Addiction & how I'm dealing with it these days

fighting addiction with mindfulness
 
Pause. B R E A T H E. Notice. F E E L.
— Holland of She is Hers
 
 

Whew. 

What an emotional rollercoaster that was.

Today, I loaded up my plate to the edges with things that needed done. I felt like I was “behind” somehow on my goals. I was falling in the cracks. Getting lost. The desire of accomplishment overrode sanity. It was just too much to handle. And I got myself there, all on my own.

No one was holding a gun up to my head.

My hard deadlines had all been met. From the outside, anyone would have assessed I was in the clear but internally panic ensued.

It hit me so hard and fast that a simple phone call that should have ended in “sure thing, let me look into it” sent me down a spiral of panic and anxiety.

The straw that broke the camel's back.

Once the research was done, the tasks delegated and the storm calmed I was left depleted. Physically weakened by the stress that had run me over like a train. All I wanted to do was watch a little TV to calm my nerves. How harmless could it be?

As I sat down on the couch, ready to turn the television on, it hit me. I was dissociating. Instead of dealing with what was going on, I wanted to retract into the fantasy world provided by netflix. Not good.

 
 

So I reached out, the same way one reached for a buoy in the middle of a frantic ocean. To Holland. She said four simple words:

Pause. Breathe. Notice. Feel. 

It felt so good, so difficult & so painful all at once. I also saw my truth for the first time. My addiction to distraction. My negative habit loop rearing it’s ugly fangs ready to sink deep into me.

But we talked it out, Holland and I. It only took a minute. A minute to find center. A minute to feel. Become aware, and make a decision instead of running on autopilot. So here’s to #NoTvNovember and the women in the trenches with us, no matter what our addictions are.

May we always be grateful for them & celebrate them. 


Behind the curtain

For me, a Netflix binge is a cornerstone habit that sets off a chain of events similar to an alcoholic walking into a bar. Except that not-eating and overindulging in coffee (as another form of not eating) is my booze. I know now, in hindsight that it's the furthest thing from a healthy way to live.

I struggled with not-eating for many years in my teens, as millions of us do, and it's left some pretty deep wounds that are slowly healing with time. Still, to this day, I have a hard time naming my disease. I don't like the label, because as an adult I'm still thin-framed, but that's genetics not starvation. I have turned to healthy eating, meal planning, gardening and mindfulness as a "way out", but I still have moments of total overwhelm where I'm looking for a quick fix.

Below, are the tools I use in order to steer clear of the downward spirals I know it can trigger.

 

 

My current tools for dealing with addiction

  • Take a minute to breathe. Center yourself. Notice how you feel. Acknowledge what triggered your episode & welcome it into your space. It's welcome here but it has no control here.
     
  • Call or reach out to a receptive friend. Just saying things out loud can give you an immense amount of perspective.
     
  • Break the habit & embrace a small shift. Be kind to yourself here. Don't beat yourself up about the desire to give in. Celebrate your newly found awareness. I went for a walk in and took the photographs in this post to center myself. Do something that feels good to you & allows you to focus on beauty.
     
  • Realize that the urge will pass. It always does.