Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Obligatory Chocolate Relapse

So, I relapsed.

(And I'm going to warn you this post is going to be quite boring, but I'm feeling introspective so feel free to skip and read my upcoming post that will inevitably be about my new puppy. Much more fun there.)

Ah, so familiar with the term 'relapse'. The harsh truth is that no matter what kind of relapse it is, it kind of stings. Difficult to gain back resolve and redouble efforts once that threshold back to the 'bad stuff' has been crossed.

The how and why aren't really that interesting, but the truth is that I was in a place where I was unprepared to physically (hungry and didn't prepare healthy snack options) and mentally (had been traveling all day) to cope with triggers (hot dogs, Doritos and boxes of chocolates) literally a foot away from my face. Yes, I had a moment to decide whether or not to act upon my impulses, and believe me, AB and HB had a little struggle. It went something like the following:

Angry Brain: "Oooooh look, delicious!"
Stomach (chiming in): Gurgle gurgle....HUNNNNNGGRRRYYYYY!
Happy Brain: "I am really hungry, and tired and I don't know when I am going to eat next. I tried to eat a good breakfast this morning, but that was hours ago. What do I do?"
AB: "Give in! Doritos go really well with hot dogs and of course you can eat that box of chocolates afterwards! Chocooooolaaate!!!"
Stomach: "Give me FOOOOOD NOOOOOW!!! gurgle."
HB/AB: "Okay. Just as long as we start eating well tomorrow."

Now, what went wrong? I didn't have a plan. I tried in the morning to eat well, but there wasn't really a concrete plan in action for the remainder of the day until I came back home. The body wants what it wants and if there's no plan to distract or satiate it in another way, the unhealthy options will always prevail. AB really did try to put up a fight, but it was quite the weak fight due to having no other quickly available options to reach for. And then, in the end HB and AB agreed, but I see that as slightly different reasons.

The 'eating well tomorrow' argument. Now, once I was done shoveling a hot dog and some chips into my face, this is exactly what I told my boyfriend I started to open the chocolates. Chris, who listens to me all day about my trials and tribulations with my clients relapsing at work asked what I would say to a client on a drug binge that came to me and said they would stop 'tomorrow'. This made me pause for a second.

After much thought, I decided that I would ask, 'what can be learned from this happening?'. At the clinic I work at we state that relapse can and often is part of the cycle of recovery. Relapse can be taken as an opportunity to step back from the chain of events that led to the lapse to begin with and evaluate what can be done differently in the future to prevent those behaviors from recurring. In my case, I need to be prepared.

In all honesty, it took me until today to completely get back on track. It doesn't hurt that today is the beginning of Lent and I have given up chocolate until Easter. 47 days until I have to worry about the chocolate relapse creeping up on me again.....until then I think I need to pack some backup snacks.

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