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Don’t Believe Everything You Feel ~ Especially During the Holidays…

How are you? Oh, how I have missed you. Terribly.

Well, finally, as of last night after midnight, all my grading is done, and today, my final marks went in ~ did I tell you my broken tooth was bothering me so much I missed my final exam?

Oh, well, that’s old news. All is well, thanks to my very compassionate and creative chair, Claire Moane, and my sensational students.

Free at last…

As of this morning at 12:00 noon, I’m FREE for the holidays until classes begin all over again on January 11. But now is what counts. NOW!

So, speaking of now ~ my favourite word ~ I have a little story for you. Well, not really a story because this one doesn’t yet have an ending… but you’ll see what I mean. It comes in two parts and it’s a whole new world for me.

So, without any further adieu or any mention of stress, yet (wait for part 2) here’s my little tale. I’m making my own gifts this year for the second time in a row, so before I return to the kitchen, this one is for you…

I’ve decided to stop starving myself, though I’ve lived with disordered eating most of my life…

Yesterday, I went to see Dr. Bob, my psychiatrist. He was very tanned and healthy-looking. He’s been away for two weeks in the Caribbean. During that time, I did a lot of processing, peeling and healing by myself and with the help of several very empathetic active listeners ~ dear and precious friends. I have a whole network of resources and peer supporters (and Peer Support is a huge field I plan to tackle soon, along with Emerging Adulthood. I have not forgotten, but things sometimes take me a while to process, I’m afraid.)

Anyway, I decided I did not want to continue starving myself and essentially hurting myself because of the pain that others have inflicted on me. And my deep-seated sizzling anger. It’s toxic and I don’t like poisoning myself. What sense does that make, really?

No more bingeing and purging…

I have decided that I will accept that I’ve had a serious problem with food since a very young age, caused mainly by my sexual assault (rape) at the age of 14 by an orderly in a psychiatric ward where I was staying “for observation” ~ I repressed the memory for 14 years ~ today that would be labeled Post Traumatic Stress.

Anyway, immediately after I got home, I “behaved rather strangely,” according to my mother and in the first six months, I gained 50 lbs.

This is classic behaviour. Build a wall of fat around your body so no one will ever be tempted to want to touch it or have anything to do with it, or ever even think of entering in anyway, for any reason whatsoever.

It worked. I never dated. Today, I feel I must be very thin to feel good about myself, though too often I don’t, and I still don’t feel attractive. You can’t be too thin, can you?

Yes, I’ve discovered. You can be too thin…

During the course of our lively session yesterday, I told Bob that I have decided to stay at my Lifetime Weight Watchers goal of 130 lbs. That’s just eight lbs. more than what I weighed at the age of 24, which is 38 years ago. He was pleased, but guarded. He doesn’t want to talk “fat talk” with me, and he’s concerned about my obsession. That’s why.

The previous evening, we had had our annual holiday family get together. It doesn’t matter what holiday you celebrate, something happens when family gathers. It’s these old records that are always playing. I detest old records.

These gatherings are very challenging for me because of my history with my family. I’m the wrongo, the bad sister, the problem, the difficult one. Plus all the other epithets I’ve known and felt all my life.

And feelings, assumptions always trump intellect, ration, reason, what you think…

“I tell my students ~ I show them a cartoon ~ that says ‘Don’t Believe Everything You Think.’ I love that line…,” I spouted, at one point during our hour-long session ~ the first, I might add, in more than two weeks.

Dr. Bob shook his head. “No, that’s not right,” he said, bursting my balloon, a habit of his I’ve learned is very instructive.

“It really is, ‘Don’t believe everything you feel.’ Because all the assumptions you make and have always made are automatic. You don’t think them,” he explained. “You assume that your family sees you in a negative light, but that’s only because you don’t see your self any other way. It has nothing to do with your family anymore. It’s all about how you feel about yourself. How you value yourself. Your family will never change. It’s all about you.

“You’ve got to do the changing. You’ve go to change the way you feel about yourself. How you value yourself.”

So, what else is new, Bob?

“Lots,” said he.

To be continued…

Don’t Believe Everything You Feel ~ Especially During the Holidays…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2010). Don’t Believe Everything You Feel ~ Especially During the Holidays…. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Dec 2010
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