Accepting Deprivation With Grace

“You need to learn to accept deprivation with grace,” Dr. G. advised me last night.

“You’ll need to change your mindset about how you’re viewing their visit… and it won’t be easy.”

(In case you haven’t figured out by now, Thursday generally = therapy).

We were talking about my anxiety levels with my in-laws being here, and how it no doubt puts a strain on my relationship with my husband, as well as how I feel about myself and my quasi-“hateful” reactions at times.

She said no doubt I am deprived right now (she said she would be too!): my whole house has been “invaded,” foreign objects and foods and “things” are everywhere, depriving me of my sense of “order”.

There’s a language challenge (despite me speaking Spanish and my mother-in-law speaking English, neither of us are completely fluent anymore) which means my communication abilities are deprived.

I am not my husband’s only concern and it’s not easy to find alone time which makes me feel deprived in that department (despite his attempts at being shmoopy!).

My space isn’t “mine,” which means I’m deprived of my sanctuary … I could go on, but I won’t.

She wasn’t saying to ignore those feelings; they’re legitimate. But as she said, more negative energy doesn’t help solve anything–only makes it harder to grapple with.

Rather, I need to accept this state of being we’re in (in the here and now) with grace, dignity, and pride. This means putting some of my own “issues” with them aside in favor of a more pleasant experience with my husband’s family–challenges and all.

We’re six full days into this five-week journey; today marks day seven. Next weekend we’ll meet my parents in Niagara, which will be a little over 1/3 of the way into it. That will be a rejuvenating experience, I hope.

If I can change my mantra, my mindset–from agony and anxiety to acceptance … I’ll be a much happier person. So I’ve adapted Senator Obama’s line, “Yes we can!” as my own.

Yes we can get through this, my husband and I, together.

Yes we can make this an enjoyable experience.

And yes we can come out of this stronger–together, and as individuals.

It’s the weekend, and my goal is to just try to relax and have fun. I might as well–if Jason taught me anything, it’s that we ought to live every day like it’s our last.

TGIF, enjoy!

How about you? How do you handle “deprivation” of any sort?

14 thoughts on “Accepting Deprivation With Grace

  1. I normally handle deprivation really badly. I mean, I just turn in to this spoiled cranky brat. I feel like I revert back to being 5. I don’t think rationally and instead of sorting out my feelings, I start sounding more and more like a needy child. But my therapist and I have been working it out and now I try to be more conscious of my thoughts when I feel deprived. Not overreacting and keeping calm while breathing alot helps too. It seems to take the wind out my sails 🙂

  2. Amanda, me too…which is something I’m trying to work on. Consciousness and mindfulness are truly key. Easy to remember when not in the throes of the situation, however!

  3. I tend to act a little on the immature side, as well. I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older that I LOVE my own space…I NEED my own space. I used to think this was a bad thing, but now I realize it’s healthy and it’s how I deal with things. So when something happens to throw off that routine and I feel crowded in my own home, I feel extrememly anxious and that’s when the food issues come in.

    My therapist always would tell me how I always got worked up over life changes or changes in routine, and I always would come out of them okay. Now I’ve finally started to believe that myself, and it does help to keep that in mind when I feel deprivation in some way.

    Wahoo to one week complete! And that is great that when you see your parents next weekend, you’ll be more than 1/3 of the way there. I am a HUGE countdown person; many people may find that annoying. 🙂

  4. CDLover, I have also learned to love and appreciate my own space, which is why their presence has been so hard on me. It’s not my own, even my room, his sister walks into sometimes unless I lock the door. Imagine a permanent toddler…

    Yup, I am all thrown off but I am not going to let it ruin my food choices.

    Exactly, anxiety has a threshold and we do come down. I need to believ ethat, too.

    Thank you–I can’t wait!! 🙂 I LIVED by countdowns, with us being long-distance international for five years!!!

  5. WTG M! This is a fail-proof attitude and surely one you can reuse down the line in different situations.

    I think this goes along with the whole concept of living life slowly and enjoyably. do the best you can do every day with the tools you have in the moment. sure this weekend may not be the best weekend of your life. but if you accept things as they are and try not to fight it, it may be easier to deal.

    I will definitely apply these tactics to my own situation when needed. thanks!

  6. Thanks Cathy, it so DOES go to the concept of living slowly. Acceptance never comes in an instant, either, so I guess it’s all working toward a goal.

    Recently the goal has been to get through this time without harm to myself or my relationship with my husband. I’m trying to be kinder to myself and to us.

    I just wish this weren’t such a difficult situation for me which is why I need the mindshift. The “Yes we can.” attiutude which will trump any negativity.

  7. My fight is just not snacking at night…it’s as hard as quitting smoking because that “desire” to eat when I am not hungry is soo there…but I find that this desire only really lasts 10 min at most…in that ten min i can distract myself with somehting….something that will take about 20 min and take me far away from the kitchen, like going on the computer, walking the dog.

  8. Good luck, NoStarvingArtist!! I agree often a craving subsides, esp. if it’s not hunger. I ate chocolate today that I def. wasn’t “hungry” for but rather to fill an emotional void. It wasn’t in excess and I surely had the pts for it, but had I applied the “wait 10 min rule” I can guarantee it wouldn’t have made its way to my mouth!

  9. Yay for one week down! My MIL arrives tonight, so reading this was excellent timing for me. 🙂 I did not handle deprivation with grace when she was here last month. By the end of it, I became resentful of her for taking away my kitchen, my walks with the dogs, my alone time. I would like to handle it better this time, by being gracious about what I have to give up, AND by being firm about things I decide I’m not going to give up this time. (Mainly, my kitchen.) Good luck with everything!

    (Also, I recommend taking a book into the bathtub for guaranteed alone time.)

  10. Good luck, Emily!! I agree, setting ground rules helps make the experience tolerable…somewhat!!

    Thanks, Ms. V. Good idea.

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