me feel…comforted.

For those few moments I am someone special.

I’ve talked about my relationship to food, to the act of sharing a meal: it’s very important to me, whether it is a pleasant meal out, preparing something special for someone, or preparing food together. Even when my roommate and I don’t eat the same food for a meal (she eats much much healthier than I do) I thoroughly enjoy sitting down at the table and eating with her. (Unless I’m peopled out, of course, when even that much interaction is too much.) It’s bonding, and again, comforting.

V and I had discussions about this, in the beginning of our relationship, because it’s not something that is important in the same way for them. I had to ask him to change his eating habits one night a week so that we ate our evening meal together – even if I didn’t cook it there – on nights when I came over. It didn’t work too well, to be honest, though he did remember to ask if I’d had anything to eat sometimes. Then my timing changed so that I arrive much later at his house, and I solved the meal problem by taking myself to dinner that night before heading to his house. It isn’t a perfect solution: I miss that shared time. But since our time together is so constrained anyway, I guess it’s better that we don’t waste time on the niceties of meal sharing.

Last night I tried a cute little restaurant in Old St. Charles. I had a salad and pesto chicken flatbread for dinner, read a book while I ate, and then, because the restaurant wasn’t busy, blogged while I had a glass of wine. It was a lovely evening, and would not have been quite so much if I had had to think of a meal (I never would of thought of pesto chicken flatbread), shop and do all the cooking and clean-up. Plus, I might have simply taken myself to bed instead of writing after. So – win-win!

One thing that I have thoroughly enjoyed is something new V and I started doing about a month ago: on the one night a month that he stays over at my house, we are going to start making a special breakfast together the next morning. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Saturday or Sunday brunches. They are usually filled with people and laughter and camaraderie and happiness, but he and I both absolutely loved cooking in my kitchen together the first time we did it. I feel like…like it’s a gift to us both. So it’s going to be a “thing” now (unless, of course, I am desperately needing a brunch outing.) One of us picks a restaurant with a brunch menu, and the other decides what we will try to reproduce from the menu. This also means that I get to pick up the tab on the groceries. He seldom lets me pay for dinner or drinks out, which is gentlemanly, but I like to treat once in awhile, too.

It’s different for my lunches, though. I really don’t like going out for lunch. It doesn’t feel like a treat. I like to make a big batch of – something – over the weekend and then take it in every day for lunch. That little bit of “frugality” makes me feel good, planning the meals makes me feel good, preparing it and even the act of breaking it up into daily meals makes me feel good. And that’s what it’s all about, right?


  1. Elliott Henry

    Hi Jade… That last bullet point is a good one. I enjoy taking myself out to dinner at a nice joint. Not for any reason other than to treat myself.

    Those other bullet points are good ones too.

    And yes, sometimes it’s hard to get out of that pillow and blanket fort… you are not alone there.


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