This morning I was listening to a song in which the lyrics are, “I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard.” It made me chuckle. How true that those of us who are driven and motivated and set our minds to do something really DO IT, even when “it” is an attempt to let go of the reins. Sometimes our effort is enough. And sometimes, we get to the point of throwing our hands up in exasperation while shouting, “Enough is enough!”
Do you know what’s enough for you to handle? Do you know your own limits? Do you have an emotional and/or mental breaking point after which all efforts are useless? I do. After years of self-soothing through binge-eating, I now know the telltale signs that I am headed for emotional collapse, reaching my limits. Knowing these signs allows me to take action before I reach “meltdown” and has been a huge part of overcoming binge-eating disorder.
First, I get cranky. Ask any of my close friends and loved ones and they’ll nod their head (while hesitantly looking at me for confirmation) and say, “Yes, Megan gets irritable when she has had enough of stress.”
The next stage for me is distraction. You have something important to tell me and you need my undivided attention. Forget about it! You’ll get a smile and an “mm-hmm” while I nod my head like a robot, barely registering what you’re saying but unable to tell you I am stuck in my own thoughts and need space.
That’s what it’s really all about…a need for isolation from everyone. When I’m reaching my limits, instead of reaching for food, I try to retreat into the quiet of a room, close my eyes, and breathe. I have a peaceful place that I visualize…my dream house, if you will. And in my visualization (imagination), my house is always quiet. There is never another soul around. Just me and several cats. I usually picture myself sitting on the front porch on a porch swing or in a rocking chair, looking out at my imaginary front yard and it is peaceful. Once I’m settled in there, I try to look all around me and make my internal picture even more vivid. In fact, each time I visit this peaceful place, I see it in more detail. I’ve gone to this peaceful place in my mind so often now, that it’s really easy to put myself there and to feel the sense of calm wash over me as soon as I “arrive”.
When enough is enough for you, do you have some strategies for recharging your batteries? Just take a few minutes for yourself before reaching for the food that you know will be a quick fix to your emotional discomfort. Allow yourself to stop trying so hard and simply be.
Peace, joy, and health.