Transcript

You’re listening to the Dr. Nina Show with Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin, only on LA Talk Radio.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Hi there. Welcome to the Dr. Nina Show here on LA Talk Radio. I am your host, Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin. And I am here to help you stop counting calories, carbs, and fat grams so you can easily get to a healthy weight and get on with your life. That is the goal. I want you to wake up and think about your day, not your diet. Hi, Kylene. I am also simultaneously broadcasting on Instagram. And Kylene is saying hi, so I am saying hi to Kylene.

Oh, I should say, if you want to join me, if you want to call me, the number here is (818) 602-4929. (818) 602-4929. You can also, if you’re on Instagram, just drop a comment and ask a question, and I will be happy to answer.

Also, we’re doing something new. I think that this time you guys will be able to hear the callers on Instagram because we dispensed with all the fancy equipment and we’re just letting Instagram pick up the audio on its on. So, let’s hope for the best. Oh, I have a caller. Hi, caller.

Karlygash:
Good morning, doctor.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
This sounds like Karlygash.

Karlygash:
Good morning, Dr. Nina. This is Karlygash. So good to hear you.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Good to hear you. What’s going on?

Karlygash:
I noticed that, first of all, I’m doing a little better with processing my emotions. Like yesterday, I was walking. I was having my evening walk and emotions came. My first reaction was, “Oh my God. When there will be the day when I stop crying, feeling this pain? Will there be a day when I will just have my two hours walk and not cry one?” But, then I said I was crying comparing myself to other more successful people. And as you taught me, comparison is a thief of joy.

Then, I was using your VARY technique, validate, acknowledge, reassure yourself. I knew that I need to do it, and I was doing it like technically, but I was like … When you feel bad, you think … When I feel bad, sometimes I think the depressive thought it’s not going to work, but I started doing it anyway. But, I gave it time. I didn’t rush through it. I gave it time. It took me several minutes, but then it worked. It worked. It did. I was like, “Ooh. It actually worked.” I didn’t die from my emotion. I could soothe myself. But, I was not very proud because previously I was eating chocolate the whole day. So, I was like, “It’s okay.” I spend the time eating chocolate for two days.

Then, still, it’s coming sometimes. I also like to increase my … Sometimes, I know somehow I’m scared to go into emotion and process them. I guess I just used to this old coping mechanisms where I prefer not to pay attention what’s going on with me and just live the life the way I got used to or I learned in my family or people around me. Because going to my emotions, feeling them and processing them, is a new thing. So, I would like to ask you, how can I increase the awareness and the willingness to process actual emotions and not be scared of them, like not be scared of feeling them?

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Well, first of all, I just want to acknowledge you for really already doing the thing that you’re asking me how to do. You ate chocolate. And instead of beating yourself up for eating chocolate, you said, “It’s okay.” And maybe you asked yourself why you were eating chocolate. Because if you’re eating something, if you’re turning to food, you’re turning away from something else.

Karlygash:
No, I did not. I didn’t.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
But, you were kind. You weren’t mean to yourself. That was hopeful, wishful thinking on my part, I guess, but you didn’t-

Karlygash:
No. Actually, you were right. I asked myself and I went to Whole Foods where I buy my favorite chocolates. But, there I met one guy, actually, some time ago, and I have very hard story with him. I kind of avoided this Whole Foods. I avoided the shop every day for a whole like a year or so.

But, then I was geographically there yesterday. And I didn’t need anything, but I said, “You know what? I’ll go to the shop. It’s scary for me. It brings up all these emotions where we met for the first time,” and I actually went to the place, to this pizza place, where we met. I said, “I’ll go there. I’ll go there, and I’ll go through it. I want a normalize to shop. I want this Whole Food to be a grocery shop for me, but not the place which brings all these hard emotions.” It’s inconvenient. I cannot be avoiding the whole LA because something happens with someone.

So, I just decided to go there. It brought up emotions, and during the day I was eating chocolate. I don’t know. I was just … I know it was something, I guess.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Well, you were feeling some apprehension and some anxiety about going to the Whole Foods where you met this guy with whom you had a bad experience. But, you faced your fear. You didn’t it anyway. Then, it sounds like you felt better.

To answer your question of how can you be less of afraid, what is it that you’re actually afraid of? What is so frightening about experiencing emotions? What’s going to happen?

Karlygash:
I was thinking about it, and I … I was arguing with my mom the other day. I was telling her, “You know, Mom, you don’t want to look in the face of reality that your family did this to you. Blah, blah, blah. You need to face it.” I was so angry and so righteous. But then thinking about it about myself, I’m doing the same thing. I’m just scared to look in the face of reality that, yes, it’s true that many people who I thought loved me they don’t love and then don’t care about me. I really have to do this work of living life, and learning, and doing, and building it by myself. There will not be miracle parents appearing at my doorstep and saying, “You know what, Karlygash? Let me do career for you. Let me bring you amazing body, partners, money, everything.” It’s still me who has to get up and do the work.

At the same time, I realize that I really don’t know many things in life. Really. I might be very smart, but I don’t know a lot of basic stuff. Well, I’m also from another country. I give myself a discount for that, but still. I have to do this.

Then, I try to beat myself up for that, but then I’m like, “Eh. Am I really that person who achieves everything and posts on Instagram like, ‘Hey, people. Let’s get all these goals. Let’s train. Let’s eat healthy. Let’s have cool partners.'” I’m more like slow. Not slow, but I’m more observer kind. But then when I meet the slow guys, I’m really bored. So, I don’t know what I want, Dr. Nina. I think I’m just figuring it out or I don’t know. I’m just in the process of changing myself. I don’t want to be who I was before, like this ineffective patterns. But, I haven’t figured out what I want either, so I guess that’s what’s going on.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
I want to point out that I asked you what was scary about emotions and you ended up telling me how you don’t feel as if you have it all figured out, and you’re not a certain of person, and you are still in the process as evolving, as hopefully we all are, by the way.

I remember when I was getting my doctorate, there was a person in my class who said to the professor one day, “I really figured out this dream that this patient had. I really figured it out.” The professor said, “Well, if you think you figured anything out, you have a lot more work to do. You never figure anything out, whether it’s a patient’s dream or whether it is life.” Because we’re hopefully all in a process of figuring it out, and growing, and evolving, and developing.

I just want to point out how you started off trying to answer the question of what’s so scary about feelings and you ended up a bit attacking yourself or shedding light on your perceived deficiencies. So, what if you don’t do that and what if you really challenge yourself to say, “Well, what is so scary about experiencing a feeling, an emotion, or several emotions? What is it that is so frightening?”

Karlygash:
I guess figured out some way, ineffective way, of course, when I was a kid how to go through the day with using ineffective patterns, like maybe overeating, numbing my emotions, not addressing to myself and meeting this goals of life. I guess I just … I learned and used to this type of life where I don’t pay attention to my emotion. I shove them down. If something’s surfacing, let’s eat or let’s talk to some of not very healthy friend.

So when this process of emotion … I’m learning this process of recognizing emotion, and I guess I’m just terrified how much time it takes. Emotions, all of a sudden, emotions in my life appeared since I started working with you. Appeared and it feels like as if I got a child. Here was I, perfect, living my single life, and then all of a sudden I have toddler in my hand. Then, I need to take care of this toddler, feed them, walk them, change diapers. And those are my feelings. I need to address them. I really need to pay attention. It’s like a whole child in my head, and it takes time.

All of a sudden, I cannot move through my life as I did before, fast, efficient, and have the satisfaction of meeting my goals faster than used to at the cost of turning on myself, at the cost of reading and using an effective pattern, and at the cost of cutting the big portion of my life and actually robbing myself of emotional life and emotional health. I guess I feel like I never asked to be a mother in the first place. Well, [crosstalk 00:13:02].

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Oh, I have to stop you. I have to stop you. You’ve called enough, and you’re in the inner circle. You’ve called enough so that people are listening know that you have a mother who could not took care of you. And when you say, “I didn’t ask for the child in the first place. I can’t take care of this child. I can’t take care of myself,” that is such an identification with the mothering that you got. It’s too much for me. As I recall, you had to be left with your grandmother. It’s too much for me. You were too much for her because … And not because you were too much, but because she was unprepared. She was a single mother, and she’s schizophrenic. She couldn’t take care of herself, much less you.

So when you say of yourself, “It’s too much for me. I can’t take care of her,” meaning you, that’s a total identification with the way that you were treated. And this is your opportunity to give yourself what you never got from her, from the people who were supposed to take care of you, and cherish you, and raise you, and make you feel safe, and listen to your feelings and help you through them. This is your opportunity to do something different, not do the same thing, which is to say, “Ugh. It’s too much. I’m too much.”

Karlygash:
You are right. You’re right. I guess I learned to neglect myself and neglect my emotions. It’s not that they did it. Yes, they did it to me, but they also themselves didn’t know how to do. They still don’t know. But, I guess you are absolutely right. I guess I learned to neglect myself as a result of such treatment. Right now, when I’m trying to take care of myself, be very attentive parent to myself, I’m just freaking out. This uncontrollable fear and …

Maybe just the fact that I’m learning to take care of myself brings up emotions that now I’m doing something different and maybe I will lose my family. Because when I was neglecting myself, in a sense, I was connected to my family, connected to this community of people who are neglecting themselves.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
If you come from a family who suffers and that the unspoken rule is look how we suffer and you leave, and you prevail, and you do well, and you’re no longer suffering, well, logically, yay for you. You escaped.

Karlygash:
Oh, I got it.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
But psychologically, to your point, actually, it feels as if you’re no longer connected. Oh, I’m no longer one who suffers. I’m no longer part of that.

Karlygash:
Dr. Nina, we got it. We got it. That’s the reason why I was eating chocolate for two days. For two days I got the convertible Mini Cooper, like 2019, a cool car. I just got a rental car, and I was driving. And it’s free for me. So, I was driving around LA with all this convertible, no roof, eating my favorite food just enjoying life. I was so happy those two days. I guess I punished myself for being happy, like psychological very deeply inside to the point I couldn’t detect it myself. I was like, “What’s going on? I’m so happy I’m driving, and I’m overeating. I’m binging on chocolate. What’s up?” I couldn’t figure it out. I guess I was just punishing myself for having this [inaudible 00:16:53].

Oh, and I posted it on Instagram, and I noticed that many of my relatives were watching me. My cousins and other people, they don’t have that much money. They don’t have it. And I always feel sorry for them. I want to help, and they don’t have it. I guess I just felt guilty, guilty for just being happy, driving this convertible, having-

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You felt guilty for a crime you were not committing. And we feel guilty when we think we’re doing something wrong or when we think we should be doing something that we’re not doing. This can be unconscious guilt or conscious. But when you make it conscious, when you make the unconscious conscious, then you can actually challenge it. When you don’t, when it’s hidden from you in your unconscious, you’re just sort of led around by it.

I also wanted to thank you for making a very good point, which is this fear of happiness. A lot of people say, “I just want to be happy. I’ll do any to be happy.”

Karlygash:
And success.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
“I want to be happy, and I want to be successful.” But then what happens is there are prohibitions against that happiness. In your case because the family system is, hey, we’re not happy, we suffer. So, there’s the sense of I can’t be different from my family. But there’s also for many people, and I don’t know if this resonates with you, the idea that if you get happy, it’s like you’re standing on the rug of happiness and it’s-

Karlygash:
Yes.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
… going to be yanked out from underneath you. The higher you climb, the farther you fall. Sometimes the very thing that we want logically is the very thing that psychologically we fear. And one way to stay unhappy is to focus on food, focus on weight, focus on whatever because then you’re never too happy. And if you’re never too happy, you’re not going to lose the happiness. You’re not going to lose your sense of connection to the family that suffers or whatever reason there is for you having that conflict over happiness.

Karlygash:
That’s the trickiest part, Dr. Nina. And I’m so grateful you are very here you go. You need to go to magical castle and just show this magic to people. Because once you said it, I felt so good. I felt relief, relieved, unburdened. Because I was getting food during these two days, like, what’s up? I was blaming myself like, “Here you go. You have a convertible. You’re having all the things to be happy, and you’re-

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You.

Karlygash:
… still not happy.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You. Notice how you’re talking to yourself. You have a convertible. You’re still not happy. You weren’t saying, “Here I am. I have this convertible, and I’m still not happy.” No. It’s that second person pronoun voice. It’s that critical voice.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Karlygash, I got a couple people waiting in line after you, so I just want to thank you for starting off the show. I love your insight and your willingness to learn, and grow, and evolve. That is a wonderful quality, and I hope that you continue to appreciate that in yourself. Hopefully you call back next week and let me know how you’re doing.

Karlygash:
Thank you so much. I really appreciate all your help. You help me so much. Thank you and have a great day.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You, too, Karlygash. Bye for now.

Karlygash:
Bye-bye.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Hello.

Mariela:
It’s Mariela.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Mariela?

Mariela:
Yes.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Hi, Mariela. Welcome to the show.

Mariela:
Oh. Hi, Dr. Nina.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
How can I help you? What’s going on?

Mariela:
Yes. I’m currently experiencing where I can’t make peace with thoughts that I … I feel like every day, at nighttime specifically, I have these apocalyptic thoughts of I need to eat all this food now, I suffer from binge eating, because tomorrow there’s not going to be this food. It makes it really difficult for me to stay in a routine to break the cycle. So, that’s what I’m experiencing right now.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
All right. That’s a really interesting question. Let’s see if we can figure it out. You’re afraid that if you don’t have it now, it’s going to be gone tomorrow. Or that’s the sense-

Mariela:
Yes.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
… of I better have it now because it’s going to be gone tomorrow. Now, if you think about that feeling, or that thought, or that sense of I’m going to lose the thing that I want, and we’re not talking food, what comes to mind in the past? When have you had a similar sense of this but it hasn’t been around food?

Mariela:
It wasn’t around food. Relationship with my husband. With my husband when were dating and even now because we’re separated.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You’re separated from your husband, but you also felt it when you were dating as if you could lose him or he would be gone?

Mariela:
Yes, and mostly where I’ve … Well, I’m more [inaudible 00:22:41] of the [inaudible 00:22:43] part was when I was a teenager. I went through a very traumatic time where people weren’t really talking to me due to me feeling abused by somebody. It made me feel like … That’s something I’m struggling with right now still sometimes where if I don’t … For me, this is trying to have hold of something. And if I let it go, that’s kind of what else is there for me.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
So the real conflict is over the sense that you can’t hold onto anything good perhaps or that there’s so much uncertainty and that what’s here today could be gone tomorrow, that kind of a thing?

Mariela:
Yeah.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
It sounds like it’s getting expressed with food. Maybe there are things you can’t have, but we can always have food. When we think about relationships, people can be unavailable or unpredictable or unreliable. But, food is predictable, reliable, and available. So if there’s some unpredictability, or unreliability, or uncertainty in your life, as perhaps there is right now given the fact that we’re in a global pandemic and everything is crazy, and you said you’re separated, so perhaps because that is so scary to think about the unpredictability of the world, the unreliability of people, the uncertainty … So, food is I have it, it’s here, and I can have it now. It’s giving yourself the sense of being able to control some aspect of your life or to have something that could be gone tomorrow.

Mariela:
Yes.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
So, it’s important to look at not the food part, but what is this pattern of eating telling you about your internal conflict. And when you think about that, is it the separation from your husband that is foremost in your mind and uncertainty about that?

Mariela:
Yes, mostly, and then not feeling like I’m worth the change.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Not feeling like you’re the change.

Mariela:
Yes.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
What in your mind would have to happen for you to be worth the change?

Mariela:
I would like to stick to a routine. Well, I would like to stick to the routine I would like to be in to be able to overcome … Like regular eating.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Notice how you went back to food. Instead of, “Oh, there’s this uncertainty about my relationship and I don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe I don’t feel worth it,” worth what would be my question. You went back to focusing on regular eating. Because if you’re focusing on food or focusing on eating, it sometimes takes you away from something else that’s really painful that you don’t want to focus on, you don’t want to think about, you don’t want to go there. As the previous caller said, feelings are scary.

So, it’s easier to focus on, oh, look at what I’m eating rather than what is eating at me.

Mariela:
Okay. What’s eating at me?

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Yeah. What’s bothering you? What’s scaring you? What’s upsetting you?

Mariela:
It shakes me within. Because when I really think about it, it’s feelings of being alone, being about how I can’t control the future. I can’t control that, so it’s upsetting to me. It’s mostly those two things, feeling alone and uncertainty of what can I expect in the next couple days.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
So feeling alone can be an empty feeling. The feeling of aloneness, loneliness or aloneness, can feel empty, and that can be then symbolically filled with food. When we’re lonely, we feel like an empty space within and food can fill it. Then, instead of feeling lonely, you’re focusing on why did I eat that. And uncertainty about what’s going to happen with your relationship can be transferred to how can I control food. Let me give myself some certainty over this. Tonight I’m not going to do it. But, of course it ends up happening again.

So that whatever is going on with food is a solution to the problem. The problem is feeling alone and the problem is feeling uncertain in whatever else is going on in your relationship. Those are problems. Food is the answer to the problems. It’s just a solution that also hurts you.

Mariela:
Yes. Yes, it is, because I’m even having where it’s now … I’m having sometimes like gastral problems because it’s to the point now where it’s affecting my health. And it scares me because I wish I didn’t have to take on to food for this, but I guess I’m trying to find other alternatives to it, this process.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
The answer is to really respond to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. If a fiend said, “Hey, I’m going through these relationship difficulties. I’m separated from my husband. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I feel very alone. I’m really scared,” you would not probably say, “Hey, I have the answer for you. Eat this.” You would talk to your friend.

Mariela:
That’s right.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You would talk to your friend. So, you have to respond to yourself the way you would respond to a friend instead of abandoning yourself, really, and eating.

Mariela:
Okay. Yeah, that resonates.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
The key is kindness. People say, “Oh, how do you get over binge eating disorder?” It sounds so simple, but it’s so difficult to create. But, it really is to respond to yourself with kindness instead of to abandon yourself by going to food. That’s the key.

Mariela:
Kindness.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Kindness.

Mariela:
The key.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Yeah. Well, I’m glad. I’m very glad that you called. Will you call me next week or sometime in the future and let me know how it’s going?

Mariela:
I will. Thank you so much, Dr. Nina. Thank you.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You’re very welcome. Good luck. Be kind. Be nice to yourself.

Mariela:
I will.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Okay.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Aw. Remember, if you are turning to food, you are turning away from something else. Oh, Ronan is typing something to me. If you find yourself being powerless over food, what are you powerless over in your life? What feels powerless? If you find yourself eating to the point where your stomach hurts, what is so painful that you’re turning emotional pain to physical pain?

Ronan, do we have another caller? I thought we had another caller. Oh. I guess we don’t. No. No. No more callers. I could’ve kept talking to her more.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Speaking of powerlessness and speaking of helplessness, last week I started talking about how helplessness is related to food issues. I went over a couple of the different ways that we deal with helplessness. And we’re all feeling, to some extent or another, helpless and powerless over this very scary virus and all of the ramifications of that. What are the economic ramifications going to be? How is it going to us, our health? How is it going to affect us financially? How is it going to affect people we like and love? All of this uncertainty and all of this powerlessness. There’s very little we can do instead wear a mask. Wear a mask, people. Wear a mask.

I shared about my mask shaming experience last week when someone shamed me for waring a mask. Shamed in Calabasas, California for wearing a mask. So wrong. So very, very, wrong.

Anyway, helplessness. Helplessness is one of the worst experiences that we can have, the feeling of powerlessness that we cannot do anything about anything. Sometimes the powerlessness we feel over events, whether it’s a global pandemic or a situation in our personal lives, that powerlessness can be displaced onto food. So instead of I feel so powerless over the fact that I don’t know what’s going to happen with my relationship, it becomes I don’t know. I feel powerless over food. And now we have Jenny. Hi, Jenny.

Jenny:
Hello. Sorry. Let me turn you off. Listening to you at the same time I’m calling. How are you, Dr. Nina?

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
I’m doing well, Jenny. What’s going on?

Jenny:
Well, you were just talking about masks, and I just have to say I wonder if any callers could help me with a little problem. My apartment complex isn’t enforcing the mask mandate that our governor, Gavin Newsom, has required. And it’s mandatory in the state of California, and my apartment complex isn’t enforcing it. So if any of your callers has any information, email Dr. Nina so I can get … I can [crosstalk 00:34:17].

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Okay. If anyone out there can help Jenny out and point her in a direction of what can she do to compel her apartment building, which is in the state of California in La, to comply with the mask mandate, email me, [email protected] Email me and I will find a way to get it to Jenny because it’s a definitely awful feeling to feel powerless in that way that here is this mandate and yet people in your building are not wearing masks. I’m very sorry to hear that.

Jenny:
Well, thank you. Just what’s happening with how people just aren’t … They aren’t complying with the rules that are for our safety, and I have no control over it. It goes back to my control issues. Then, it goes back to also, which I’ve been issues with this week, is I’m always in survival mode. From when I was a child to even now, I can’t get out of this feeling like I’m in survival mode. I went to store, and I don’t like going to the grocery store, like I have fear of … I don’t have FOMO, fear of missing out, I have fear of going out because-

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
It’s FOGO.

Jenny:
Yeah, it’s FOGO.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Fear of going out.

Jenny:
Yeah. Because I’m exposing myself to all these people who … There was a fight literally in the front of the supermarket while I was there. Everyone’s just out of their minds. So, I run in the store. I grab everything I can because I don’t want to go back for another 10 days to two weeks. I try to get enough so I don’t have to go back. So, I’m kind of feeling like I’m rationing my food a little bit. Even my personal care products, like my shampoo, and my toilet paper, and all of that stuff. [inaudible 00:36:19] by now, and I have to go back more, and I don’t want to go back now.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Jenny. Jenny, I can’t hear you. You sound all of a sudden very far away.

Jenny:
Oh. Got my phone switched to … My phone switched to my Bluetooth thing. Can you hear me now?

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
I can hear you now. Yeah.

Jenny:
Okay. Perfect. I’ll shut off my little Bluetooth. I don’t know why the electronic equipment … Is Mercury in retrograde? Anyway, what was the last thing that you heard from me?

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You were saying that you were really feeling like you were in survival mode and even food and other things you feel as if you have to kind of ration then and not use them up because you don’t want to go out because going out is scary.

Jenny:
Yeah. Okay. So you heard everything. It’s crazy that I’m starting to … That in my adulthood where I can take care of myself and I really shouldn’t have this survival mode fear like I did when I was a child growing up with an alcoholic parent that this COVID situation has made me feel those feelings again that I need to be in survival mode. And I hate it. I hate that feeling. I wish I could just feel calm. I’m not rationing my rosé, unfortunately, that I love so much, as all your callers know, but …

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Well, because-

Jenny:
That’s important.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Well, because rosé calms you down and rosé takes you out of survival mode. I’m guessing you don’t feel in survival mode when you’re drinking rosé. And drinking rosé is very similar to eating chocolate for other people or eating something with a sedative kind of effect. A lot of people have carbs to calm themselves down. So, rosé is your solution to this pervasive anxiety of feeling in survival mode all the time and of living among people who are very unpredictable. I mean, I guess when you go to the grocery store you don’t imagine you’re going to witness a fight in front of the grocery store over who knows what. But, that’s not something that you’re used to seeing, I presume.

Jenny:
No.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
It’s scary.

Jenny:
No.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
It just is scary.

Jenny:
Yeah. And there’s an energy now at the grocery store now where people are just scrambling to get their stuff and get out. It’s not calm like it used to be where everyone was looking at the boxes and like, “Oh.” Now it’s just like everybody’s scrambling to get out. There are these lines that you have to be six feet apart. Everyone’s in mask. No one’s chatting. It’s just like get in, get your stuff, and get out, and it’s stressful. Even if I’m just there for a half hour, it’s stressful. I come home and I’m tried.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
It’s very stressful because you shouldn’t have to gird yourself to go to the grocery store. And unfortunately, that is what we have to do these days. I am really lucky because my husband goes to the grocery store. I haven’t stepped inside of one since March, probably February if I’m being honest because he does all the shopping. I’m very lucky.

Jenny:
Yes, yes.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
But, I mean, I hear him tell me about what is going on in the grocery store, and it’s frightening. So, responding to that fear, responding to that anxiety rather than, “Oh, I’m in survival mode. I must escape it.” Again, if a friend of yours came to you and said, “I just went to store, and it was a horrific experience. There was a fight outside. I just feel like I’ve got to go in and out. It’s so scary,” and let’s just say you had no rosé to give her, what would you say to your friend? What would you say to your friend?

Jenny:
Oh, God, I mean, I don’t even know. I don’t even know what to say to myself anymore. I don’t know. I mean, I guess when I sit down and really just breathe, the realization that everything’s okay and that I can handle it comes into play without rosé, that it’s all okay. But when I’m in the moment of it, that anxiety, it’s like I turn into a different person. It’s like this little monster is inside.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Or this little girl. Not a little monster, a little girl.

Jenny:
A girl. Yeah.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Who’s going, “Oh, no.” So, this is where I really recommend my VARY technique. Now, it stands for validate, acknowledge, and reassure yourself. It really should be acknowledge and then validate, but it didn’t work for the acronym, so VARY it is. That means you have to sort of acknowledge and validate at once. Acknowledge this is scary. This is scary. It is scary that there’s this sort of vibe in the world right now, at least in California, at least in Los Angeles where we are. There’s a vibe in the world. It’s edgy, and it’s scary. It feels very potentially combustible, and that’s frightening.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Then, you validate, yeah, who wouldn’t feel this way given these circumstances? If you were not in denial, if you are actually paying attention to science, if you’re looking around at people out there, of course it’s very nerve-racking. Hi, [Modernworldsen 00:42:51]. Welcome to the show. Better later than never.

So, you do that, Jenny, and then you reassure yourself. And reassure is right now this is scary. It’s not going to last forever, but right now it is scary. You also reassure yourself by what you said just a few moments ago. I can handle this. I am not a little child. I am not helpless and powerless. I can actually take myself out of that store. I can take myself home, dodge all them non-mask-wearing people in my apartment building, and I could keep myself safe. To remember that.

Jenny:
Yes. Yeah, that’s great. Thank you for that. What is the actual acronym?

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
VARY, V-A-R-Y. Very for validate, A for acknowledge, R for reassure, Y for yourself.

Jenny:
And yourself. I like that. I like it.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
It’s in my book The Binge Cure.

Jenny:
Oh, okay.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
It’s one of those things where I almost didn’t include it in my book, and I get so many people telling me how helpful it is, so there you have it.

Jenny:
Oh, good. Well, I’m glad. I have your book, so I’m going to look in there and see if there’s anything else I can pull from it. But, I like that. I like that. And it works for everything.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
It works for everything. And just remember, you are not … What did you call yourself, a horrible little toddler? Child?

Jenny:
A monster.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
A monster. Right. It was Karlygash who called herself a horrible little child or something like that. A monster. So changing your idea of what are your feelings. Instead of a monster, it’s a scared part of you. A scared part of you is not a monster.

Jenny:
I get very hard on myself. It’s what I say. There’s this thing inside of me. I can’t control it, and it really upsets me that I am this way, and I blame myself when I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You know what?

Jenny:
The problem, that’s [inaudible 00:45:25]. Now that I said that there was a little monster inside of me I … Horrible. God.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
That is horrible. Because here’s what it is. You’re getting retraumatized in some way. And when we’re traumatized, we have different reactions. Fight, flight, or freeze. It sounds as if when you’re traumatized, you want to flee. And if you can’t flee-

Jenny:
[crosstalk 00:45:53].

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
… in that moment because you’re stuck in the line at the grocery store and you’re six feet away from someone and you’re just on edge, you can’t … It’s even more retraumatizing. And I say retraumatizing absolutely. That may sound overstated, but there are two kinds of trauma. One is the really big, horrible thing that happens to you in your life and shatters your world because it’s just a big, awful event, and the other is the thousand small cuts. So the big event is like a giant’s cleaver to the heart. And a thousand small cuts are more minor things that happen over, and over, and over, and over, and over, like neglect. And feeling helpless, and powerless, and neglected, and unsafe, and you’re the only one who could take care of yourself, and that’s not a monster in there. That’s a little girl who’s getting retraumatized or the part of you that felt so stuck and unsafe.

Jenny:
Yes.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
And having compassion for that part of you rather than calling it a monster.

Jenny:
Yes. And you know, I’ve been working, actually, on having more compassion, not just for myself but for others because I’ve found that I’ve become a people-hating person during this pandemic for obvious reasons, because there are people that aren’t taking it seriously and putting other people at risk. I’ve been trying to feel compassion or put myself empathy, put myself in their shoes, and I don’t do it for myself enough, actually, at all, most of the time.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Well, you’re a step ahead of me because I was just going to say, “And where is that compassion for yourself?” So you see?

Jenny:
Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You already know. Being as compassionate to yourself as you are towards other. Not calling yourself a monster but saying, “Okay. What am I feeling? What’s actually happening? What is right now?” VARY, and also the what is, not what if. Just, okay, I am here, and I can leave any time or I can stay and check out. Then, I’m going to go home, and I’m going to get myself safe. That is what I can do. That is what I can do for myself.

Jenny:
Yes. Okay. I will work on that [inaudible 00:48:33].

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
All right. I know you will. Call me and let me know how it goes. Call and let us know-

Jenny:
I will.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
… how it goes. Great.

Jenny:
Thank you, Dr. Nina.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
You’re welcome, Jenny. Stay well. Be nice to yourself.

Jenny:
Thank you. You, too. I will. I will try. I promise.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin:
Bye for now. Modernworldsen is saying his unconscious must have made him late. Oh, so on it. Everyone is psychoanalyzing themselves today so well, so very well. Just really quickly, the responses to helplessness, before we go, are to get angry because anger is an active emotion, to get very productive because that also feels energizing and alive and it’s like you’re doing something in the face of helplessness. The others are to withdraw or to get depressed. If you are finding yourself having any of those four reactions, remember that it is a reaction to powerlessness, and you’ve got to be kind to yourself. You’ve got to be compassionate with yourself. You got to treat yourself as you would anybody that you love.

Thank you for joining me today. That is our show for today. I am here every Wednesday at 10:00 AM Pacific here on LA Talk Radio. You can also catch me on Instagram. You can listen later at Apple Podcast, or the LA Talk Radio archives, or anywhere you listen to your podcasts. Take care. Stay healthy. Stay safe. Wear a mask. And I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.

 

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