Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Feelings and true needs - My Challenge

Feeling My Feelings

When I was a kid I was overwhelmed with emotion and remember the exact day when I learned how to turn off my emotions.  It was a powerful skill to learn and served me well while I was growing up but I know in my heart that I won't be able to become a normal eater until I allow my feelings to flow more naturally. 

I have been resisting this piece of normal eating and I know it.  It's not that I don't let myself feel but I find it difficult to do consistently and I am afraid of being overwhelmed.  In my mind I know that feelings fade if I let them out and that all feelings are important and give me important information about me, but living that on a daily basis is really tough! 

I am also afraid that I won't be able to figure out how I'm feeling or that it will be too hard and I will give up.  I don't try for very long even when I do try.  I am frustrated with this and will need to do some belief work around this because I think it's a deeper issue.  Something like:
Irrational Belief: I can't make change in my own life.
Rational Belief: I can make change in my life.
Rational Belief: Change is hard but I can do it.
Rational Belief: I can change with practice.
Rational Belief: It might be hard to make changes at first but it will get easier with practice.
Rational Belief: Change takes time and patience.
Rational Belief: Change may be slow.

My True Needs

In addition to that, using my feelings to determine what I truly need is a struggle.  Then sharing my feelings and asking for or giving myself what I need once I figure it out is also hard.  I am afraid that my feelings and needs might be upsetting to someone around me is a major trigger for me.  I want to learn to handle those feelings as well and look them right in the face. 

I had an issue with this recently and didn't share something because I was afraid of the reaction.  Once I did share, the reaction was far more damaging than if I had been honest in the first place.  I want to remember this and practice being honest regardless of the reaction.  This is also an important piece of my recovery.

I really want to do this.  I am going to be single-minded and dogged about it. 

  1. Tune into my feelings every single day, every hour if need be until it gets easier
  2. Figure out what I truly need and ask for it or give it to myself
  3. Be honest, share even when I am scared of the reaction
  4. Be brave, learn that I can handle whatever comes my way
Tools to help me:
  • Come up with a goal, key phrase or mantra I can post and look at constantly
    • I want to learn my true needs with curiosity and compassion.
    • I am worth the work.
    • Helpful quote: "There is, I have learned, all the difference between the desire and the act.  The one is written on water, the other carved in stone." Lawrence Block
  • Reminder alarms to cue me to check in with myself
    • Set!  Three times a day (and also if I want to eat when I'm not hungry)
  • Question(s) I can ask myself periodically to help me tune in
    • Close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and ask:
      • What am I feeling?
      • What do I need?
      • Is there any action I should take?
  • Blog about it!

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