Taking Care of Myself – Or Not

I’ve been dealing with severe heartburn over the last month or two. This seemed to begin around the same time I began drinking coffee (again). A cup (okay, more like two) a day. With a profound amount of sugar and cream. I’ve also been continuing to drink wine on a fairly regular basis (at least once a week).

These are the three most common (dietary) causes of heartburn:

~Caffeine (ie coffee)
~Sugar
~Alcohol

 

Why have you not stopped drinking coffee and wine yet?” you ask.

Because I don’t know how to take care of myself properly,” I answer.

 

Many of you might think, yeah, well that’s a total copout. It’s just a matter of wanting it badly enough and self-discipline.

Yes, I suppose that this is partially true. If I wanted it badly enough, I would make these changes. I would give up the coffee and the wine. So why haven’t I?

I think the question then becomes, why don’t I want it badly enough?

That comes back to what I feel that I deserve. Deep down, pain feels natural. In a weird way, pain brings me comfort, because I feel it is my natural state. I have been accustomed to being in so much emotional pain my entire life that physical pain just seems par for the course.

I’m not saying I want to maintain these believes. On the contrary. I want to feel worthy enough to step up and take care of myself properly in all ways possible: mentally, physically, psychologically. I am a work in progress. I strive to have a healthy view of self, but I am not there yet. I am okay with this, and I accept myself where I am at. The biggest step is acceptance, wouldn’t you say?

It becomes more complicated when you add into the equation the fact that I get personal satisfaction out of the wine and coffee and in fact see them as ways of “treating myself.” So these same forms of “self care” are actually causing me great physical pain. Maybe the key is to find things to replace them with, things that don’t cause physical aggravation and distress?

What do you all think?

(Sipping from wine glass.)
(I’m asking for it.)

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Taking Care of Myself – Or Not

  1. It’s not an easy thing at all. I’ve known for a long time that caffeine causes/worsens my anxiety and panic attack, but I’ve only recently been able to cut out my Diet Coke habit. I also recently converted from vegetarianism to veganism in hopes it will help with my eczema, and I’m having a hard time sticking with it. (Cheese is just so damn GOOD!) I think you have to be in a pretty good place in your relationship with yourself to be able to make those big changes. You’ll get there.

    • Have you found that changing your diet has helped your mental health? If so, in what ways?

      • Cutting out caffeine and reducing processed sugar has definitely helped with my anxiety levels. I also have to watch some dietary stuff because I have a genetic disorder that keeps my body from processing folic acid, which causes, among various problems, intractable depression. A combination of medication for it and dietary changes has made a HUGE difference in my depression and my overall motivation and energy level.

        • That’s very interesting that folic acid can cause depression. I never knew that!

          Yes overall I try to eat healthily, although I have to admit over the last few months I’ve slipped a bit and have been eating a little more sweets, etc than I normally would. Trying to find a healthy balance is hard but it’s what I strive for.

          I’m so glad that changing your diet (plus the meds, as you said) has had such a positive effect.

  2. “I have been accustomed to being in so much emotional pain my entire life that physical pain just seems par for the course.” Sometimes it’s difficult to make the healthy choices, because the alternative is comfortable. Like eating another bowl of ice cream even when you know you shouldn’t. But this comment you made sounds very much like a self harmer. And SH comes in many forms.

    I’m not trying to put another label on you, just telling you that your choices seem very similar to (and might possibly be) a coping mechanism. And any coping mechanism that causes you pain and/or your body harm is considered self harm. Have you ever brought this up with your T?

    • I see what you’re saying, although I wouldn’t say that drinking coffee and having a glass of wine here and there is a coping mechanism. If I was drinking quite a bit, or restricting food or something of nature, then yeah I would definitely agree that these sorts of behaviors are negative coping mechanism that can be seen as self-harm. Unfortunately I just have a really sensitive stomach as far as acid is concerned, so if I am going to have things like coffee or wine, I also have to be sure to balance it out with other things that will counteract the acid in my stomach. That’s what I’ve been trying to do these past couple days and it seems to be working. 🙂

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