Injury causes frustration with myself
Frustratingly, I’ve only gone and injured myself. Not from running – nope, likely just walking down the street. I managed to damage my left foot (somehow!). Run? I couldn’t even walk! It’s time to talk about my latest little setback and the useful insight into my behaviours I’ve found when I examined some self-destructive behaviours arising from my frustration.
Be warned – after the jump, gruesome footage (arf-arf) ahead.
Before you ask, I’m not sure what I did
Last Thursday, incredible pain in my left foot woke me at 2.30 am. Fortunately, I was able to take the edge off with some ibrupofen. Sometime between Mon and Weds, I managed to damage my toe. The pain led to swelling and the swelling was so bad, I could barely get my shoe on.
The photo below shows how alien my left foot started to look – usually my left and right toes are twins of each other.
What this means is I went into my ‘banjaxed foot protocol’. This involves:
- Digging out my walking stick – this shows you how often this happens: I’ve got a collapsable walking stick. This is important as by keeping some of my weight off the damaged foot, it gives it a break which helps it heal
- Using the walking stick all the time
- Spending a day lying in bed (Netflix makes that more bearable)
- Generally not rushing back into action on the damage foot
As I write this on Monday evening, I’m pleased to say that my foot is a lot better. I can hobble round the house without the stick now and I’ve been able to squeeze into my shoes again. However, there’s still a lot of twinges in my foot. This means I’m not exercising for a few days more yet.
Which is disappointing. Let’s recap on this month’s challenges and I’ll explain my frustration over the situation.
- Stay sober for 100-days from Jan 4th – one small slip up at a work event
- Give up processed foods from Jan 5th (so far so good…but not easy) – another slip up at the weekend with a chocolate overindulgence
- Run 100km outside between today (Sunday 11th and Jan 31st) – that’s not going to be achievable which means my carrot of a fitness monitoring bracelet is going to shift back a month (with an increased target.
Frustration with myself creates a domino effect on my determination
Yep, life’s been pretty tough these last few months. Getting back into my exercise – running and the gym – has really helped me to start to pull myself out the mental mess I was mithered in. Having hit a roadblock with an injury, I’ve come to realise how tightly wound up I still am.
I excused falling off the wagon as a never mind, I can’t run anyway and Barry shouldn’t drink alone. It’ll help obscure my guilt over not being able to run.
Then after a really crap hangover (seriously, I had three small bottles of beer and the next day felt AWFUL. Which is good, in a perverse way, as it means I’m falling out of practise of being drunk and hungover) I decided to distract my beer cravings by throwing some sugar at it. So, I had a couple of evenings pigging out on chocolate.
The rationalisation for the chocolate was to avoid the need for beer. The need for beer came about because of my need to dull my emotions arising from anger and frustration at my bust foot. This is because I was afraid I’d not make any progress this month. The tension caused was almost unbearable and I wanted a release.
Like a chain of dominos, my injury led to anger and frustration which led to tension which led to a need for relief which led to alcohol and binge eating junk food. This led me to believe that I had to do something to cope with what I felt was going to overwhelm me. And, lying on my back, I was able to understand one of the route causes for my past overeating, smoking and booze abuse.
They are props I use to get relief from some form of tension. They distract me and provide some form of control in my life and, in booze’s case, forgetting. Generally, that’s been one of the underlying problems of my life – overindulging in substances as a form of relief from bad emotions. Fortunately, my year-from-hell forced me to have a look at myself in a hard light. I’m still unpicking the mystery that is me (well, to me) and I think I’ve made another small step forward.
This is in understanding a part of what drives me to these self-destructive behaviours. That it comes from a positive, though misguided inanition, to protect myself from tension or fear by providing a form of feeling in control and relief.
Leaving aside the running which, force majeure, I can’t do anything about till my foot heals, I’ve not been perfect in my other challenges. And I’m not disappointed. From the seeming failure to be perfect, I’ve actually had some good success. Namely:
- Not drinking 14 out of 15 days since the 4th [longest stretch since last June]
- Only eating processed crap on three days in the last 14 – namely junk food. This has meant my stomach and guts have settled down enormously, my skin is starting to look better and my energy levels are more stable
- Drastically reduced my processed sugar and carb intake
While it’s not been a plan perfectly followed, it’s still been a good week (apart from the PAIN! OMG the PAIN IN MY FOOT!) as I’m another step along my journey. Till next time, Keep On Going.