Mental Health Check-In

So I’m back and writing for my own mental health. How is that mental health going? It’s…better?

I’m definitely still struggling with anxiety, but it’s not crippling at this point and I’m finding ways to take the edge off without meds. I still think I might need meds long term, but it takes forever to get in to a psychologist…which is so weird. In any case, though, I am doing and feeling better overall which is such a relief. I’m not sure the counselor helped at all, but I only went once so I plan to go back for my other appointments (I get two more free) and then make a decision from there.

My anxiety IS better, and my eating habits are SO MUCH WORSE. I have a long history of bad relationships with food – everything from extreme diets to significant over-eating. I also have an autoimmune disorder that makes my colon hate food and causes me physical pain when digesting certain foods. Lately, I’ve been subconsciously choosing to eat very poorly because “bad” food is comfort for me – I grew up surrounded by highly processed, quick comfort foods – and I think that’s part of what’s keeping my anxiety in check right now.

I eat high sugar, high fat (bad fat, not avocados or nuts) foods. I eat fast food. I eat foods, like lots of cheese, that I know will irritate my disorder. I eat them when I feel the need for comfort, so at high stress times or when I’m overtired. And lately, when I feel the need to curb my anxiety and other coping mechanisms aren’t working. Although all of that makes it seem deliberate and thought out, and it definitely isn’t.

My triggers are all stress related – being over-tired, feeling overwhelmed at work, having financial struggles…anything that makes me feel not in control.

I don’t consciously recognize having any specific thoughts before I eat like this. Maybe something like “I need a break” or “screw it, I deserve this” could be happening. I’ll have to pay more attention there. I definitely think that in the past I’ve used the “I deserve this” rhetoric to convince myself that my choices were a reward as well as a way to establish control, but I’ve also worried in the past that they’re actually a subconscious punishment to myself for being overwhelmed in the first place.

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