Going Back to Cali***

Ten days from today, I will by flying back to California for Thanksgiving Week. To say that I'm a little nervous would be an understatement. I am downright scared to death.

I'm not scared of flying, nor am I scared about the 5K on Thanksgiving morning. (Nervous, yes, but not scared.) I'm going back to the place where I learned to hate myself, and I'm spending a full week there. That's what scares me.

Not so long ago, I would have avoided the feeling, eaten until I felt numb. While I do see that possibility hovering on the horizon, it is not something I consider a viable option. Eating until I feel numb got me where I am. It reinforces all those negative messages that were glued onto my brain. The question is, what do I do instead?

I have tried distracting myself. I've squeezed out another couple hundreds words of my novel. I've thrown myself into work. I've read voraciously. I've quilted until my fingers cramped. Each time, the fear dissipated for a while and then came back.

I have tried doing things that make me feel stronger. I sorted through my closet, packed up four shopping bags of too-big clothes, and dropped them off at Goodwill. I've been cleaning my house five minutes at a time. I've been writing in my journal. I've been running up the stairs--because I can, finally, and to use up some of the adrenaline the fear leaves in my veins. I've been walking Benji as briskly as his little legs can handle.

But the fear remains. Right now, I'd say the fear and I are locked in a game of chicken. The question is, which one of us is going to blink first?

***Apologies to LL Cool J for appropriating his song title