Self-Sabotage: Why I Do It & How I Deal With It

I had already planned to write about self-sabotage for today’s post at the beginning of the month, what I hadn’t expected was to have such a recent experience of it.

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about feeling like a failure for not achieving the intentions I had set for last week but what I didn’t talk about was how one busy day led to a weekend of self-sabotage.

It started with a couple of glasses of wine on Thursday night, the husband made me dinner, lovely. On Friday, I was exhausted, I’d had a really busy week and I wasn’t feeling my best, I “deserved” a glass or two of wine and some cheesecake. Saturday, I’d had a bad night’s sleep so why not get an Indian takeaway and a few more glasses of wine?

I am fully aware of how a few too many glasses of wine affect me, it affects my sleep, hence the bad night’s sleep I had on Friday, it affects my appetite and I end up eating unhealthy food and most of all it affects my mood. So why do I do it?

This behaviour is something I have been discussing with my therapist for some time now. The majority of the time, it is linked to my self-esteem, deep down, I don’t believe I deserve to be happy.

Take weight loss for example. I want to lose weight, so why am I ordering a takeaway? I know that’s the opposite of what I should be doing, half the time, I’m not even hungry. But that voice inside my head is goading me.

“You can’t do it so why bother?”

“What’s the point?”

The other times, it is because I am trying to numb or avoid pain. I will have a glass of wine to “relax” or I’ll have some chocolate because it’s comforting, except these feelings are not only short-lived, they end up having the opposite effect.

The alcohol ends up magnifying the pain and making me feel depressed and the comfort from chocolate wears off so quickly, I end up reaching for more or failing that, reaching for the wine to numb the guilt I feel for overeating.

So what do we do about it?

Recognising self-sabotaging behaviour is the first step, it’s actually a pretty big one. For years I went around and around in this cycle, ignoring it, making excuses and not wanting to do anything about it.

When you can recognise this self-sabotaging behaviour, it can become easier to stop it.

Once you have recognised it, you can then address it. Why are you doing this? What’s the reason behind it?

It was only on Monday morning that I finally sat down to think about why I had been doing this all weekend, that I understood my behaviour. I had been frustrated with myself as my drinking habits have been so much better for a while now and I felt like I was slipping back into my old ways.

When I identified the thoughts and feelings I had been having over the weekend, it was like an ah-ha moment and I realised that I need to talk about it, so I spoke to the husband who spoke to me in a much kinder way than I had been speaking to myself and he gave me the comfort I had so desperately been seeking.

I wish now that I had spoken to him at the end of last week, but I was too busy brushing my feelings aside and generally being unkind to myself.

When I think about the last week, I completely changed my schedule but I didn’t allow myself to ease in slowly, I tried to do lots of things at once and when I couldn’t, I beat myself up and in turn, my self-care slipped. Then at the end of the week, when I needed the strength to deal with my emotions, I had nothing left in the tank, so I turned to other things for comfort.

Certain things, such as a good night’s sleep, going for walks and having breaks during work are things that I know I need, yet they are usually the first things I sacrifice when things get a bit hectic.

I have now been reminded that self-care is a priority and I should not brush my feelings aside, they do matter and I matter.❤️

Photo by Diana Schröder-Bode on Unsplash
2022-11-15 13:53:00

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