9. Letting go of compulsive behaviour
Being more mindful for me means letting go of compulsive behaviours. In some cases you could even call them addictions when they get really dominant. I feel that those behaviours are a not very concious reponse to some sensation or desire. We all find it normal that we eat if we are hungry and go to bed when we are tired. But when do we believe they are mere pleasures, responses to emotions or even unhealthy? That is when you need to be weiry.
For me it means I am still peeling the onion of compulsive behaviours as I become more aware of what I am doing and understand more and more why. A few things are so obvious that I changed them from the beginning of my sabbatical. I stopped drinking coffee and alcohol. It is not so much that I used so much that you could say they were straight addictions. But I wanted to get away from the ups and downs of caffein and wanting another cup to lift me up during the day. Having more steady energy levels through the day is much easier to achieve if I do not drink caffein. The first few days were not easy, but if you are committed it is well worth it. Every now and then I drink a cup of decaf just for the taste.
As for the glass of wine it is a different story. I would drink a glass of wine to just unwind and relax before going to bed or to be a bit more relaxed when meeting friends. But sometimes this would be more a way to console myself, if I felt lonely or sad. I realise now that those emotions are the ones I did not want to feel. Something was missing and I was umconciously trying to fill that void with a glass of wine.
Next to caffein and wine, to some extend also work was part of the compuösive behaviour. I have always worked busy jobs and have been taking on roles with a lot of responsibility. I really enjoyed what I did. It A significant part of my self-worth. It was never hard to find the motivation and it kept me sane after my husband past away. The question is at what point you could say you are a workaholic. When are do you miss to much of what is going on in your childrens life, have the feeling chores are piling up and when was the last time you really felt relaxed or enjoyed something so much you lost track of time. I do believe it is at least compulsive id you do it not to feel down or sad, if you try to avoid emotions and it starts to become unhealthy if you feel you can nolonger makenthe decisions needed for your family and yourself.
For seven weeks now I have been away feom work, have not drank any caffein or alcohol, except dor the odd cup or glass that doesn’t have any effect on me. Some Emotions are starting to surface and as I become aware of them it is my tasknto make the right decision. Do I choose the behaviour to numb them or do I take the time to feel them and let them be? I am trying not to get all busy again and make a nice cup of tea when I long for coffee or wine. Today I went for a long walk in nature when I got sad sorting through old cards and cd’s. And look at the picture. Doesn’t it look beautifull! It is so hard to make decisions on what to toss and what to keep and yet again I really want to declutter and get rid of those unuseful spacefillers. I guess I will just do smaller portions each time, but keep going at it. It will be such a relieve once I am done and these things are no longer in my way. Or is this wishfull thinking?
And then there is this mobile phone. It draws on me seeing if anybody is interested on the items I put for sale or checkimg out if there are any replies to my blog. Let me think of some internet free zones or time. Behaviours can be changed! Focus on one thing at the time, for quite some time and I will enjoy what I am doing and see some progress.
Please come back to my next post which will be about hobby, those things you really enjoy doing.