Any person who has experienced an overwhelming, unbearable and intolerable situation will attest to the fact that it takes tremendous effort to keep functioning. It would have been great if the mind, body and spirit goes back to normal instantly after the traumatic experience but sadly, it doesn’t happen that way.
Long after the experience, the slightest trigger cause loads of emotions to flood in. Soon after the event, we learned to soothe these emotions with over eating, working too much, excessive alcohol, avoiding your problems and ignoring, numbing or bottling up feelings. You may have had these tactics for so long, they helped you cope but they do not define you.
At this point in your life, you can change those strategies if you have realized that they are self-defeating.
Do you want to continue as a workaholic?
Do you want to continue as an over eater?
If yes, that is okay but if no, begin to define yourself with the new pattern you want your life to follow.
Think of all of the ways your mal-adaptive coping strategies limits you. I know it has its payoffs; it masks the fear, compensates the guilt, gives an excuse not to meet up with your standards but is that what you want?
The way you see yourself sets the pattern for your life to follow.
Identify with your personal philosophy and invest a conscious effort in a more fulfilling coping strategy base on your definition.