I'm behind again. That's become a sad truth about my life. I fantasize about having a slow morning to write a well crafted blog post. It just doesn't happen. Most mornings are hitting the ground running from one activity to the next. It would almost sound like I was complaining about that kind of pace. I"m not. It has too much value. While hitting the ground running and moving from one thing to the next can have it's stresses it also is what allows me to feel good and take life's punches. AND, life will punch- whether we want it to or not, whether we are ready for it or not, whether we feel prepared or ready for it or not. The best thing we can do is store up as many avenues for feel goods as we can to absorb the blow.
I'm not sure if it came from being an only child and having to learn to entertain myself or where exactly it came from, but I've always been good at hobbies. I've always been good at finding things to do with my time that interest me in some way. When I was a kid I was crafty. I doodled. I created things. I painted t-shirts. I stitched things. I filled my time. What I didn't know I was doing was that I was also filling my mind with things that kept other thoughts out. By constantly working on a hobby I was directing my mind with a place to go. I didn't have time to worry or fret over the ridiculous that my mind could conjure up. At least for a while.
Eventually my hobbies changed and accessibility affected when I could do my hobby, partially based off of parental transport. I didn't live on a farm and as my hobby shifted to riding horses it just wasn't feasible to be on the back off a horse as often as it was to pull out my drawing pad. As my eating disorder snuck it's way in the desire for hobbies lessened and I was consumed with the ridiculousness of trying to escape my feelings of despair during typical teenage angst (or maybe not so typical) by starving myself in the search for the perfect body. Sounds like a great hobby, right?
The problem, other than the obvious, is there isn't a formula. The odds of putting all your eggs in one basket and having an expectation that it will be the one thing that saves you is never a good idea. An eating disorder is all based off of a formula. Thin = awesome, perfect life, void of all pain. Bullshit. There is too much riding on the success of following the formula. It's impossible to have something always give you positive strokes enough that it can carry you against life's punches. But, we need good feelings. Honest, good feelings... from a number of places.
I've been lucky. Riding horses has stuck with me. I've also managed to develop a healthy relationship with running and weight training. I have a family that I adore. While there are stresses to balancing all of those things, they are my feel goods. And let's be honest and real for a minute. They don't ALL always feel good. I've been through injuries that have taken out running. My journey with my horse has been a roller coaster ride. There are times when I need a break from my family. I also make jewelry and have a career. Both of which energize me and drain me. The point is that while any of those things can be doing well; there is an equal chance that some of them are doing terribly and fall under those things in life that punch at us. If any of those things were the only thing I was counting on for my feel good I wouldn't be able to handle life's punches and that terrible side of it. It would fee like too much.
Feel goods are necessary. Essential. They are the things that get us through when we need to feel good and life is handing us a bunch of lemons instead of lemonade. And for those of us who suffer from depression and anxiety type symptoms they are the lifeline that may hold us together on the dark, dark, dreary days.