Personal Development, Work drama

What I learned from being hated at work.

My colleagues hate me. I have been difficult to work with lately. This is due to a combination of reasons,  but mostly because I’ve been there 5+ years and I struggle with the fact that I’m 32 and still a waitress. But that’s another story.

(I’m aware that hate is a very strong word and I do refrain from using it most of the time – it just applies here – I’m sorry if it bothers you.)

Things have gotten pretty bad. It has gained momentum and it feels now that no matter what I do, my intention is misunderstood and people are silently rolling their eyes at each other or snickering behind my back. It’s like everyone has jumped on the bandwagon and I am the one left out. There was one particular shift where the male runner went OFF at me, threatening me (!) and screaming obscenities for nothing and nobody batted an eyelash, not even the manager. This is unacceptable behaviour in my opinion. You can’t allow abuse like this to happen in a space you are meant to manage. I was extremely tearful for quite some time after that – but I had to suck it up and hold my head high and continue to serve my tables. It was really tough. The air was thick with animosity.  This was an interesting turning point for me. It was where it really hit home that NOBODY there is my friend. It was a sort of rock bottom. Yet one thing I know about rock bottom? The only way from there is up.

It has been an extremely challenging time, going to a job that I hate to work amongst people who hate me.  But I have learnt a few things during this trying time which I would like to share with you in the hopes that it will help you if you also feel unwelcome at work or have a colleague that you and/or others really don’t like.

To preface this, I will point out that I am well aware that my own character defects are creating and exacerbating this situation. I can list them here as I understand them in order for you to gain a better understanding of why I’m at where I’m at. Also, in listing these I am not by any means stating them as set in stone. I always aspire to change and to work on myself and a large part of this means letting go of those aspects of myself that do not serve me.

Number 1 – I am very sensitive and take things too personally. This is a big one. It is probably my biggest downfall at the moment. Nothing is ever personal, but we make it so. Offense is, in actual fact, a choice.

Number 2 – I have passive/aggressive tendencies. Instead of confrontation, I keep things bottled up and seethe silently about things that bother me. I am aware that this is extremely toxic yet I still find it very  hard to speak about things as they arise.

Number 3 – Up until recent days, I have not been taking responsibility for my own life. Thus being ‘stuck’ in a job that shrinks me for so long. I have been subconsciously playing the blame game for years now – mostly towards my mother. That is slowly changing now as it (eventually) dawns on me that I have been responsible for my own happiness for over a decade now and blaming her for my insecurities, etc is literally handing over my personal power.

Number 4 – I tend to focus on the negative. This just creates more of the same!

Number 5 – I am very hard on myself.  This in conjunction with caring too much what others think.. you can imagine the downward spiral of being one’s own worst enemy.

So I’ve certainly been learning lots about my shadow stuff during this process. On a more positive note, there is a blessing in everything, maybe especially in the negative stuff. A quote that has been reverberating through me over the past couple of days is:

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Possibly the most important lesson I’ve learnt is this:

If somebody is causing you pain, irritation and/or frustration THEY are in pain themselves! They do not need MORE pain and resistance from you; they need LOVE!!

We have all heard or read something like this somewhere before (I have plenty) but it has never hit home more than when I BECAME  that person. My frustrations/passive aggression/mood swings at work are as a result of me being desperately unhappy with my life situation (blame game/not taking responsibility) and others’ bullying and ganging up against me is making it increasingly difficult to try and be a better person. Plus I’m taking everything so personally at the same time. It’s so hard! This being said, I know that it takes a near-saint to actually accomplish this. It is NOT easy to Love someone who you feel is a complete shit. But consider that it is their own deep suffering that makes them act this way, not to mention that this is only ONE tiny aspect of them. Bad behaviour does not make us fundamentally bad people. It just means we need healing.  Here I will have to point out that I am being a total hypocrite right now. I really struggle with another one of our colleagues. It is unanimous amongst most of us that she is absolutely terrible to work with. (Yet the degree to which I allow her shit to get to me is probably directly related to my own shit.) On one level I see clearly that her own suffering is causing her to act this way, but damn! she makes it near-impossible to be nice to her. As probably the two least popular people there (for probably very similar reasons) you can imagine how the two of us can be at loggerheads. But even as I sit here writing this I am trying desperately to gain some understanding and compassion for her… and I come up empty. She’s awful. She’s a downright bitch. (And I’m a hypocrite).

Another positive that I am gaining from this seemingly negative experience is that I am developing a thicker skin, which is something I’ve sorely needed. On that particular shift I mentioned it really hit home that I needed to be my own best friend. I’ve relied too much on others’ approval for my self-worth. So when I didn’t get it, and it really hurt, I had to take a deep breath and Love Myself. This is probably the best decision one can make. Ever. Sometimes we need to realize and accept that Life Is Not Fair. Being at the receiving end of unfair treatment is helping me develop the skill of allowing and letting go. And to stop taking things personally. How people treat you is, after all, a reflection of their relationship with themselves. It has NOTHING to do with you!

Important Lesson number 2:

Everybody has light and dark within them.

Firstly I must observe and accept my own shadow stuff which seems to come out mostly in my workplace. This in turn reflects others’ darkness to me. This is NOT the whole picture! My colleagues might be seeing the shady part of me – but I know there is SO much more to me. We are multi-faceted beings. And so I might be seeing their shitty sides too (because they don’t like me) but I have the opportunity here to accept responsibility and forgive. And know that they have goodness in them too. Even if it’s my tendency to want to label them as assholes as a defense mechanism. I can’t tell you how well I am doing at this. It certainly is a work in progress. But I can only start with me. Love ALL of me. The good and the bad. And when I observe something in another, like one colleague’s tendency to contradict herself, and change her behaviour when it suits her, I have to consider that I do it too. And then Love it All. Love heals.

And then lastly (for now) what I have learned from this experience is this:

Do not allow yourself to be influenced by what others say about people. Get to know them yourself first and then draw your own conclusions.

Now and again we get a newby. A new waitress or, most recently, a new manager. Before long, this new person also starts giving me a different vibe, for no apparent reason, and I know it’s because of what others say about me. Unfortunately a lot of us are easily influenced like this. We want to fit in. So when others say something about a certain person, we start seeing it too. Of course I am not speaking for everyone.. I certainly intend to not listen to shit-talking about others anymore. Because I know how it hurts and I know that everyone deserves a fair chance. People can change but only if we give them the room to.

Things are slowly changing. I am in a much better head and heart space. I’m learning to live in the moment, accept and Love my life and myself and take responsibility. Make the changes! Start saving money to go travelling! I intend to speak to the new manager soon. I need to be there for another few months at least and I could do with some support.  Ironically I really like him. He’s the freshest thing that place has seen in a long time. I think we can work really well together, if he can get over this perspective he has of me. Wish me luck!

If Life hands you lemons, make apple juice… and have everyone wonder how the fuck you did it!!

 

 

 

 

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Addiction, healing

Abstinence for food addiction.

A lot of people don’t realize how food can be just like a drug. That a lot of us are addicted to food and the effects are very similar to those of being addicted to a drug. I speak from direct experience. When I am in the grips of food addiction (ie eating non-stop) I am astonished with just how similarly to drug addiction it makes me act. I’m talking about the way it makes me hide away from life and from people. Sitting in my room day in and day out, only to leave the house to work and to get more food.  Eating until I am so full and then eating some more. A feeling of never having enough. The shame of the weight gain and knowing I am doing harm to my body, especially considering the candida, as I am eating vast amounts of carbs and sugars, the stuff that feeds the yeast. The shame is real.

This blog is for those who know what I am talking about or those who know someone who is experiencing this, although this is unlikely because it is not something we talk about. When I am bingeing I am lying to myself and I am lying to the world. Nobody actually knows about the suffering I am going through. We all like to eat right? So it’s normal. But they don’t actually understand.

Firstly I would like to share my opinion that it is not actually FOOD we are addicted to, but CARBS. Consider this… no obese person or food addict is addicted to salads. It is not the tomatoes and celery that are the problem. NO, it is the fries, the bread, the sweets, the pizza, the pasta, the cookies, the muffins, the ice cream, the nachos… ALL THE CARBS. It has been proven that sugar is as addictive as heroin and I agree with that wholeheartedly. I have quit smoking, but have been unable to quit sugar. I have quit drinking and cocaine and coffee, but sugar is still that motherfucker that won’t let go of me. (Yes, the yeast does play a huge role in this but I know plenty of people who are addicted to sugar, and let’s not forget that my lifetime of excessive sugar consumption is why I have yeast overgrowth in the first place).

But I digress… that is for another blog post, for another day. What I want to talk about today is Abstinence.

What is Abstinence?

Those of you who never knew that food was an addiction also didn’t know that, just like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), you also get Overeaters Anonymous (OA). Now, just to be clear, I would like to express that I have never been to an OA meeting (although I certainly would if there were one nearby me) –  I have, however, been to a couple of CA meetings (Codependents Anonymous).  My understanding of addiction is that, fundamentally, they are all the same. We all use these various substances or people or food to fill some sort of void or to hide from ourselves and our feelings.

So how do we abstain as overeaters? We obviously can’t abstain from food like alcoholics abstain from alcohol and drug addicts abstain from drugs. We need food to survive. So, the answer is… we abstain from compulsive eating.

This is where I would like to publicly thank OA for saving my life. I have never been to a meeting but I came across a booklet of theirs in a second hand bookshop a few months ago. This is where I learned of Abstinence.

Basically, the idea is that you have your meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner –  and nothing in between. So simple, yet so profound. I say profound because the change in me when I abstain is astronomical. Here I would like to remind you to consider food addiction similar to drug addiction because when I binge:

  • I feel trapped.
  • I feel miserable, lonely and afraid.
  • I feel deeply ashamed.
  • I feel physically ill and immobile.
  • I am embarrassed about my weight gain and hate that I don’t fit into any of my lovely clothes.
  • I waste a shit ton of money.
  • I feel hopeless and in despair.
  • I feel victimized and very sorry for myself.
  • I get upset when people don’t like me or are weird to me and obsess about my flaws and egocentricities.
  • I feel sluggish and just want to sleep all the time.
  • I worry about my health. Obviously the bingeing exacerbates my candida symptoms which are mostly thrush and acne. I’m talking really severe acne which is shame and embarrassment on a whole other level. Also another blog post. These symptoms also prevent any kind of intimacy which reinforces the loneliness. This and other worrying aches and pains which I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post. I’ve thus become a bit of a hypochondriac, worrying I have given myself cancer or some other serious dis-ease.
  • I put off all duties, hobbies, chores and friends for ‘tomorrow’. A tomorrow that never comes.
  • I feel that my goals are totally unreachable.
  • I feel jealous of others’ success, beauty and freedom.
  • I feel ugly and unloveable. Uncomfortable in my own skin.

When I abstain on the other hand:

  • I feel free!
  • I feel confident and much more able to take on challenges.
  • I have more energy
  • I am more keen to go out and do things
  • I am less irritable,  I am no longer grumpy and miserable.
  • I am inspired to get up and do the things I am interested in.
  • I am inspired to exercise.
  • I feel empowered. I suddenly don’t care what people think because I am treating myself with care and that is all that matters.
  • I am happy about the newer, slimmer, fitter me.
  • My skin improves. (It still has a way to go but I will get there!)
  • I am more present!
  • I am experiencing true biological hunger and true biological satiety.
  • I am inspired to do things that are worthwhile to me, like reading informative books and writing this blogpost.
  • I am inspired to start other healthful habits like exercise and green juicing.
  • I am willing and able to face my demons!

Every day I abstain I am astonished with how different my lifestyle is compared to when I binge. I have lulls sometimes, where I feel stuck, unsure of what to do with myself, and I realize these are the moments when I tend to binge. My favourite thing to do while I eat crap is watch crap on YouTube. I can spend hours a day watching utter shit.

I understand that there is still a lot of work to do. I have to get to the bottom of the addictive and self-destructive behaviour. I believe it all boils down to self-worth and the lack thereof. This is where the blame game comes in (“Mama why didn’t you love and nurture me when I most needed it?”) and that is something I am still sitting with. It is just so easy to blame my mom for my lack of self-love instead of taking responsibility. I honestly don’t know how to go about forgiving her and taking my life into my own hands. What I do know is there is zero chance of me taking this on while I am bingeing. As long as I am abstaining I am more readily available, physically, emotionally and mentally, to take on these feelings inside me that I have been suppressing for so long. When they come, I pray for the courage and the love to allow, release and move forward.

 

ps… I understand that addiction is a very sensitive subject for all of us and would like to stress that I am speaking of my personal experience only. I understand that we are all different, with varying degrees of addiction and suffering. I write this blogpost with the intent to reach out and inspire and give someone something to relate to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

I’m scared…

Today I ate all the carbs and sugar I could lay my hands on. I feel terrible. Scared and anxious. I don’t know what needs to change in order for me to do this thing but I know that I cannot live my life like this any longer. I’d rather live my life in craving than live in fear and anxiety of the harm I’m doing to my body. It’s so easy to forget this when I’m craving.

Is it too late?

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Uncategorized

Healing? Day 3 — failed

I’m embarrassed to admit here that I’ve ‘failed’. But then I ask myself, why is it a failure? Is that not being a little hard on myself? I only consider it a failure, because, my intention is to eat carb-free for a succession of 21 days, and, each time I have to start over, is thus considered a failure. But truth be told, my overall diet over the past few weeks has improved vastly. It’s just that, with candida, a sugar and carb free diet needs to be followed consistently for a certain period of time in order to starve the yeast. And I just haven’t been able to succeed for years now!! It’s really hard, I feel really alone and unmotivated.

Today didn’t go well. I was in a thunderous mood at work and my cravings were strong. It’s really not easy trying to eat healthy when you work at a burger joint. I was just in such a terrible mood. My skin’s looking terrible, which affects my vibe a lot. I was also working with a girl who triggers me a lot lately. There’s so much about her that rubs me the wrong way. I do understand that this is all me. She wouldn’t bother me nearly as much if I was in a better space. I’m unhappy with myself so I’m taking it out on colleagues and housemates in my passive aggressive way, reinforcing my solitude. The cravings also make me edgy and depressed.

There’s nothing I can do except try again tomorrow. I hope you’ll bare with me. I think I’m onto something with this blog thing. It just might be the thing to help me push through in the end.

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candida, healing, Uncategorized

I am a warrior

Healing Day 2

I’ve been nursing a bit of a flu lately. Last night my cough turned really nasty, waking me up regularly. I decided to take the day easy, stay in bed. I slept until 5pm! I woke up sluggish and a bit depressed. And craving!

I fought the urge for a while, but eventually gave up. I decided to go to the shop and get me those damn rice krispie treats and something from the bakery section too. Come home and have a good old binge. I walked to the shop thinking of what I was gonna come write on here. “I failed — trying again tomorrow’” Same old story.

I got to the shop and — lo and behold — they didn’t have any of what I wanted. Hmm, interesting. Never one to take the signs for what they are, I went over to the cookie section. Yum, a pack of iced zoo biscuits would go down well. I’d already grabbed a bag of chips. I stood there, grappling with myself. How am I gonna feel after I’d eaten all this? How am I gonna feel tomorrow? When am I gonna do this for real?

I had the thought, “Walking all the way to the shop, at night, with intention to buy a sweet binge and then NOT buy it, will probably be one of the hardest things for me.”’ And that’s how it hit me. Every single time I resist the urge to give in to cravings (those damn cravings that are not even my own — they’re the yeast wanting to be fed) I become stronger. Conquering this thing will make me a goddamn warrior.

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candida, health

Healing Day One

I didn’t wake up particularly inspired as I usually do on Day ones (I’ve had many). I feel tired, sluggish and I want cake. I almost regret putting up that post last night. I’d love to delete it and go out and buy cake.

So what’s gonna be different about this time? What will help me succeed? What keeps us from living the lives we want to lead? We are our only obstacles. I have observed time and time again how I really am my own worst enemy. It’s astonishing really, the self-harm I am capable of.

On some level, I understand that at the root of all of this is the animosity I feel towards my mother. We haven’t spoken in about 7 months. I understand that I need to forgive her. If only for myself and my own development. I understand that holding grudges doesn’t serve me. But I have no clue how to go about doing the forgiveness thing. I suspect it has something to do with compassion. Putting myself in her shoes and trying to understand that she didn’t know any better. And still doesn’t. Knowing that deep inside she is suffering, and probably beating herself up. Even though she won’t admit it. Knowing that she is only reflecting her own broken childhood feelings. Just like I am.

17:40 -Today hasn’t seen me very productive. Very impatient actually when I had to wait in queues when I eventually left the house to go run an errand. I almost caved. I was so tempted to just get an entire pack of rice krispie treats and just devour them in one sitting. ‘Nobody’s even read this’ I told myself. ‘You can start tomorrow.’ Laughable really.

I feel spaced out and far from present. I can’t stop daydreaming about being a different person and about a certain man. My body feels stiff. I’m craving sugar. I feel lonely. And ugly.

Did this blog save me from getting those rice krispie treats?

A friend posted this quote on Facebook just now:

“The present may not be perfect. It could be beautiful or it could be very difficult. But when we fully enter it is sufficient. The things that we need are freely available. We don’t need to distract ourselves from what we are feeling and experiencing in the present by designing enormous plans for the future. We don’t need to crave for some other life. We are always in the right place at the right time. Even if we are in a very difficult situation all the clues for creating or moving towards a better future available once we fully acknowledge and feel our experience in the present.” Jason Hine

This rings deeply true for me. Presence is key. On some level I believe that no illness or imbalance can exist where there is awareness. I believe that Presence is probably the most healing and transformative power we have at our disposal. But daydreaming is so seductive. It’s easier to be asleep isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

Help me succeed !!

I’m surprised to see it’s been two years since I’ve posted here. How time flies!

I fear I’ve been wasting my time. Wasting my precious life. Time seems to be going by faster as I get older and what have I done in these past two years? Nothing.

Change needs to happen NOW !! It’s a matter of life and death. I’ve blogged before of my addiction to sugar and nothing has changed. Except my health as deteriorated even more. My candida is still raging, and probably worsened, and I have had a nagging pain in my back – my lower back mostly, and my right buttock consistently for months now. It is either my kidneys or my liver, I’m not sure which.  I have not gone to see a doctor. Fear mostly. Also distrust of the medical profession. Also financial constraints.

The pain comes and goes, definitely influenced by the things I eat. And coffee. My other addiction.

It’s just not easy. Making a lifestyle change after 30+ years of the same thing. It’s not impossible though. So what needs to change?

I firmly believe that my diet and health regimen is an integral part of why I’ve felt so stuck for years now. Just not getting it. Just not having the discipline, or the self-love or whatever the fuck it is that’s stopping me from doing this thing. Keeping myself small. Afraid of my own light? Afraid of the responsibility? Perhaps…

Perhaps if I chronicle my healing journey here I will stay more motivated. Perhaps putting it in the public eye will help me succeed. Let’s give it a go.

So tomorrow I start. Wish me luck.

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