More than the Average Joe

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When I am not feeling well, I look for excuses to act like I do when I am a sick person. I hunt easily for ways to fall back into old bad habits, destructive rituals and outdated survival skills—because in a demented way—they worked. They were predictable.

Here’s what mine look like: I feel overwhelmed, so I am entitled to eat whatever I want when I want. I can order as much as I want, regardless of quantity or cost—to make me feel like I am in control again. The end result is predictable—I will feel sick like I swallowed a watermelon and this heaviness feels safe because it is a substitution to feeling grounded. I have to feel like an anchor is in my belly to feel safe; otherwise, I think I might go crazy.

I cannot stand to endure the uncertainty, because I feel out-of-control. So, to avoid feeling out-of-control AT ALL COSTS , I feel entitled to do something addictive that gives me the illusion that I am IN control by controlling something I am not in control of.

Did you follow that?

This backwards “entitlement fixing” also applies to when I feel symptoms of depression, PTSD, remembering traumas of any type, uncertainty, discomfort of any variety. It’s all in the attempts to NOT FEEL. To control. To get high in the illusion of control. To escape discomfort.

I have come to realize that the only real healthy way to deal with my feelings is to accept and identify them, and then take action in the direction I want to head. This takes work and what will at first feel like swimming upstream in a river of white rapids. But it gets easier the more you keep your eye on the prize—the direction you want to head.

Besides, acting out of ENTITLEMENT breeds more of the same, if not worst energy—discomfort, anxiety, any and all symptoms of any disease. Try to control them, through unhealthy entitlement, will just put me in more spins of the gerbil wheel. As soon as I step off, I’m in the same uncomfortable place with me, myself and I. Wherever you run, whenever you stop—there you are.

“But I deserve to do whatever the fuck I want because I am sick. I deserve to have more than the average Joe,” the sick part of you says.

And the truth of the matter is—you deserve to take better care of yourself, more than the average Joe. You deserve to know yourself, and in turn—love who you are, imperfections and all, and be sweet and gentle with yourself as you are in the healing process. To know that by giving yourself the very best, even when you don’t feel so hot-to-trot, shows you that you do, in fact, deserve the very best—no matter what has happened to you, no matter what mood you are in, no matter what uncertainties or stress lies on your plate.

Turn this energy of unhealthy entitlement into a stubbornness of not standing for anything but the best. And HOLD IT. HOLD IT. HOLD IT RIGHT THERE.

EMBRACE IT. Act on it. Now take good care. Because you’re entitled to safety and love and support. You’re entitled to move beyond the past, beyond all sickness, to give yourself the best treatment possible and to grab onto dreams and move toward them and into them and through them and to leave all this maladaptive behavior in the past where it belongs.

NOW EMBRACE what you are truly entitled to as a human being and let go of the rest.

BuildingCity

About author

Lisa Jo Barr

Lisa Jo Barr is a prolific writer. Her articles, columns and blogs have been published online, in newspapers and magazines worldwide, and has been featured in the book Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul, Daily Inspirations. She is currently working on her first book. Lisa has a PhD in the School of Hard Knocks. Not only has she survived trauma, including childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape; but she has overcome sex addiction, as well as other addictions to cigarettes and cocaine, and has learned how to manage Bipolar I and Complex PTSD. One of the brightest beacons in Lisa's life has been a strong determination to know herself, no matter what it takes, along with a knowing that she can deeply inspire -- that her experiences can help others realize they are not alone, that there is always hope for a better future. Lisa loves to swim, travel and listen to music. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

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