Weighty Matters

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Emotional Reactions

on April 10, 2016

I think I’ve always been an emotionally-driven eater.  When I’d get upset, hurt, sad, I’d turn to food in an attempt to console myself.  Angry? I’d eat to suppress the “negative” emotion.

Emotionally, my early reactions were fostered by two different parents.  My Dad very openly expressed anger or upset – often loudly.  Mom did not express her anger or upset very well at all.  When I got angry, I often supressed it, sometimes to the point where it would bottle up, build and build and then explode.  I’m all in favor of appropriate expression of emotion – but a big time explosion never felt appropriate to me and really ripped me apart inside.  Then I’d eat over that too.

As an adult, I find that sometimes I still have a world of trouble with expressing anger in a more correct and effective way.  If I’m really pissed off, my tendency is more to turn it inward and have it leak out in tears.  I hate that.  It feels like I’m selling myself and my entire gender out by reinforcing the stereotype that women cry.

Remember the Tom Hanks character line in A League of Her Own?  There’s no crying in baseball!  Well, while crying is okay when sad or upset, it really isn’t okay with me when I’m angry about something.

Friday was a not-great day for me emotionally.  I have some challenges and issues professionally-related.  I believe that I have a right to be angry about some of the things that are going on.  Unfortunately, instead of being able to say something like, “I don’t think this is a fair course of action and I’m really angry about the way that this is being handled”, I started to talk and felt my throat start to close up.  Then the tears started to well up.  That reaction just got me upset with myself and made me react with even more emotion.

Big sigh.  It feels like a fail.

I really need to work on this.  At least I didn’t come home and eat over the situation and my less than ideal reaction and handling of it.

The situation is not yet resolved so more discussions are going to take place.  My strategy is to prepare and rehearse the potential conversations.  Then I can also focus on my breathing and staying calmer and less emotional.  I can make my valid points without going off the rails.  Like so many things, this too is a learning process with, hopefully, positive progress.

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