Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guilt Gnaws

Mindy has caused me to examine a bit this morning.

What do I feel guilty about? Why?

I think I'm a pro at justifying. If I can justify the guilt isn't quite so heavy. Human nature loves this. But do I really need to feel guilty about the things I feel guilty about? (This post is going to be really hard to write without overusing the word guilt.)

Let's go with this morning. First offense: Dipping into the last of my $11 jar of almond butter. Eleven dollars. I could hardly walk out of the store the guilt was so heavy. An apple, almond butter, chia seed. It's my meal at least once a day. It's a ritual, really. A moment of peace. It's always eaten standing at the counter. Wash and slice the apple. Knife into the nut butter, dip into the chia, insert in mouth, bite of apple. Repeat. Meal complete. I'm done feeling guilty. Because that jar fed me nearly every day for 3 weeks. Pretty darned affordable when it's looked at that way. Justified.

Second offense. Chai latte from Dunn Bros after dropping Nolan off at school. $4.10. Gasp. This one's a bit harder to write off. Just watch me. #1, I used cash. Using a debit card for a drink is never acceptable. #2, I need the calcium. Yeah, that's a stretch. #3, It's only once a week. Hmmm. Lame. #4, I've got it. It's raining. #5, There was only a heaping teaspoon of almond butter left. I didn't eat nearly enough for breakfast. Justified.

See how this works?

Third. The tub of size 4 clothes on the purple chair. It's been there for a week. It needs sorting through. I just don't feel like it. Justified.

You know what? I don't think tangible things hold much of a guilt factor for me. I can always write them off. What's harder for me is my thoughts. My feelings. I know how I want to feel about things. And then there's how I really feel. And I seemingly have no control over it. There's where the guilt hits me.

There's the exercise demon. I literally cannot do anything more strenuous than walking right now. I hurt. Badly. I'm afraid I'm broken. That doesn't stop the hamster wheel of guilt. The liquid calories I justified up there in the Second Offense? The justification doesn't last long. Now I feel like I need to wear it off. I'd do anything not to feel this way. To eat something for the sheer joy of eating it. I'd pay for that.

I've felt the sneaky depression bastard easing his way in lately. I'm hoping it's just the weather. I'm scared that it's not. I have everything going for me. I want to be delirious with the beautiful soundness that is my life. And yet, more often than not, there's this big, gaping, dark, heavy - so heavy - hole in my chest. It's a very physical feeling. That's where the guilt is. There really are no words to describe it accurately. We've been hearing in our gospel meetings lately the importance of being babe-like. Babies don't know how to do anything but cry and that's what appeals to God. I'm very thankful for the peace that comes with just crying. Peace in knowing all our guilt is covered by Jesus. Life can be full of lemons (injury, trials, illness, illness, trials, illness, flooded basements, broken garage doors, illness, injury, blah blah blah) but it's still amazingly sweet because we have hold on something eternal. We have clarity on what's important.


Pam said...

Hugs to you - guilt sucks! so glad for our eternal hope, too!

Mindy said...

hugs from me too. and you know what? i really think antidepressants are ok sometimes. if it's that bad or getting close to being that bad don't rule them out.

Shannon said...

oh, i know. i'm not there yet. i can't remember my life when i was on them...so i'm hesitant. i think a lot of it has to do with my back/si junk right now. it's really limiting my life. heading to the chiro tonight and going to ask her about some other options.

Anonymous said...

Mindy's post resonates with me, too... don't know if I'm brave enough to announce my guilt. Does your depression stem from lack of exercise that you love?

Mj said...

this was a beautiful post..beautifully put. hugs from me, too. one day at a time. the sun will come out...really ....be good to yourself. love what you said about your thoughts vs' tangible things...thanks. i have an option for you...let me know if you want to hear it.

Shannon said...

amy - i think it stems from the compulsive need to exercise - i really don't love exercise. i love the result of it. the days when i don't go to the gym are my happiest. but only if i've worked out hard the day before to justify the day off. it's round and round and round...blah.

Shannon said...

martha - hit me.

Anita said...

just sending a hug from here, too. I really hope you get the deal with your back fixed/better soon.