The joy of not being a jerk
Yesterday was, as the 12-steppers say, life on life’s terms. I went to the grocery store, got about $100 worth of groceries, checked out, and tried to pay with my debit card. It didn’t go through. I tried it again. Nope. Then the checkout clerk said the bank was declining my purchase.So I asked the clerk to take care of the people behind me while I called the bank.
It turns out someone used my card information to make some purchases. The first went through. The second, for over $300 went through. And the bank shut the card down when they attempted to make purchases for $500 and $700.
The gentleman at the bank unfroze my card long enough for me to buy my groceries, and asked me to call back when I was done to have the card cancelled.
So I did. I bought my groceries. I packed them into the trunk. I got back in the car and immediately called the bank and cancelled my card, and confirmed that the fraudulent charges were not mine.
The lady I got that time cancelled my card, took my Kentucky address so the new one could be mailed to me here, as well as the paperwork to dispute the fraudulent charges.
Do you know what I kept thinking the whole time? I kept thinking how much I like myself, and it’s all because of having my eating under control.
What I am saying is I was gracious and grateful and kind to every person along the way. I was friendly with the clerk at the store when he told me the bank declined my card. I was friendly with the man from the bank who told me about the fraud and reactivated my card so I could pay for my food. I was friendly with the lady at the bank who helped me cancel the card and who issued me a new one. I was able to make jokes with them all.
I was more than just nice. I was grateful. I was grateful that the bank was looking out for me and shut my card down when purchases looked suspicious. I was grateful they could unfreeze my card so I could buy my groceries.
This is the stuff that happens to everyone. This is the stuff that is not personal. This is life. But when I was a compulsive eater, when life happened to me, I was a complete jerk.
I was already angry at life all the time anyway. I had a lot of anger and rage. And I used any opportunity to unleash my rage. Even, or maybe especially, at people who had nothing to do with it, and were trying to help.
My first reaction to this kind of thing is fear. Fear of what I did wrong. Fear of losing. Fear of having things taken away. Fear of scarcity.
In order to keep my eating under control, I had to learn to do certain things differently. I had to learn to cultivate gratitude. I had to learn to behave in a way so that I would not be ashamed of myself. I had to do the next right thing, one step at a time. This all comes from having my eating under control.
When people see or hear that I have lost 150ish lbs, they think that is the accomplishment. They assume that is the ultimate reward. And while I do enjoy this body, and how it looks and how it moves and how easy it is to get around in, the parts of my life that are the most profoundly impacted by having my food addictions and eating disorders taken care of are the parts of my personality that have improved over the last 10 years.
For me, the real gifts are all of the ways I like and love myself. For me, the real gifts are being calm and peaceful in the face of fear. The real gift is that I can look back on yesterday and not have to justify why I was a jerk. Because I wasn’t a jerk. I was a nice lady, grateful for other nice gentlemen and ladies, who helped me get a lot of unpleasant stuff taken care of.