I have been participating in the Game On diet for a month and a half now. The rules are strict, lining out when and what I can eat and excluding alcohol from my diet whatsoever. Basically the diet took away the remainder of the things that I used to masked my emotions, to keep them at bay, to make me artificially happy for the moment. I gave up clothing shopping for a year last January and now with salty white refined carbs, sugar, and alcohol being gone, I began to experience my emotions on a whole new level.
When friends good-naturedly teased me, I was irritated. When children began crying because their parents didn’t show up to visits, I began crying. When my family thought it was funny when I was angry, I began sobbing in my room.
I felt like I had no skin, that every comment, gesture, broken visit, late termination petition, crying child, adoption that was postponed, or trial home visit that fell apart was abrading my skinless nerves. Everything was painful.
I knew I needed something. The emotions that the food, drink, and shopping were masking eventually pointed to one thing. What I needed was a break. A pause from the pain, the piles of paper, the helplessness, the being everything to everybody, but never good enough. A chance to be, to read, to dream, to not be angry about the injustice in the world for just a bit.
Beside sick days and the occasional afternoon off, I hadn’t taken time off since January, and any more than one day off at a time since last August. In child protection, self-care is vital for longevity. So next week, I will not be working, blogging or (hopefully) getting riled about the injustice in the world and taking it out on Facebook.
I am hoping to return with clarity, thicker skin and new energy to tackle both the small injustices in front of me and the larger ones in the world.