I’ve come to realise in the last few years that I have an addictive personality. I think if you'd asked me a few years ago, I would have said such a thing doesn't exist, that it is just there as an excuse for a lack of will power. The thing is, I know now that I was wrong. I know that no amount of will power would have stopped me drinking when I got to the worst point of my addiction. I felt I could justify it as I didn't drink (or seldom drank) in the day, but because of that, it was hard to get over and I felt like I should have been able to stop or moderate or control it. I just couldn't and when I look at my other habits, I see the same sort of pattern. For me something that is normal for someone else can easily slip into a need. I throw myself whole-heartedly into things until there is no space for anything else, but eventually I run out of steam. That happened for me with running. In some ways I want to get back out and run. In a lot of ways I just don't. I can't explain why that is, because I truly loved it. It’s just not something I have time for at the moment, and even when I do have the time I don’t really want to do it. I could blame a lot of things, lockdown, being busier at work, the fact I've put on weight, but it just comes down to the fact that I don't really want to.
I’ve always struggled a little with motivation, and my mental health. I'm afraid of doing something for fear of failure. That might seem normal, but my worries are often quite extreme. I’ve also noticed that if I look really closely, I can see that I have a lot of coping mechanisms in place. When I challenge them it or try to do something without them in place it is really hard work and with lock down and staying at home more, I've had less opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone. I don't think I ever really noticed until now that was happening. The thing is, it's easy to feel normal when you're not challenging yourself and then when we do inevitably challenge ourselves and we find it difficult, it makes us wobble and feel bad. If we're not careful, those wobbles can really affect our self confidence. I know I'm like that. I overthink and overanalyse things that I really shouldn't.
Back to coping mechanisms though, I am well aware I drink too much Coke. It sounds laughable, a little stupid even, but the other day on a rare trip to the supermarket I stocked up on boxes of Coke as I normally do. I suppose I've got a bit of a head in the sand mentality when it comes to things that challenge me, like when I drank too much wine for example. When my husband asked me, and quite rightly so, if I actually needed so many boxes it made me panic. If it had been anything else like bacon or toilet rolls then I wouldn't have worried, but because it was something I've come to rely on, it made me spin out a bit. Suddenly I felt like I was right back to where I was four and a half years ago with all the feeling of guilt and remorse that I had before except now, it's not wine, but Coke I drink too much of.
It’s not like I don't understand because I do, I get that it’s not good for me. I know I shouldn't drink so much of it, but then there's this little voice in my head telling me it's okay, I mean, realistically it is one of my only vices now and it's way better than wine was for me. In the same vein, right now I can tell myself that later on I won’t drink it, just like I did with wine, and yet I know that the end of the day, I’ll probably have a reason to make it okay. I justify things in my head based on an element of truth, like the fact I've put too much weight on. In my head, although I’m heavier than I would like to be I know in truth that I am far, far healthier than I ever was when I was skinny and drinking.
So I think the next few months might be a bit uncomfortable. I think I need to challenge myself a little more to get out and do things, but also not to rely on the things I have in place to make life easier for myself. Coping strategies are great, but in the end, they only tend to make things worse when you really have to do without them. Who knew I’d become obsessed with something so stupid as Diet Coke! On the good side, kicking this habit has got to be easier than kicking alcohol hasn’t it?
Thanks as always for reading, I hope you’re all doing okay?