Old Triggers, New Disguises

I haven’t blogged in a while. Truth is, I’ve been struggling and afraid to say it out loud to people around me (that’s the thing with food issues – they can be so well-concealed). I also didn’t feel very genuine in writing about other topics. But now I feel that I must put this “out there” so that I can move past this and maybe help one of the six of you reading this realize setbacks are a part of any journey. The best we can do to honor ourselves is to acknowledge the setback, recognize the triggers, and recommit to our goals.

I was dating someone recently that I was really beginning to like, a lot; and, it was clear he felt the same way. But the guy had issues that, in one evening – just about when he started to panic about how attached he was becoming – all came to a head and the relationship crumbled, fast and hard. In his alcohol-induced state that evening, he said to me – “I don’t think I can do this health conscious thing” – and triggered something deep inside me. It took me two weeks to understand that his comment was more about his capacity for a healthy relationship than about what I thought it meant: I was “too” something to deserve this relationship; I wasn’t “enough” for him to grow up, leave the party lifestyle behind and choose me; there was something “wrong” with me eating and living healthy. And it took me two weeks to figure it out because the “not enough” messenger was different and the words were also different from the ones I’d been accustomed to hearing (and feeding?) my whole life.

I immediately switched into a defiant “I’ll show you” attitude. I’ll show you – I’m not so healthy that you can’t be with me! And I started to eat. I ate mostly fried foods, which I don’t eat on a regular basis. It wasn’t every day and it wasn’t all day. But, it was enough that one day I just felt sick; and, I did, finally, feel “something different” than the hurt of losing the relationship that I thought we would have, and that I craved. It was in that moment that I snapped awake and realized that I was hurting myself (not him) and giving him the power.

It’s a difficult thing to “sober up” in the throes of falling off the wagon, especially with food because you can’t cut it out 100%. I’ve recommitted myself to just getting through each day trying to make food choices that are best for me, one day at a time. It’s not easy and I’m not perfect, but I am also not beating myself up about it (I already did that – wondering how I could have made so much progress and yet still have an emotional eating response.) I still can’t really make sense of what happened that night or my feelings and reactions, but I hope that the next time a trigger shows up in a different costume, I will recognize it before I react in harmful ways.

As I write this, one of my favorite movie quotes is running through my head – from “Dan in Real Life”: “love isn’t a feeling, it’s an ability.” There’s so much power in that statement when I think about what it means to have the ability to love myself.

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3 Responses to “Old Triggers, New Disguises”

  1. Very interesting topics.I am looking this type of topics, I need more informations because everyone knows "Health is wealth" is very much known to all and everyone wants good health. That means no one wants to leave this wealth. So, Let us build a food habit discipline, keep pace with work, rest and or exercise to Achieve good health, The ultimate wealth.
    Our Healthier Living

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Cuz!

    I am so proud of you for this article. It shows just HOW FAR you have come in this NEW journey of your life. KUDDOS TO YOU! Thanks for sharing many of your thoughts as painful as they are it reminds us all that it is human to have set backs….Remember without risj and some failures,,,there are no successes. Love ya sweetie! Sally 😉

  3. Katy says:

    Thank you for sharing this Reema – this post really resonates with me. I'm sorry you were hurt, but it's wonderful that you have been able to see the situation for what it is, recognise those triggers and act accordingly – it takes a lot of strength to do these things. You are 'too' something… too good for a situation that evokes those feelings within you!

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