Janepollak

janepollak

Here’s How I Medicate

Posted Date: 20-Apr-2017

As some of you know, I’ve been off sugar for over two decades. I don’t smoke, do drugs or keep alcohol in my apartment. So when I got a rejection a couple of weeks ago after sending my complete manuscript to an agent I had good feelings about, I totally wanted to check out.

First, I felt really sad and disappointed. I didn’t care to share my upset with anyone right away. I tried a little positive self-talk. It didn’t help.

I recited slogans I’d use if someone called me with similarly discouraging news.

“Rejection is God’s protection.”
“Don’t quit before the miracle!”
“Something better is out there for you.”

Nada.

And then I partook in my form of bingeing. I played solitaire on my Nook for an hour. Mindlessly moving queens onto kings, allowing aces to migrate to the top of the screen, and promising myself I’d quit after 20+ losses, a promise I ignored. I zoned out until I’d completely forgotten why I’d allowed myself to lean back in my red recliner and mindlessly play cards.

Oh, yeah. Rejection. The crappy feelings re-surfaced, so I went to the kitchen and made cereal for breakfast–a comforting bowl of oatmeal mixed with tahini and maple syrup and topped off with some homemade granola. I went to sleep before 9, and the upset was behind me.

Not too harmful to my body or soul, but comforting and numbing at the same time. Years ago, it would have been a drive to Friendly’s for a hot fudge sundae with mint chocolate chip ice cream which would have left me depressed, feeling fat and miserable for days after. I’m grateful to be able to feel the feelings, self-medicate without making myself sicker, and move on.

Soon after the sting of the rejection I saw a young woman I know who asked about my memoir. She’s struggling in a marriage in ways similar to how I struggled. “I NEED YOUR BOOK!” she asserted. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

 

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