Monthly Archives: September 2009

Writing Group Topic: Responding vs. Reacting

I have never come across anyone who “fed back” or “paraphrased” me. If someone were to do that to me, it would irritate me no end! If I say something, I don’t want to hear it repeated back; if something is unclear, it’s always possible to ask a question about what I said, isn’t it? I think I have quite a negative reaction to the idea of people using a “programme” to communicate with me, a deliberate (and what I perceive as manipulative) effort as opposed to a simple, straightforward reaction.

One thing that has happened to me, many times, was people trying to “sandwich” a criticism. They would spend several minutes telling me good, complimentary things, and all the while it is very clear that they are not saying this sincerely – they’re just trying to soften up what the real point is. I can’t stand this! If I deserve compliments, I would want to be told; if I deserve criticism, I would also want to be told. But I can’t stand someone rummaging around their memory for anything praiseworthy to say to me just so they can get a criticism in. I find it dishonest.

I think the lack of spontaneity in communication is what I find dishonest. Of course, paraphrasing or stating, “You seem to be angry,” isn’t dishonest… that’s simply condescending. I do see some of my own stuff here – growing up, feelings of any kind were something to be embarrassed about, and all the more anger, which I associate with childish behaviour like stomping feet. This is not how I want to behave and if someone called me “angry” I would be quite offended. I don’t get angry anyway, not really – if something’s in danger of making me angry, I usually get out.

3 meals, nothing in between

I wanted to share my gratitude for the way this programme keeps things sane. Three meals a day. I don’t have to skip breakfast! I don’t have to argue about how big my lunch is. I get to eat a lovely dinner! Three times a day, I get to have beautiful food and no guilt attached.

Three meals with NOTHING in between… I have had to include gum in that. I didn’t want to, but I have to have nothing at all in between meals, apart from drinks. I can’t continue to feed my oral addiction. Over the past few weeks, with the gum getting really bad, I felt my entire abstinence was in danger because I was losing control, losing all sanity and any trace of serenity, with things I put in my mouth. It’s a small step from putting one thing in my mouth to putting another, non-abstinent, thing there. It’s so easy.

I’m grateful that four hours in between meals can be managed. I can get busy, do other things, and then eat again even if I’m hungry soon after my last meal. And I have to kill, yes kill, the oral addiction. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to let go of sweeteners and diet sodas as well, and stop seeking after the oral stimulation. Perhaps not… but I hope I will. These are things that make my mind focus on taking things in, and they feed my oral fixation. For true serenity, I do know I cannot have these but right now all I have the willingness to give up is the gum.

But I’m abstinent today. It’s the 1st of September and I have weighed in and I’ve been presented with the bill of weeks of gum bingeing – because these things do contain calories, and they do bloat me, I have gained. Only got myself to blame.