The Scrappy Cocoa
Before I begin, why talk about marriage on a health and nutrition blog?
Relationships are Primary Food. Primary Food are the things in life that actually feed us and keep us healthy. Other examples of Primary Food are Spirituality, Creativity, Career, Physical Exercise, Home Environment and Financial Security. If Primary Food is out of balance, we often seek to restore balance through Secondary Food (the food we put in our mouths). Hate your job? Drown your sorrows in chocolate. Lonely and unfulfilled? Bring Ben and Jerry home to fill the void. As a Holistic Nutritionist, I work with clients to make sure Primary Food is balanced and nourishing and then many over-eating problems just disappear on their own.
Now, on to the story, because today is my 15th wedding anniversary and I have a few things to say about that.
I met M on February 13, 1993 on a blind date. Our date was to be one of many blind dates I had endured that winter. Being a single Jewish woman in Manhattan is like being a Tetris block flying down the chute at high speed. Everyone, and by “everyone”, I mean every other JEW, is frantically scrambling to find the spot where you fit into the stack.
When I opened the door to my apartment that night and saw the crinkly-eyed smile that seemed to shine light into the darkest of places, I had no idea that standing before me was the Prince in a long-line of Frogs. I mean, the guy was an Israeli for Pete’s sake, and we all know the macho, swaggering, overly-confident Zohan-like playuhs, young Israeli studs are likely to be.
But back up a minute: An important part of this story is that I was deeply depressed that winter. I had battled depression my entire life and at that particular time, I was working with a therapist who had me going down the WRONG rabbit hole. The sadder I got, the harder she pressed, thinking we were about to have a breakthrough. What I was about to have was a break-DOWN actually. So actually, by February, I was deep in the shit. Really deep.
Amidst this sadness, M and I began dating. At the beginning, truthfully, I wasn’t really even paying that much attention, so preoccupied was I with my problems. One day, while walking together in Riverside Park, when he was perhaps growing weary of my grim demeanor, I tried to explain to him the depths of my suffering and pain. Quite shockingly, he just laughed and said the words that would change the course of my life forever:
“If it hurts you to think of those things, why don’t you just think of something else?”
WHAT??? You can’t just CHANGE your thoughts! Aren’t your thoughts representations of the inner workings of your psyche? Mustn’t they be fully expressed, examined and analyzed? Are you saying that I control my thoughts and that dark funnel I constantly follow them down and down and down, is not inevitable? Why, in years of therapy, has no one ever told me this?
Cue heavenly light and singing angels.
The next day I fired my therapist and took a keener interest in my playuh.
M and I were married on August 11, 1995 in NYC. The fifteen years since have been the years that grew me. M gives me the security, support, love, encouragement and kicks in the butt, to keep me on the path to positive growth and self-fulfillment. I believe I do the same for him, although he would tell me to stop thinking about it so much and just have fun!
Disclaimer: I do not mean to knock traditional psychotherapy. OK, maybe just a little. I hear it works for some. But like I say with everything, if you’ve been at it for years, and you are just as miserable as ever, maybe it’s time to consider an alternative.
Oh, and I am not a Psychiatrist and Big D Depression is a real disorder and may need professional treatment. My husband may be better than Prozac but you’ll have to find your own, because he’s already taken.