Brooke Castillo on Buffering

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I recently listened to a podcast from Life Coach, Brooke Castillo on Buffering and it rang so true with me. For Brooke, she believes buffering is the act of creating distraction from our authentic or real feelings with false pleasures - ie. overeating, overdrinking, consuming too much social media, etc. By buffering, we're looking to escape or ignore an unpleasant feeling but getting a dopamine hit from sonething else. It makes us less aware of that feeling and essentially prevents us from dealing with it. Her counter on this thought is - if we stopped these false pleasures, what would our life look like then? If we let ourselves feel our negative feeling or allowed ourselves to be unhappy without curbing that emotion with something that's essentially a band-aid - what does our world look like then?

Link to Buffering podcast:

This is all scary to me. Looking at my life, I'd say that I'm happy. I'm at a place where I'm not emotionally tethered to by divorce, I'm successful in my career, I'm raising happy humans, etc. But where it starts to go downhill for me is that a lot of times I feel like I'm coasting in my life, or I'm not really there. Do I buffer so as not to feel? 100%

I overeat, sometimes overdrink, and completely immerse myself into social media. It distracts me from feeling the loneliness that I know is there - and the unhappiness I feel because I tie self-worth to body size and at my current weight and postpartum body, I feel unlovable. So I buffer because it helps me feel good when I just feel terrible, a lot.

My life coach told me last year that she thinks I hide behind my weight. If I'm a heavier size and I'm not working towards getting to a healthier size - it's because I choose to. And, I'm choosing to because I think I'm unloveable at this size which means that no one will want to be with me. If no one wants to be with me - then I won't run the risk of being hurt emotionally again. I won't have my heartbroken. So the weight is my armor. The social media is my armor too - I get my social interaction from a screen versus spending time trying to actively go on dates with anyone. I stick to my small group of friends, who are all married, and get my face-to-face interaction from them - which doesn't run the risk of putting myself out there because they're my safe zone.

Does anyone else struggle with buffering in their life?

What its like after everyone's moved on

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

When I was going through my separation, I felt like I had nowhere to turn. Everyone that I knew, so it seemed, was happily married. People my age (late 20s/early 30s) were just starting to settle in their lives and here I was - it the midst of chaos and destruction. Luckily, I eventually found my support and decided to get myself out there to "deal" with it all instead of stay recluse and hidden. I connected with a co-worker who himself, was about a year ahead of me on the divorce train. I cried in another co-workers' office for moooooonths and she listened to every single word I had to say. What a gift - also a gift that we didn't get fired. I re-connected with a friend from college who was through divorce - and also relied heavily on someone outside of my friend group for some tough-love conversations. It pulled me up and through the mess I was living and am forever grateful for those people.

But now - I look around and know that I'm that person that people go to when they have questions about divorce. I may be that singular individual that they know of that has gone through it and know what the impact on life, on the children, on yourself entail. It's extremely surreal sometimes to realize that I made it through to this point. But I've realized as I've moved on in life - so has everyone else. And lots of times - those people have already found new partners, new relationships and I have not. Sometimes, it's lonely.

I spent 8 years with my ex wife. The first 4 were a very tumultuous on/off kind of relationship. But before her, I was with someone else for about a year and a half. And before that? A year long relationship. I find safety in being with someone else and many times I ache because I feel alone and single and I don't remember that I really haven't been single since I was 20. After our divorce, I dipped my toe into dating, found someone and that didn't work out. It hurt. I picked myself back up (after many months of crying and talking to friends but I did it!) and tried to get back out there. I haven't felt "it" though, so I've hung back. I haven't given myself to anyone - emotionally, physically, mentally. And honestly, I'm tired. 

I run a house, I keep two small humans alive, I have a full-time job and student loan debt. I'm dedicated to my friend base and keeping that community close to me. What little time I have - I squeeze my family in. Is there room for someone else here? I don't know. 

So even though I look at others moving on and wonder when it will be my turn, I also am aware that I'm still not ready yet. I'm enjoying my singlehood and not answering to someone else. I enjoy having all of my bed to myself and leaving my laundry in the dryer until I'm ready to deal with it. I enjoy coming and going as I please - I enjoy owning my money, my house, my things and not sharing. Maybe that's a sign that I need some more time to be single. To allow time to develop where space opens in my life for someone else to enter. 

If you're not there yet ... don't worry. It'll happen, just like I know it'll happen for me again some day. 

Book Review: What She Knew // Gilly Macmillan

Friday, August 17, 2018

Howdy! I follow a few book readers feeds on Instagram and usually get my recommendations on my next reads from these women. They are the kind that post awesome pictuers, cozied up with a great book (like every day) - how do they read so much?! I dunno - but I'm thankful for their recommendations and snagged my last read from them - What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan.

Image result for what she knew gilly macmillan

Rachel Jenner is a divorcee navigating single-mom life, while co-parenting with her ex-husband, who has since married the woman he had an affair with. They have an 8 year old son named Benedict - and Rachel struggles with finding herself post-divorce, the anger and resentment she still holds, among other things. On a walk with Ben, one day, the boy goes missing. Rachel can't find him anywhere and it's like he's vanished out of thin air.  The rest of the book goes through a list of suspects, sees Rachel leaning on her sister and close friend (who are also not who they seem to be) and even needing to communicate more with her ex and his new wife than ever before. Plus - juggling the guilt that maybe it WAS her fault that Ben disappeared - she wasn't really watching him closely, was she?

It was a steady book - moving through the complex relationships and feelings associated with losing a child. And, I was really attracted to the story of a single mother who was co-parenting with her ex. Similiarities to my life are always intriguing to me. It's about 400 pages long, and I will say the ending dragged on a bit with monologued thoughts from Rachel - but overall the book was a great read with many twists and turns. Character development of the main characters was pretty decent. It's a great travel read or to cozy up at home with.

What are you reading lately?