Wednesday, December 12, 2012
S.I.T. In Wednesday
I've been much more aware of my anxiety lately - and at how many things trigger it in me. Oh, not the balls-to-the-wall anxiety attacks, but at the number of things that will "crank me up a notch" - an email asking me to do something that isn't easy, having to make some sort of decision, moving against my people-pleasing nature, etc. The really wonderful part is that I can now recognize this pre-binge. I can see that I used food to quell my anxiety. For the most part, my disordered relationship with food was used as an anti-anxiety self-medicating device.
The pattern goes like this - something happens that triggers it and then I start telling myself stories around and about it and it just gets bigger. The binge becomes the thing to "release" that pressure. Geneen Roth asks where do you "feel" the urge to over-eat? My compulsion to over-eat begins in my chest and in my throat. The spectacular gift in all of this is now I see this in distinct pieces. I haven't really had a binge episode in a long, long time, but the stage gets set quite often. I remember just yesterday feeling the physical sensations of anxiety and thought to myself "Oh, this is the I-feel-a-binge-coming-on feeling" - just being in that awareness helped me calm myself down. Being able to suss out these individual events and then be aware of what's happening seems to be the key to calming myself.
I knew I was always anxious; I just didn't realize how bad it was until it eased a bit. I knew I couldn't relax and I still have problems with doing that un-aided. But now that the roar has settled down into a drone, I have enough peace and distance to see some things clearly. I'm sure the cutting back on caffeine has been a big part in throttling down the physiological part of this. I now need to add a serious yoga/deep breathing/relaxation/meditation practice to really get me back to absolute zero at least once a day.
All of this may sound like a "bad" report card, but I am thrilled with this new awareness of what's going on with my body and the connections between action, stories I tell myself about the happenings, anxiety and the desire to squelch that anxiety. Coming into that awareness is an absolute gift.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Know your triggers.