What's wrong with being an overfunctioner? You are thinking, 'I just like to get things done' or 'I just can't sit still if things are left not finished'. While being an overfunctioner may at times have it's payoffs, it has it's share of taxes too. Overfunctioners tend to feel as if their value is wrapped up in another person's view of who they are. As long as they are 'performing' they feel valued and worthwhile. Take that performance away and they often feel worthless. The constant demand and drive to do better, work harder, keep performing, keep running is fueled by a strong fear of the internal hole it feels like the worthlessness creates. While this in and of itself is a flawed concept it also creates an absence of self care on the part of the overfunctioner. The more I am driven to fuel my worth with other people's demands and often unspoken opinions, the more I am less inclined to slow down and listen to what my own needs are. While there is no tax in this for the overfunctioner who can only achieve value from those others; there is, in reality, quite a bit of tax from the lack of decompression.
Everybody needs to fuel back up. That may look different to a hundred different people. The idea behind it is still the same. Our bodies, our minds, our psyches, our whatevers need time to refill the gas tank. Unlike a car that can run in the the orange for at least 50 more miles before the engine finally shuts off, our bodies won't shut off. Most of us are familiar with a variety of stress responses that the body has to push through the lack of fuel and keep moving down the road, albeit a little less efficient than it could. But in the end the body craves a period to shut down, to rest, to plug back in to build back up the fuel reserves. This time is called decompression. While it may just sound like a fancy buzzword made up by a bunch of ancient like the dinosaurs therapists. It is actually an important term that allows us to unwind, dump some things off from our day that don't need to hang around like monkeys on our back, and gather a little insight into what isn't willing to let go that we might need to address more fully.
Those issues that go unaddressed often bubble under the surface as we approach dinner or any other night time eating ritual, including after the house has gone to bed. What we find is a focus on food, typically moving from one food to the next until we are way too full; but that is only part of what is going on. Shoving emotions down literally with food forces a certain calm, a certain numbness, for some almost a euphoria where they can finally rest. The food then is really just a vehicle to get to the point where permission is granted to decompress, without the nagging list of to-dos hanging in our face. The same thing plays out in starving away emotions. The hunger pains that are a part of starving eventually reach a euphoric state, or drug-like high that again induces a calmness. While, in reality, it may be a weakened state, it forces a decompression state.
Ultimately, decompression would leave to more energy to tackle the emotions from the day and a couple life tasks. Instead, past this kind of induced decompression leaves a considerable amount of guilt for the overfunctioner who hasn't, 'got things done' or 'has left things unfinished'. An overfunctioners job isn't just to learn how to decompress to avoid pitfalls with food. An overfunctioner has to allow themselves to realize where value really comes from and that it can't be robbed, earned, gained, or lost and that we are all worthy of self care.