Don’t make plans that you may not be able to fulfill. Even if you have the best intentions to follow through with your ideas.
You are setting yourself up for frustration and defeat. A lot of my time spent grieving was a mix of pain, confusion and disappoint. I would get disappointed at myself for saying I was going to do something I inevitably never did. One example out of the thousands of scenarios I can remember is telling myself I am going to the gym tomorrow right before I binge eat. Now, two things are happening.
1} You know you will feel guilty about eating whatever it is you are about to eat so that’s why you tell yourself to go to the gym.
2}You’re trying to motivate yourself by using a negative action to accomplish a positive action. You justify your choice of binge eating now by the possibility of a false promise of the gym tomorrow. Even if, at the time you don’t know it’s a false promise.
Me, I would eat pizza for lunch and be disappointed at myself for eating unhealthy and I would tell myself the classic line “Andrew, you are going to the gym tomorrow after that meal!” Come time for the dinner bell to ring. I would crave a burger, fries and milk shake, crave it so bad I would get irritated if I couldn’t have one. I would say, “You can eat this, you are already going to the gym tomorrow”
Sure there is that random time where you do actually do what you tell yourself you are going to. But I am not talking that small percentage of times when you do what you say. So I would binge eat, fatty, unhealthy food that in the end made me feel even worse mentally and physically. I was disappointed with myself, I had let myself down for caving into my cravings. But it was not the burger that was the root of my disappoint, it was the fact that I had power to convince myself I was a failure who didn’t deserve to be happy. In my mind, I was a waste of life who had accomplished nothing.
Not going to the gym was not just about me gaining unnecessary weight. It was all my emotions swirling together about my past, my ‘gloomy’ future and how I am nothing but a disappointment. Maybe I would insult and degrade myself. I can assure you, insulting yourself does not motivate you to get up and seize the day.
At this stage of grieving and coping are this hamster on a wheel, you tell yourself, ‘yesterday I messed up, I should have gone to the gym today. But tomorrow, tomorrow I start my new life’ The only thing you are going to start tomorrow are feeling all these feelings and breaking down again.
I would suggest start going to the gym and making a daily choice about rewarding yourself once you have made a positive choice first. Don’t indulge first only to worry about the aftermath. You know where that gets you. The road to living a happy lifestyle while coping with a loved one passing or sick is never-ending. Since it is never-ending, you will always keep learning. You can’t stop and wait to feel happy, go out to find your own happy. It took me a long time to know I wasn’t broken. I wasn’t damaged good because I couldn’t do anything, even get up to go to the gym.
The road to happiness is eternal…that doesn’t mean you can’t walk on it forever.