Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fight or Flight?

This is the true test. None of the progress I've made over the past year will matter unless I can pass this test.

When my alarm went off this morning was when I realized exactly what was going on. I'd planned on going to the pool. My bag was packed and ready, and I woke up rather easily. But I didn't go anywhere.

For once, this isn't about the aches, pains, or fatigue of pregnancy. It's about my old habits...unfortunate instincts that I can't seem to shake. I'm dealing with a couple of really stressful situations in my life right now. Everything has sort of been piling up on top of me, and this last source of stress has pushed me to the brink.

When it comes to the age-old "fight or flight" instincts, for years now I've been falling solidly on the side of "flight." I have no skills for coping with stress (especially when I'm pregnant, but not only then), and so I run away. I run away from conflict, from people who upset me, from situations I can't control. When the going gets tough, I shut down, and check out, and give up on myself.

Some people have wondered why I take my fitness ups and downs so seriously -- it's because for me they have been intertwined with successes and failures in the rest of my life for a long time now. In the past 10 years, every time I've faced a difficult time in my life, I've resorted to poor health habits as my pitiful coping mechanism. In contrast, the times when I have been able to improve my health habits, even if only temporarily, I have likewise been better able to deal with the rest of my life! Well, that was true at least until I faced another major challenge, and then I'd flee from it all again.

So here I am, dealing with pregnancy hormones that make me insane and as poorly equipped to handle stress as I ever am. I have to make some tough decisions and I don't want to run away. I want to dig my heels in and fight. I want to face the things that upset me, or scare me, and actually DEAL with them for once! I don't want to be called out on strikes this time...I want to go down swinging!!!!! And being the extreme personality that I've already admitted to you I am, I know it's going to be an all or nothing sort of thing.

This morning I chose flight. What will I choose when the alarm goes off tomorrow?

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