It seemed that a few days into my second week, the concept of contemplating my “father” while eating had dried up. I’d sit at the table and try to think about fathers and what it means to glorify one, and my brain would seem to hit a wall. I can’t tell if this means I’ve properly worked through enough of this topic and need to move onto something else, or if this is just my brain being my brain. Either way, I decided that I should instead figure out what it would mean to glorify myself through eating.
When I think of glorification and what it’s trying to do, I feel like one of the biggest components is making the entity being glorified feel comfortable and content in the space that you’re in. As I’ve stated so many times, I don’t really like eating and I dislike cooking even more, and feeling this way while eating seems antithetical to being glorified. So I began to ask myself: what would make the eating/cooking process more enjoyable? What would make me feel decent while I ate, but also wouldn’t distract me from eating? What could I do that would allow me to feel like I was taking care of myself more?
The tentative answer became “add music.”
Music is one of those things that is super helpful with moderating my emotions. I can use it to keep me distracted from my depressive thoughts while still having enough mental space to pay attention to what I’m doing. If I use the right combination, I can use music to slowly drag myself into a different headspace, and I often use it to pull myself out of deeper depression spots whenever possible. So I started to listen to music while cooking and eating to see if it would help.
I found that by doing this, I ended up taking more time to cook and eat, and therefore would sometimes eat more than I might have otherwise. In this respect, I think music is a successful addition to my eating method.
I also began to ask myself if adding some things that were not on diet could help me eat more. For example, I love croutons on my salads, but they’re not allowed under my diet restrictions. However, I could add a small amount of them in, and likely not incur any major issues with my health. So I began to do this to try and motivate myself to eat more. My hope was that once I was capable of eating on the regular, I could then start to trim out stuff that was bad for me. If eating is more important than eating a specific way, then this seemed like a good interim solution.
Sometime during these two weeks, I received a visit from another NTR. This one is one I could consider something of a father, perhaps, and I was asked to focus on him for a bit, since my situation with O never changed. After working with him for a few days, I began to feel as though my rejection of what had happened between me and O was necessary, a necessary part of healing both of us, and so I began to feel less concerned over whether I had messed everything up or not.
And that’s really all that happened during weeks two and three. I honestly began to worry if I’d have enough to warrant an entire post, because once my PMDD settled down, it became easier to eat and the music helped me not be so bothered by the process. However, on the last day of week three, I noticed that I was beginning to struggle again. I didn’t want to eat anything, I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything I had in the house, and all I wanted was food that was bad for me.
The final week proved to be as disastrous as the first in some respects. I had emotional turmoil trying to force myself to eat what I didn’t want to. I found myself not wanting anything, and I was prone to putting off the act of eating in the hopes that somehow I would be able to figure it out, even though I knew I wasn’t likely going to figure it out. By this stage, the act of eating had become more normalized, and I knew that if I didn’t eat, the pang in my stomach would be even worse than before I had started this jaunt, but that didn’t make it any easier to convince myself that eating what I had in the house needed to happen.
I couldn’t tell you how I managed to do it, but I seemingly managed to force myself to eat despite the hurdles. But what it really confirmed for me is that my illnesses really do inhibit my ability to get things done. Its no mystery why my execrations were the hardest to get done: they always occurred when my PMDD was at its strongest. And when the Monthly Ma’at rituals ended up at the end of the month as well, well, those stopped happening, too.
This, of course, brings up a lot of questions about where the line between obligation and personal needs should be. Whether the NTRW (or frankly, our judgemental peers) understand the need for leeway for those of us who have chronic illness; where there are going to always be periods of time where doing things is just not likely to happen. And, of course, how harshly one judges themselves for having those limitations and how that bleeds into our religious community and expereince. But that’s a separate post for another day.
Right before the very end of my month, I finally was given access to do the work that I had been trying to do for years. I spent three days on the task, and within a few days after being finished, I could feel some things finally settle into place on my end. Does that mean I was successful? Does it mean that I was able to get something done? Does that mean that eating for a month was useful? I couldn’t say.
But at least I can now go back to “normal”? Which now does seem to involve eating multiple times per day. So I guess if nothing else, I can say that this year’s Mysteries might have gotten back into eating regularly again, even if I’m still not sure what purpose this serves to help glorify my “father.”