I need a name for the other non-alcohol things that I do that are essentially the same as drinking. Sugar is a big culprit. Yesterday afternoon I had bought a bag of red liquorice with fizzy fondant inside. And by the time I fell asleep I had scoffed the whole lot, even though it left me feeling a little miserable. Here are the nearly exact parallels with alcohol:

  • I bought the sweets, even though I’d been thinking recently that I should make an effort to not buy or eat so many sugary things.
  • I didn’t want to share them.
  • Once they were in the house, it was a little like they siren-called to me until I ate them.
  • I sat down to “enjoy” them in the absence of other people.
  • I felt like I needed to finish them, even though I had had enough of them.
  • I remember thinking – “I’ll finish them and then they won’t be there tomorrow to tempt me”
  • I felt sick and a little ashamed when I had finished them.
  • I feel kind of yucky and headachy this morning and I think it’s at least partially related to the sugar overdose last night.

It’s not only sugar that this is happening with – although I feel like my sugar usage draws the closest comparison.

Internet /TV usage is probably the other big thing that I “use” in a way similar to how I used alcohol. There’s something in the “intent vs action” that makes it clear that I’m behaving counter to what’s good for me, and in a problematic manner. All three things, I know intellectually are bad for me. From a distance, I can say “I shouldn’t be doing that”, and then I get tired and have some kind internal bargaining procedure, which basically ends up saying “Just this one more. Future-me will deal with the headaches and difficulties of ‘being good’.”

The concept of “Future Me” is the problem though. Future-Me will never actually exist. It is always just me, present me. Present-Me. Me-Me. Even though I have memories, even though I can project and predict certain things about the future, all decisions are made by a me that exists only in each moment in time. If I can’t rely on myself to make the best decisions for me – if I won’t even ask it of myself – how can I expect it to be miraculously easier for a Future Me? It’s just going to be harder for Future-Me, because what I’ve done is solidify the habits of giving up, tuning out, of taking the easy path.

I, to steal a quote attributed to Ghandi, have to be, to live, to exist as the change I want to see for myself in the world. If I don’t start practicing being who I want to be, how can I expect to ever be it. It makes sense that the only thing I will ever be is what I’ve practiced to be. Behaviours are generally continuous – whilst I can change the direction of my curve and slowly start to move in a direction that will carry me towards a desired destination, I’m not going to suddenly leap through a personality-wormhole to end up as someone with completely different habits to the ones I’ve embedded in myself through daily practice.

[Aside]

I’m feeling a little frustrated with a colleague at work. I could get into the nitty gritty details of exactly what’s going on with that, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. I feel like ze has dropped the ball on a few things that have made my life more difficult at an already stressful time.

The truth of it is, this person is a very hard worker and it is probably a very stressful time of the year for them too. They seem to fall prey to the “perfect is the enemy of done” trap, and spend so long faffing around with ultimately unimportant details, that things are often left too close to the deadline, or cause extra fiddly work.

In any case, part of me feels like letting out some passive-aggressive comments that let them know that I’ve been inconvenienced. But they probably already feel bad and stressed out, so what is the purpose there? And why do I feel like sticking in the knife and twisting? Doing the very thing that I complain about people doing to me when I have already apologised? When I already feel so bad.

At least writing this out has helped me lance some of that “lashing out” boil inside of me. I guess it doesn’t take very long to see things from other people’s perspectives, but we … well, I know *I* don’t often take the time to make the effort.

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