Thursday, September 1, 2011

What'll you have?

This idea is 100% entirely, totally and completely bootlegged from Karen's post today.  Thank you, Karen, and my apologies.  Rather than paraphrase what Special K (I nickname everyone in my mind, and Karen is Special K!)  spoke of, I urge you to follow the link and check it out for yourself, if you haven't already.  It's excellent, as her posts and writing always are.

I will expand on her thoughts with my usual perspective that comes from AA.   And this will make more sense if you DO read Karen's post first.  In early sobriety, it's often terribly hard not to default back into drinking when the going, or the thinking, or the living gets tough.  Drinking's what we've done for a long time, else we wouldn't be sitting in an AA meeting.  And it stopped working for us, too - or we DEFINITELY wouldn't be sitting in said meeting.

During my earliest days in AA, I heard a man who was in his 80s if he was a day, suggest that when the thought of a drink comes, to think about how waitress, or bar maid, or server of any kind in a food and beverage establishment will often ask, after you've ordered something, "What'll you have with that?"  There's also the notion of a bartender wiping down the bar and calling out, "What'll you have, what'll you have?"

The old coot went on to say "what'll you have with that" is a very good question to ponder when the desire to drink comes up.  The answer can vary from a hangover in the morning to being locked up in jail to getting a DUI, or killing someone while driving under the influence.  There's a veritable smorgasboard of answers to the question of what I, alcoholic Leslie, will have if I pick up a drink (and it's never one - believe me), and I don't even want to ponder the thought for a moment.  Whatever happens, it won't be good, and my life is fantastic today, having undergone a very slow 180 degreee turn from my drinking days.

Karen's point was about food - and it's the same thing.  What'll I have with the single handful of chips (that turns into the whole bag) or the sliver of cake (that turns into a several hour-long binge)?  Self hatred, shame, self disgust, unhappiness, a sugar hangover, clothes that don't fit...the list goes on and on.

Hopefully, this can be another implement to add to my toolbox of tricks to circumvent the first compulsive bite.  Because if I don't have the first, all those "what'll I have with its" won't be inevitable.  Thanks Karen, for getting me thinking about this.


  1. And thank you, for the kind words and fun nickname:) Love how you used this with that AA story. Love when something that strikes me "shareworthy" strikes someone else too:) Now you and I just need to remember this the next time we are dreaming of whatever food we are dreaming of that we should not be eating!

  2. There must be something in the air! I've been doing something similar to this for the past few weeks.......when I get a craving, or find myself in the kitchen on the prowl I ask myself... do I really want this and is it going to get me where I want to be? Nine times out of ten the answer is no.focus on the prize!

  3. Yep, playing the tape all the way to the end. Usually we just play the tape to the part where we get our drink, drug, man, food, new shoes, jackpot. If we play the tape all the way to the end, we see where we get the DUI, arrested, the same man, fat, in credit card debt and broke.

    I'm using this in a particular area of my life right now and it does help. Playing that old tape all the way to the END to see the real and true consequences. Love it!

  4. You know, I've tried this...many times. Not that I used the wonderful visual of "Beam me up, Scottie." :D

    But the basic exercise of trying to short-circuit the impulsivity by thinking of the consequences of the act. And it does not work for me. I just dismiss it. The thoughts that you mentioned in youu post of what I'll get with that come to mind and I can almost see my hand sweep those consequences away as one would sweep away crumbs on a picnic table.

    Think thru. Denial. Eat. Repeat.

    So. Get me to the part where I not only think of the consequences, but beleive the truth those thoughts hold--and act like it. :{

    Just sign me "Totally messed up."


  5. Hi Leslie - I've been having a lot of trouble posting on folks blogs - I'm hoping this will post.

    I found some interesting articles concerning food addiction. You know, whenver you talkd about having food addiction, I was skeptical. I thought, maybe you're just know, not eating enough (starving your body) and then you get overly hungry and eat to much, unable to stop, therefore you consider yourself an addict. And although I think that rings true for many folks (it did for me), I now think there is such a thing as food addiction...but it has a real name and I think I found it!

    Check it out when you can. Let me know what you think.

  6. I think that's a great trick to keep in your toolbox Leslie! Hope you are having a great weekend!

  7. Great post!!!

    Keep focused!

  8. I love this! Great words to think about Leslie. It gives me a new tool to use. I can't thank you enough for sharing this.