I know, I know – who even wants to eat? I didn’t even feel like I could. There was a rock in my chest and solar plexus blocking the route food would usually take. So who cares what food might help heal that heavy hole? Well, I knew for sure that I didn’t want to be there feeling that horrendous. It’s like being knocked off a glorious sunny mountain top, then coming to in a dark, jaggy-rocked crevice (after hanging off the edge of a cliff for a while by my fingernails in terror). When the initial shock subsided, the pain, disbelief and despair took its place. Looking around, it was clear that the only way out of that dark place was to get up and start climbing, but after a fall like I didn’t know if I could….. or I even wanted to. But I did….. and that’s why we start I started seeking little bits of help and hope in any little corner of light I could find.
So here’s the deal – there’s a strong correlation between anxiety rising and blood sugar dropping. Between surges in dark-thinking and the body’s fuel waning. In the middle of great sadness I noticed that each time I chose to pause the painful stories (that my mind would like to keep on repeat) until after I’d fed and watered myself, the stories had way less power to pull me back under the waves. Eating when it’s time to eat is critical – breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner – every 2-3 hours, whether we feel like it or not (and let’s be honest, it won’t always be easy to make the choice to eat at first). I knew standard ‘comfort food’ would make me feel even less like living, so I chose fresh, whole, unprocessed foods, with lots of good protein, good fat and fibre. Choosing to feed myself with healing, nourishing food sends a powerful message to my cells and my psyche – that no matter what had happened, what had been said, or how awful it felt – I am not abandoning me!
This rallied every tiny part of my being to do what it’s here to do: to work together as a team dedicated to my vibrancy. It’s not easy to find the strength (or willingness), but it is doable. I found myself more open-minded when devastated than ever before – from that place of brokenness there options were clear: stay in this state or ask for help. I invoked the help of a loving Higher Power (God, the Universe, my Higher self, Love, the Force, take your pick!) and kept doing that to find the strength, and the willingness, to make it through – first from moment to moment, then hour to hour, then day to day til the gaps between the pain are longer and gradually brighter than the painful moments themselves.
So often we batter ourselves when we’re already down by starving ourselves, depriving ourselves of sleep thereby giving extra power to the dark stories of the ego and perpetuating our pain. It is self-harm. But It doesn’t have to be like that. We actually do have a choice. And we have a responsibility, not only to ourselves, but to those around us, and from a certain metaphysical perspective, to the whole of humanity – because what we do affects everyone. And I know that maybe it’s not fair, and maybe we have been horribly wronged….. but we can choose to rise up again anyway.
How we deal with this ‘tomb time’ of grieving for our old self and life and dreams, makes all the difference in how we will emerge out the other side. All the hackneyed adages about ‘becoming stronger’, and ‘being able to love more deeply with a cracked-open heart’, and ‘time healing’ are true, (and the last thing I wanted to hear) but having been in this jaggy crevice a few times now, I actively chose to do things differently this last time. Loving myself through it has been the bravest, strongest, and wisest thing I could possibly do. Somewhere in this midst of all this awfulness, there has been an amazing opportunity to rise up again out of this tomb – stronger, brighter, more beautiful – a shiny new version of myself. Like a phoenix! And probably, hopefully, less likely to get hurt in quite this same way ever again.
Find out what foods to avoid and some great foods to choose to help you through in my next blog…..