R.E.T.R.E.A.T.

“Runaway!” (Cue theme music from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and the scene with the rabbit with the “big pointy teeth”)

This morning I interviewed for a job that I am pretty confident I’m not well-suited for. Having spent so much of my life journeying through journaling (see my 7/22/10 blog), I’ve come to know myself pretty well. I know my limits, my personality, my strengths, my areas of improvement. And, through my recovery from Binge-Eating Disorder, I’m beginning to know when I need to “runaway” or R.E.T.R.E.A.T. from certain situations in order to “Recharge Emotionally To Restore Equilibrium And Tranquility” (a new acronym I plan to use). Just two hours in the environment in which I interviewed and I felt my batteries running on low and my desire to R.E.T.R.E.A.T. increasing by the minute. It wasn’t until I got in the door of my house that I felt a bit of relief.

How do you recharge emotionally? What does it take to restore your sense of balance and a feeling of calm? Or maybe you’ve never felt balanced or calm! Of course, those of us who struggle with food addiction, overeating, or bingeing know that one way to retreat is to numb out with food. But if you stop and think about this acronym, “R.E.T.R.E.A.T.”, before you eat, you may realize that food will not restore equilibrium. Food does not give anything but a temporary feeling of tranquility (and it’s less tranquility than numbness because the body is focusing all of its energies on digestion of large quantities of food instead of sending energy and resources to the limbic system of the brain which processes emotions).

If you really stop to think about and make a list of ways that you could recharge emotionally, I doubt that overeating would be on the list. In order to recharge my own batteries, I plan to R.E.T.R.E.A.T. to the solitude of the woods this afternoon at a nearby arboretum. I plan to breathe deeply and inhale the smells of the earth on a sultry summer day. I plan to exhale any negative energy I feel I’m holding in. And I plan to look around with wonder and awe at the immensity of the natural world and smile at my comparative insignificance.

However you choose to R.E.T.R.E.A.T. from life’s difficulties, my hope is that it is in a way that is fulfilling, not just filling, for you.

Peace, joy, and health!

–Megan

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