Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Transitioning from work

I just got off the phone with an old friend (we've known each other an astonishing 45 years) and we were talking about how to make the transition from work to play. For many years, my transition habit was a whole lot of white wine. Three or four glasses about 6:00 signaled the end of the work day and the transition into more drinking for the evening.

When I got sober, I took on exercising every day right after work, then dinner, a shower, and a meeting. That worked for me for a number of years. Then when I moved to a climate where exercise in the winter evenings didn't work so well and I was tired of going to AA meetings at 8 and getting home late, I started baking in the evenings right after work. I'd come home from the university, make brownies or a cake, fix an early supper and proceed to eat most of the brownies or the cake, at least until I felt sated and numb.

Now that I'm off sugar and moving to change my relationship with food, I feel kind of stuck. I'm a chronic overachiever. I've long bought into that part of our culture and it was reinforced in my home where success at school and in activities was rewarded with attention and feelings weren't. And I do intense work that requires a lot of concentration so in a sense when I stop working, it's like I've been running full tilt and stopped abruptly. For a long time, I've used food to create that transistion and I'm tempted now to use cheese and crackers or other snacks to create it instead.

My therapist asked me to make a list of other things I could do but I feel really resistant. Oh, I can make the list: take a walk, make a phone call, do some art work, listen to music, read a book. But that all sounds like work to me, not nearly as simple as filling a plate with food and eating it. So what if food isn't an option? How do I be with that? Stay tuned...

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