Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Sweet Peace #23: Pulling out of a downward spiral

Hamilton Branch

Blame it on road trips … or at least the road trip mindset. Long hours on the road have somehow merged into a mindset that welcomes Cheetos, Diet Coke, and other packages of normally verboten junk food as part of the adventure. I used to blame it on boredom, but now I’ve discovered the world of podcasts which fascinate me, so it isn’t boredom. It’s more of a rebellion fueled by rest stops that involve walking through endless aisles of sugary and salty possibilities that never appear in my every-day world. 

However, it's more than just caving to the lure of those options.

This is my 23rd week of Sweet Peace, 52 weeks dedicated to making peace with food, my body, and my mindsets related to food and body. Progress seems to be a wave function of successes and failures with a gradual rising level of understanding and insight. However, the 11-hour trip from Santa Barbara to Lake Almanor plunged me into the junk food pool and I continued to sink as I set up residence at the lake, welcoming sugar and processed carbs into my pantry.

Knowing I had to write this letter to myself this morning gave me time to pause and wonder why I just hit this rocky shore. There are several contributors:

- Fatigue. The past two weeks of moving have drained my energies. Plus my new apartment is still in a disorienting state of chaos.

- Loss of routine. All my routine systems were dismantled during the move and just as new ones were forming, I headed off on an 11-hour drive to the lake. One of the victims of this move has been my daily gratitude practice and work on Gratitude Mojo.

- Fear, anxiety, and worry. Moving is expensive and this particular one has a lot of financial balls bouncing around, leaving me uncertain as to where they will come down. Part of me knows that everything will be fine, but the other part imagines disaster.

- Isolation. A big reason for the move was the pull of being part of a community. This necessary trip to the lake is an extension of the isolation I’ve felt for the past two years. While it is beautiful and peaceful here, I feel even more alone than ever.

Okay, Joyce, you have a lot of reasons for feeling low. So what? Everyone does. What are you going to do about it?

… … … …

I’m going to post this and then set up my gratitude workbook and write in it. I need to reset my mindset. I want to break this downward spiral. After writing my gratitudes, I'm going to plan a kayak trip for this afternoon or tomorrow. I'm going to pay attention to the beauty of this incredible lake while I'm here.


  1. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. All part of life's journey. The Sweet Peace journey, too. I', confident that you'll soon be where you want to be.

  2. Thanks, Becky ... I've decided to want to be where I am.

  3. "Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. " Dr Paul Ohliger said on page 417 of the Big Book.
    I wish I could do it more often :(