I grew up in a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" household. My parents didn't ask if I was unhappy, and I didn't tell them when I was unhappy. My mother's mantra was "Ladies are always happy and never complain." Oh, yeah. I would literally get shit for frowning. Good grief, I wish I was kidding. "Look at your face," she'd say disdainfully in Tagalog. "No one can draw that face!" What does that even mean?!!!
As a result, I've adopt an almost unshakable habit of finding ways to hide any kind of negative feelings to focus on the positive almost fanatically. Take the name of this blog: Life Candy -- AKA happiness, joy, sweetness, "Life is freakin' awesome ALL. THE. FREAKIN'. TIME." Even when I complain about stuff here, I try to put a humourous spin to it. Let's laugh at it, and it'll go away. And of course I buy into my own spin.
For most of life's little annoyances, this works. It keeps me from sweatin' the Small Stuff and getting all bitchcakes on my husband when he, for the bazillionth time, puts his garbage right beside the trash can instead of in it.
Unfortunately, I deal with (or don't deal with, as the case may be) the Big Stuff the exact same way. Big Stuff, Small Stuff, it all stays in. Foolish, I know, but that's my modus operandi, mainly because, after all these years of keeping the bad feelings inside, I suck at expressing it.
And the bad is getting worse and worse. I doubt even Roomie knows the extent of how deeply the bad goes. It's not his fault; he's a great listener -- I'm just a terrible talker. Besides, complaining to him about problems I alone can solve is pointless. Right?
Now, this "put on a happy face" mentality is taking its toll. The warning signs have been there all along, but I needed someone to point them out to me for me to realize what they were...
- extra weight (due to all the emotional eating of sweets, salty, and carbs).
- anxiety, panic attacks, and mild depression.
- chronic fatigue.
- changes in "feminine routines".
- and more crap that I'd rather not go into right now.