Last week I mentioned ‘triggers’ when talking about negative behaviours that affect our health and lifestyle. We all have things that ‘set us off’ or make us react in a way that is detrimental to our wellbeing. For some, this can be relatively minor and situations pass without much more than a bump in the road. Other people find it much more difficult to overcome certain obstacles. Some people are more sensitive than others, and as we know, everyone is wired up differently. I’m trying to augment my contingency plans so they are positive (hence last weeks post on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), because at the moment my default behaviour for trigger situations is to eat and get drunk. Seeing as I have a stress and anxiety problem, it’s no surprise I struggle with my weight. My triggers are acute and frequent. Any sudden upset in routine or my organization leads to pretty horrible physical symptoms and a complete inability to focus on everyday tasks. BAM! Two packets of crisps. Car breaks down – Ta-DAAA! Three slices of toast. And jam. Cat sick on the carpet – BOOM! The booze starts to flow…..
In terms of things that set me off, this week has been a doozy.
My car is in the garage just now, so I’m stuck at home while James takes the other car to work. I work from home, and I don’t know anyone here, so getting out and about is really important to me, so that I’m not isolated. Any sort of human contact will do, I’m not fussy. Currently, this is not happening. Our fridge packed in, ruining just about everything in it. (Oh, yeah, can’t get to the shops – no car.) We have had a rodent visitor in our porch, who has chewed a hole through the ceiling. James comes home and tells me we might have a house move. Again.
Yup, you heard me.
Crisps. Wine. Olives (yes, really.)Beer. Yoghurts. Cheese. Bread. Everything that was in the fridge and freezer. You get the picture. This unfortunate chain of events catapulted my brain into the mental equivalent of turning on the food mixer without the lid on. The last one broke me. I didn’t sleep properly for nearly a week, and in a desperate, desperate bid to curb the eating and stop myself from jumping three dress sizes, I did the only logical thing left. Talk to someone as bat-shit crazy as me who gets it.
I phoned my dad.
By this stage, I realised things had gone too far. I’d eaten 26 ppts in three hours and was looking for alcohol at one in the afternoon. Thankfully, there was none in the house and I had no transport to remedy that. The sweat was running down my temples and my legs were wobbly. I thought I was going to be sick. I couldn’t concentrate on my computer screen and my mind kept turning back to everything that had gone wrong. I need stability in my life, as it really helps keep the stressors to a minimum, and moving for the FOURTH time in two and a half years was NOT part of the plan. I’ll spare you the details, but it IS a logical move that WAS planned, but not for along time – we’ve barely unpacked this house! It wasn’t actually this that was upsetting me – it was the ‘might’ part. It’s an unknown at this moment, and that’s just torture for me. Pure and ultimate torture.
One hour and twenty-three minutes later, I was much calmer. It’s amazing what a difference one conversation can make when you don’t know what to do with yourself, and I am eternally grateful for that.
What I learned from this particular episode: On your journey, don’t be scared to lean on people who understand and have experienced the same things. They ‘get’ it. Having a simple conversation when you feel like you are going out of your mind is sometimes all it takes to halt a destructive behaviour, particularly if someone has been in a similar situation. So do it. Don’t keep that crap bottled up – you know the saying – ‘Better out than in’