Do you have them?
I know I did and it took me a long time to tell myself I needed to stop, turn inside myself and listen. Listen to what I needed. Listen to what my heart was saying and my brain was begging me to do…just stop.
STERBS stand for Short Term Energy Release Boosters. In other words, they are the things you do to fill the space when you suffer a loss or life transition. For me, as you may know, it was losing my dad and husband 63 days apart in 2014. That seems so long ago as I type this out, but the STERBS were only filling the time and space from what I was trying to avoid. The healing from the hurt and pain.
STERBS are shopping too much, eating or drinking too much, sleeping too much or too little, too much time on the internet, gaming, gambling, anything excessive. But my favorite STERB was exercising. I started off with spin classes, moved onto personal training and running until I woke up one day almost 3 years later and by miscommunication my trainer had accidently not shown up for my 5:30am morning session. I was standing there, trying to figure out what I needed to do and then it became apparent, I needed a break. I remember driving in my car on the way home and thinking to myself I am so tired of running away.
I had been stuffing this hole in myself since I had lost my loved ones, I wasn’t dealing with the real issues. My sadness. Yes, even after all these years, I still find myself feeling sad. So, I took the break, and started to work on myself from the inside out. I started waking up and stretching and acknowledging that instead of running out to exercise I walked into the backyard with my coffee and puppies and watered my gardens. I looked up and closed my eyes and listened to the sounds outside my home. I watered the crunchy yard enjoyed feeling the water sprinkle back on my toes. I cooked and ate and started tasting my food again. I read and journaled. I walked outside at night and stared up at the stars, imagining I could make out the big dipper. I was re-introducing myself to the new me.
I even acknowledged that my heart needed to mend itself. It was still so fragile. All these years of people telling me I was strong, I was hearing it and filling myself with STERBS to help myself.
You may see people suffering through STERBS, the over exercised, spend every moment filled up and they can’t relax people? Or the ones you can’t get off the couch? Next time, you see someone who has suffered a loss, consider taking a step back and thinking about if they are suffering through STERBS. You will begin to see them in a new light and understand.
STERBS don’t go away overnight, it takes time to work through, acknowledge what you are doing and convince yourself to start finding the balance in your life.