How to cope when you want to act out

The question was asked of me on Formspring what I do to not act out when I’ve eaten something risky. I thought I would address this question here because I’ve heard from many readers who deal with dissociation and also have eating disorders. I believe it is worthwhile to address this here because coping extends not just to eating something risky, but also to other behaviors, such as restricting, bingeing, purging, over-exercise or binge eating.

Crisp, cold watermelon on a hot, humid day equals relief. And a mighty tasty snack. Stick a fork in the watermelon…I’m done.The worst part for me in trying to not act out is sitting with the uncomfortable feelings. I try to tell myself that even though the feeling is so intense and overwhelming, it won’t last forever. I can handle the pain and anxiety if I know there is an end in sight. If I can ride out the proverbial wave, then I can buy myself time for when I feel more in control.
Husband and I were at a local mall and made the decision to eat there. He steered me to a store called Fresh to Order and it was so, so good. I don’t know every thing that was in my sandwich but it was some thing like Kalamata olives, avocado, cucumber, and roasted red peppers. I even could have an apple instead of chips as a side. I normally hate eating out, but I’ll make an exception next time for this sandwich.
Another thing I do is tell someone that I’m at risk for acting out. That person can be anyone. I’ve even tweeted before that I wanted to binge and purge. Stating the fact of wanting to act out won’t necessarily make the behaviors go away, but it does take some of the power and sting out of the feelings.

Steamed broccoli, sweet potato with pecans, and fake riblets. Husband bought my littles a Barbie cup and they were tickled pink to use it. It also comes with a bowl they’ll use later.
I also utilize a “goody” bag that is filled with activities that help me distract. I do latch hook, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, listen to my iPod, read a book, take a shower or a warm bath, and color. These are things that have helped me.I got my sixty day chip on Saturday. I’ve been focused and successful in recovery for over sixty days now. I wouldn’t have made this much progress if I didn’t learn that sometimes I just have to sit with the feelings and let them pass through.

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2 thoughts on “How to cope when you want to act out”

  1. Thanks so much for this post. I love the goody bag idea and am going to make me one right now! You are amazing and congratulations on 60 days 🙂

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