I’ll admit it: I have a hard time dealing with it when good things happen for me. I think it taps into old issues of low self-worth and into my tendencies toward perfectionism. And in the past year, a lot of good things have happened! Recently I’ve been a little emotional about it all.
I was talking about all of this with my therapist last week and we were sort of chuckling about how this is something she’s seen me go through for years: When things start going really well, I can get scared/moody/anxious/even depressed. But there’s a key difference now, she told me. In the past, whenever I would come to the brink of a big success, I would feel these feelings of unworthiness and fear and subconsciously do whatever it took to either keep myself from moving any further forward, or to sabotage myself and take myself down a peg. That means bingeing, reverting back to old habits of being late, procrastinating and any number of other self-destructive behaviors.
This time, things are different. I’m still feeling that anxiety, and that sense of “Am I really worthy of all of these good things that are happening?” but I’m not recoiling, not self-sabotaging, not bingeing. I’m moving forward, step by step to heal even more, create the life I want and make my dreams happen (This web site is one of them—and getting to talk to all of you!) It’s been hard work getting here, but it’s all been worth it.
What I’m really left with right now is a sense of awe and gratitude for life and for people. My trust in the Universe and the transcendent goodness that can be present in people is confirmed and grows every time I read a comment in which you guys are reaching out and supporting each other, every time I get an email from one of you in my inbox, every time I hear from one of you that you’ve taken another step in your recovery or had a little victory.
Emotions—even happy, loving and healing ones like those I’m feeling now—are hard for we binge-eaters, emotional eaters or addictive types to deal with sometimes. That’s why we turned to food in the first place. But I’d like to invite every one of your to open your heart and allow yourself to feel a little awe and gratitude today, whether it’s for a pink blossom on a cherry tree, a fuzzy caterpiller on the sidewalk, a delicious latte (like the one I’m sipping right now!), a friend, a mentor, anything.
Let’s really try to feel these good feelings today. And, please, share yours!