Can’t Turn It Off

September 3, 2008 at 1:36 pm 2 comments

I’ve often heard people exclaim in frustration that their minds run and run, filled with thoughts, and they “can’t turn it off”.  I know exactly what they mean because that happens to me, too.  It’s been particularly bad these last couple of days with an edge of anxiety as my mind races from one perilous scenario to another.  It’s been affecting my sleep, which always makes things worse because then I worry about not sleeping on top of worrying about everything else.  Funny thing is, I don’t worry about global stuff.  I don’t stress over nuclear war or even, for the most part, the economy.  I worry about little details in my own life, things I can ostensibly control or should be planning for better than I am (so I think).

What does this mean for my eating?  I have been using the techniques I mentioned in my last post to calm down and chill out.  But, last night, my racing brain would not be quieted, and I ate really badly.  I did very well through the day at work, but once I was home, the urge to eat was my constant companion.  I resisted, but as the night wore on, I ended up overeating peanut butter and fat-free, no-sugar-added fudgesicles.  It seemed as though it was the only thing I could do to get through the night.  It didn’t really help either; I still only got about 5 disjointed hours of sleep.  The overeating is like the not sleeping; it becomes another source of worry. 

The dialogue goes something like this:

  • Am I going to gain weight from this?  No, it’s just one night; you’ll get back on track tomorrow.
  • But, what if I don’t?  What if this is the time when I don’t get back on track?  That’s crazy thinking.  You have been at this for six years; you’re just having a rough spell.
  • Why can’t I be more disciplined?  Why can’t I just relax and eat clean every day like the people in those magazines?  The people in the magazines undoubtedly have struggles, too.  Nobody’s perfect.  Every day is a new day, and you’ll start again tomorrow.  Let it go.

Sometimes, I can successfully talk myself through it; other times, it’s no use. 

I’ve been through a lot lately, specifically a literal transformation, and I believe my body and mind are adjusting to it.  When I acknowledge that during the day, it seems perfectly reasonable that my sleep would off, and I’m confident that it’s a normal part of the process and will resolve itself soon.  However, at night, nothing logical and rational seems to penetrate my racing brain.  Things always seem dire and irreparable at night. 

Why is that?  If I could get that figured out and stop it, I sure would feel a lot better.  Then, maybe I’d be able to “turn off” and “tune out” and get a good night’s rest.


Entry filed under: about me, coping strategies.

Does the current economy make you break your diet? “Healthy” Binge

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Juliet  |  September 16, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Hi. I have a rule for when that happens when I’m sleeping or trying to sleep (for me it is thoughts about work that keep me up). I basically tell myself I’m not allowed to think about that topic – that work isn’t worth the lack of sleep. I’ve found a few topics that I am able to think about and fall asleep while thinking about like my favorite tv shows, or things that have to do with people I don’t actually know (a friend’s friend’s problem or something like that). I hope that advice helps. 🙂

  • 2. susan  |  October 15, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I have found that I also cannot think about sleeping or look at the clock. When I look at the clock time just seems to fly by and it fuels my worrying.

    As for getting off track, I try to tell myself there are no forbidden foods, but I know how it feels to be guilt-ridden from a little bit of stress induced overeating.


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