For those of you who stopped by yesterday, thank you. Yesterday’s post paints an image of how I am feeling, in a general sense, now in my life. Something I am very thankful for. I write posts like those to keep reminding myself what true health, happiness and nourishment means to me, especially maybe when those thoughts start to dwindle.
Like… last week.
Last week, guys, was brutal.
I got jacked up.
If you are new here, no, I did not coin that term. But it is one that’s become part of my vocabulary. Glennon first wrote about getting “jacked up” when she found herself back in her muck of old coping mechanisms and emotions, and the anger she felt in the realization that she is “still dealing with this shit.”
Needless to say, I have not been doing very well.
I knew this month was going to be hard. With moving, I knew I was going to be thrown completely offmy routine and would be grappling for a new one. And even before that would be possible, I knew there would be a month where I’d be too busy to have time for much of anything. I knew it was going to feel messy. I know I don’t deal well with not having any time for “my things.” I anticipated some possible struggles. Of course, you always hope that maybe this time, you would have progressed a little further.
But what I’ve realized is that it’s been more than just the lack of time that has been so triggering. This time the anxiety, I think, has stemmed more from… get this…. feelings. Ha.
At the beginning of the week, I learned that I did not get a part in the show I really, really wanted. Not only did I really want it, but I just thought I was a pretty solid candidate. I worked really, really hard on my piece in anticipation for this audition. I paid for coachings. I paid for studio time. All for this audition which I really thought I’d get.
Soon after I learned that I did not get any of the auditions for the mass of submissions I had written earlier this fall. A group of professional companies were doing joined auditions for their seasons next summer, and I had taken a lot of time to write to each one individually. I wrote probably eight submissions, and not one of them asked to see me. Not. One. So I missed out on my chance to audition for all the jobs I dreamt of having next summer, and for all the companies that I strive to work for. I had already started working hard on a couple of pieces in expectation of getting at least one of these auditions.
So. Really, these two things just knocked me down hard. I felt hurt, confused, and worried about my career. I feel totally embarrassed for how long this is taking me, compared to others, and that maybe I’m no where near as “good” as I think I may be. I feel totally scared that I’m completely joking myself and this will never happen. And most painfully, I just feel really really hurt because I just want these things so badly.
I’m not complaining for pity sake. Absolutely not. This is my career and what I “signed up for,” if you will. It’s an incredibly shitty and hard industry but there’s not an ounce of me that wants to quit. I’m just using this space of mine to be totally honest about my feelings and say that I worked really hard and it really really sucks. Done.True Feelings From the Acting Industry. #actorlife #emotions #itshard Click To Tweet
I can see it very clearly. Unfortunately just because I see it doesn’t mean I choose, or am able, to stop it.
Feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment transform themselves into anxiety.
This anxiety then transforms itself into anxiety about unrelated, yet easier to feel things: food
Just like that, I’m back to past thoughts, and they once again become all encompassing.
I am absolutely having thoughts of wanting to not eat anything. This is not happening, but I definitely have thoughts of wishing I could just eat nothing. Last week, I caught myself wishing I had the “self control” or “will power” to just totally empty myself. In my head, this would somehow make me feel better about myself. Maybe it’s a punishment for feeling “worthless.” I don’t know. Ironically anxiety makes me feel hungry, so I’ve been eating just as much, if not more, than I usually do, and of course this leads to a whole other guilt-ridden mind f*ck.
Why am I wired this way? Why am I wired so that difficult feelings somehow transform themselves into not wanting to eat!?I wished I had the self control to not eat. How anxiety transforms itself. #jackedup #anxiety #recovery #eatingdisorder #copingmechanism Click To Tweet
Wanting to exercise, and not being able to.
Of course these disappointments and this huge change in routine has been timed perfectly with having no time to exercise. Huge double whammy. In other cases, not exercising has been fine – times when I am excited or stimulated positively, and therefore feeling good about myself, I do not feel the urge. I know that I am at a better place with movement. Except, maybe, when my emotional world is rocked. This anxiety that gets spiked leads to wanting to exercise as a way to feel better about myself and so then if I can’t… I get angry. Which goes to show maybe exercise is still more of a coping mechanism than I like to believe…
Is it the fact that I’m not exercising that is causing the most anxiety? Or is it just that this is how I want to cope with the anxiety about other things and the fact that I can’t is making it worse?
I think it’s both.
When I’m jacked up and the anger phase sets in – because I can’t get rid of my anxiety in the ways I want to – I become short and crabby and angry toward those I love. Like Dan and my mom. I feel angry at Dan and have been miffy to Mom, all because I know I am at unrest with myself.
My stomach is tight, my jaw is constantly clenched, and I feel guilt for every. single. little. thing.
Letting the anger take over and finding a way to give in to your coping mechanism
It takes over and nothing else matters.
I did a couple at home workout videos. I ended up pulling a muscle and felt physically awful for the rest of the week.
And there it is, folks.
Getting jacked up and reverting to coping mechanisms. Leads you right back where you began.
Its just…. it’s the realization that this is how it is for me. This is how I struggle and this is how I cope with things. Five years ago I didn’t see the connections so clearly, but although I’m a lot more aware of what’s going on, it doesn’t mean the psychological manifestations have gone away. This is what happens. And I will probably continue to see this repeated pattern for a long time to come. Less and less frequently, I hope, but I know it will be something I continually have to fight. Linking up with Thinking Out Loud.How I Cope With Difficult Feelings #eatingdisorder #exercise #recovery #copingmechanism Click To Tweet
Are you aware of your coping cycle??
Last side note: I feel these posts are important for me to write for a few reasons: 1) They help me make sense of things and get my brain back into a rational place 2) I hope they can serve as solace for anyone going through something similar to know they are not alone. And most importantly 3) I hope any medical professionals out there can read posts like this and gain a better understanding of what may be going on underneath the crippling effects of any sort of disordered eating or exercise addiction – in order to then be able to better help those who are struggling.