Cravings, sugar, and resistance

It’s Sunday and my partner left on Thursday for a business trip. I had been having a cravey time of it and was somewhat concerned about the four days alone. I wanted to sit down and write to you all but then got busy. The cravings and general weirdness lightened up over Thursday and Friday; I managed to keep steering clear of sugar for some additional, very useful days; I stuck my head in a big painting/plastering job into Friday evening; and I’ve rolled much more contentedly out the other side. I’m reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown and listening to HOME podcast after HOME podcast. And I’ve done a lot of thinking. Continue reading

The myth of strength and clarity as selfishness

This is interesting. Below is a post I wrote a long time ago, probably last spring. I had voices telling me that being comfortable in my own skin was selfish and that selfish was dangerous. (This was very internal. On the outside I have the appearance of being pretty dang comfortable following my own drummer. And I am. But the deep resistance and fear associated with that was real, and debilitating, and encouraged self-medicating.)

Note the past tense. This stuff seems actually pretty far away now. I’ve shifted out of that energy. It’s so cool to see how far I’ve moved from that mental space of last April or May, and I thought I’d put this out there despite its being out of date. Hopefully all of my words on this site will be out of date some day. Continue reading

Discomfort #5: Contentment

Over these last four months without alcohol, I’ve seen more and more clearly my drive to block my own joy. I go round and round, splashing cold water on my joy and delight and contentment wherever they pop up. It sounds crazy to say that joy is threatening, but it is. Why in the world?

Deepak Chopra advocates healing addiction through finding one’s bliss, but in my opinion he misses a major element of addiction, at least for some of us: we have intense internal reflexes against bliss, euphoria, pleasure, contentment. I have a reflex that reacts very strongly against my own naturally occurring joy. It sniffs out contentment or pleasure 500 miles away, and it acts lightning fast to destroy it. (This discomfort with comfort joins my other known four. Still counting.)

Eventually, drinking alcohol became my preferred method of self-sabotage. The alcohol was screwing more and more with my physiology and nervous system. As I reached my mid-40s, I still was only circling my work, my calling, vocation, whatever you want to call it. I was wasting time, and the time wasn’t going to come back. Continue reading

Contentment as selfish: Myth-busting

A while ago I was puzzling over the oddness of having contentment be a form of discomfort. As with a lot of things, this dynamic has roots both in the twisted human psychology and plain old daily life.

I have strong attractions to specific things, and I imagine that was true of me as a kid. I’m drawn to things I like and love and savor, and the flip side, I reject – sometimes vehemently – things that offend my sensibilities. I love simple, interesting, quirky, beautiful, odd things. I like shapes. I get bored by boring things and I despise ugly things and places. I know, doesn’t everyone? Probably, but I managed to suppress my rejection of these things, I think because it didn’t seem permissible. You accepted what you got, and you didn’t have any power to change things — this went for kids but also for adults (as far as I can tell).

My mom was of the opinion (again, as far as I can tell) that one must not be attached to the things one wants. Continue reading