The mind is such a powerful tool. Mental Illnesses often come riddled with negative thoughts but more than that they have to do with our feelings, our emotions. I don’t know about you, but I battle almost daily the contradictions between my feelings and my head. My head knows there is no rational reason to be feeling panicked and yet, I’m on edge and can’t breathe. My mind knows I shouldn’t be crying and yet tears coat my face.
I turn to my mind to calm my thoughts. That’s why we create mantras or affirmations, right? Because while our feelings tell us one thing, our minds know better and the words and positive thoughts help.
I currently have 2 major triggers for my anxiety: food and money.
These are my focus with my art therapist and what I’m personally working on in my own head and journal.
I think they are all wrapped up together but I’m not really sure how yet. I’m still searching for the answers and questions, even. But I wanted to share my thoughts so far and how I’m trying to figure out how to heal and cope with these triggers.
I don’t know if I have an eating disorder or if my anxiety with food is an extensions of my panic disorder. I don’t know if it matters in the overall scheme of things or in the treatment of this but I feel like I want to “put a label on it”. I don’t know why. I think it would help so I could research and possibly find others who feel similar to me, ya know?
Thinking about food makes me anxious.
Trying to plan meals and go grocery shopping makes it hard to breathe.
Letting other decide for me makes me feel sick.
I want food to taste good.
I want to be healthy but more than anything I want food to be good.
I want to be satisfied.
I want yummy.
I am afraid that if the food isn’t yummy, I’ll need something else later.
My mom says, “Food doesn’t have to be yummy, you have to teach your son to eat healthy.”
Yes, I know. But for one, that doesn’t help me feel more in control of my life or my eating or my anxiety and second, I think (I fucking hope!) it’s possible to eat healthy AND yummy.
Do I really need to 100% switch my mindset from “food can be yummy” to “food is just essential, taste is not important at all.” ??? That feels like I’m boxing myself in so much and then my control trigger spirals.
Food needs to be instantly gratifying.
I feel restricted and out of control when others choose for me or cook for me. I will eat it but I won’t be happy with it and I’ll have to find something else later.
I feel restricted and constrained when we can’t spend money on food or random things.
I feel the need to be satisfied with food or the ability to spend money on material possessions.
I’m really not a person who is obsessed with material things either. I like my books, my computer and my camera but beyond that…the rest is just fluff to fill the space most of the time.
As I write these things above, I know they all come from my mental illnesses and aren’t healthy thoughts or feelings. In my attempt to gain control over these feelings, I’m trying to focus on asking myself questions and giving myself a pep talk when I start to feel out of control.
Will I survive without this?
Yes.I will survive without x, y or z.
What’s the worst that will happen?
What can I do to be satisfied in this moment without having to spend money or eat ‘yummy’ food?
Spend time with my son and husband. Work on our living space. Create. Do art.
What will make my life more fulfilling, joyful and abundant in the long run?
I also love this ‘fill in the blank’ from Alexandra Franzen
“It’d be really amazing if I could __________________. Fortunately, it is not required for happiness.”
It’s a work in progress. I’m a work in progress. I’m trying to remember to ask myself these questions when I can and work through the anxiety. I’m trying not to always give in.
When I start to feel anxious, out of control and boxed in because I want the freedom to go out to dinner or spend money when we shouldn’t, I too often let myself say yes, let’s go because it’s easy and fast and satisfying. But then we have no money and I feel crappy about the food we ate.
So I’m asking myself, “What can I do now to thrive and be happy in the long run?”
Share: What can you do now to thrive and be happy in the long run? You can get more prompts like this in my Journal in the New You: 2014 Edition e-course. Sign ups are always open.