formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day Three of the LBTL Challenge...

Today was hard. Especially hard.

First, someone at work ate my banana.

I wanted to cry.

Seriously. The tears welled.

Then, I misjudged the size of my rice/bean serving, so I only had about 2/3 of my lunch. Minus the banana.

Then I remembered I had swim team registration and a meeting right after work. I couldn't even go home. And I couldn't buy something out. So I didn't get to eat dinner until 8:30. I had two servings of Ramen noodles. Because I was starving, that's why.

I think I may eat tomorrow. This has been an awful three days. The challenge has been incredibly hard and while I don't want to fail, I also believe it did - for me, anyway - what it was meant to do.

I don't think for a second that I understand what it means to be truly hungry... to have no money for food... to having nothing but the most meager sustenance, which doesn't fill me up or make me feel good or healthy. I did this for three days, knowing full well that it was going to end sooner rather than later. I have known all along that as soon as the challenge is complete, I can go back to eating healthy food and plenty of it.

So I don't really understand. I don't know.

And I hope I never, ever do.

But I have gained a sense of what it must be like. These past three days, I have felt panicked... desperate... exhausted... irritated... frustrated... angry...


And this feeling of deprivation is different than any I've felt before. In the past, when I was on a diet or when I cut out different sorts of food to be healthier, I was depriving myself. I had control over it. But in this case, the deprivation felt different... it felt imposed...

It took away my control.

And losing your control is scary. It's scarier than feeling hungry. It's scarier than not having enough money for food.

I think it must be what truly poor people feel -- out of control.

Yes, this has been horrible and the idea that 1.2 billion people live this way breaks my heart. I'll be looking into ways to help. A few years ago, I met a little old man on Christmas Eve (you can read about that encounter right here) and I wound up feeding him for a whole year, until he fell in his home and was removed by Social Services. I didn't have much then but he got a quarter of my grocery budget every week. It wasn't easy but it made me feel good, knowing I was helping someone who really needed it. It helped me, too, as things were hard then and I believe that focusing on someone else's problems helps you take your mind off your own.

So I'll be finding a way to help... a real, tangible way. If I can help just one person to feel less desperate... deprived... out of control... it won't be enough... but it will be something.

And something is better than nothing.



gusgirl57 said...

There is nothing worse than feeling deprived, hungry and anxious too. It's no wonder there is violence. When you have nothing to lose but your misery, why not? If life doesn't give you what you need, you feel justified to take it. Every small act of kindness to help others adds up. Encouraging others to do the same, even if you only get one other person to help, is a step in the right direction. Kindness truly is contagious.

Sam_I_am said...

Oh, Diane. I had to read the LBTL challenge entries from the beginning and by the time I got to the end, I had tears welling up in my eyes. No one should have to go without food or medicine and usually those are the first things to go.

hebba said...

WOW! What a challenge. Really opens your eyes, huh?

I had the experience of feeling hungry -- really hungry-- for a long time last year. But for completely different reasons (the thru-hiking thing)

The experience of being really really hungry all day long for months and ALWAYS thinking about food, fantasizing about food, dreaming about food at night I feel has made me a more compassionate person.

Yet at the same time, I struggle with feelings of guilt. I CHOSE to do that. My experience of hunger, while real, was part of a check-it-off-the-bucket-list life experience. My life went back to the privileged existence it was as soon as the hike was completed.

But once your eyes are opened, you cannot close them again. Its far better to do something constructive with that new understanding (as you are doing) than to simply feel guilty.

And how many have you inspired to take the challenge themselves?

Diane said...

A couple of people are doing it this week. It was definitely eye-opening. Big delivery to the food pantry this week... it's not enough. But it's a start. :)