Expectation Hangover by Christine Hassler

Expectation Hangover by Christine Hassler

Author:Christine Hassler [Hassler, Christine]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781608682416
Publisher: New World Library
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


At fifty-seven years old I was permanently disabled after a workplace injury, and my company decided they would not accommodate me. So I found myself unable to work in my profession of thirty years. In one day everything changed. Not what I expected! I had no idea how to plan from one day to the next. Food was my only friend, it seemed, as I sat at home and waited to hear if I had a job. My professional identity was gone. I spent my days, when I wasn’t at medical appointments, playing computer games, withdrawing from myself so I didn’t have to think about what was happening or how bad I felt. One day I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror sitting in front of the computer with a bag of chips next to me and did not even recognize myself. I saw my so-called coping strategies were only making my hangover worse and realized that even if I did not have control over my job, I did have control over how I coped.

Now I’ve joined Weight Watchers and begun a water-based exercise program, and I reach out to friends to stop isolating myself. I’ve also joined a semiprofessional choir, started a writing group, and begun volunteering, all of which help feed my soul in a much healthier (and lower-calorie) way than the food did. My Expectation Hangover taught me that my profession is not who I am. Nor are my medical diagnoses. It is teaching me to listen to my body and my inner voice to learn what they need. I’m learning to love myself, take excellent care of myself, speak my truth, ask for what I need, and be the best me I can be.

Something to be aware of as you observe and investigate your self-care is that we are all prone to addictive behavior, and it comes out the most during an Expectation Hangover. Why? Because we are on the prowl for anything to make us feel better and less uncertain. Addictions are there for us when it feels as if no one else is. Do you know what your addictions are? Some of us have several. Mine has been watching TV, which I do not do on a regular basis. I knew that I was avoiding truly dealing with an Expectation Hangover when I found myself in a pattern of getting totally hooked to a series and spending two or three hours per day watching television. It was my way of zoning out, numbing, and escaping from the reality of my life. Although I temporarily felt better when watching TV, I felt even more hungover the next day, which was an added dose of guilt. Guilt happens when we feel ashamed of our actions, when we know that what we are doing isn’t good for us but we do it anyway. When any behavior feels out of balance, admit to yourself that it is addictive.

Addictions of all kinds — to substances, fears, self-doubts, material comforts, work, food, relationships, sex — give us a false sense of freedom.


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