Hello out there ever elusive world of mine!
Yesterday I clocked the big 3 months sober!! I must say it feels like so so much longer. Not because of the sense of struggle it is in fact due to the opposite.
In a very strange and unexpected turn of events, I really have been cruising through which is in total contrast to all other failed attempts. I think I was building up to a point and was finally really just sick of my own shit and my whole being was so exhausted of the fight.
The fight with myself trying to justify every additional unnecessary drink.
The fight with my fiance after I was a stinky obnoxious asshole.
The fight with my friends after inevitably trashing their event/home.
The fight with the black dog in the following days.
I was so sweetly simply over it.
I once heard someone say that you couldn’t quit smoking until you were completely grossed out by it.
Thats me, I was completely grossed out by me.
So here we are in a blissfully happy reflection at the past three months. I also feel that the universe really gave me a leg up. I have simply plodded along. It wasn’t even the social events that I was initially scared of, it was myself.
My mother has a term for this style of drinking. Now when she does it, she turns to you with a cheeky glint in her eye and tips her head in true cowgirl style and proudly states ‘Ima have me a Joey Harper Party’ referring to herself in her maiden name. I guess this is to pay tribute to her younger and more carefree self – it is basically a one woman party, usually in the dark by candle light matched with a bluesy album and menthol cigarettes. I gotta tell ya this is a romantic notion to me.
Whilst I endeavoured to replicate this self indulgent retreat, my version was more like a child whom found themselves with candy after it being withheld for some unfair punishment – all frenzy mixed with self righteousness and a splash of shame.
However it was a night I enjoyed frequently and thought would be sorely missed but as you see, it turns out not so much. This has been a welcome surprise.
So whats with the ominous heading you ask?
Well as other newly sober people may remember, when you drink heavily on a regular basis you form a sort of cycle within yourself. It kind of goes
1. Justification 2. Gratification 3. Defensivness 4. Shame 5. Guilt
I am sure if I looked it up there would be reference to this in many a self help book. I know it isn’t just me as I have read others reference to it or similar in one way or another.
Now I may be a glutton for punishment – or more than likely have deep rooted psychological issue regarding self hate or feelings of undeserving love, but I have noticed that I have transferred the abovemention cycle to my eating habits.
I genuinely have an 80/20 rule loosely meaning that weekdays I eat a very balanced diet of healthy whole foods and exercise at least half hour per day. Then come the weekend, I indulge in take away dinner, ice cream chocolate and don’t have to worry too much as I have been super healthy all week, also trying to practise a ‘be here now’ type of mantra and enjoying the food I like without feeling guilty.
However. What I have found I have been doing lately is having a complete blow out, sometimes midweek and going through a massive emotional struggle before, during and after consuming my meal/snack. It is that same inner critic that used to abuse me constantly when drinking. Telling me I am doing something awful by eating this food, that I will look and feel repulsive after, that the 5kms I just ran was all wasted. It repeats for hours, and its the last thing i think before I go to sleep and then it is there in the morning, remorse and guilt. Anxiety.
Additionally, when I ‘Blow Out’ I go through the 1. Justification process and convince myself that I need to let go, stop being such a slave driver. But then I force myself to eat the whole pizza? Well after I am full. Its like a fear of missing out – its FOMO.
Is it compulsive eating? I guess I am just a compulsive person. And the food isnt the problem at all. The problem is that I have this iron clad abusive slave driver living inside my head. I just can’t let myself be.
And I get so manic – I always have. So I am worried that this will start to become very unhealthy. An example is, I ate a delicious pizza one night, the next day I only allowed myself fruit until after I had exercised. Although yes for digestive purposes this isnt so bad, it is what goes on in my head that is the problem ‘you are a pig and ate that unhealthy pizza, you are only allowed watery fruit’
The silver lining here is that from my journey and previous relationship with alcohol I recognise this as a behaviour and as something I can change so yay me.
Now just finding out how………