Thursday, May 12, 2011

Addiction tutorial – no, it's not a how-to

The Canadian organization Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has some pretty good tutorials. I checked out the Introduction to Addiction and, while it didn’t specifically include food, it did have some helpful tips.

For example:

“Addiction is a habit that is often hard to stop and that increasingly interferes with a person’s life…”

For some of us, eating too much or consuming unhealthy things (I’m not going to call my licorice allsorts “food” because that gives them too much credit) fits in there.

“People often think that psychological dependence is not as serious as physical dependence. This is not necessarily true. Cocaine, for example, does not cause physical dependence, but it is considered one of the easiest drugs to get hooked on and one of the hardest to give up.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d put potato chips and bridge mix right up there, as well. I’m not being facetious, either.

The tutorial also offers suggestions for helping someone who is recovering from an addiction – that is, a person who is changing her or his life.
• express confidence in her or him
• help with practical problems
• listen and don’t judge
• help plan for situations in which the person might relapse
• celebrate small successes

In my humble opinion, I believe we can do these things for ourselves, too. We can certainly try!

Some of my friends find affirmations and visualization really helpful in showing themselves they can achieve their goals.
All my efforts to turn down the volume on the mean little gremlin in my head are paying off. It’s not nearly as noisy as it used to be.
I’ve made my plans for when I binge out: I enjoy it, and then I get on with my life. Easier said than done sometimes, but better for my body and spirit than wallowing.  
I mercilessly squash the gremlin that hisses “Nice girls don’t brag” so I can celebrate my successes by telling my friends about them, and by feeling good about their heartfelt congratulations.

And Fodder, the Saint and I toast each other with glasses of cheap red, too.

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