Feeling All the Things
I’ve been wanting to write for days. I have the itch to write, to compose, and to fill up the blank space on a page. It’s 5:09am. I’m full of emotions that are bleeding out of my body. I feel all the things. I am overwhelmed as each emotion feels like a 10/10 because I’m so sleep deprived.
For the past five nights, my body has decided not to sleep much. It has also decided that early hours of the morning are wake up time. Hence, why I’m writing so early. For me, sleep makes anything in my life 100 times more intense. That's because sleep is the glue that holds so much of my life together.
Those are the emotions I can give words too right now. Some of the emotions, I don’t know why I’m even feeling? There are others too I can’t name because I can’t find the words. Does anyone else struggle to name how they feel?
When I was in treatment, we did something called “meal processing”. After we finished a meal, one of the pieces of meal processing was naming the emotions we felt after eating. There were feelings charts on the table. At each meal, I took the chart and looked at the words and the faces. I felt numb. I felt nothing. Each meal, I just made up the feeling I felt or copied someone before me. I realize doing this and not being curious, did not serve me well. Once the staff realized what I was doing, it gave me space to explore the “why” with their help.
The real work of my recovery is dealing with the emotions, trauma, and FEELING the emotions—even when I don’t understand. Sitting in the feelings and being curious has helped keep me in recovery. Nothing changed in my eating disorder recovery until I was willing, vulnerable, courageous, and trusted my team enough to hold my narrative and the parts of it that tormented me. They guided me to the light I always had to see and navigate the darkness.
The world is full of lots of unknowns right now. Find something other than your eating disorder to help you manage the lack of control and all the emotions. For me, it’s this. It’s filling the blank space with words of hope, compassion, love, experiences, connection, and inspiration.
What can you do to take care of yourself and the feelings you are holding with in this moment?