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Strawberry Shortcake Solves Nothing

My life has been in a bit of an upheaval for the last four months. This community was born out of that disturbance and Sarah’s urging, which I’ll always appreciate. If I hadn’t had something to work towards, I might have seriously lost my way during this time.

I am not a particularly strong woman. My mother is the type that can face the harshest trials and survive. As a result, I tend to roll over, show my weakness, and pray that the bad times will be over soon. I have no desire to become the Arnold Schwarzenegger of emotional strength.

I’ve had days where things have gotten so comically bad that I had to laugh. It was like, “Seriously? This cannot be happening to me!”

Other days have consisted of a lot of swear words and feeling sorry for myself. The worst days were filled with feelings of inadequacy and a general sense of being a total loser. To me, I had become the very definition of FAILURE.

Amid this upheaval, I have been making a concerted effort to change my relationship with food. Unfortunately, that means in my darkest hours, and I could no longer use Hershey Nuggets to calm my nerves. Instead, I’ve been aware of my feelings with no extraneous sugar coursing through my blood. Anyone who has conquered an addiction during stressful times knows this is excruciating.

So on a Friday night that I received bad news, I succumbed to bad habits and decided to soothe my nerves with a strawberry shortcake. Unfortunately, I had no strawberries or whipped cream. I was too angry to drive, so I decided to be soothed by shortcake alone. Not wanting to wipe out five months of hard work altogether, I skipped dinner and planned for a shortcake only.

Anyone who knows me understands that kitchen work is not my talent. Most of the time, I turn simple tasks into disasters, but I am proficient at shortcake (as long as Bisquick in my pantry). As a result, I can produce a kicka$$ strawberry shortcake for my father, who loves it.

That is unless I bake under the influence of hostility. Rage-kneading results in the least tender shortcake known to man. How do I know about tender shortcakes? I spend numerous hours watching baking shows in the hopes of transferring skills via osmosis. Hint: this does not work.

What I ended up with was the tough shortcake that tasted like sh1t. Not even the dogs would sample it, and they are used to my cooking.

As I sat there with a sickening shortcake and a bad attitude, I realized that the shortcake would solve nothing. It wasn’t going to make the tough times disappear. It certainly wasn’t calming my frustrated spirit. Instead, it was doing nothing more than piling on my worries.

So here I am, shortcake-less, processing the bad feelings and learning to be fiercer.

There’s something liberating in looking my problems in the eye and saying, “Bite me!” and not feeling I have to take a bite myself.

How do you deal when things are out of your control?

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How do I deal with things when they are out of control? Good question. When I am overwhelmed or feel out of control I have a tell, I take deep breaths or make heavy sighs. I didn't realize this until someone pointed it out to me. So when I have some alone time, I will take long deep breaths to clear my thoughts and figure out how are why I am overwhelmed. Then I prioritize what to do. I am only one person and can take everything one step at a time. Once I take care of the first task, it leads me to the second on and so on. This came to me when my mom passed…

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