Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles
is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?
One day a friend of mine shared with me that she was on Facebook. Really I said? I never see you post. Then she shared that she doesn’t post, she just watches what everyone else is doing. What a concept. I am a compulsive poster, blogger, and teacher and it never occurred to me that there would be those voyeurs out there.
Today is for the voyeurs. Wherever you are on your path, let’s do this together.
Many of us eat or drink too much caffeine or alcohol as a way of self-medicating for depression. So often we use these substances to stuff our feelings. It is so important to FEEL YOUR FEELINGS. You can share with friends, family, on blogs or chat rooms, or in your journal.
To begin though, I’d like to share with you a Depression Self-test. This can help you understand the symptoms of depression and see where you are in your life. Of course, if you find that you are depressed, I strongly suggest you find a local therapist to help you. I see therapy as a luxury we all can benefit from.
I’ll talk more about this in another blog, but several times I have witnessed clients elevate their mood by changing their diet. A simple start is to add foods into your diet that are alive! Summer is a great time to do this!
“A sad feeling can last a few minutes, and then you return to joy once you feel the pure feeling and let it go. Much as you would flex a muscle and let it go, you can feel the feeling and just let it go.”
– Candess M. Campbell – 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine
I sat with a client recently who’s working on developing a practice of journaling in order to deepen her relationship with herself. She laughs when she is saying something painful and tends to be disconnected from her feelings. She seems to be incongruent. I’ve given her some sentence stems to use. Sentence stems are beginnings of sentences to use to begin a free-writing session. I create these sentence stems specific to the issues that have been buried. This particular client uses alcohol, shopping, and staying busy as a way of not getting connected to herself; not becoming self-aware.
I’ve journaled over 30 years of my life and it has been an incredible experience of growth, insight, creativity and humor. You would be surprised at what surfaces in a 20-minute timed writing.
In the process of working with a Sentence Stem, you set the timer for 20 minutes, or 10 if 20 seems to long to start with. You use a fast writing pen and keep writing. Whatever comes to your mind you write, even if you have several lines of “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say.” Generally, you will start by being chatty, then go into resistance, “I don’t know what to say” or “I don’t like this,” and then you deepen into the underlying issue. You may notice that you touch on something and then change to writing your grocery list, but at least you know where to return to access the underlying issue or feelings.
Often when we overeat or over drink, or eat at the wrong time, we are covering up feelings. If not feelings directly, we may be over-consuming to manage the stress from all the activity we do to bury the feelings.
In my book 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine, I write a whole chapter entitled Feel your Feelings.
Today, before you make a choice to eat or drink something you know is not healthy, give yourself 20 minutes to journal first. Notice how you feel afterwards and see if it changes your need for the food or drink.
Here are a few sentence stems to start with.
If I listened to my body, I would . . .
What I desire most in my life is . . .
If I were fit/healthy, I would . . .
Comment below and let me know how you did!
“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.”
― C.G. Jung
Have you ever been in a relationship where you feel like you are crazy? This was a familiar feeling for me as a young woman when the love of my life was alcoholic and I came from an alcoholic home. Then I became a chemical dependency counselor, and began to understand. When you are in a relationship with someone who is addicted, you often feel like you are crazy.
How do you know if your relationship is dysfunctional?
1. You keep saying the same thing over and over again and it does not help the situation. You are either not heard or ignored.
2. You do everything you can to fix the situation to no avail.
3. Your friends get tired of your ongoing drama and you feel isolated.
4. You begin to doubt yourself.
5. Tension builds and there may be an outburst (yours or theirs) and then there is the period where things go better and you feel guilty and try harder, just to end up right where you were before, only deeper, more depressed, uncertain, depressed or exhausted.
6. You make excuses for his behavior.
7. You hold onto any kind word or gesture and immediate think it will get better, even though it never does.
8. You think you will never be able to find anyone else and so you stay.
9. You feel confined, trapped and are afraid to leave.
This is the pattern of being in a dysfunctional relationship. You begin to feel like you are crazy. I see this often in my counseling private practice. It is usually the partner of the addict who shows up for advice. The addict himself rarely seeks out help. Too often when the codependent realizes she has to make some changes, she stops coming until the situation escalates. In order for an addict to hit bottom they usually have to have legal trouble, health issues, lose their job, lose their family, or death.
If you find you are in this kind of relationship, before your self-esteem tanks totally, I strongly encourage you to educate yourself. One resource I like is the book Codependent No More by Melody Beatty. I also suggest contacting a local counselor that is educated in chemical dependency. When you get to the stage of feeling crazy, reach out for help before the disastrous incident. There is help!
Watch for the blog on Addictive Relationships!