Early in recovery I realised I would find myself “fixing”. This could take various forms including eating, dating, gossiping etc. Anything that would give me that quick buzz which is essentially all I was always looking for. Also it would act as something to distract me from me at that moment in time.
When I talk about a fix I am not talking about cross addiction, thats a very different thing altogether, I am talking about something that would quickly distract me and that I could justify as “sober behaviour” it was definitly something that I could find to change the way that I feel at that moment.
A fix can be almost as damaging as addiction as the hardest thing I find is to sit with my feelings. Both good and bad I feel uncomfortable and then I would look for an non alcoholic distraction. Sometimes it would be about how I looked – so Tinder was great for that. If I felt sad or hurt then I tended to reach for food of the sugary kind – Yum Yums were my favourite for a while. I even remember crying as I ate them as I knew I was eating my feelings.
That need for external validation is massive for me, although not so much now. That approval that I am ok, I am pretty enough, I am thin enough – just generally that I am enough. I would look at myself in the mirror and not even recognise the person staring back at me, after some time I finally said “Hi” to the face and decided to get to know her.
Every morning I would look in the mirror and stare until it was slightly uncomfortable then I would say “You’re ok”. I did this every morning for a long time.
Over time I have come to a level of acceptance of how I look and who I am. I am not perfect and of course have a lot of things I would like to change but for who’s benefit. Someone once said that no one looks at one part of you they look at you as a whole.
When I am sad I try not to reach for a Yum Yum but got for a piece of fruit, you see self care makes me feel better. If I ate the yum yum I would get a short filled buzz and sense of satisfaction but then I would feel sick and then the craving would kick in and I would want more and more. A little like when I drank, I would then hate myself and go into the whole circle of behaviour.
Over time the fellowship has taught me to feel my feelings, sit in them even though it can be incredibly uncomfortable. I think things through before I speak or react and consider how much time has passed before I comment.
Now I am learning awareness and how to right size my thoughts. Calm perspective is definitly the better place to be, if can find it. All I now want to be is the very best version of me that I can be, and not what others think I should be.