Hello World!!!!! Sara here. It’s safe to say at this point, when you don’t here from me, I’m not eating well!
I have a deep burning desire to share everything in my life, the good, the bad, the ugly, the vulnerable, the love that I have pouring from my heart each day, all in an effort to truly connect with others. My greatest desire is to rip myself open and let the world see who I really am and my greatest hope is that by doing that others will feel a safe place to do the same. I desire this level of intimacy with others. I delight when someone will let me in and go far below the surface in to the deep seas of emotion, truth and understanding. I want to know how everyone ticks. I like to explore how I work, what I’m really feeling and why and to do it without judgment. And I love telling on myself!
But I also crave control and safety. So I am happy to shout my truths and epiphanies when things are going well. I am comfortable “reflecting” on the tough times, the unwise decisions, the deep, dark thoughts and self judgments and even misguided disgust with myself…AFTER THE FACT. But you guys, when I am living it, I want to retreat as far as possible. How deep can I go into my self, where is my safety net, how many walls can I build to protect myself, how many times can I convincingly say, “I’m fine, everything is fine” to myself and others?! “I’m eating this ice cream because I want it” … but I’m eating it again and again because I’m now hooked on it and the temporary high I get and now I’m eating it because I’m sad and disappointed that I’m straying and now I’m having a hard time coping with my feelings and I’m not even enjoying it anymore. #spiral
Luckily this bout of partly cloudy, shitty, weird ritualistic eating was shorter than in the past. I think my self-awareness is rising. I can identify the spiral quicker. Because my positivity is so high, it feels soul crushing to feel sadness….especially the kind that takes your breathe away. When I feel myself getting out of control I feel unsafe. And when I feel unsafe I make even more poor eating choices to feel safe!?My normal MO is to comfort myself with food and it has been since the tornado. Since I was 6 years old, I have found the greatest of comfort in eating all of my feelings and suppressing them. Shoving them down with each and every bite. Oh, are those tears rising, better shove it down with fries. Is that fear creeping in, grab a bowl of ice cream. Anxiety knocking on the door, nope just Little Debbie thank goodness!
This isn’t new information if you read the blog, but my level of understanding grows each time I open this emotional box. When I peel another layer off of this onion that is my fear of my own dark side, I feel more open and free to really feel, experience the sadness, look at it, identify where it is coming from. In these moments of clarity it all feels worth it. However, leading up to this, filling my body full of all of its inflammation loving enemies (dairy, sugar, fried foods, grains, nothing is off limits) my self judgment comes in like it’s own tornado. And the crazy thing is logically, I know the outcome. I know this story so well:
Step 1: Something unsavory happens. (Break up, grieving, I made a bad choice, I’m overwhelmed)
Step 2: I don’t like how I’m feeling right now. I just want to feel happy.
Step 3: Ice Cream or French Fries will fix it.
Step 4: Momentary Relief (that is unsustainable)
Step 4: Try again, that ice cream made us feel better yesterday, so logic says eat it every day to feel great. #addict
Step 5: Stop grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning…completely.
Step 6: Order in food, alone, spend more time by yourself, eating things that you don’t want people to know that you are eating again, because you can’t stand the thought of disappointing people.
Step 7: Now I’m ______________ (sad, mad, scared, out of control, unsafe) ANNNNNNND I feel like shit.
Step 8: Gain Weight from misguided “comfort”.
Step 9: Start Spiraling down a black whole of avoidance, blinders, the art of distraction….all of the Candy Crush.
Step 10: Avoid things that actually make you happy and help you get to your goals.
Step 11: Time for the mean, damaging self talk and self judgment as I lay in bed trying to sleep, hoping tomorrow will be better, but not believing that I can change.
Step 12: The pinnacle…feeling hopelessly unworthy.
This is when I find the light, thank goodness. I put my oxygen mask on before the plane crash and I ask for the help that I need. And my hope is that this time frame will get smaller and smaller each time something in my life happens and these feelings start creeping up. It is so hard for me to identify my depression as it is happening. It is the quintessential gradually, then suddenly. One day I’m telling myself that it’s perfectly fine to occasionally indulge and the next day I hit an emotional rock bottom. And the major reason why this happens is that my body gets riddled with candida and changes my thought patterns. The inflammation affects me in an unreal way. I literally am what I eat.
I want to continue to grow and learn and evolve and accept my own feelings and beyond that, identify my holding patterns in real time. I am so comfortable with other people’s sadness and uncertainty. I spend most of my days trying to empower and uplift others and when things are good, this applies to me as well. So it is a very disconnecting feeling to not give that same power to myself when I’m in the spiral. So I thought it might help to re-write my story today. I think it helps to have an actual plan, clear intentions for how I would like to adapt in the future and this seemed like the best place to share it, with people whom I love and who have shown me nothing but love and acceptance at every turn.
Step 1: Something unsavory happens.
Step 2: I have a feeling that takes over (sadness, anger, frustration).
Step 3: I acknowledge my feelings without judgment.
Step 4: I give myself permission to feel my real feelings.
Step 5: I accept my feelings and try to look deeper in to the why behind.
Step 6: I talk about it with someone I trust with my heart.
Step 7: Comfort myself with this powerful statement: It’s ok to feel _______.
Step 8: Cry.
Step 9: Reassure myself that things will be ok, I won’t feel like this forever.
Step 10: Do something that makes me happy…listen to music, cook, sing, read a book, write in my journal, lean in to my loving family, talk to my friends, share my experience as it is happening so that I don’t feel alone.
I feel so excited about the future. It is too much pressure to try and be happy all of the time. It is unrealistic, shit happens and I have so many coping mechanisms that are positive and will actually make me feel better. Eating can make me feel better. When I make healthy choices, my body rejoices. There are so many things in this world to find pleasure in and I can also find pleasure in being true to myself.
I want to express that the deep sadness that I find myself in in the end comes from spiraling down with comfort eating. Not making good decisions lands me in a place that I absolutely hate. Now it’s seeing the truth. Bad decisions don’t make me a shit person.
Thank you for letting me pour my heart out. On to the love, light and acceptance..and cooking! I hope that you are having a great summer. As always I missed y’all oh so much.
Your loving meatball Sara
My summer has had so many highlights beyond my avoidance of feelings, so here is a visual catch up. Talk again soon?