The control / release cycle is talked about in John Bradshaw’s excellent book ‘Healing The Shame That Binds You’.
The control / release cycle is this: a period of rigid control and boundaries around an area of your life – stringent dieting and exercise for example, followed by a period of release – when you fall into a ‘binge’ pattern: eat all of the foods you forbade yourself in the ‘control’ period and avoid the gym like the plague!
The control / release cycle means you either have total control ‘compulsivity’ or you have no control ‘addiction’, they are interconnected and set each other up as the more intensely you control, the more you require the balance of release and the more you self destructively release (undoing all your hard work) the more intensely you require control and so on.
If there are feelings of low self-esteem, shame and self-punishment from childhood underneath the control / release cycle it seems to intensify both sides of the tension: extreme control followed by extreme release.
We can see this dynamic in any kinds of addiction. I have seen this dynamic, to lesser or greater extent, present in clients I have worked with, who have struggled with weight loss, food addiction and eating disorder issues for many years before coming to the clinic. I’ll often work with sugar addicts who bounce ferociously between juice cleanses and the biscuit tin!
If you recognise the above and are exhausted by the yo-yoing in your habits and life, get in contact with us now for a chat on how we can help you to resolve what’s driving this and enable you to find a more peaceful way forward.