Monday, December 19, 2011

Safe Places

With addiction recovery, you need to identify your safe, and unsafe, places.

When my mom first was in AA, they talked a lot about "slippery" places where you were likely to lose your focus, your motivation, and your willpower.

Since my mom wasn't a bar drinker, her primary slippery place was when she was with her siblings in Knox City. They would all sit around and drink while arguing politics and playing Password.

It was really hard for her to be with her siblings and sit around, arguing politics, playing Password - WITHOUT drinking.

The week before Christmas was also a slippery "place" for my mom. She had a thing about "Christmas Fruitcake Cookies" that had cooking sherry in the recipe. One year, she made countless Christmas Fruitcake Cookies and went through even more bottles of cookie sherry.

When I quit smoking, my safe and unsafe places were really obvious to me.

UNSAFE
* Alone at my house.
* Driving in the car.
* After a meal.
* Being with other smokers.
* Grocery shopping - because the urge to buy a pack of cigarettes was unbearable.
* Drinking iced tea. It was years before I could drink iced tea again.

SAFE
* The bathtub.

That's it. In 1985 when I quit smoking, you could smoke everywhere else - your office, restaurants, college classes.....

The ONLY place I didn't smoke was the bathtub.

So, I took bath after bath after bath.......

It was the only time I felt safe from my compulsion to smoke.

I haven't done as good of a job identifying my safe and unsafe places when it comes to overeating. I really need to work on that. Here's what I know right now:

UNSAFE
* Potlucks (Duh).
* Restaurants without a lot of planning.
* Bunco or other parties where there is a lot of finger food around.
* And the state of disappointment.

That's where I got to tonight. I was all psyched to go to a movie with Nina. I'd already given myself the lecture about no popcorn. Then she got called into work at the vet's office.

Normally, my house is a pretty safe place for me because I tend to not overeat when I'm alone. But tonight after Nina left for work, I found myself prowling through the frig and the pantry. I had already eaten a sandwich and wasn't hungry - but I was bored and disappointed. If I hadn't of caught myself, I would have grazed on Doritos and cheese and crackers. That was what was calling me.

Luckily, I SAW myself. Possibly because of reading the fat-hater's blog that I mentioned in my previous post tonight. I D.O. N.O.T. WANT TO BE PERCEIVED LIKE SHE PERCEIVES OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE.

Of course, I have no control over how other people see me. But I do have control when I am graced with those glimpses of myself actively in my addiction.

So, I came to the ONLY SAFE PLACE I KNOW in my struggle to be a conscious eater.

My bed.

I've never been a person who snacks in bed. I don't associate my bed with food.

So, even though it wasn't quite 7:00pm, I came here.

I feel safe.

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