Ask the LifeQuake Doctor – April 2012
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I am a thirty seven year old woman who is in love with a married man. I have never written to an advice columnist before. I probably should be talking to a shrink but it is late on a Saturday night and I read your column online and on impulse thought I would start here. Perhaps you respond to your readers personally and perhaps you are reading this on the weekend by some miracle.
Anyway, the man I am involved with is my boss. I make good money and do not want to leave a job I love in a bad economy. It seems so cliché. He is never available on weekends. We work a lot of nights together and travel together for work. I want to have a family and I know he isn’t leaving his wife anytime soon. I have gone around and around in my head as to what to do and it always comes back to the fact that I don’t want to leave my job and I cannot seem to break it off with him when I see him every day.
What Should I do?
You are not alone. Many people find themselves in this situation when you work closely with another employee or employer. You didn’t mention how you are spending your time away from the office. I would not suggest trying to take something away that provides life force like a lover or career does. Instead, look at your lifestyle. Do you like to dance? What about joining a dance class on the weekend? Do you like museums? Find out what museum exhibits are going on in your city on the weekends. Do you like travel for leisure? Since you are making good money, take a foreign language course and travel to that country in 6 months.
I would also suggest that you consider going to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous for community support. Cultivate friendships with women. GO to MEETUP.org and attend groups that enjoy the same interests as you do. Finally, start dating other men in addition to your married lover. Go on match .com and just start meeting people for coffee and making new friendships with men. When you stop isolating and develop a life outside of work, your dependence on this man will change. I would also suggest developing a meditation or spiritual practice. Hold both you and loverboy each in your own ball of radiant light and envision the attachment being dissolved by light so that you can each go to a higher vibration in your separate destinies.
Dear Dr. Toni:
I think I have an addiction to sugar. I don’t eat candy bars. I don’t consume sugary drinks. I eat organic foods. I exercise. I drink green tea and plenty of water. However, I LOVE dark chocolate. I love it in protein bars. I love it in pure cacao form. I love it in chocolate chip cookies. You get my drift here.
I am an educated professional woman who is also single. Is my addiction to chocolate psychological because I live alone or do I have some kind of nutritional deficiency? Would love your feedback on what to do here.
I do not know if your chocolate attachment is either of those so let me address both possibilities. What are your associations to chocolate? What did it mean to eat it as a child? Is it connected to happy events or was it used as emotional self – medication when you felt angry or sad? And how often now do you eat it when you are happy versus unhappy?
As for it being a possible nutritional deficiency, dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants. Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide and balance certain hormones in the body.
Chocolate also contains other substances with mood elevating effects. One is phenethylamine, which triggers the release of pleasurable endorphins and potentiates the action of dopamine, a neurochemical associated with sexual arousal and pleasure. Phenethylamine is released in the brain when people become infatuated or fall in love.
Chocolate also boosts brain levels of serotonin. Women typically have lower serotonin levels during PMS and menstruation, which may be one reason women typically experience stronger cravings for chocolate at these times in their cycles. People suffering from depression so characteristically have lower serotonin levels that an entire class of anti-depressive medications called serotonin uptake inhibitors (including Prozac, Paxil, and Zooloft) have been developed that raise brain levels of serotonin.
Look at ingredients. 85% pure cacao beans will seriously reduce the fat and sugar intake to get the most health benefit from it. Coracao Confections (a company in Berkeley carried by Whole Foods) make theirs raw with coconut sugar, which is low on the glycemic index so your blood sugar doesn’t spike.
Enjoy in moderation and make sure you are getting adequate doses of real emotional connection with others as well.
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Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, professional speaker, life transitions strategist, and author and is available for consult by phone or SKYPE. . You can reach her through her website, http://www.lifequake.net or DrToni@LifeQuake.net, or 310-890-6832.