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Which emotion(s) — joy, envy, rage, pity, or something else — do you find to be the hardest to contain?

I have become very good at masking stress, sadness or anger externally; however internally these negative emotions take their toll on me; in terms of my inclination to channel these negative emotions into making poor food choices. On the upside, I have over the years and a lot of soul searching, gotten better at not giving into those destructive urges. I have had a few epiphanies; the most profound is that even at my lowest weight, I was never happy with myself. The second epiphany is that I no longer have the will, the stamina or the discipline to actually be anorexic and thank goodness for that. That is probably the best thing to have happened to me during the process of getting older and wiser. The distorted imagery that resides in my brain hasn’t gone away, but my internal response system has become much more lax and my attitude is much more forgiving. I have to say that my forgiving attitude towards myself is a huge deal; it has helped me relax and have a nicer internal dialogue with myself. It is amazing just how much we actually talk to ourselves and how some of us are really, really mean to ourselves. It is scary because it is so one-sided and always harmful to the person and the saddest aspect is that the person never gets a proper defense against their internal prosecutor because in their mind they deserve their internal dialogue no matter how wrong-headed and undeserved it is. I am learning to be kinder to myself and my biggest aim in life is to have my two children be as kind to themselves as possible.

On the other hand, I have a very hard time containing feelings of intense joy, happiness or frivolity. I am famous for spontaneous outbursts of laughter. My daughter has recorded my laughter just because it makes her friends laugh; I think it’s because my laugh is full throated and sincere, not at all wishy-washy or half-hearted. My daughter has told me that whenever she and her friends are be upstairs in her room hanging out, a loud sound would interrupt their conversations and her friends would ask what that noise was and my daughter would matter of factly answer “oh that’s my maman” and they would start to laugh. Essentially my daughter was telling me that my laughter is contagious.

My husband has told me the same thing, but it’s kind of another thing when your daughter records your laughter for the sole purpose of having an instant laugh track. I love it. šŸ˜€