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When It All Falls Apart

“So, it’s Valentine’s Day, and the food triggers are everywhere, it’s all chocolate, it’s all my favorite stuff. And no one is going to buy ME flowers, HE just left for HER, and my boss started talking about reorganization and focus and streamlining and there is all this cold wet stuff coming down out of the sky and I’m getting  a cold or some other vicious disease, and I  feel cold and creepy and all I want to do is give up ……. What then, Theresa?” What does a dietitian have to say about this situation?

“What a nasty place to be in” is what your dietitian has to say! “What will help you?”

No, now is not the time to answer the phone call from your ex-mother-in-law or from that woman at work you can’t stand.

What is it the time to do?

Sit down, have a good cry, and wrap yourself in your favorite blanket. Cry. Let yourself feel bad.

When you’re done, wipe your eyes, blow your nose, and get out your journal or a pad of paper, and make notes.

What could you do? No, it is not time to get a gun and go shoot your ex mother in law or Himself, either. It’s too cold and wet out there. But put it on the list anyway.

No, calling your boss or sending a nasty email won’t work either.

The “I’m disappointed” email won’t work. Turn the page.

Then list the changes that could be made to make you happy. Turn the page.

Now list what you really really want in your life.

We are now officially putting you in intensive care.

What does that mean?  Well, for most of us, self-care is the hardest thing we do.  We are so willing to sacrifice our needs to the demands of others or to our own beliefs about the wishes of others – true or not – that we give up our right to the things we really need for our survival and well being.

Then we suffer.

And we feel pain.

Then we need comfort.

Then we relapse to stop the pain.

Then we have two problems.

And the pain is twice as big.

When you see this beginning, when you see the problem coming up on the horizon, what can you do?

Put yourself in intensive care.  Stop the world.  Take time off from work, or cancel any non-urgent commitments.  (That means – if it does not involve a trip to the emergency room, or death, dismemberment, or the IRS, it is NOT urgent!)  Take the time for yourself for two to fourteen days.  Give yourself the opportunity for rest and renewal. What sort of behaviors does that involve?  It can be any or many, of your choice; some suggestions include:

What did you put on your list that is truly doable?

Seven meetings in seven days

A daily nap

Eight hours of sleep per night

Half an hour of prayer and meditation daily

Manicure, pedicure, haircut, facial, massage

Lunch with a supportive friend

Daily exercise

Step work

Let the sun warm your heart- or a picture would work too!

Journal daily

Buy YOU flowers

Weigh and measure all your food

A gratitude list

A list titled, “Your Job, God”

Half an hour a day to do whatever you want

A daily indulgence

A new fun, enjoyable, happy, non-work manual, book, workbook or coloring book

During this time, make the opportunity to talk with people you trust about what is going on with you; listen to their advice and consider it.  At the end of this time, make time to re-assess your situation with a trusted adviser and decide how to proceed in a way that enhances your recovery.

Turn the page.

What do you REALLY want and need?

Go for it!

 Blessings to you,


 p.s. – Please join us this Saturday for Third Saturday Support Group.  This week with Kim G.

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