Weighty Matters

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Unfocused and Unproductive

on February 14, 2014

Ever since Wednesday, I’ve had problems focusing on tasks. I appear to either get distracted by outside forces or manage to distract myself. As a result, I feel unproductive in all areas of my life.

I loathe not being productive. It drives me crazy. I am an efficient, get-it-done person. This doesn’t mean that I can’t kick back and relax. I don’t need to be accomplishing tasks every second, minute and hour of every day. Au contraire, I can spend hours on a warm day lolling on my porch and reading a good book.

So what’s the difference? Why is it roiling me up and emotionally affecting me now? Simple. It’s because I’m not making the conscious choice to relax and let the world spin around without me. I feel like it’s somehow out of my control. That’s the danger zone. When I feel like some area of my life is not within my control, I generally see an increase in my eating impulses. It’s like when one thing’s off kilter, it drives the rest of my life out of balance, too. Or, when one thing’s off kilter, I feel like my life is out of balance which stresses me out and triggers the desire to eat.

Crazy stuff, huh? Conversely, I can have a dozen projects going at once, be in charge of keeping them moving and in balance, and that won’t stress me out in the least. When I set the projects in motion, I’m golden. Now, if someone else has put the plates on the wobbly poles and then made it my responsibility to keep them spinning, that’s different. Again — it’s the balance between what is mine to control and what isn’t.

None of this actually makes good sense to me. You’d think that if I had an area out of my control, I’d work harder to keep other areas in line and functioning according to plan. As I ponder this whole thing, I wonder if I have a knee jerk reaction, decide that lack of perfection is an unbearable character flaw, and then punish myself by compulsively eating.

This is really messed up thinking. Then again, nobody claimed that those of us with disorders are the last bastions of rational thought at all times. Nor do I pretend that rational thought and rational behavior go hand in hand anyway.

So for right now, today, I’m trying to mitigate the damage. I’m telling myself that it’s okay for me to once in a while be unfocused and unproductive. Okay, I can’t accept that completely. Unfocused and not-quite-as-productive-as-I-usually-am will have to do. My life is not going to crash and burn. The sky will not fall. All is and will be well. I’ll get to that “being well” part sooner if I resist the urge to let my eating disorder pile on the pressure. I really don’t have to inappropriately eat over the whole thing.

2 responses to “Unfocused and Unproductive

  1. Hope says:

    I’m recovering from a cold, which means that I need to lay low for a bit. It’s driving me crazy! I totally get where you’re coming from.

  2. Skye says:

    And work on that perfectionism. It’s bad for you. I would imagine that control is a very big issue for anyone with any kind of addiction. I have taken my perfectionism and control issues and gone the other way: becoming completely unproductive and ceding control completely. Pretty much as useful as the opposite.

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