Calm, then a storm, then calm again

So, at day 25 I’ve got past the three week point and this is where things have started getting difficult in my previous attempts to quit. Sure enough, two days ago I was hit by a massive storm of cravings which lasted pretty much a whole day.

I don’t know where it came from, there were no obvious stressors or triggers I can point to. I went from feeling fairly calm and content to pacing around the house with my head like a can of wriggling worms, thoughts racing out of control, feeling bored, restless, close to tears and like I wanted to rip my skin off and the only thing (in my mind) that was going to stop it was a hefty wine session.

In the middle of it all I remembered something from one of the buddhism podcasts I’ve been listening to – the instruction to go into the body when you’re feeling off-kilter. I checked myself out, what was my body feeling at that moment?

I had tense stomach muscles so I took a deep breath and let them go loose. My shoulders were up and my neck stiff so I tried to let that go. My leg muscles were restless so I dragged on my trainers and went out for a walk, trying to focus on the feeling of my feet hitting the floor and the in and out of my breathing. I walked for about an hour and got a bit sweaty and it helped a lot. It didn’t take away the cravings completely but it took the edge off them with some endorphins.

I then felt the urge to do some household purging. My head was saying no, I should be working on my artwork portfolio but my gut and heart were screaming ‘No! you need to clear some shit out of your world!’. I put aside the ‘shoulds’ and went with my gut. That day I filled a black bag with years of bits of paper to be recycled, carrier bags of stuff to go to charity shops, another black bag with bits of junk for the bin and I actually managed to do some ebay listings which has been a severe area of procrastination for me for a few years now.

In the end, I didn’t drink and I moved past the dreadful feelings back to a place of relative calm. The urge to purge has continued and I’m on a mission to strip my belongings back to what I actually need and with nothing extra to weigh me down. I love the feeling of lightness I get from removing ‘stuff’ from my life.

I’ll try to remember those steps again for when the next storm hits:
1. Go into my body
2. Do some physical exercise and release some endorphins
3. Listen to my heart and gut and ignore the ‘shoulds’ to find out the next right thing for me to do.

Wishing everybody a happy and sober weekend x

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