Thursday, May 9, 2013
Hi, my name is Karen . . . I recently made it 3 days without a Diet Coke.
|This is what 4000 gallons looks like.|
First, I have learned a lot about neuropsychology in the last couple of years. I remember vividly attending a lecture with Dr. John Arden a few years back and taking (not kidding) over 40 pages of notes. I just love this stuff. It was kind of neat to recognize a lot of the information presented last week as "stuff I already know."
|Yay pairing Diet Coke with strong|
man hands. No that doesn't strengthen
the connection at all.
|Strategy: Stop calling it Diet Coke and |
start calling it by its given name.
No wonder it's so hard to give the stuff up. I once asked my amazing therapist if she could hypnotize me to believe that Diet Coke was really disgusting. Like dog poop. She said no.
I do ok for a couple of days. I carefully monitor my self-talk and support myself in driving to work without stopping to buy one. I set myself up for success by making a wonderful jug of hot tea before I leave the house, so I have something to drink on the way in to work.
But then life kicks in. Sometimes I'm tired. And the reality is, when I'm sitting in my office seeing client after client after client after client . . . my brain gets a little fuzzy and a Diet Coke honestly does help. So I try substituting. Coffee, tea, even tried caffeine pills. But sometimes I want something a little sweet . . . so I keep fruit in the office.
All this stuff takes effort. And when I'm already depleted because I didn't get enough sleep, and my kids were hellac - shall we say less than cooperative - that morning, and I'm swamped with trying to be the kind of therapist I want to be to both the clients IN my office and the ones who are having an unscheduled rotten day and need some extra support . . . sometimes it's just easier to stop at the gas station and give myself a treat that takes zero effort, makes me feel GREAT within minutes, and is an opportunity to say YES to myself when the NO list piles up too high. And my addiction is back on in full force. Let me just say out loud that as I listen to my "addict" clients, it has not escaped me that their behaviors around their substance of choice are NO different than my behaviors around Diet Coke and chocolate.
So what am I going to do about this?
- SAY YES: I will give my body what it's asking for in healthier ways instead of creating more deprivation: I'm going to nurture myself in other ways whenever I can so I don't feel so depleted. At work, if I reallly am struggling, getting caffeine and a little something sweet from a healthier source. Coffee has way fewer chemicals than Diet Coke, and I like it kindof watered down.
- BREAK the habit: I'm going to white-knuckle it past the gas station and tell myself all the reasons I don't need a Diet Coke and remind myself that I won't still be craving it in 5 minutes.
- REWARD myself for successes AT LEAST as much as I beat myself up for "failures." I'm going to congratulate myself for making it 3 days before I relapsed.
- REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS for progress: I'm going to recognize that kicking a habit is HARD, whether it is smoking, Diet Coke, stress eating, exercise or crack - and I'm tired. I have a more than full time job and 2 amazing more than full time kids. Not that "falling off the wagon" after 3 days is acceptable, but it is better than never getting on the wagon in the first place.
|Strategy: post this picture on the mirror in my bathroom. |
And the dash in my car.
And my office.
Heck. Maybe a tattoo.