[Disclaimer: This post includes issues surrounding disordered eating. If you’re recovering, or are easily triggered, this may be too sensitive of a topic.]
I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately.
There’s no single event that made me feel this way; it’s just one of those hazes that seems to follow me around and sink into my bones the way the sogginess of Oregon used to. I’m a genuinely happy person, but sometimes I feel this way.
The reason I’m bringing it up in the blog today? Well, because (1) I think it’s important that you know I’m human. And (2) because it’s directly connected to my writing.
“The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.” -Richard Grant
I know myself pretty well. I suppose I better, considering I’ve spent 26+ years overanalyzing and myself and critiquing my mistakes. Some things I know:
- There’s a blessing and a burden in being so connected to my intuition and emotions. I really feel the highs, and I also really feel the lows.
- I’ve always expected nothing but greatness from myself, been a control-freak and an over-analyzer. [I’m getting better with this one, but the tendencies die hard.]
- Although it seems contradictory to #2, I am also wildly afraid of success and have always felt undeserving of anything good.
- Writing is sacred to me. It’s my connection to my truth, my source, and my emotions. When I stop writing, I get stagnant in all realms of my life [emotional, physical, spiritual].
- Food has always been my constant. I seek it when I am feeling stressed/lonely/scared/happy [anyone else see the issue here?]. I’ve made leaps and bounds on my health and wellness journey, but I am definitely still on that path.
- When I’m stressed, an interesting pattern occurs: I suddenly notice I feel like shit, have been binge-eating and haven’t been writing/creating.
I’ve gone through the pattern countless times over my lifetime, yet I still catch myself mid-cycle [when it’s at it’s worst] wishing I knew how to pull the parachute. Was it the stress that made writing impossible and food irresistible? Or was it the lack of creation that led to my elevated stress level and binges?
“Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” -Dr. Alexis Carrel
You may have already guessed that I downed half a loaf of [gluten-and-sugar-free] carrot cake by myself last night, making me both literally and figuratively sick to my stomach.
Half way through, I thought to myself: this is insane! And yet, I couldn’t stop. I wanted to eat until the only thing I could feel was my stomach aching.
So now you know – even someone who motivates others and strives to be an example has flaws.
And now I’ll tell you how I’m processing it all:
1. Reflect. Through writing, through talking, through swimming – it doesn’t matter.
I have a lot happening for me right now: I’m heading back to full-time grad school in less than two weeks, adding in sixteen hours of practicum, and changing my TurboKick teaching schedule. I’m trying my hardest to support Mr. Ben with the huge shifts in his life. And [!!] I’m preparing for my first writing workshop with two of Maui’s most amazing women, which is both exciting and beyond nerve-wracking. I’m supposed to submit some of my “work”, which has sent me over the edge and brought up all kinds of emotions [I’m not good enough/I’m going to disappoint everyone who has ever believed in me/I’m just going to embarrass myself, I may as well drop out now].
My binge occurred as I attempted to compile some posts to submit as my “work” [I had been trying to put something together since Monday, but nothing-came-out/I-had-to-sweep-the-driveway/I-was-babysitting/I’d-rather-watch-MTV’s-Teen-Mom]. I’m scared shitless about this workshop – just thinking about it puts knots in my stomach – but it’s just a workshop. I’ve jumped out of a plane, lived half-way around the world for nine months, and survived traumatic experiences and I’m scared about a workshop?!
2. Break the Cycle.
When I’m stressing, my writing comes to a halt. I just can’t do it. I’ll be completely honest and tell you that writing this post is borderline excruciating – every sentence has been double-checked; many deleted and written again. But I know that it’ll help me move forward emotionally. And maybe tomorrow it’ll be just a little bit easier.
As far as the binge goes, it was the first one I’ve had in a long time, and today I’m being extra conscious and loving with my body by getting in some good movement and eating nutritious food.
My plan for the next time I’m feeling stressed? Write, no matter what – even if it feels impossible, it’ll help. And talk about my emotions before I self-implode/binge – maybe I’ll be able to get support and feel less anxious. I’ll be writing a “Note to Self In Case of Emergencies” and placing it on my journal to remind myself of these things [it’s often hard for me to remember things when I’m already feeling emotional].
3. Stay Positive.
Alright, so the dreaded Stress Pattern reared it’s ugly head again. I now understand the emotions that brought about the stress, the binge, and the lack of writing. There’s no point in dwelling on the negative or beating myself up any more than I already have. All I can do is recognize the signs, prepare myself better for the next time, and believe that I have the strength to change.
Sorry today’s post is intense; I just really wanted to be honest with you all about the reasons I haven’t posted the healthy bar recipes I promised you this week yet. I promise to post one tomorrow, after the deadline to submit my “work” has passed. I have a feeling I’ll feel much less anxious then.
What are a few things you know about yourself? How do you deal with stress?
Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts. Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!