Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Willful" wonders never cease

I am 24 again. I feel like I felt when I was 24. This was what 24 felt like.

Three years ago, my life was all about the see-saw. Either extremely up and "free" of food, or subversively down and in the ping-pong game of binging and exercising/restricting.

It's been over a month since I over ate like I did this afternoon/evening. With a sense of panic, of rising anxiety even as I ate more and more food. Until my senses and mind and soul and heart were sufficiently numbed.

This will never change; I am a compulsive over-eater. I have an addiction with food. I 'use' food like others use drugs, alcohol, sex. I have even used those as ways to lesson the discomfort of life, but it always comes back to food. Sugar, salted crunchy foods, breads...these are my beer, wine, booze; my crack, opiates, weed.

This I accept. So afterwards, I don't fight it. I write about it. I call my sponsor and leave a message. I make some calls to friends, BUT not to OA friends. This is a big difference. This is me trying to be normal, trying to appear normal to myself.

Must. Control. Something. Laundry...laundry to fold! YES. Then, a walk. Short, fresh. Then, my wake my husband up from his nap. Control his attention. We are moving in a month, packing lists to make, jewelry boxes to go through, closets to...okay. Enough is enough. Take a couple deep breaths. Shake the shoulders, shake the head, let the shimmy go all the way down through your pelvis and out through your toes.

Go to bed.

[p.s. If anyone is out there reading this, I would love to hear from you. Your reactions, your experience. Feel free to share comments below, or email me @]

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

To battle

"They" don't prepare "you" for life. You go from one grade to the next, climbing the ladder of education. Then you go to another form of school, be it a university or a technical college. Then you get a job. Hopefully. Then...what? Life is so much more complicated than that. Where is the manual? How do we learn to life through each day? I guess we each compile our own set of rules, based on our experience and what we have been taught by our elders, peers and media. Each person walking around in their own stew of reality.

Mine is darker tonight. My reality right now is tainted with the sour flavor of resentment that lingers after the decadence of denial, thick with creamy ignorance. I deny that I have to plan for tomorrow. I deny even that there is a tomorrow and I have a place in it. I deny that there is anything else than this space and time right now, where I am going to stuff myself with food to ensure that myself in this time and space will not travel anywhere else but here. I deliberately entrap myself with compulsive eating, thinking myself so cunning, wrapping myself in a cocoon of food, so that time bends around me, and I exist outside of the stream of life.

If I exist outside, I don't have to take part. If I don't have to take part, I have no duties, no responsibility. Without these there is no effort. An absence of effort leaves no chance for failure.  And no chance of mistakes means no growth...however, my pride remains intact, and the dark worm eating away at my soul feeds on the fear that keeps me from participating; in isolation.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bubbles rising

What to write, what to write. Need to write something, there is something rising inside of me, both ferocious and giddy, like champagne bubbles after a bottle is shaken. Inside me, something is racing to the surface and I feel both alarm and excitement. Could this be, the return of "me"? The return of eager anticipation and determined endeavor? Wow, it's been a long time since these feelings have come around...

Almost two weeks since I started taking anti-depressant medication and I feel human again. I feel competent enough to face the challenges in front of and ahead of me. I know where to reach out for help, and I know that I can reach inside too. I have enough experience in student teaching now to help me through these last 25 and a half (school) days. There is hope. I see that light at the end of the forest path in my previous meditation and it is pulsing with a furious energy, beckoning me towards it, cajoling me to move past "one foot in front of the other" and, with a deep breath of courage, break into a trot. Or at least a steady, brisk walk. It is there. I am so close.

There are a few hurdles yet to surmount. Two portfolios, one significantly larger than the other, and three weeks of "full time" takeover of running the classroom. Its happening though. Here. Now. And I am so immersed in it, it is a miracle to not over eat right now. There have been instances of compulsion, such as the four protein bar marathon in 5 minutes hidden in the bedroom at my in-laws. And the two full dinner night, where I had both a mexican feast and a hearty BBQ plate. Yet this is in between days ...DAYS... of continuous, intuitive, natural eating.

My sponsor reminds me that medication is a temporary relief and "not a spiritual solution!" This is true. But God damn, I am so grateful for what I am experiencing right now and SO grateful to have access to medical care that can provide me with supportive treatment. Wow. Kind of incredible how appreciative and in awe I feel of the help available to me, in this moment.

Do you have support? Do you have access to care? What is stopping you from researching your options, from reaching out? It took me a long time to reach out, and when I did, a while again to wade through the declinations of my insurance.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Meditation exercises

A couple days ago, I listened to about ten minutes of the intro session of a webinar class about finding your "truth" and awakening to your life's purpose:

"Imagine a parallel life in a parallel universe and yourself there..." the speaker cooed. It's about "repatterning your brain, mind, psych a kind of happiness...beyond imagination...creating new patterns in the brain...creating new possibilities in the real existential world...get off the same old same old and the narrow band of consciousness you now inhabit. You put your dreams on hold for so long that you get bored/disgusted/frustrated with yourself...but its never too late! Put yourself in a state of yearning, as in 'somewhere over the rainbow'...longing...grow your capacities for being..."

It was interesting. It also related to other pieces of information and wisdom floating around lately, such as 'you are what you think' and 'what you think about, expands'.

Yesterday felt fresh. Or was it Saturday? Change is most definitely upon me. My whole being feels different. I find myself at the cross-roads of several forces. Medication, connection through program (OA), and counseling. And also, the efforts of my husband to change and face his own demons. We live in a co-dependent microcosm where we are both so wrapped up in each other's lives.

I notice as I gain a bit of freedom from compulsive eating, my need to control spreads out from food and exercise. Mainly, to my husband, because he is the closest thing in reach of my voice. I find myself getting pettily annoyed at situations and circumstances that I can normally let go of. Dirty counters. Untidiness. Is this how I am without food? Needing more order in my environment? Or am I simply transferring my need to control over to another issue.

This morning, he went to a mediation group for veterans. Quietly and calmly, he told me about it when I got home from work. "The topic was acceptance; I know you know about that," he said, nodding his head towards me. [Acceptance is the key to 12 step programs...well, along with surrender and willingness] "Tell me anyway" I replied.

He related the meditation practice they went through. Sitting with your back against a chair, try to meditate on the sensation of the chair against your back until the physical feeling disappears. What happens? You can't do it. Or, it becomes increasingly difficult. For me, the chair became more pronounced, and I experienced mental and physical discomfort trying to think and feel anything else; pretty dresses, the feeling of my toes in the carpet, sex. Nothing worked. The second part is to try again, but allow yourself to meditate only on the sensation of your back against the chair. And see what happens. For me? My back and the chair became one, and I couldn't tell where one ended and the other began.

The more you try and shut out a feeling or situation, the more pronounced it becomes, even uncomfortable. However, allow the feeling or situation to be present in your mind, accept it, and its resolution will be more natural, after a space of time.

Another metaphor: you are having a family reunion. There is one aunt, Aunt Ida, who you can't STAND. She belittles you, causes discord, eats all the food, and drinks too much. The gathering is underway. She knocks at the door. You have two options. Do you lock the door and grip the handle and hold it tight against what you imagine to be the headache on the other side? Imagine actually doing this. She would probably bang and scream and kick to be let in. The other family members would be uncomfortable and drift into corners or leave. The party would be over. The second choice? Let her in. Welcome her politely, and let her run her move through the house unobstructed, running her course. Accept she is a part of your family, that you can't do anything about it. Fighting the truth will only make things worse. The sooner she gets in and makes her scene, the sooner she will leave. Delay it, and you only delay what is inevitable.

When an emotion or sense of pain/agitation/anxiety rises, let it come. Allow it to work its way through your body. Accept it, and it will pass. Fight it, and it will become harder and harder to resist, until it is so uncomfortable and in your face, you have to deal with it, and by then, its a shit storm of an issue/problem.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Meditation - online guided mantras and music

This is cool! I would recommend it. Just listened to the one for today, "Protection" and fell into sort of a relaxed trance state, sitting on the couch with my cup of coffee, closing my eyes and letting the pretty music sooth my grumpiness and fill me instead with a soft energy...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Prozac and Tapping

Deep breaths...deeeep breaths...

Thank the mighty calendar that it is Friday. Oh Friday, I haven't felt this way about you since high school. After that, college days became nights and nights became full of booze, and the time of day of the week only mattered for reasons of traffic and classes. Even after a stint in Americorps working a regular 9-5, the weekends were just a "place" to pass the time. And for the past year and a half of my certification program for teaching, the weekdays and weekend sort of melded together because of the amount of homework to be completed. Now, the weekend is the gasp of breath I take in between swimming lengths underwater as I attempt to wade through the weeds of student teaching.

This week: prozac and tapping. Tuesday night was hell, because of the double observation plus filming I had on Wednesday. I also had a doctor's appointment where I was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications.  I felt conflicting emotions leaving the pharmacy with the clicky-clack of the pills shaking in their clear orange tubes. I felt a deep sigh of relief that this may provide just the same as that breath. But also skepticism, as always, of this sort of thing. Skepticism as to, "do I really need this?" and "will this actually do anything for me...will this work or just put strange chemicals in my body?".

It's interesting (maybe another word would be more appropriate here), how after 10 years of struggling with this eating disorder and the fear and anxiety and psychological issues that go along with it, something in me (the disease most likely) puts a seed of doubt in my mind when it comes to any sort of help outside my own mind. I have seen enough hard proof from counseling sessions, and felt the effects of a good solid talk and meditative search, to weed out the distrustful thoughts that sprout up around the benefits of paying someone to sit and chat with me. Therefore, I feel mostly comfortable with the new lady I am seeing (covered my by insurance, whew) and even cooler - she works through Tapping! A really cool technique. I've dabbled in it since discovering it on the web a little less than a year ago. Check it out:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Tears today. Twice. Both times in my car. I seem to cry there a lot now. Full on, knees to chest, head bowed, terrified tears of pain and confusion. 

Fear leads to anxiety. Through my years, to cope, I would numb out by turning to denial (compulsive eating) or apathy or conversely try to control the situation/my environment with perfection (restricting food or purging after binging with exercise). Denial, apathy and control. These have been my tools.

So much crying now!

Program feels like a ‘detox’ right now. First, the toxins are released in your blood stream. My bottled emotions and fears are now coursing through my veins. I feel like crap. Full of anger and sadness, negativity, with a short fuse. I am hurt at the loss of my ‘best friend’ (compulsive eating and purging) which was also my answer to everything, my way of understanding and relating to the world around me. I am lost now that I realize my whole reality is false.

Progress? I asked for help today. Perfectionism and pride kept me from asking for help in the past. Being told I was the best and perfect growing up inflated my little ego which held the false assumption that I could do anything on my own. I really can't do anything on my own right now. That's how I feel. Complete opposite end of the spectrum. DEflated. Incapable. Small. Helpless. Oh God, that food is calling to me, a sweet siren song of "blissful" extremely temporary relief. The satisfying crunch of a tortilla chip that could be akin to the satisfaction of kicking your mortal enemy in the face and hearing their bones crunch. Yes, this is where I am right now. Craving violence. Craving a release of energy. How the fuck did I ever come to this place where I decided that gnashing my teeth together was the solution?? The solution to everything?? BRAGLLLEEEFARRRFFFIIDDDGGICKLE...I imagine myself a giant viking like man in a bear cloak with thunder crashing and lighting bolting in the background...not the sexiest war cry, but it's how I feel. Silly. Stupid. Angry.