Portion Control

Collage art, greeting card, humor

I’m forever looking for a different perspective on my bipolar disorder, a new spin, a fresh approach, some metaphor that will pop the lid on Magic and Truth.  Driving home from the movie theater the other day, another one presented itself.

My life is all about Portion Control.

Since impulse control is the Troll under my bipolar bridge, restraint and moderation have simply been beyond my reach most of my life.  Between episodes, I’m a paragon of virtue, walking the path of Divine Temperance with nary a glance to either side of Temptation.  But once I hit that bridge, Troll-Mind takes over.  It goes something like this:

GimmeGimmeGimme. MoreMoreMore. NowNowNow.

 

When I finally make it to the other side of the bridge, I look back at massive destruction, consumption, and extravagance.  Caligula was a poser in comparison.

So part of my quest is to find methods or structures that will enforce prudence where none exists.  For several years, I gave control of my money to my friend, Cheryl. She held my credit card and my checkbook.  She watched me pay bills and provided me a weekly allowance.  My sister kept track of my tiny savings account, and still does.  That money remains in a bank out of my reach.  Troll-Mind still sends me on spending sprees, but I seem to be able to compensate better than I used to.  The Troll seems to be satisfied with a scrap of indulgence now rather than pillaging a whole countryside.  And I wonder why.

Snow White Troll

The changes I’ve been making in my daily habits like exercising or reading memoirs instead of watching TV poke the Troll with a big stick.  I’ve felt my compulsive urges roar with renewed violence—a monster frightened of losing its power.  To find some balance, I’ve tried to offer it scraps—a movie at a theater instead of hours of TV, one ice cream cone from McDonald’s instead of a carton of Ben & Jerry’s at home, writing a schmaltzy romance story instead of pining for the perfect mate.  I wonder if offering scraps for these other compulsions will work the way it did for money?  I wonder if this version of portion control will lull the beast?

Time and practice will tell, I guess.  Until I stumble over the next metaphor.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Jul 08, 2012 @ 18:00:29

    I have portion control issues that mainly relate to food–espcially sweets. Well–it would be nice to have portion control with my emotions, as well. Fortunately, I’m not an over-spender. I may be exteme in the other direction, however. Great metaphor, Sandy. Hope your weekend has gone well, my friend.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    Reply

  2. rachelmiller1511
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 04:58:14

    I sometimes wonder whether it’s better to quit the Ben & Jerry’s altogether (I do love a bit of Cookie Dough…or a giant tub!) or just have a little now and again. If I have a little I end up wanting more or it triggers a binge. I just need to stay away from the shops altogether!

    Reply

    • Sandy Sue
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 12:55:33

      I SO hear you, Rachel! With Ben & Jerry’s I can’t have “a little.” Same with Haagen Das and Dairy Queet (and all the other really good ice cream). But, I’ve discovered that the McDonald’s cone satisfies me and doesn’t start a binge. Little miracles along the way.

      Reply

  3. littlesundog
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 05:45:50

    Hmm, I’m a tighwad. It’s equally difficult to deal with. I often find myself desiring to spend, but the part of me that needs to be prepared, won’t touch that nest egg – won’t let go of the money. And of course with my hell-bent work ethic, I eat like a horse and allow myself to. I would hate to think that someday I might have to put the skids on my voracious appetite should I not need all of those calories… say I have health issues, or by some miracle, I don’t NEED the workaholic coping skill anymore. I’m afraid I love food just too much!!

    Reply

  4. Kitty
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 07:03:12

    Except I think Caligula was mean and you’re not mean.

    Portion Control has a much better feel to it than moderation, doesn’t it?! I personally hate “the M word!”

    Reply

  5. Tim
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 18:06:05

    It’s the looking back at the destruction that just sends me into (what seems) an unending panic attack. Knowing all of this I spend so much of my time on the opposite end as sick as it is…aware of it I am…I need it sometimes.

    Reply

  6. pegoleg
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 11:13:16

    Portion control is something I’ve always lacked with food. Great metaphor for the rest of life’s temptations as well.

    Reply

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