Life Challenges and Trying to Control the Uncontrollable
Over this last week, I’ve been dealt some seemingly big blows. At one point, I felt like the wheels were flying off and I was barely hanging on for dear life.
I’m in a better place now, thank goodness, but boy, when I was neck-deep in it, I didn’t know how I was going to be able to manage to stay out of the loony bin.
After hearing from some of you, I’ve realized I’m not the only one. I’m facing some personal growth challenges, as many of you are, and this has caused me to have a few breakdowns followed by some big breakthroughs.
During the breakdowns, I can’t seem to make heads or tails of anything. I’m exhausted but can’t sleep. I’m sick to my stomach but can’t seem to eat enough to fill the void. I have an endless stream of thoughts but can’t string them together to make any sense of the noise. And then add the scale into the equation - up one day, down the next. It makes the crazy in my head even crazier.
I even found myself at the bottom of a Boom Chick-a-Pop bag (WHAT?!) and then proceeded to feel shitty about it for the rest of the day.
Who is this person and what did she do with the me I was getting so comfortable with?
There's Beauty in the Breakdown
One of the most trusted members in my Wise Counsel reminded me that every time I’ve gone through huge shifts in my life, I’ve always come out the other side a changed person. Without these shifts, I’d be stuck. Stuck and stagnant. It’s uncomfortable, unfamiliar and uncertain to say the least, but I hang on because I know the next level of greatness is coming for me.
I’m not sure if you know this or not but caterpillars eat a lot before they melt almost completely and then turn into butterflies. This means the caterpillar turns to goo with nothing left but the basic cells for butterflies to morph into the gorgeous winged creatures they become.
Anybody else feel like a pile of goo? Or poo for that matter?
Okay. So during this unstable and uncertain time, I’ve done my fair share of eating. I ate the popcorn and some other not-so-great food. None of it too horrible and I did make some good choices even when I really wanted to commit to the Dark Side. I walked away from a dinner out at one of my favorite restaurants without getting the dangerously delicious creme brulee. That was a big win and I’ll take it.
At the crux of it all, I was feeling pretty deconstructed. Today, I’m confident my wings are coming, I just can’t see them yet.
Feeling Helpless and Looking for Other Things to Control
What I’ve learned over the last few years is that when other things in my life go off the rails and leave me feeling helpless, I hyper focus on other things in my life, like the scale or the food I’m choosing to eat. Or cleaning. If you walk into my house and can eat off the floors, you can be certain it's my attempt at trying to control something.
It can also cause me to rebel and act out, like eating stuff I know I’ll regret later. I also end up making it mean more than what it is - an attempt at controlling the uncontrollable. I have to be aware of my propensity to transfer feelings from one situation to another by acknowledging and allowing myself to feel through whatever is is that has me so uncomfortable. Otherwise I’m just prolonging the inevitable. I’m going to change it’s the resistance to change that drags it out and makes it painful.
In the meantime, I’m trying not to put any attachment or meaning to anything right now - not numbers on the scale, not the numbers in my bank account, not the numbers of times I’ve felt like crawling back into my bed for the rest of the day. None of it. I know I’ll be able to look back after all is said and done and put meaning to it all. Or I won’t.
Either way, you can damned sure bet I’ll be spreading my newly formed butterfly wings, not giving a rat’s ass.
So, if you are experiencing some uncertainty and turmoil, my fellow butterflies-to-be, hang tight through the turbulence, lean into the change, acknowledge your wins no matter how small, and know, your wings are coming too.