One of the most common metaphors for being abstinent is ‘on the wagon’. I am not on the wagon. I can see the wagon, but it’s a ways down the trail at this point. A bumpy, rutted, muddy trail that makes it hard to run and catch up. I’m hoping for a straight stretch, maybe downhill, that’s a little smoother so I can jump back on or at least grab it and hang on and be dragged behind it.
This morning I’ve been abstinent. I’ve been up for four hours and managed to stay on track. Currently – and it changes frequently – I am defining abstinent as:
- 3 moderate, healthy meals
- 1-3 small, healthy snacks
- Eating when I’m hungry
- Stopping when I’m full
This morning I’ve been plagued with food thoughts. I know exactly where they are coming from. I’m job hunting and there’s nothing like the stress, waiting, frustration and disappointment of job hunting to send me straight to the refrigerator. So I’m trying a technique I like to call clock watching. When a food thought pops up, I look at the clock and agree to wait 20 minutes before I do anything about it. I’m not hungry, so to be abstinent, I can’t eat anything. So far this morning, I’ve managed to wait almost an hour and can feel the first, faint, not really serious hunger pains, so that’s a victory.
So is writing again. I haven’t done any writing for a while. I miss it, but haven’t been able to really get back to it. I wrote a paragraph last week and stopped. Mostly I’ve been writing cover letters and emails and tweaking resumes. So exhausting that I’ve been hiding in distractions. Food that not only distracts me, but numbs me and gives me self-loathing and guilt to focus on instead of the stress of job hunting. Endless games of solitaire on my phone. I swear, I think that thing is surgically attached. Between solitaire, obsessively checking email, linkedin, facebook and for non-existent phone messages, I have rarely put it down. I even sleep with it. Sigh.
When I do put it down it is only to pick up a book – usually a romance novel I’ve read before – wouldn’t want any excitement or stress to crop up. Or binge watching Netflix – again, rarely anything new. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but I think I’m starting to come out of it. The Day in OA on Saturday helped. Being around people are live the life, know the pain and the joy of abstinence. So thank you to my friends for helping me start back after the wagon.