Interesting Phenomenon


So I’m reading yet another book about a young man who got up to over 450 lbs before he took his life back.  I’m still in the introductory phase so I’ll post more about it when I’m finished.  As usual, I’m hyperventilating during the sexual abuse parts and feeling rage and sadness during the alcoholic dad parts and crying during the parts where he’s teased and ridiculed.  I can’t wait until the part when I get to rejoice in his victory…if I make it that far.

See, I’m noticing an interesting phenomenon as I’m reading these books.  One that has me freaked out, confused and intrigued all at the same time.

It seems that every time I get to a tough part, I get something to eat.  Sometimes it’s something healthy but most times…not so much.  I’ve been simply observing the last few days (which is code for eating it anyway) but now I’m trying to be more present and figure out what the fuck is going on in my head.

The authors of these books describe, in vivid detail sometimes, the food that gave them comfort and how it made them feel.  They remember very specifically what they ate and how much.  They remember feeling of fear or comfort or sadness and those descriptions are, apparently, triggers for me.

But here’s the thing, when I think back to my own troubled childhood I can’t remember eating.  I remember cooking, shopping, standing in line at fast food restaurants, arguing with my mother about how much I ate, my mother and father arguing about how much I ate, etc., but I can not remember putting food into my mouth.  I can’t tell you what, even my most favorite foods tasted like nor can I remember getting any comfort, love, companionship or thrill from eating.  Anything.

I guess it’s safe to say that when you look up “unconscious eating” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of me as a child.  Further, since I’ve been battling my weight since the 3rd grade, and I was fairly active as a child (walked everywhere, pom-pom girl, cheerleader) it stands to reason that there was a whole lotta eatin’ goin’ on.  Why can’t I remember it?

My next therapy appointment is going to be a doozie.


It’s also interesting to note that when I began to “control” my weight with exercise and food choices, that’s exactly when I began smoking (age 16).  Then, when I quit smoking is precisely when my drinking began to increase and spiral out of control.  THEN when I quit drinking the food was back – specifically sugar.

Clearly this needs much more investigation with someone with whom I feel safe and I that I know that is trained to help me through this (therapist..duh) but I need to put a band-aid on this hemorrhage now before I “bleed” to death.  As such, I’m going to do a few things to stem the flow:

  1. I’m going to go upstairs, away from the kitchen, after dinner and try not to eat after 7:00 pm and before 7:00 am.  Now that the twins are living at school and my oldest stays in his room when he’s home, I can use the bonus room to watch TV.  Staying away from the food and eating all my meals within a 12 hour window may just give me the sense of control I crave in these situations.
  2. I’m going to try to be more present as I eat.  I want to slow down and pay attention to the textures and flavors of my food in addition to paying attention to my feelings as I’m eating.  Yeah…that feelings thing is going to be the hardest.
  3. Of course I’ll keep walking, walking, walking – Scandal may just get me skinny.  I have to admit – the show is really good.

Guess I’d better buckle my seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.


A Minor Confession


I have a minor confession to make…or maybe it’s a major one.  Maybe it’s a minor one now but could turn into a major one later if I don’t share it.  WHAT.  EVER.  I know I have to get it out of my head and on to this page before I can move on so here it is.

Lately I’ve been wondering what it would be like to drink again.

Wait.  What?

Yeah.  Not in a “One day I’ll drink again way,” or in a “I think I’ll drink now,” way and certainly not in an “I’ll drink in secret way.”  Just in a, “I wonder what would happen if I drank again” way.  Which is stupid.  Because I KNOW what would happen if I drank again.  It’s not a secret for God’s sake.  I’d be where I was when I quit quicker than you can say Chardonnay.  I’d lose every ounce of serenity I’ve worked so hard to gain.  My health would go back in the toilet.

I’d disappoint my family.

So no, there’s not a day on this planet that I would seriously entertain the notion.  But it does leave me wondering why?  Why, after all this time and wonderfulness (is that a word) am I thinking these thoughts?  Have I gotten lazy?  Is something else going on in my life that I haven’t identified yet?  I don’t know.

It’s hard to put into words what I’m feeling.  I’m not frightened because I know I won’t drink, but it does leave me a little anxious because I’ve worked very hard to cultivate this serenity I have and I’ll be damned if I want the voices to start up again.  Right now they are just fleeting thoughts but if I were to feed them at all, they’d grow stronger and be yammering on in my head 24/7.  It’s not a craving, not a yearning, not even nostaglia.  Maybe it’s just curiosity?  I hope not – you know what it did to the cat.  Maybe I’m feeling weak…or coming down with something…or vulnerable. 

I do have one clue.  I am so blissfully and insanely happy right now for no other reason except that I exist.  I exist and have managed (in spite of the drinking) to build a life filled with love and light.  The kind of home I always wanted to grow up in but never had a shot.  A happiness from the inside that just IS.  AND being the child of an alcoholic and narcissist…I know this cannot last.  I don’t deserve to be happy and the other shoe will surely fall very soon.  Disaster is waiting right around the corner.

And when it happens…will I have the fortitude to face it without booze?

Good question.  I’m going to say “of course” and I want to believe it but…well…but.  Life is full of “buts” because you never know what tomorrow will hold.  You just don’t know what the future will bring.  I say this a lot but I don’t believe in mistakes or coincidences.  I think there is a grand plan and that I am not in control.  That, in and of itself makes me uncomfortable but it also takes a lot of weight off my shoulders.  I’m not in charge!  Which means I only have to live in this moment…right now…and enjoy it.

So for this moment, right now, I will not drink.  Tomorrow and next week and next month and next year will take care of itself…no need to go there until I’m there.  For now I am sober and happy.

And grateful…very, very grateful.

Ahhhh, NOW I feel better.  Blogging…the poor girl’s therapy.


Still Hibernating

I’ve been thinking that I’m in a rut.  I don’t want to do anything.  My weekends are spent reading, or watching crap TV or cooking for my family, or playing the new Bejeweled Poker (OMG!!!).  I’ve been feeling bad about not doing yoga (like I said I would at the beginning of the year), or meditating (see prior parenthetical statement), or exercising, or deep cleaning my house, or redecorating or…well…you get the picture.

But this morning as I looked longingly at my meditation bench a thought (a whisper from the Big Guy perhaps) entered my brain.  What if this is all okay?  What if I’m doing (or not doing) this because it’s what I want and need to do (or not do).

This is the kind of growth that fucks with my head big time.

In my former life, this would never be okay.  I never stopped moving (except to drink of course).  Every free minute was spent cooking or cleaning or doing laundry or driving kids here and there or exercising or whatever.  I actually had an Excel spreadsheet that planned my days, weeks and months.  I was always running running running.  I think I was running away from being still because I was afraid I’d catch up to myself and implode.

Well…that kind of happened didn’t it.  All this work I’ve done in sobriety has taught me that it’s okay not to be all things to all people all of the time.  Now…it certainly helps that my husband is retired and takes care of the house and that the kids are all mostly grown and doing their own thing.  I mean, no way I could have even sat down to write this post even five years ago.  But if I were still the old me, I’d be filling every weekend of the year with projects just to keep from facing myself.

I’ve noticed this winter that I’ve slowed down and have allowed myself to hibernate and I was thinking this morning that it will all end soon.  My hibernation will die a natural rather than forced death and it will all be okay.  The sun will come out and the weather will warm and before you know it I’ll be purging closets, washing windows, planting flower gardens, building decks and repainting.  I love doing yoga with the windows open and a cool breeze blowing…same with meditating.  I’ll be walking the dogs every day (even in the rain) and searching out opportunities to be physical outside.  And it will be okay.

As I pondered this I realized that this was a much more organic approach to my life and that I could get used to it.  I mean…do what you feel like doing and don’t beat yourself up over what other people think you should be doing.  Well there’s a novel concept.

It’s gray and rainy and cold here today.  So guess what?  I’m not going to worry about the bushes in the front of the house that need to be torn out because the snow destroyed them…they’ll still be there when the sun comes out.  I’m not going to walk the dogs and get chilled to the bone.  I’m not going to empty any closets or storage spaces until I can fill a trunk and deliver its content to the Salvation Army or the dump.  And I’m certainly not going to paint anything until I can open the windows.

This mama bear is going to hibernate just a little longer.  I’m going to paint my nails and my toes, watch HGTV, have dinner and paint pottery with my BFF and then get a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow I may go shopping for backspash tile…or I may not.  I’m still eating right and getting 8000-10,000 steps a day so I’m staying healthy.  Hibernating is healthy…just ask a bear.