You know how as you get older your weight starts creeping up? Well, I just realized that for 6 months or so, mine has been creeping down. So why am I losing weight, albeit very slowly? I attribute it to therapy.
Yes, you too, my friend, can lose weight if you commit two days a week to therapy for two years! I know you are all lining up. But seriously, instead of trying to ignore my pain or soothe it with various forms of sweets, I’m facing it. And I’m learning coping skills that are better than chocolate. Blasphemy, I know, but read on. . .
Recently I was feeling really bad and I thought, “I wish I had a book to read that would feel like a hug.” It took me a few days to realize that I had just such a book in my Nook reader already (yep, I’m a dork.)
So then yesterday— What?! Oh, you want me to tell you which book is a good virtual hug? Ok.
It’s Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. Now that I am thinking about it, almost anything by Mitch Albom would work. I also love his One More Day, Five People You Meet In Heaven, or Have a Little Faith. Yep, I’m going to go on record here, I think Mitch Albom’s writing is better than chocolate.
Speaking of Mitch Albom, he has a new book coming out in September, yes next month! I am so excited that I “pre-ordered” it. In fact, I think I need all of the books I mentioned on my reader because sometimes you just need some Book Love.
You know what else is better than chocolate? Swearing. Yep, who knew. I’m about to swear so if that offends you, close your eyes. I think a good damn, damn, damn is better than chocolate. I’m serious. I don’t really recommend it for everyone. I don’t want my children to start swearing, for example, but for those of us survivors of abuse that have dragons in the cellar, swearing is like turning the value and releasing a little of that anger. Who knows, after another year or so of therapy I might feel good enough to stop swearing. We shall see.
Grounding On Friday, I had a doctor’s appointment, and when the assistant called me back it was not the familiar face I expected (a nice woman), but a scary man. (Actually he was nice, but something about him triggered me.) When he told me that my blood pressure was 160/105, I was not really surprised. I wanted to say, “it’s you! Get away from me.” But I didn’t. Then as I was waiting for the doctor, I realized that I was feeling short of breath, and fairly uncomfortable. I recognized this as the beginning of a panic attack, so I put my book down and focused on grounding myself. Grounding for me, meant looking around the room paying close attention to detail, and thinking about those details as if there would be a quiz later. Being triggered is like a time warp into a traumatic past, grounding helped bring me back to the present. I did it. Yay me! Yay for therapy.
After the doctor’s visit, as I was leaving the office, I felt a powerful urge for chocolate, never mind that it was only 10 am. I recognized that I was still feeling tense from the near panic attack and craving chocolate because it helps me relax. So I looked around the lobby (it was a large office building) for something beautiful i.e. a painting or flowers. I found a gorgeous plant. As earlier, I used it to ground myself. After a few moments, I left. I was calmer, the chocolate craving was gone.
Perhaps you doubt me that these things, and others I have mentioned in previous blog posts i.e. writing, music and drawing could be “better than chocolate”.
While I can’t guarantee it will be the same for you, I can guarantee one thing : all the things I suggested are zero calorie and sugar free.