Coping With Addiction & Triggers

I was reading another chapter of ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ by Rachel Hollis and there was a passage that I highlighted. It says “(…) there are times when storms toss you around or cover the deck with water or break the mast clean in half – but that’s when you need to fight your way back, to throw all the water off the boat bucket by bucket (…) You are meant to be the hero of your own journey”. I feel I’ve been throwing the water off the boat for quite some time now and I’m so tired I stopped trying. Instead of running around like a headless chicken I’m figuring out how I can drain the water more effortlessly.

The first step has been to keep my daily meditations on track. Yesterday I did three 10-minute blocks of meditation. It doesn’t fix anything but it gives me more clarity and prevents me from engaging in situations that are filled with drama and which trigger self-destruction (e.g. overeating). I can feel and actually see the storm coming beforehand. It still overwhelms me but not as when I’m mindless and therefore more reactive to everything that hurts or causes pain. I get to choose and be as compassionate and calm as I can be in that moment.

The short-term downside of practising meditation daily is that you start seeing layers of reality that you were denying and refusing to acknowledge. You begin to not only see your behavioural patterns but also witnessing other people’s vicious cycles and sometimes that’s not pretty. Then other new emotions come alive and you have to be with them too. And do you want to know the hardest part for me? I have to make a triple effort in order to not just sit around and throw myself a self-pity party in which I blame myself for being too naive, stupid and making the same mistakes and bad decisions over and over again.

At the end of the day though, I can only accept what is and do the best to forgive myself. If I don’t, unhealthy coping behaviours find their way back to me. Food addiction, love addiction, self-abandonment. Few people know I fight these demons everyday. The other night I saw myself frozen between walking out the door and staying in the same place. The battle was not about staying or leaving, the battle was about wanting to counteract my trauma-based responses and stick with a more healing response. Should I go or should I leave? Am I leaving because I want to leave or am I leaving because I’m running away from painful emotions and triggers? These are ugly battles I keep private, except when I come on here and write.


The other way I prevent relapses is to stick to my workout routine which lately only includes running and stretching. On days that I’m really worn off, I know I must come home, put my sneakers on and walk out the door. It’s not a long-term fix, but it helps in the moment and it regulates my weight. I always feel accomplished when I finish a session and my mood also improves especially if I had a bad day. The third way I try to keep away from bad habits is by focusing on and reading books around self-development, business and wealth. I recently learnt that reading is like doing affirmations because we are in touch with content that reminds us of who we want to become and what we want to achieve in life.

I’m not going to lie to you. It has been hard. Since I decided to add these positive habits into my days two weeks ago, my reality has become worse and I feel more tired about it than ever before. It weighs me down. It kills my vibe. It tortures me. It’s like moving two steps ahead and one step backwards. I do want to believe however that everything will eventually fall in place. I don’t know when or how, but I’m sure it will. Until then, I need to just keep one foot in front of the other and pray that the wind is gentle with me, that I can manage my triggers and stay away from my addictive behaviour cycle.

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