Today is a day I need my higher power, but not for the food.

Today I’m struggling with anxiety because we have friends visiting for the weekend and it’s been raining non-stop since they arrived. They don’t have children, so being cooped up with mine in a little condo for hours on end can’t possibly be fun for them. They are being good sports, but I feel anxious and responsible for the weather.

Feeling a little self-important, am I?

This happens every time someone comes to the beach. I become committed to them being able to have “the best possible time ever” and when the weather doesn’t cooperate it makes me feel helpless and like I am a bad hostess.

I know what my OA program would tell me. This is one of my character defects. It sets me up to be frustrated.

It’s probably part of my disease’s way of controlling me and getting me to eat: feel responsible for things utterly beyond my control.

I used to tell clients that they are not responsible for other people’s feelings and this was the analogy I used: If you kick someone in the shin on purpose you are responsible for their pain and you need to make amends. If you kick someone in the shin by accident you are still responsible for their pain, but as long as you apologize you don’t really have to worry too much. If someone bangs their shin on a coffee table you’ve placed in the middle of your living room then you are not responsible for their pain.

I have a hard time telling which scenario applies when it comes to myself.

It’s raining at the beach while my friends are visiting. That’s clearly the coffee table scenario.

My kids are a bit stir crazy and having trouble staying calm. That’s probably the accidental kick.

But it all feels like I’m running around kicking people.

While everyone else ran around the parking lot in the rain in their bathing suits and had a decent enough time, I went into the kitchen and ate part of a leftover tomato that was on the counter.

Good for me that I didn’t eat a pancake, a bag of chips, or anything that’s not on my food plan. But, I didn’t need that tomato. It was left over from when I was packing lunches and it could have been saved. It didn’t need to go into my stomach.

My friends know when they come to the beach that there is always the risk of rain. My friends know when they come to visit me that my children will be here. My friends are adults who can make their own choices.

None of this is my responsibility. It is not up to me to make other people happy. I can not make any one feel anything.

But for today I can try to let go of this stress, this self-induced stress, and just enjoy what there is to enjoy. In this case it’s good natured people who care about me and about whom I care.

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