The Side Effects of Willpower

Do you ever say no to something you want? Do you ever say no to something you want for more than just a day? week? month? year? your life?

Depending on what you give up it can cause pain, anger, feelings of loss, anxiety, loneliness, hunger, cravings, flu-like symptoms, heart palpitations, headaches, sweats, boredom, resentment and the list goes on.

What is the point in making yourself miserable when you can just continue to do what you want and avoid the side effects? The answer is different for each individual but the same just as well. Growth. Appreciation. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Self-Control. Empathy. Contentment. Learning. Compassion. Generosity. Detox. Clear skin. Cleansed liver. New chapter. Letting go.

When you give up things that keep your mind busy and make your body happy for that moment it will more than likely cause pain along with the feelings of loss. We naturally stay busy and keep our minds busy to avoid thinking about reality and stuff left undone. A favorite/not favorite quote, “We can avoid reality, but we can’t avoid the consequences of reality.”.

I’m one of those creature comfort people. I want to be happy and full and positive and comfortable and feel no pain. This is not a realistic life. The truth is that I’ve experienced my share of all the crap handed to me and I got tired. But to truly grow and see how much I’ve grown, giving up the fake comforts, what I call the “emotional Band-Aids”, serves the greatest purpose and is worth the sacrifice.

No sane person wants to endure pain, loss, discomfort, etc., but like a child who doesn’t want to do his/her homework, chores or eat their vegetables, we all need discipline, structure and boundaries in our life.

Be daring. Stop doing something that distracts you from reality, especially if it takes up too much of your free time. Go cold turkey. Go through withdrawals. Suffer for a little while and watch your life come together.

I have 3 more days of my social media fast which was a 21 day fast. I’ve been angry, hungry, craving, lonely, sore, sickly, biting, non-intentionally hurtful, snappy, apologetic, poor decisions to mask pain of having the “Band-aid” ripped off, among other things.

The positives of my decision to go without for 21 days; drink more water, eat less carbs, face cleared up, went down a size, let go of an unhealthy job, let go of the fear of failure, picked up my interest in reading again, tapped into artistic side I didn’t realize I had, desire to learn about the area I live in and embrace it as my home.

Hired in a new position that will help others as well as myself. Realized that I’m not ready for relationships other than friendships until I’m a better version of myself. This list could go on but I’ve shared plenty and hope this will encourage others to do the same.

Now that I have a new perspective, social media will not play a major role in my every day life. Though it is necessary and enjoyable at times I’d rather have personal, one-on-one friendships with actual physically present people. Also, most importantly, I can be alone and not feel like the world is ending. I enjoy and appreciate my downtime more than ever.

21 days. Try it and see what happens.

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