This week’s topic is brought to you by tonights unexpected, emotional meltdown. I realized soon after that I’d been subconsciously letting little things build up without addressing my feelings or communicating with my partner. Simply put, I was really angry. I couldn’t exactly pin-point what about which resulted in impulsive word vomit over several issues all at once (I hate when I do this). To make matters worse, my anxiety was kicked into high gear as I was approaching a weekend visit with my biological dad who I haven’t seen in over 12 years! Top it off with the fact that I had just finished my period…the whole thing was a recipe for disaster.
At first I tried going for a walk and crushing some weights to clear my head. When that didn’t work I immediately caved and sat down to enjoy a nice, fresh cigarette…and then another. Some things just never change. For years my first initial reaction when I’m upset has been to treat myself like shit, in other words I’ve become a pro at self sabotage. But how does this unhealthy habit serve me? How does it make any sense to hurt myself because someone else has initially hurt me?
In order to truly understand the “why” behind my unhealthy choices, I’ve learned to analyze my moments of weakness and work towards preventing them in the future. There are 3 very prominent, underlying emotions that tend to resurface prior to a beautiful train wreck.
I Don’t Deserve Happiness (I am Unworthy of Love)
I’ve grown accustomed to a life full of chaos. From one trauma to the next until all of my self worth was completely and utterly diminished. Overtime, unforseen life events have conditioned my brain to expect the worst case scenario, if not, I will create a problem to fill the void (subconsciously of course). I’m sure you can only imagine how unhealthy and exhausting this behaviour is after a while. Not to mention how toxic and destructive it is for myself and those around me.
The truth is, sometimes I allow what others have said about me or how they have treated me to dictate my worth. I convince myself that I am unworthy of love and happiness because I’ve either hurt people in the past or been betrayed by a loved one. These are exactly the types of negative thoughts that do NOT serve me. Acknowledging them, once I’m able to calm down and get a hold on my emotions, is the first step towards setting myself free.
I Will Never Be Good Enough (Feelings of Inadequacy)
A lifetime of disappointing people often leads me to believe that I will never amount to anything. We’ve all had our moments where we are guilty of acting overly critical of ourselves and our lack of accomplishments. I reiterate negative self talk over and over again in my head. “You lack the skills”, “you’re not good at that”, “have you gone insane? You’ll never be able to do that.” This just in, I’ve been bullying myself and standing in my own way for years! No one else. Just me.
During one of my most recent therapy sessions, I discovered that 99% of the time I feel completely inadequate. I’ve convinced myself that I don’t have what it takes before even attempting to conquer any given obstacle out of fear that I will ultimately fail. This is down right heart breaking. Truth be told, so many of us experience these feelings of inadequacy on a daily basis. We allow our thoughts to become reality without stepping back to look at the bigger picture.
I Don’t Know what Emotion I’m Feeling (I am Uncomfortable)
Have you ever felt nervous and uneasy but you weren’t exactly sure why or where these feelings even came from? Something feels off, your hands become clammy, your throat starts to swell up, and you’re suddenly hit with an overwhelming wave of uncertainty. This level of uncomfortability is VERY intense and all consuming. Personally, I feel uncomfortable in my own skin and there’s no escaping it!
When you’re senses are heightened and your body is on high alert, all rational thinking goes out the window (au revoir sanity). For me, this is usually the result of an unknown trigger. Without the ability to pin-point exactly how it is I’m feeling, often times I react inappropriately given the circumstances. Perhaps I’m out at the market and someone has bumped into me, my immediate response would be to drop my groceries and leave. Deep down I know I am overreacting, and yet I am so uncomfortable I am unable to react accordingly.
Bringing awareness to your behaviour and acknowledging your triggers is the first step towards taking control. Once you’ve done that, you can move forward and create an action plan.
Ask Yourself “Why?”
My girlfriend is really good at delving into the depths of my core issues and assisting me in recognizing where my emotions have originated from. It is not uncommon for her to ask me questions such as “why don’t you deserve to feel happy?” or “why don’t you deserve to feel loved?” When broken down this way, it becomes blatantly obvious just how powerful our minds truly are. I strongly believe that everyone deserves to feel cared for, worthy, happy, and loved. So why am I the exception?
Set aside some time to reflect on the situation at hand and pick one reason that you are worthy of peace, love, joy, and abundance. It can be something as simple as “I don’t give up on people I love” or “I am always honest”. If you can acknowledge just one positive quality about yourself, you are already ahead of the game.
Make “Me Time” A Priority
I know I’ve touched base on this in previous posts but I can’t reiterate enough just how important it is to take time for YOU on a daily basis! Invest in yourself, perfect your craft, pick up a new hobby, or set aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to let yourself wind down and reboot. By taking the necessary time to better understand your likes and dislikes, you build an overall healthier relationship with yourself. I look forward to my alone time and revel in my solitude on a regular and much needed basis like the proud introvert that I am. It’s OK to shut off in order to regain your strength and preserve your energy.
Try switching out your bad habits for healthier alternatives. A little over a month ago I decided to quit vaping and kindly kick my drinking habit to the curb (nobody likes a raging alcoholic am I right?). Sobriety has been one hell of a journey, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you absolutely MUST substitute your vice for a healthier option. For me this means drinking 5 teas a day, chewing an entire pack of gum, and overdosing on essential oils. Whatever the case may be, I encourage you to find an alternative that works for you.
I guarantee your feelings of inadequacy will slowly start to fade away as you begin to discover and nurture your true, authentic self!
Just Keep Going
So you’ve slipped up, relapsed, or taken a few steps back. This is OK. You are human. When this happens, try to acknowledge whatever it is that doesn’t intuitively feel right isn’t aligning with your goals. I struggle with this at times which is all the more reason to practice patience and trust in the divine, universal process. Take a breath and forgive yourself. We have far better things to invest our energy in than beating ourselves up over a mistake.
Validate your feelings. At any given moment you are allowed to feel exactly the way you are! Do NOT give up. You are stronger than your traumas, your past, or any crutch you lean on to provide you with support and comfort during times of distress. One wrong judgement call or moment of weakness, one cigarette or glass of wine is never an excuse to give up and stop trying. If you can hold on just a little while longer and practice the art of patience, you will allow yourself to reap the rewards of remaining persistent. You just have to keep going!
Growth manifests in the realm of uncomfortability. This is one of life’s many blessings in disguise. If you’re not uncomfortable, if you’re not afraid or uneasy, you unintentionally close the door to endless opportunities and abundance. I’ve been the poster girl of self limitations for over a decade! I am not proud of it, it doesn’t bring me joy or make me feel motivated and fulfilled. I was stuck. Limited by the walls of my very own mind. But it doesn’t have to be that way, not at all. Who was it that said “You are one decision away from a totally different life” (Mark Batterson, gotta love him). This couldn’t be more accurate! YOU decide whether or not your story takes an alternative route. We are all capable of changing our ending, the secret is to keep going and find out for yourself.