I cannot believe it is July 21st. This summer has gone by incredibly fast and I can imagine the next month will progress even more quickly because there is so much exciting stuff going on! Next weekend is the annual Sullivan Golf Tournament at our local Country Club, which Ryan and my uncle have played in together for the last few years. Because I love both these men very dearly it is really enjoyable to watch them play a sport they love in a competitive fashion. But it is also awesome because it is the only time we get to see a lot of our long distance friends that come to our hometown specifically for this tournament. “The Jersey Boys” as they have been called are an awesome group of guys that this year are staying with us. Starting next thursday I will have a full house and although the clean-up and preparation can be kind of a pain, the commotion and excitement for four days is really quite fun. I am sure there will be multiple posts next week about all the crazy shenanigans that will most definitely occur.
And of course there is the Healthy Living Summit that will arrive in no time! And the monday after the conference I start back at school! Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my job at the pool. It is an awesome place to spend the summer, however there is a lot of down time. I like to be busy! I think days go so much faster when there are tasks to accomplish and things to cross off a list. Yes, I love lists. There is no greater satisfaction that scratching off a ton of tasks and feeling like you accomplished something. But anyway, within the next month I have a lot of work I need to do on myself as an individual…
I haven spoken of personal goals I have currently in my life but I have not really reflected on my progress. This is probably because I have not been doing as well as I should. In the next month I really need to put the pedal to the medal because I return to a group of students who have a lot of similar issues to me, just in a different form. A lot of the kids we get in alternative ed are required to spend time with us for drug violations or violence. Many come from bad homes where their parents introduce them to these unhealthy lifestyles, but more often they engage in these behaviors as a way to cope with whatever is bothering them in their lives. In a lot of respects I don’t blame them. They have it really hard and have seen things within their short lifespan I cannot even imagine. If I were to witness some of the incidences they describe I probably would not be able to sleep; especially those who have only recently moved to my small town from bigger cities.
I love each of these kids as if they were my own, and every day I attempt to teach them a new way of dealing with stress, because after all, there are much better solutions than ecstasy and pot. But while I am doing this, I myself am engaging in seriously unhealthy behaviors! An eating disorder is an addiction. It is a way of suppressing unwanted feelings, and for me, a way to completely forget about the hard stuff and have instantaneous relief regardless of what harm I am doing to my body. In the past, and I am sure the present, I have done anything I could to get a “fix.” I would bargain, lie, sneak, deny, etc. I am great at lying to myself. “Sure CJ, you did a great job today! You followed your meal plan more than yesterday so of course you should be proud of yourself.” When really, I may have done better than yesterday, but I am still not listening to what the licensed professionals are advising me to do.
My point is I am awesome at telling these kid who I love so much that they deserve a better life. That they can be better people and do the hard work to beat addiction or follow the rules. They can break destructive habits and get a healthy life. But when it comes to me, I am a hypocrite. I will go as far as my comfort zone will allow but never push further because I hate feeling the anxiety that occurs as a result. I should feel guilty about this because I want better for them, but I don’t value myself enough to want better for me, for my family. Maybe the next time I go to overestimate a portion, or take an extra lap on my bike, I should think about next month, and how I am going to face these kids who genuinely care about me too, and ask how I did with my goals over the summer. As cliché’ as it sounds I guess I need to start walking the walk, more than just talking the talk.
What are some healthy ways you cope with stressful or difficult situations?