counseling

My Triggers….Bang Bang

Shh....reprogramming in progress.

Shh….reprogramming in progress.

Before I quit drinking my eye used to twitch all of the time. It was a tiny twitch that no one else could see. I would point to my eye and ask a friend if they could see it and inevitably they couldn’t.

For years I used alcohol and food to mask my frustrations and feelings. I could always get myself into a place where nothing bothered me. Rough day at work? That’s okay, have a bottle of wine. Friend pissed you off? Binge on the popcorn, beer and Homeland, why not, you deserve it. But that little twitch, that was my tell. I didn’t always know right away WHAT I was stressed about, but I would mentally scroll a list of possibilities and once I got to the culprit the twitching would begin.

It is amazing how the mind body connection works. Only rarely now does the twitching flare up. Today is one of those days. This is because I am headed on a weekend of firsts. My first weekend to my parents’ home solo and sober, my first bus trip sober, my first trip where I plan to NOT act on my disordered eating.

There will be a lot of triggers – brown foods and buffets of southern Indiana, sugar cream pie, discussing restaurant options, relishing in the carefree atmosphere of not being a wife or mom for a few days, basking in the “daughterness” of my parents’ home, and sitting in the natural discomforts that come with lifelong relationships that have formed who we are.

I am grateful to have this opportunity. Many of my friends and family no longer have parents to share these experiences.  I have ton of coping tools. Some of which you are seeing here in black and white on the blog. I’m ready. Eye twitch and all.

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My Brain aka The Black Hole

A counselor told me that more people start going to therapy during this time of year than any other time of year.  I don’t think this is surprising, given the way I have been feeling the past couple of weeks.  So, I began to poll people to see how they have been feeling lately.  The shocking results are this…..98.62% of the people I know feel like crap right now.  Isn’t that interesting?  There are all sorts of reasons this is true:  

  • The winter isn’t quite over.  At least in the Midwest the weather is beautiful today, but we all know this is an attempt to lure us into putting our winter clothes away only to have to pull them out of boxes in a couple of days.   Argh!   
  • There are no real holidays in the dead of winter.  Once Christmas, Hanukah and the King of Thailand’s birthday have passed, we’ve got NOTHING until Easter, which despite celebrating the resurrection, at best, is a good meal and quick bunny egg hunt.   
  • With that extra hour per day, I have another hour to sit and feel like crap about the many things I am doing wrong…..do I spend enough time with the kids, should they be reading more, have I been a good friend, are these pants too short?
  •  Here is what I am going to try to do for the next week.  Every time I think something negative that will only bring me down I am going to say the phrase, “Black Hole approaching, divert, divert!.” out loud.  Not a shout, mind you, but I am going to actually say it.   If I am in a meeting and I can’t say it without getting locked up, I am going to write it on my notepad.  If I am swimming while this happens, shouting it in my brain or mouthing it will have to do.  

    I am going to try to keep a tally, you do the same.

    Life is too short to spend it all thinking bad things…just read the headlines.