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Your addictions can be great teachers, if you allow yourself to learn from them.
Behind every addiction there is a set of thoughts and emotions that drive you to indulge in the excessive eating, drinking, pornography, working, or learning. Or, whatever.
There is good news, and it is less about willpower and more about figuring out what is going on in your mind when you find yourself in the middle of these behaviors.
Right now I’m learning all about this as I journey through finding out why cookies have such control over me. And, the reasons are getting clearer and the decision to manage and modify those reasons are as well.
If you need help with any of these, please reach out to me. Or, at least take a look at the links in the show notes.
Episode 48 Show Notes
- Book – The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
- Book – Power over Pornography by Brian Brandenburg
- Life Coach – MJ Walsh M.D.
- Health Coach – Barbara Christensen – expert in nutrition + mindset. She’s got a ton of courses too!
Episode 48 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 48 Cookies Anonymous This’ll Past is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? How are you all doing at the time of this recording? We are still in the Corona virus, and a lot of us are at home. A lot of us are feeling certain feelings, which may be content for some because they’re now working from home and some have fear and some have more anxiety. And some of us are in this deep period of creating and learning and growing and are anxious to bring what we’re working on out into the world and along with this can bring heightened emotions that drive some of us into addictive behaviors. Now I know the purchase and consumption of alcohol is up, and I know that a lot of other addictions have increased during this time, and I know personally that my cookie addiction is in full swing and I don’t know how this happens, right, even though I’m supposedly in charge of myself because it doesn’t seem like we go buy them. But suddenly one decision will turn into a whole bag of cookies, gone or suddenly, in my case, after not having cooked homemade cookies in about 10 years, I decided now is the time to start doing that. And all of these little attempts are made to manage myself. So, like cook half the batch, freeze the dough of the other half, freeze a couple little bags of the cookies and try to make it so that I can only eat half of them. And, of course, then I’d have to worry about unfreezing the rest of the dough and cooking them, which takes too long, and that will help me abstain. So got all these little tricks that can work for a little while. But at the end of the day, self control or will power, I should say, doesn’t work for very long. Now, those of who have connected with me on Facebook for a long time know that whenever I have some kind of cookie bender, I go on and say, Hey, I’m gonna have a Cookies Anonymous meeting tomorrow, and I’ve also had peanut M and M’s anonymous meetings and licorice anonymous meetings Brownies anonymous or whatever thing that I am over eating, I will joke about having an anonymous meeting about yet as I joke about it, I know it’s a very serious thing, and I know this not because I have had an alcohol or narcotics or pornography addiction in my life, but actually because when I was around 23 years old, I was finishing up college, and that sounds kind of old to some of you. But I did leave college part way through to go do some missionary service, and I also came back and I kept changing my major, and I was one of those people that took the max amount of credits every semester. I loved learning, but that doesn’t mean I was great at being an academic student. I should say so. I love the idea of signing up for all these classes and staying super busy. But then I didn’t get focused, and I was still in school, and luckily, one of my miners was psychology teaching and just having a minor in psychology positioned me so that my friends Ryan House Tin and Chris Lee and hiding Naylor could recommend me for working at the jail in the alcohol treatment center that was part of the jail. So I became attempt, so to speak, Treatment specialist. They worried a little bit. Some of them cut because I wasn’t coming in with a lot of psychology like a psychology major would have, and I wasn’t coming in as a recovering alcoholic or drug addict at the same time. They recognize that the people that would come to the centre needed to see that other people lived lives that were alcohol and drug free. And we’re happy and well adjusted and fine without those substances. So I loved that job because it taught me so much. I was able to do the intake of new patients. So you’re rummaging through old bags and all this stuff when they’re coming in. You had to administer some of the drug tests. You had to sit down one on one with patients, and I guess they were called clients, not patients clients and say, Okay, tell me your life story. I’d write it all down and keep a straight face through it all so interesting, right when someone’s telling you that they were part of a cold and they had to kill someone or that they had to go beat up someone, or they were fed beer in their bottle to keep them quiet. And that’s when their addiction started. Lots of crazy stories, and you sat there and listened and tried to not judge and tried to show empathy and hold the space for them Once in a while, if others were busy doing different things in the center, I had to lead the group. Now I could not participate in the actual aye aye or n a groups where I drive the white van around town, you know, and take people to the group because you had to be an actual alcoholic or an actual drug user to be part of Narcotics Anonymous, so I’d have to set out in the car. But whenever is a group at the jail in the treatment part of it? I would sometimes lead that daily group if needed, and I often participated in it, even if I wasn’t leading it. And that’s just like the a A meetings where you say I am. Rebecca and I am addicted to such and such, and as I participated in these groups and saw the challenges that they were working through the counselors and how they were called on things very publicly touted, direct. They’re thinking in different ways. I realized that I I’m an alcoholic even though I’ve never had a drink, and that I have certain ways of dealing with problems and dealing with thinking about some things that are very similar, and so is a very humbling experience. Now when I introduce myself in the group, it always brought a little laugh because I’m like, Hi, I’m Rebecca and I am addicted to cookies and licorice and I don’t know what else at that time and they had a little laugh, but I was seriously acknowledging that I did have a problem, and even though I didn’t have the exact same issue they had, I had some issues that I need to work on because for me, I’m an eat to the end mentality. So I need right I need. However many chips air in the bag doesn’t matter if it’s a small size, the medium, the larger the extra large. The minute the bag is opened, it becomes my goal to finish it. And even if people around me were like, Hey, I I’m not gonna take that from you. I don’t even like those chips or those cookies or that licorice. It doesn’t help me at all, right, because I’m not trying to make sure they don’t have any. I’m making sure that I finish the bag. That’s a very odd way to look at it. And I’ve struggled over time to figure out why am I allowing something to have this control over me? And sometimes it’s not even good, right? Sometimes it’ll be these cardboard tasting cookies, but because it’s a cookie and it’s their combined with the milk, I can pull off a very great meal. And of course I’m using cookies. But there’s a few other foods that I’ve had to work through, and over time I am not desire ing too much other food. But I have over desire in the areas of cookies, and when I get my hands on licorice and some of these sweet or salty things, and so that is something that is very common in all of us. A lot of us have different addictions, this income in the form of food in the form of drinking in the form of overworking over learning, pornography and Justin over desire in something to the point where it’s no longer serving you. It’s more in control of you than you are in control of yourself. And I know I’d often joke in the past about how I’m not sure how the cookie just walked into my amount without me knowing it. But it has happened so much, right? You’ll be thinking about how you’re going to eat healthy and how you’re going to try toe, have some new habits and everything. And meanwhile, you look down here like What am I eating cookies for Right now, I’m in the middle of thinking through my goal and in the middle of thinking it through and getting excited about it. I’m sitting here and I’m downing this whole box of something, and I’m not even enjoying it, but it’s keeping me occupied. One of the things I’ve been learning in the coaching program I’ve been in is a lot about how our emotions are behind all of our actions. And one day of couple of months ago I suddenly got really curious about why cookies like what’s going on with me and cookies, and I was talking to myself that morning going Rebecca, it’s time to figure out why you act this way when you eat cookies. And I was really curious because I was learning about sitting with emotion, and so whenever you were about to indulge in eating too many cookies or too much food or drinking or whatever to instead of indulging in it to sit back and perhaps go sit on the couch and sit with that anxiety or that emotion for a while and wonder about it and go, What’s going on with me? Why is this feeling in me? What is the feeling in me? And why is the first action I want to take when feeling this feeling I have to do with going to eat this food right now? What am I trying to resolve, or why am I trying to feel better by having this food? And so that day I as I was thinking about it, I was also doing a lot of learning and creating, and as I was doing that, I’ve starting have all of these ideas and I was getting very excited about it, and I got up and I went into the kitchen and I found some kind of crackers or cookies like Graham crackers or something. And I started in on my cookie bender and I sat there and I was like, Wait a second. What’s going on? What am I doing right now? I’m eating these. What am I doing? Why am I eating these? And I thought it was very interesting, because often you’ll hear people say, Oh, they’re drowning in misery Or something happened that someone felt sad about or disappointed in. And they’re going to go get something to drink or eat. They’re gonna go sit on the couch and cry and watch sappy movies or something. And I have never related to that, like, that’s not something I do if I feel sad about something. And so that’s why I was really curious about my cookie habit to write, because I’m not someone that goes and sits on the couch and eats cookies and milk. I actually almost every time when I reflected on it, I am someone who goes and stands in the kitchen eating the cookie milk thing. You know, the back and forth. You have to keep going one’s empty. You refill the other and that thing and I look out windows and it’s happened in every house I’ve been. I’ve realized that it’s in this moment where I feel like I’m solving a problem. I’m thinking through it, and I kind of get excited. And it’s so much of this positive emotion. It’s almost like I can’t handle it and I go tampering it with downing all of these cookies. So I have some a bit of anxiety and anxiousness, but excitement mixed into it, and I go and do this. And that was really enlightening because it’s really odd to, because it’s mixed with some very positive emotions. But then some kind of fear must creep in, right. It’s like Think of all the things I could do when I’m getting started on. And then there must be an underlying fear of Oh, but what if I fail? What if I don’t succeed? What if I don’t get it all done? What if I don’t have enough time like all these little underlying fears come up and I go and comfort myself with a treat that turns into a feast? Hates so this was very enlightening And then, of course, it’s dangerous when you ask your mind questions because it starts finding answers for it. And the beauty of this was that particular day. I had started reading a book that had been recommended from the master coach Lisa, that had been leading our group and from a virtual friend, right. Someone had been in a different mastermind with Kaylene Begu Lee, and the book was called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. And I’ve realized that whenever I get a nudge from multiple people toe, look at the same book or resource I need to go. Just do it because something I’ve said or something they felt like it. It’s just bringing things together. So I did. And in that book, The Big Leap. Conquer your hidden fear and take life to the next level. Gay Hendricks talks about how often when people have good things start to happen in their life. They start self sabotaging because they don’t I know what to do with the feelings and thoughts that air coming up about that next step. There’s some fear there, some anxiety. There’s some worry about not succeeding, and that’s where you here a lot of people taking the next step, suddenly losing everything or having more problems in every area of their life. A good example of this is lottery winners, right? It’s just so much at once. And if they have not learned how to manage money and they don’t have the right thoughts about money when they get it, they’re gonna be not only back where they started, but they could be worse off because it was just too much for them to have stewardship over. And so I’m reading that book that day and learning about this and going wow cookies air here to teach me a whole lot about myself, that I am experiencing fear and anxiousness and worry about going to whatever this next level is this next level. That would be very good for me. That’s important for me. So is a very insightful day, the day I got to recognize some of these things about myself. So what next? Well, I had that realization as I was coming off of pneumonia and whatever else I really had earlier this year, and I had lost £30 during that time, and I was worried that I was going to start gaining some of it back because I’d rather go down a few more pounds than go up. And so that was bringing out some emotions, right? I wanted to make sure I was on a good path, and yet at that time, that’s when all of the virus stuff came up and we were all staying home more. And when you’re at home more and you you are thinking of the right things to do and how to spend your time, some of the addictions can come out again. Well, as of today, When I started recording this, I saw a post on Facebook from one of my friends who came out and talked about how he just lost £85 in the last five months and talked about his journey and how he had been hesitant to post it because he still had a long ways to go. But he was grateful for the progress he’d made and just wanted to make sure that he wasn’t going to reverse that process and hearing his story reinvigorated me to go. Rebecca, it’s time to take a look at these cookies. It’s time to remember what you learned about them in the last few months and what they’re teaching you, and it’s the perfect time to start gaining control over your mind again. And it wouldn’t it be great if I could be in the same house as all kinds of cookies. And I was at peace with it the same way I’m at peace about the very large bag of broccoli in my refrigerator, right? I’m completely fine that we just finished off one bag. We’re starting a new one. It’s okay if we just have a little every day, and I can put a CZ much butter and salt on it, as I want to make it taste just wonderful. And it’s healthy. And I’m at peace that there is a massive bag of broccoli sitting there. I want that same piece around cookies. I want to be in control of them, not them in control of me, and so often we beat ourselves up and say, Why am I doing this? But really, our brain plays tricks on us. Of course it wants it, and I could get all into the food industry and what they’ve actually done to food to create addictive food for us, but that’s not my deal, and I will interview someone that will help us with that. But But, really, instead of beating ourselves up, it’s a good chance to go. Oh, I need to learn how to manage my mind so that I can be at peace with this so I can be in the same room with this alcohol or these cookies or this big bag of chips or whatever it is and not feel compelled. Two over. Eat it are over. Drink it. And what a wonderful thing that is to be able to manage now. As a coach, I am certified to be a life coach and a weight loss coach. But right now, my focus isn’t necessarily on weight loss or alcohol, right? I’m not gonna turn anyone away. That comes to me toe work through it, and I’m definitely working through my own things. But I am connected to coaches that specifically want to help people work on their mind so they can stop over drinking and they can stop overeating and they can have control over it. And some people may want to completely stop drinking. Some people may just want to be ableto have some control over it, so they can be comfortably in a room and be able to decide when to take a drink and when not take a drink or be comfortable eating whatever it is they’re eating or not eating. And so I want to make sure that I offer that up to you today. As I go on this journey and learn about myself, it’s been amazing to learn it. It isn’t all about the tactics, the little things you have to do to control yourself. It’s more about sitting there and wondering about what this addiction is teaching you about yourself. What kind of emotions do you not know what to do with? And the action you take from that emotion is to over eat or over drink or overindulge in anything, and to learn about yourself and then to learn that you can work on your thoughts about it and your thoughts about yourself and those thoughts can help change the trajectory of your emotions and your actions and your results. It’s powerful, and I want to make sure that if you are interested in any help in these areas that you can reach out to me if you’re comfortable and reaching out to me, or if you’re not comfortable in reaching out to me, please still go to my website. Move your desk dot com and look at the show notes for this episode because I’m going to put a few links to some coaches that you can directly contact who would love to work with you, and some of them will have a fee, and some of them are looking to provide some free coaching for a few sessions, and then if you want more, you could pay. But it’s an invaluable experience to start working on these things, and it doesn’t mean it will be easy.