This too shall pass

566501_world_cup_germany_2006.jpgI’ve written about burnout in the last two posts because it is so prevalent in our day and age. Having experienced it myself, I shared with you about how burnout crept up on me and its consequences to my health. Fortunately, I was able to nip it in the bud, nevertheless it had left me not as strong as I am normally. As a food addict in recovery this causes me to think of rewarding myself with trigger foods to give me the energy. However, I reminded myself of the saying this too shall pass. So, I gave myself permission to do everything at 80% level so as to recuperate and not put myself at risk of burnout again. Admittedly, it takes a while to get back to normal.

I was lacking in energy to go to hydrotherapy so
using an NLP (Nurolinguistic Programming) technique
to integrate the different selves
I got in touch with that self in me who
is responsible for this sabotage and found out
that it was a he, and that he wanted more recreation
so I agreed to spend time writing and sketching
which I had not done in at least a year
and was pleased to find as a result
I was eager to go to my next hydrotherapy session

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New Year resolutions for 2007

Happy New Year - 2007, photo by Bill Kolios, Ioannina, Greece, big celebrationAs we wish everyone Happy New Year and fill our hearts with love many of us have made New Year resolutions for 2007. Some are realistic and some are just wishful thinking. Nevertheless, both types are useful for our personal and professional development because the process makes us visualise our dreams. Visualisation is an effective tool for achieving our goals because it means we prime ourselves for taking up opportunities as they arise, otherwise we miss them. They say ‘when Opportunity knocks, open the door first and ask questions later”. When New Year resolutions crumble then find another way of achieving them. Don’t quit searching for a way to succeed.

the year before last, feeling guilty for her behaviour
she made her New Year resolutions
and then felt hopeful but that didn’t last long
because she knew how hard it was to
stay away from the trigger foods that
were the cause of most of her ill health
she was overweight, had diabetes and
what’s more she spent her money easily
which always left her broke
then she remembered to try something new
for her carbohydrate addiction
success followed and her health improved
this year’s resolutions were more joyful to list
because she had achieved some of last year’s ones

Bill Kolios, Ioannina, Greece, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/678548

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Codependence or addiction?

Paper people, photo by Brian S, Jakarta, Indonesia, friend networkI’ve been asked “which comes first codependence or addiction?”. As a therapist I speak professionally and from personal experience as a recovering codependent, as well as a food and nicotine addict in recovery. A codependent can be either a victim or a perpetrator of dysfunctional behaviour and as a result addictions manifest in an effort to self medicate the disturbing feelings. There’s a difference between giving service to others and becoming a martyr for their sake, which is also codependence. A recovering codependent is someone who has identified their condition and admitted it; staying vigilant about it; being a part of a recovery program; and giving service to maintain their recovery and that of others, in a loving fellowship. This recovery also involves being abstinent from addictive behaviours.

Pia Mellody (Facing Codependence), who is
a leader in the codependence recovery field
spoke on her recovery from codependence and addictions
her honesty moved me because society can scoff at
people being transparent about their shortcomings
and how they’ve taken the journey to recovery
this could be because the majority of people are
afflicted by codependence and addictive behaviours
so it’s easier to scoff than to take action
until they reach their rock bottom and only then
they become willing to find sanity and serenity
in a loving fellowship committed to recovery

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Chocolate highs

Hearts, photo by Stephen Gibson, Sydney Australia,  chocolate thrillsMost of us have heard about surveys that showed when we eat chocolate we get the same high as being in love. That is why we love chocolate. Eating chocolate releases endorphins which make us feel contented and happy. That’s quite harmless as long as we don’t do it to excess (addiction) and as long as we stay aware of our true feelings which will only become troublesome if we do not acknowledge them.

at the age of 11 my father married again
I was happy to have a stepmother and step siblings
family was important in my worldview and since
my mother left us taking my brother with her
I missed having my brother close but I didn’t miss
my mother’s screaming and abusive behaviours
my stepmother was a nurse’s aide and she
taught me how to keep a spotless house and
cook and wash and iron all the family’s clothes
she said I would always appreciate this in life
I don’t think she would be happy to hear that
thanks to that hard work when I married I
used to hire people to do my ironing and vacuuming
anyway, the best thing I remember about her is
that on Sunday mornings we used to all get into
bed together just long enough to eat some chocolate
she taught us how to suck the chocolate to make it last
and to really enjoy the taste – delaying gratification
now and then that’s how I still eat chocolate but
I can do that because I’m not addicted to chocolate

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Cravings

sinfully brownie, photo by A. Hartini, Highland, United States, compulsive eatingThe most obvious symptoms of addiction are cravings. They compel us to pick up our drug of choice regardless of the harm to our health and wellbeing. Cravings result from a biological condition which then fuels dysfunctional behaviours. These behaviours are unbelievably difficult to overcome. Nevertheless, recovery can be achieved. The first step is to identify the problem and admit to it. The next step is to seek professional assistance and join a supportive self help group. Usually that process means becoming committed to a recovery program which makes life more manageable. However, should the cravings persist then it means that we need to reassess what we are doing and find a plan within the program that is more workable. Then freedom from cravings becomes a reality.

I have been on a journey of recovery for many years
fortunately I have found freedom from nicotine addiction
eighteen years free from chain smoking
but the compulsive overeating has resulted in
yoyo dieting, weight gain and loss and gain
with torturous overpowering cravings
then I developed type 2 diabetes
and the cravings worsened
I went into therapy and joined
a self help group which gave me hope
cause I knew that attending the meetings
would eventually set me free of the cravings
practice makes perfect they say
and it did because I became ready
to find a food plan that would work for me
I found a book by the Hellers about Carb Addicts
and found my freedom from cravings
I’ll write more about this later

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