As I’m on my health journey to live and be a healthier version of myself I realized that a lot of the things that I enjoy are packed with calories. I mean isn’t that why I enjoy them? I love sauces on everything. I love pizza. I love wine. I love vodka. Calories. Alcohol has calories too.
I was having a conversation last week with a friend and was explaining to him why I am controlled about my life. I told him that I’m a social drinker, but that I’m constantly controlling and monitoring my alcohol intake because my daddy is an alcoholic.
It’s so easy to lose control with things in my life like drinking that I am trying to handle my weight loss like I handle my alcohol consumption. Controlling and monitoring my intake. Careful monitoring of what I eat is just as important as what I drink. I can do it is what I’m telling myself.
But, it gets hard. It’s a struggle some days to want to give up the fight to be healthy. I’ve survived some pretty horrific things and sometimes the memories are so painful that when I’m going through something I am transplanted back in time. I can’t sleep. I feel restless. I feel alone. Do you understand what I’m getting at? Sometimes the pain is so rough that you just want a few moments of peace. You need to numb the pain.
I’m always conscious of where the pain is coming from. Owning it and watching my reactions. It would be easier to just accept it and self-medicate to feel better. To reach for that bottle of wine to just have a glass and then realize you’ve just drank the entire bottle.
Has that ever happened to you? Maybe not with alcohol, but how about with pills? I know people who need to take a pill just to sleep every night. Why? Have you tried other alternatives other than self-medicating? What is the root cause of why you need a pill to sleep every night?
Even if that isn’t you, how about when you have surgery and they give you the “good stuff”. Some of the good stuff includes:
- Acetaminophen with codeine (Tylenol #2, #3, #4)
- Hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Lortab Elixir, Vicodin)
- Meperidine (Demerol, Merpergan)
- Morphine and morphine sustained release (MS-Contin, Avinza, Kadian)
- Oxycodone sustained release (OxyContin)
- Oxycodone with acetaminophen (Percocet)
- Oxycodone with aspirin (Percodan)
- Oxycodone with ibuprofen (Combunox)
Yeah, I’ve had some of those powerful pills after dental surgery, regular surgery and delivery. They are controlled substances. Easy to get addicted to. They cause the pain to subside and you’re able to rest. But, they limit the amount of pills you get and the amount you can have in a time period.
I remember having my myomectomy surgery and I almost died from the pain. One small incision had me hunched over in pain. I couldn’t take it. I just wanted to sleep away the pain. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Well, I remember the label of my Vicodin said to take 1 pill every 4 to 6 hours for pain. Well, I took 1 pill every 6 hours for pain and ran out of medication in two weeks. When I tried to refill the prescription the pharmacy said it was too soon. The insurance company wouldn’t authorize payment. I was in pain. You know what I did? Explained my case and said “You gave me 30 pills and the instructions said that I could take 1 pill every 4 to 6 hours so doing the math, I should be eligible for a refill.” “Not according to your insurance company” replied the pharmacy technician. I paid for the refill out of my pocket.
Now, I was in serious pain and never got addicted to the pills, but it would have been so easy. I’ve not taken Vicodin since I gave birth almost 8 years ago. I don’t crave it. I don’t try to sneak pills from other people who’ve had surgery and don’t take their medications (I actually know people who do this). I don’t self-medicate. I’m controlled. I don’t want to be an addict.
What about something else that you could use to self-medicate? Something that is oh so delicious and available everywhere without a prescription? Food. I love good food. I crave breads, rice and pasta. There is nothing like the smell of carbohydrates. But, carbs are not my friend. I know that. I don’t use food to self-medicate but it would be so easy to do.
That one piece of cake. That one piece of pie. What about just a taste of Butter Pecan ice cream? When you look up you’ve consumed about 4000 calories. In one meal. You feel better because you’re full, but you’ve just self-medicated and now you start to feel sad. You start to complain about your weight gain. Your clothes feel tight. You feel sad.
This is my vice…pizza.
But, I’m trying which is why I’m on my mindful eating game. I want to recognize that I can enjoy things in moderation, but I’ve got to put in the work for it. Just like I’m mindfully controlling my personality to not crave or self-medicate the pain, I have to do the same thing with food. Make healthier choices.
It sucks sometimes, but I want to LIVE! I have goals and that is part of respecting my issues and trying to change the things that are unhealthy. Listening to my body and respecting it. I don’t want to feel like I am not in control of my life. I AM IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE. Aren’t you?
Don’t let your own issues prevent you from making a change. Self-medicating does no one any good. Trust me. You can make a change. Own your issues, respect them and change them if necessary. Life is about inventing yourself.
You have a choice to not stay a victim. Let’s choose survival. I promise you it is so much better.