I’ve Been Eating My Feelings

I’m sitting down to type this – and the fact that as I do so my keyboard is getting shinier from my Sour Cream and Onion Lays chip-coated fingers doesn’t faze me. Nope, those chips are not baked. They’re greasy and they taste just like Procrastination. I’m feeling procrastinate-ey. I’m going to open up another bag right now (they’re individually sized). AND IF THEY WEREN’T? You’d nod your head in solidarity, Sister.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been joking about how I’m handling the most public of my issues, our post-flood life. That’s sort-of how I tend to handle things – jokes. Inappropriate jokes, mostly. Uncomfortable and inappropriate. Sometimes it doesn’t require much imagination because the maybe-I-shouldn’t-say-that stuff is really low-hanging fruit. I’ve modified my eating habits a little bit during this “transition” period in my life. Or, maybe I should say that my eating habits have been modified. It wasn’t really an active choice. It just sort of happened.

I’ve totally been eating all of my feelings.

Now I know this is dangerous ground to trod but it’s my truth, so inappropriate or not, I’m naming it. Today, I was a little Frustrated. Frustration tastes like individually wrapped Dove Dark Chocolates with Almonds. You can’t just taste Frustration, you HAVE to eat it. That means you need at LEAST five chocolates. At least. Any less than five and you’re just pretending. You can eat your Frustration right at your desk, so that’s super-convenient. Underneath the Frustration, there’s been a Sadness I’m battling. That Sadness tastes exactly like shrimp fried rice and shrimp with Chinese vegetables. From Hunan. But you can’t eat Sadness in the restaurant, no. You need that stuff take-out. Sadness is pick-up only. Consume it where you will – in the car, on the floor in a new friend’s living room, or on the floor in your in-laws’ house, propped up on some wood floor samples. Sadness gets a fortune cookie. You can eat Frustration after Sadness. Mmmmmm.

Frustration can sometimes give way to Sadness and then you can be frustrated that you were sad, so it can work out so, so good if you need that nutty chocolate bitterness before AND after your salty, starchy, shrimpy MSG. 

I can taste Happiness, too. But there are layers of Happiness … or types? Maybe there are types of layers. You see where I’m going with this … CAKE. Cake is Happiness. Chocolate cake. I once tasted this cake that was sort-of a brownie, but it was cake. Now THAT was Happiness. Joy is Popeye’s Fried Chicken. There’s no logic here. Only truth.  




Lately I’ve been dining on Stress. Stress is mostly appetizers. Or small portions of food you’d otherwise call appetizers only because it’s eaten in bites while you pace. Or while you’re attempting to do one thing when you’re interrupted and start doing another thing. Over and over again. A cold cube of solidified macaroni and cheese? Stress. As long as it’s not a heated plate full, it qualifies. If you heat that up, you’re dangerously into Comfort/Content territory. If I’m eating my Stress, I’m moving. It’s a few grapes, a few of the kid’s fruit snacks, two tastes of the dinner I’m cooking, a pickle, a spoonful of frosting or peanut butter (or both) and a few cheddar bunnies. Stress tastes like indigestion.

I just casually mentioned Content up there. Contentedness is a bowl full of hot macaroni and cheese. You must be sitting. Shoes and pants are optional. There are a few die-hard opinions on the macaroni and cheese type and I think we’re ALL right. The Kraft people and their powdery cheese are just as content eating theirs as are the Velveeta shells and cheese people. The homemade camp is just as content with their spaghetti noodles and roux-thickened, cheesy milk sauce as are the Stouffer’s loyalists. We’re all comforted by the noodle-ey, cheesy wonderfulness. It’s all awesome. OR eating Contentment is roast and rice and gravy. Or lemon meringue pie. Content is comfort and holiday and stretch pants. 

I’m not there right now. I’m not content. I want to be. And I will be again. I’m somewhere between there and just Giving Up. I’ve totally eaten Giving Up. Not so long ago, I gave up twice in one week. When you chase down a Filet-o-Fish (OKAY it was two Filet-o-Fishes, GEEZ) with TWO McDonald’s hash browns … in your car … you’ve given up. Don’t let Giving Up fool you though, because it takes persistence. You have to DECIDE to Give Up. McDonald’s SAYS they serve breakfast all day, but when you order those hash browns at lunch time, you’re going to pull up and then you’re going to WAIT for those suckers. Giving Up is a choice.

I’m owning it. I’m eating my feelings, folks. And I’m telling you about it on THE INTERNET. Do I get a cookie? A chocolate chip cookie is Owning It. 

Hopefully, you can laugh at with me.
Hopefully you can relate.
If not, just sit there and nod so I don’t feel alone.
Because I don’t like alone.
Alone is cold, bitter, burnt toast.


What does your Stress taste like?

Kristen is still in the middle of her love story. She and her best friend of four years gave in and finally decided to date. Two years later, she was engaged. Two years after that, she was married. She’ll celebrate her 17th wedding anniversary this May. Mom to Ellen (8) and James (5), she works full time in Human Resources outside of the home. Her children have taught her that motherhood is hard. And wonderful. And HARD. A proud alum of LSU and Johnson and Wales University, she also collects college degrees. (BS in Psychology, AS in Culinary Arts and BS in Culinary Nutrition). She’s lived in Baton Rouge a majority of her life, with sojourns in New Orleans, Charleston, SC and Providence, RI. The south is clearly home. Recovering from a nearly crippling case of adolescent insecurity, she is still the most likely to have the heel of her shoe caught in the hem of her pants.



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