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Replacing Unhealthy Coping Strategies

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Yesterday was Father's Day, which always makes me miss my dad (he passed away 15 years ago). I also learned that one of my best friends from high school died--felled by brain cancer. We'd lost touch for decades, but reconnected last year on FB, and he seemed to be doing well. Either of those factors, added to the depression I'm already fighting with therapy and meds, was enough to make me crave pizza, or Chinese food, or Mexican food...or ALL THREE PLUS DESSERT. I know you know the feeling.

Somehow, I found the strength to say "Not this time." I had to say it about 700 times, as it took more than one firm thought to battle the urge, but I said it as many times as I had to. And when I thought I could fight no longer, I took my dog for an extra walk.

I can't say that I'm over the craving for an easy, unhealthy coping strategy, but I feel better prepared than ever to make the healthy choice, moment by moment. I'm sure I'll lapse at some point, but even increasing the ratio of healthy to unhealthy decisions to 50/50 is a giant step forward. If I think about pushing that ratio to 99/1, it becomes a solid goal I can keep in focus--numbers aren't emotional.

Today is still full of other emotional challenges, but I'm soundly committed to replacing unhealthy coping strategies with ones that will make me stronger in body and spirit.

Besides, my dog could use the extra exercise. ;)
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