Whenever I tell my therapist I feel something or think something negative about myself or my life, she rephrases it as "a PART of you thinks/feels/believe that". And then points out the various other parts of me that made the choices and decisions for some reason. Even if that reason was "I felt like it at the time". The whole thing she is doing is getting me to see which emotions/impulses bring on which behaviors, so that instead of being triggered and reactive, I can step back and be intentional about my actions, decisions, and coping mechanisms.
For example, last night I was so mentally drained after a painful clinic and frustrating evening with the kids (I rushed home and dragged them to swim lessons only for the instructor to not show due to a miscommunication and they were grumpy and annoying the whole time there/waiting/back). Also my shoulder is hurting again and its a constant, tiring ache. When they finally got to bed at 9 pm I was spent, and probably should've gone to bed, but I had that (rare for me) feeling that I wanted to stay up and take some time for ME, probably because nothing in the entire day brought me joy or even satisfaction (and I didn't have a book to read!). But I was didn't have the motivation to actually DO anything, so I poured a glass of wine and grabbed a snack and set to scrolling and wasting time for a good 30-45 minutes. I may have refilled the wine along the way.
It was later then I wanted to go to bed, I slept poorly because of the wine, and was beating myself up this morning for setting back my health goals. The typical cycle of being depleted, seeking comfort/relief in "easy" ways and then feeling like crap about my choices. Why do I keep doing this?
Apparently I've never learned to "feel my feelings" nor have I learned how to deal with them except by distraction and numbing---scrolling, eating, drinking, shopping (I've gotten WAY better about this, but the urge strikes sometimes)...even some seemingly positive behaviors like reading, exercise, and planning can be used as distractions if I'm trying to avoid unpleasant emotions. (and I definitely admit I've been staving off work stress by planning NEXT SUMMER).
Tonight I'm supposed to take 10 minutes after the kids go to bed to just sit by myself and think or journal about my feelings and what I actually need in the moment. I'm almost 100% sure what I really need would be to go to bed. I'm very tired, every part of me.