Sunday, May 29, 2011

Old Habits Are Hard To Break

I am a creature of habit. Most days I embrace this because it brings me comfort. I find satisfaction in my routines, especially eating routines, as long as I get to cut loose once a week or so. Lately, though, it has been a lot more than once a week, and it is wreaking havoc on my goals.

I am also a creature of habit in terms of the people in my life. This is both good and bad. Good because I truly care about the wonderful people who surround me on a regular basis, and because it makes me work at maintaining healthy friendships instead of retreating to my cave, which is often a temptation. Bad because I have trouble cutting people out of my life when they are no longer healthy for me. I certainly have done it, but usually something extreme has to happen for me to firmly terminate a relationship. It also helps when I do not have that person as a part of my day-to-day activities.

On Friday I fell back into an old habit. It was my own fault. I should not have emailed him the photo of one of his favorite restaurants, one of the places where we had an amazing date, as I passed it on my way to meet some friends for drinks. I knew better. And I should not have continued the communication when he responded to me about it. I knew better then, too. But the wine made everything seem so different, and I did what I wanted to do instead of what I knew I should do. And I probably would have anyway, wine or no wine.

And I *never* should have responded to his texts. Or agreed to talk to him on the phone at midnight. Or driven to his house at 1:00 AM. My poor decisions compounded, and I chose to do what I wanted in the moment instead of focusing on what was best in the long term. I allowed myself to be weak even though I knew better, just because it felt good... or made me feel something with depth, good and bad.

The positive side is that I know that it means nothing about the "future" of our relationship. We don't have a future except as co-workers and people who shared an intimate past. And I know that... and I finally accept that. Our phone conversation was the same one that we have had so many times in the past, about how he doesn't want to hurt me because he cares about me, and how the fact that we work together really flips him out, and that the risks are too great. That is his truth, and I accept that.

My truth is that I am getting to know another man who is a good man, who is emotionally and physically present, who makes me feel special and makes me feel that *I* am the one that he wants to be with... and I like him. I have no idea if things will work out with him, but I am enjoying the time that we spend together now. And I am not willing to trade this to go back into a habitual situation of emotional push and pull that has no potential for a happy future.

So I consider Friday to be my last hurrah with my co-worker. I enjoyed the hell out of it for what it was because I *knew* what it was, I went in with no inhibitions (which is a first with him), and I left on my own terms. Now I am done because I want to be done. I am breaking this habit.

So much of this parallels my eating. When the emotions kicked in, so did the binges. Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and even this morning. I see the parallel. I get emotionally aroused with strong feelings and I try to quiet them and soothe myself with food. I blindly go into a binge to temporarily block out my thoughts. But this never works.

That is the other habit that I am breaking. Binging is a habit... a compulsive habit, much like smoking two to three packs a day used to be for me... but it is a habit. I quit smoking cold turkey in January 2000, and I am going to quit binging cold turkey in May of 2011. Two of the worst habits that I have/had. No more.

There are better options. I will choose the ones that don't destroy me. In all areas of my life.

1 comment:

Michele said...

You my dear friend...are AWESOME! It takes a lot to know where you are, who you are, and why you do the things you do. I am still struggling with that. It's a journey...
Know this, I am blessed to call you my friend and am lucky to say you inspire me! I love ya...and can't wait to see you in July and give you a BIG hug!!!