Here in the US, yesterday was Thanksgiving. It started out rocky with me dreading the social gathering of my husband's family. I knew that I would be okay in the end, but getting there was harder said than done. My anxiety built all morning, as every minute ticked by. Despite the positives of the morning so far I was feeling more and more on edge. I had an opportunity to sleep in a bit, and wake slowly as my husband made breakfast for the kids. I could not feel calmer, but one thing that was different than years past, I knew that I was being irrational. I knew that I would be okay in the end, if only I just pressed forward and kept a positive attitude.
The other part of the day was that was difficult for me was that Thanksgiving is a holiday about food. It's all about food and as many of you that follow my blog may know food is something I have issues with.. I was almost paralyzed in fear of the thought of eating all that food. Some of my thoughts were:
What if I eat too much and gain weight?
What if I am already fat?
I guess I had better weigh myself to find out.
I had better measure, too.
I don't like those numbers. ( I NEVER like the numbers when I am in this mind frame)
I had better exercise to offset some of these calories I'm about to eat.
I better be sure to restrict my eating to low carb as much as possible.
I wish I wasn't so fat.
If I wasn't fat my life would be better.
Fat makes me worthless.
Why can't I have better self control.
I am weak.
I can't do anything right.
I remembered to use positive behavior strategies this time. I remembered that this situation was just my thoughts, and would pass. I challenged the beliefs that my thoughts were true. I remembered that they were just bad feelings that I get sometimes. The quiet desperation that I get for someone to reassure me that I am not fat slowly passed. I was able to calm myself down, as well as face the dreaded social situation of eating and socializing with a group of people, some of which it isn't a secret aren't exactly in my fan club. My anxiety rose and passed by naturally. It is still sitting there in the back of my mind, but at a tolerable level. I still think I may be hideous, but it's not taking over my whole mind. The negative self image issues aren't taking over my whole day, effecting my mood and my life. Looking at from a new perspective has created a new space for me to really examine the underlying causes of these feelings. Those feelings mostly being about not feeling worthy. Feeling ashamed of who I am. Being truthful with myself and with my anxiety has opened the door for healing these past wounds where the pain that caused these wounds took place. I will talk more about that next time, but for now I like I really accomplished something and moved closer to being free to be myself.