Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaBloPoMo Advice Column - Day 16 - Stop Things from Going from Bad to Worse

I'm writing 30 thoughts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo. In no particular order, I'm giving you my worldview. I draw the topics from things that come up the day I post, or the day or two before I post.

I have a horrible habit, many, actually. I'm not going tell you what it (they) is (are) because this particular habit that's weighing on me right now embarrasses me terribly. And I can explain this piece of advice without the details. AND, if I gave you the details, someone would just to talk me out of my thinking it's so bad, and that's not what I need right now. What I need to do, is stop the habit. Completely.

Here's the thing, I realized that I do this habit, feel guilty about it, and then do it some more. An analogy would be - and this is not my problem - I ignored the alarm in the morning. And then, rather than getting up when I realized I had ignored the alarm, I rolled back over in bed to sleep some more to comfort myself because I felt bad about ignoring the alarm. And in the end, I felt even worse as I ended up sleeping in even later. Get it? The thing that I hate doing provides me great comfort, so when I feel crappy, I do it. I hate that. I really hate that. I'm trying to stop the habit but I feel helpless because I developed the habit because it makes me feel better.

I've known I've had this problem for a while. And I've tried to kick this habit but it is just very difficult. It has taken a while to figure out how to get rid of it. So here's what I did. Every time I engaged in the behavior, I admonished myself "stop going from bad to worse". And that reminder, which I gave myself often, is helping, though I haven't quite kicked the habit.

I will though. I can tell I'm close.

This applies to lots of things. Stop making things go from bad to worse.


Building a worldview:
Day 1: Surround Yourself With Brilliant People (though my friend Susan makes a good point that clever is pretty good, too).
Day 2: Whatever, it works.
Day 3: Surround Yourself With Beauty
Day 4: When You Go Through Something New - Drag Someone With You
Day 5: No sweatpants.
Day 6: Embrace the Crazy
Day 7: Listen to Your Friends or Fight Old Fogey-dom. Get out there. Keep experiencing fun, new things.
Day 8: Don't Let Anyone Sell You Short
Day 9: Take a Lesson From Your Child
Day 10: Consume the best chocolate you can
Day 11: Help your neighbor.
Day 12: Take Breaks
Day 13: Establish a Realistic Rhythm
Day 14: Sometimes, you just have to ask.
Day 15: Loose Lips Sink Ships


  1. Okay, I know the exact habit is not the point, but am I the only one dying to know what it is?????

    -- H.

  2. H - I'll never tell. If I told you, either (1) you wouldn't believe it or (2) you wouldn's agree that it's a bad habit because you would want to make me not feel bad about it. I've spent too much time thinking about it. Action time is here.

    - E

  3. I think you summed up what makes bad habits so infuriating. We know their bad and can't seem to let them go either, and whatever we do to address them just becomes an equally bad, bad habit substitute.

    I hope your bad habit kick ass plan works for you. You could make a lot of money off it I bet :)

  4. I know you won't tell. And you are right -- part of why I want to know is because I can't imagine you having any really bad habits.

    Best wishes with your action plan! I bet you will be successful.

    -- H.

  5. I too am dying ot know. Do you pull your hair? Chew fingernails? Hmmm. The problem with putting it out there like this is you know I will always look at you speculatively, wondering what it is. Until I forget about it 5 minutes from now, of course. (seriously, i will not scrutinize, I promise).

    This is a good essay on all those self soothing things people do that are self defeating - eat too much, sleep too much, self harm, binging and purging, hair pulling, smoking, nail biting, whatever it is. You could totally turn this into an essay on DC Moms. Or, wait, are you writing all these in the hopes of acquiring a book deal? 30 lessons I defined during NaBloPoMo? :)

    I know - you BITE your TOENAILS off. Right? Right?

  6. I wish you luck on your journey and I wow, I can't stop thinking about what it is!

  7. Good luck with kicking it. And yes, I'm curious.