Friday, January 30, 2015

My Extreme Thinking Gets a Modest Makeover

It is now over a year since my divorce. I have been reflecting on the changes this past year with some gratitude and appreciation for having done some really deep work in the emotional realm. I have faced certain parts of my love addiction that have given me new perspective on how I relate to both romantic interests and friendships. I have been rigorously honest and I have held forth the commitment to show up for myself even when it is unpleasant and awkward. It is paying off because I see a difference in how I relate to myself.

I am presently applying the adage that if you want different results than you need to do something differently. My general January approach to weight loss and other life changes is extreme. I wouldn’t have recognized this as extreme because it is what I have always done. I go on diets and start exercise plans and take on massive projects. This year I am making minor adjustments to which I can build upon with the intention of incorporating them into my lifestyle. It is the gentler approach. I must say, it feels kind of “wimpy” because the extreme feels “right”.

It has taken me up until now to grasp that the deprivation of strict dieting or spending restrictions or even massive project undertaking are parts of my addictive behaviors. It is the compulsivity of deprivation or doing without. It is commonly seen in eating disorders or sexual addiction. The excessive end or the deprived end are on the same addiction continuum. Extreme thinking has been arrested. At least for now. Part of my approach is taking it a day at a time. That is all that I can do. It’s also part of the acceptance of my powerlessness, my lack of control, my reliance on a Higher Power.

I have heard Debra share on a number of occasions her perspective on being “healthy”. Basically it is also a continuum. She seeks greater and greater healthy behavior because life continues to unfold and with it the lessons for that day and time. I’m paraphrasing of course. That’s my version but I want to give her credit for this. It is where I am today. It is the acknowledgement that I am living in a healthier place than I was a year ago; I am receiving rewards for the behaviors and decisions to maintain healthy boundaries and to express my feelings. I see those areas that still need work and that is completely wonderfully healthy to see them and accept myself for where I am today. 

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