I like to think of myself as an independent female. When something needs to be done around the house, I find myself doing it before my husband can notice. I take pride in all of the years I was single and moved to a new state. Asking for help is something I struggle with. I need to learn to be independent but still ask for help when needed.
During the worse times of my eating disorder, asking for help was not even a thought. To my mind, I was doing the right thing for my body. I was in control and obsessive about what and when I ate. To me, I was strong and independent.
Where did all of that start?
I have been incredibly shy and quiet my whole life. I had friends because my wonderful parents had me involved in a lot of activities. But I could not, or would not, find a way to talk to them while at school. Memories of this span from grade school into high school. Sometimes, I still feel this way, but it is much more dependent on the setting and who is there. Maybe this shyness made me feel self reliant and independent. Then expanding into a control issue into my college years. Even there I had trouble asking for help from professors.
By why did this start?
Did I become self reliant in order to protect myself? To avoid losing. Or to avoid hurting? I am absolutely horrible at accepting loss and failure. My journey of researching and working on my self love and worth has helped me realize I need to work on this. So here I am, yet stubbornly independent. Maybe you can practice this too:
If someone does not like you or something you have to offer them, instead of crawling in a hole, can learn from this? Can you refer them to someone else that may have something else to offer them? Can you ask for feedback and grow from their response? Think of the other people in your tribe that you positively impact on a regular basis. Use that as fuel and to remind you of your greatness. Remember, not everyone will like you.
Maybe deep down inside, I had an old, stubborn feeling of loss, heartbreak, or failure. Then instead of dealing with this feeling or asking for help, I covered it up. Covering up of some deep, dark feeling could have caused my compulsive thoughts and actions in the form of an eating disorder.
Sometimes spinning thoughts or compulsively thinking or doing means you are just covering up a feeling. The feeling underneath the thought.
What to do now?
This goes back to my post last Friday. How do you desire to feel? Choose the thought that will make you feel this way.
One last tid bit of information on an exercise that has truly helped me. When I feel overwhelmed or when an intrusive thought comes in and anxiety starts to wash over me, I now pause. This pause allows me to do a few things:
- Take a deep breath, one that expands the rib cage and stomach along all 4 ways
- Make a mental (even a physical) list of the things in my life at that moment that may be causing me to feel the anxiety or stress
- Realize that these things are miniscule compared to what life is really all about
- Then I can take that list and make an action plan for each
- Or kick to the curb, the items from the list that have no right being there!
For me, this works 10/10 times. I love love love the ability to say hello to the stress and anxiety and then say bye bye bye.
Now I just need to work on getting to 10/10 times being able to say bye bye bye to the fear and worry of someone not liking me or the work I do.
Last week I left you with a quick body weight work out for the weekend. This week I want to leave you with a work out for your mind:
How do you desire to feel?
Create space within you to allow yourself to feel this.
Make a list of the things that are worrying you, causing stress, and anxiety
What can you do to limit these things in your life?
Now make a list of things that bring you joy on a day to day basis.
Go do some of those things, right now!
Feel free to share whatever you are feeling! This space is for you and I invite you to use it. If you need more privacy please email me at [email protected]