Wednesday, December 12, 2012

S.I.T. In Wednesday

Progress report on the Staying In Today intention:  It's going okay.  This kind of thing needs a lot of practice - perhaps not in duration, but certainly frequency, at least for me.  The mindfulness bell app on my phone is working pretty well.  When that bell gongs, I can feel the tension leave my body.  As I become more aware, I continue to be amazed (and not in that good way) about how much tension and anxiety I carry around.

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.

I think I'm going to have to try to add a fourth star to the mix - I'm eating my way, exercising regularly, no diet coke and I need to begin to work in some focused meditation - just sit and breathe.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Know your triggers.

-Roxie

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like you're getting your old habit of "awfulizing" reined in. Nice work!

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  2. Thanks for this post Roxie. Your talking about pre-binge anxiety build up is very helpful for me right now. My husband's father is in a hospice in Atlanta right now, surrounded by local family. My SIL sent me a short video of everyone sitting around his room, including my older son. Looking at it made me at once glad I'm not there, wishing I was, wondering how much the flight down for the funeral will be...on and on. And the thought of eating/bingeing starts to build. This really helped me.

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  3. oh I love the phrase THE ROAR HAS SETTLED DOWN INTO A DRONE.

    perfection.

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  4. What is the name of the random chime app? Sounds useful in the practice of mindfulness.

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    1. Good morning, Elaine,

      The app is for the Android and it's just called the Mindfulness Bell.

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  5. Awareness rocks. And I love love love that you recognize the gift and the wisdom that has come from previous binges. So often we go immediately to the place of self-loathing and beating ourselves up instead of listening with compassionate objectivity. We can't hear ourselves when we're hating on ourselves.

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We'll try this for a while.