I can so relate to that
Posted by Delta on 7/12/2018, 5:47 pm, in reply to "Hi I'm Cindy and I'm an emotional eater"
I am an emotional eater and lost a granddaughter and my father within a short time then before I could even catch my breath, let alone deal with the situation my husband and mother both had long-term serious illnesses and I had to care for both of them, often having both in different hospitals and both wanting me to be there with them 24/7. I couldn't fix anything for them and it seemed that I couldn't even do enough for them as they were always upset with me (both become totally different people when sick). |
I ate and I gained weight and my emotions didn't feel a bit better but my body bloomed up over 60 pounds and it doesn't want to come off. I developed a whole laundry list of medical problems, some severe, because of the weight and also because I didn't deal with the stress well. Eating it was the worst thing I could have done.
I have had time to do a bit of research now and if it starts again I hope I can:
Get some professional help or at least someone that I can express my feelings to instead of eating them. Sometimes I just needed to say how stressed I was and how much I was hating being in that position without feeling guilty or feeling that everyone would think I was a bad person. The feelings are real and they don't make anyone a bad person or mean that they love their loved one less they just mean that you need a break from the constant stress.
Find something that I love to do at least one time a week so that I have an excuse to get away all by myself for at least an hour. Sometimes that was a simple as a walk in a park, a short nap behind a book at the library in my favorite comfy chair tucked away in a back nook, a manicure that might be ruined the next day, or any number of things that didn't take me being there mentally or being in charge of anyone.
Find ways other than food to soothe me and a few things to take my mind away for a period of time. I read somewhere to find things that feel good and comfortable like a favorite scarf, blanket or just something to rub. Put in into a box. Find a tea or calorie-free beverage that makes me feel good to drink and put some in the box or store appropriately where it can get gotten at easily. Find things like puzzles, card games, handiwork or something that eases the mind and keep in the box. When the mood to eat hits drag out the box and indulge in the things that are truly comforting and don't cause weight gain. Take a walk, lift some weights, do some squats. I found this after much of the stress was past and it did work when I used it.
Love them and let them know it and take care of them as much as I can but not try to be the perfect wife/daughter/mother for them, because I can't be more than me and in trying I can't stay sane.
Realize that I can't make their life better and I can't fix what is wrong with them. I can be there when they need me, I can do things they can't do for themselves, I can love them, but I can't play God.
Realize that I need to love me a lot too. I need to choose things good for me. I need to take care of my body inside and out as well as my emotional and psychological self. It's not a bad thing, it is actually the first thing I need to do. It is so hard for me to learn to put my needs first before theirs and it always makes me feel guilty to squeeze in time to do anything for me. It is so hard for me not to reason that they are sick, hurting or whatever and want to give up me for them. Like they tell us on an airplane, put your oxygen mask on before you try to help someone else or you won't last to help them.
Rely more on God's unfailing wisdom of the big picture and know that his timing is perfect for the greater good even when I disagree and learn to accept his timing, his wisdom and his promise to be there for me. I can't run the show, but he can. He didn't promise us only good things and positive emotions but he did promise to take care of us through whatever comes, lead us through the valley of shadows if we allow him to.
Also, I need to keep and reread often what the others said to you because there is a great deal of wisdom here.
Unfortunately, there is no way to not feel pain when a loved one is suffering. The secret I am finding is to allow myself to feel the pain in small doses at a time and use my comfort box to comfort myself. I think I was afraid it would be too big for me to handle and would never get better. I have never been good at dealing with emotions, especially negative ones but I am learning that there is no way out of it and that I need to find ways other than food to cope. Food, like drugs and alcohol, only works for a short time and has to be repeated but the more we repeat the harder it is to get it to work and the more we need. Soon it doesn't help at all but it is a deeply ingrained habit by then and we feel that we have to keep repeating it then feeling miserable and lost.
All of this is to say that I don't know what will work for you, but know that you are not alone and if you need a sounding board add me to the list. I know how hard it is under stress to develop a plan so if any of the things I have learned to do might work with you or gives you an idea take it. If not I understand. I know that you are tired of being strong since you have had so much on you for so long. Come here. Many of us have been in a similar situation and won't expect you to be strong. We'll give you a shoulder, dry your tears and if we were closer we would pour you a nice hot cup of coffee or tea and wrap you in a soft blanket. Sending you as many cyber hugs as I can cram into this computer.