Tuesday, December 6, 2022

When self-confidence plummets, HALT

So I know I come across pretty confident in this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. But a lot of that is me faking it till I make it. I can be going along just fine and then, whump, my self-confidence plummets. And low self-esteem, rushes in, accompanied by her friends anxiety, self-loathing, depression and paranoia. And it doesn't matter a jot what I've accomplished, I just suddenly feel like a fat, ugly, stupid loser. Anybody else experience this? Yeah, I thought, unfortunately, I wasn't alone in this. But maybe it's not so unfortunate that others can relate. Maybe we can help each other. 

So what do you do when those unwanted guests arrive? I am learning to HALT. To stop and use the Al-Anon acronym HALT to determine if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. I add another, Sick. If I'm any one of those, I'm not at my best. And those uninvited guests may be (probably are) just manifestations of my struggling brain.  But what if none of those apply? 

Clearly something is off. Al-Anon refers to nagging self-doubt as a "monkey on my back." The  monkey doesn't shout. He whispers in a nasty, pernicious voice that only I can hear. He knows just what to say to make me miserable. He taunts that I'm a failure, ugly, loser, etc. When I try to confront him head-on, he gaslights me and drives me crazy. 

I actually have nightmares in which people are shaming and mocking me. I've had dreams like this as long as I can remember. There will definitely be another post on that and maybe a series. So what do I do when the monkey is live? I'm learning to use the yoga tool of coming back to center. I rid myself of distractions, esp digital ones and bring it in and close. I breathe deeply and focus on channeling positive energy, till I get my balance back. It doesn't have to be for a long time. Just a few moments usually gets me on track and shuts the monkey up. 

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