Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “no matter what”

A new learning curve

I have been working for about a month now, and there is a learning curve when it comes to time management and priorities. Finally this past week I started jogging again. But I have not been writing. And frankly, I am too exhausted.

But ultimately, that is not good enough for me. I have a novel that I have been working on for about a year. And I love it. I’m proud of it. I want to finish it and get it published. And right now, the way things are, that is not an option. So I have to change the way things are.

I forget that it takes time to get my bearings after a major life change. More than just a week or a month. I forget that I have blind spots where I can’t see the pitfalls, or recognize what can be changed. Change is so scary to me, often it feels like nothing can be changed safely. That all change is the potential for ruin.

And there are things that must get taken care of. First and foremost, I still have to take care of my food. Every day. No matter what. And what that means in practical terms is grocery shopping for the whole week in one go, and spending hours of my time packing breakfasts and lunches in advance for the week ahead. It’s an area I cannot cut corners in.

Food addiction is my problem. Really the only problem I have. Other things go badly and need to be remedied or cared for or dealt with, but they are not “problems” like food is a problem. When my food is out of control, my entire life is out of control.

The truth is, I like my job. The work is interesting. I like that I am good at it. I take pride in it. I like learning new skills. My difficult co-worker has calmed down and returned to behaving in a normal, respectable, and respectful manner. (I have also remembered that people in the world, especially in the workplace, have a wide range of personalities, but that I honor my principles in the face of difficult personalities.) But in all honesty, right now, I am not very happy. I’m just too tired. And I am having a hard time imagining how I can change my circumstances in order to both, not be constantly exhausted, and still do all of the things I want to do.

This is a luxury problem. If I were eating compulsively, I would have already given up on writing. I would not have figured out how to get my jog in 5 days a week. I would not have made time for it. But then again, if I were eating compulsively, I would already have been looking for a way to not jog, to not write, to not take care of my head and heart and body. I was always waiting for any excuse to abandon my goals and dreams, or really anything that was work, anything that took something, but made me feel good about myself.

There’s one more thing that I haven’t been doing that I need to get back into, and that is meditation. I think my first priority this week will be to get back into that habit. If any practice will help me figure out the next right step, and how to get the things I want, that’s probably it.


A short little post about no matter what

I have been running around all day and have just finished cooking and packing my lunch for tomorrow and I have 45 minutes until I eat dinner, and then go with my husband to dinner with a friend. I, of course, will just have a diet soda or an herbal tea, since I will already have eaten dinner. I have more errands in the morning before a 6 hour drive in the afternoon. And I just realized I didn’t write a blog. And wow do I not want to. I want to plead “special circumstances!” 

Obviously here I am. So it’s getting done. And I am grateful to know somewhere inside me that it will get done, because I have made choices and commitments. But a lot of times I grumble about it in my head.

I don’t want to do things. Kinda ever. I don’t want to wake up and jog before dawn. I don’t want to write. I don’t want to go to the store. I don’t want to cook. I don’t want to be with people. I don’t want to go outside. I don’t want to eat. Wait. Strike that one. But just that one.

But you know, I always love doing those other things when I do them. Even my jog, which I dread every night because it is sometimes painful, is often not painful at all. And can be fun. And painful or easy, I always feel good about myself when it’s done. But I go to bed at night assuming tomorrow’s jog will be a painful one and dreading it. It’s the same with writing. Sometimes it’s hard, and I’m bad at it. And sometimes it’s good and it’s fun. Often it’s fun. But I sit down to it like it’s a chore.

I stopped eating sugar, and put boundaries around my eating because doing things based on whether or not I wanted to was killing me, physically and spiritually. So I was willing to try anything, even having no such thing as “special circumstances.” And because I’m an addict, when I made that choice I got a taste of what it meant to choose pain, temporary pain, but still pain, in the hope of a more sustainable pleasure. I’m saying withdrawal is a bitch. But of course it was worth it. And it made me think that other painful things might be worth doing too. Other bothersome things. Other annoying things. They also might be worth doing no matter what.

So here I am with a short little post about no matter what, and it’s dinner time. And having done it, even under “special circumstances” makes me feel good about myself. 

I write every week because I write every week

Oy vey, I did not want to write a blog this week.

No, there is no problem. All is perfectly lovely. In fact, I did not want to write a post this week because there are other things I would rather be doing.

I am working on a super fun crochet project right now. The closest thing to clothes I have ever made. And it is going really well!

And I have to read and critique a writing sample. Which I want to do for several reasons. To read something new. To help out a friend. To show gratitude for the honor of being thought worthy of such a request. But really, I have to because I said I would. There was a time in my life that I would have said I would do it, and would not have followed through. And I would have shrugged that off, like breaking my word was not a big deal.

Plus there are plenty of things to do around the house. I managed to change the sheets, straighten up the kitchen and load and run the dishwasher. But there is always laundry, and cooking that could get done.

So why am I posting this, albeit short and late, offering tonight?

The short and simple answer is because it’s what I do.

The longer answer, though still pretty darn simple, is that I have this delicious, rich, full life, filled with too many amazing options and opportunities to get to them all, because I keep commitments. Like posting a blog every week.

I have other commitments too. Meditation every morning. Flossing every day. Drinking 64 oz. of water a day. Just to name a few. And of course, the most important is keeping my eating disorders under control by putting boundaries around my eating. No matter what.

As with all promises, it is not really about making these commitments, but about keeping them. I am sure I made them to look and feel better. But I could think of a million reasons on any given day not to do any one of these things. (Well, not the food one. I’m pretty clear that there is never a reason to eat outside of my boundaries…) But I do them anyway.

I don’t do them for my health. I don’t even do them for vanity (which I personally find to be the great motivator.) I do them because I do them. I do them because they are what I do. That is the thing about commitment for me. I don’t keep it for a “reason.” If I did, it wouldn’t be a commitment. If I needed a reason, then there could be a reason not to. And then I’d never floss, or drink water.

Honoring my word, doing what I say I’m going to do, makes my life better. I don’t even know why. I just know that when I make and keep promises, my life gets bigger and better.

So here it is. My commitment to post a blog this week. Hey, I never said it had to be genius. Just done. Amen.

The easy way out…I don’t think it means what you think it means

So here’s the thing about not eating compulsively. You feel everything. Absolutely, positively everything. There is nowhere to hide. And for a person like me, well…that can suck. As I have mentioned before, I am insanely sensitive. Any feeling is a lot for me to handle. I’m so incredibly in love, and I am so grateful for it. And so happy! But it’s intense. I’m saying that even my joy is a little overwhelming.

But when the feelings are fear, anxiety and shame, the kind of feelings I have around money, I want to turn off, shut down, and forget all about everything.

When I was eating compulsively, when things got scary or overwhelming, (which was all the time, frankly) I would eat a lot of sugar. And that would wrap me in a cocoon of carelessness. That would shut everything off, and I could drift away to oblivion. If I was worried about how I was going to pay my electric bill, I would eat a cake, and suddenly, it didn’t matter how I was going to pay my electric bill. In fact I didn’t pay my electric bill. I just got super, crazy high on sugar, and hoped it would somehow go away. What often went away was my electricity.

When I stopped eating compulsively and got sober from sugar, I started paying my bills. I had to. When I wasn’t high as a kite, it was too scary to not deal with things like that.

When I don’t eat sugar or eat compulsively no matter what is going on in my life, it means I can’t get numbed out when I don’t want to deal with things. I can’t check out. I have to sit there in awful feelings that make me crazy and scared and sick. But it turns out I can’t. I can’t just sit there. I can’t handle crazy, scared and sick for too long. I have to do something. And not just something. Something productive.

So it’s tax time, and I had a scary experience. I was trying to do my taxes myself, and things were not computing. Thousands of dollars not computing. And I was in a panic.

I knew that this didn’t make sense. But I didn’t know how to fix it. And panic makes it so that the fact that I don’t know what the solution is means there must not be a solution. And money, especially money and the government, are loaded for me. It’s one area of my life that I still have a hard time dealing with head on. I’m working on it. But it’s a tender issue, thinking about what I’m “worth”. It brings up a lot of insecurity.

But I couldn’t just sit there. Because there was no cake. And no numb. I had to do something not food related. So on the advice of my boyfriend, I called an accountant. And she told me I was missing a document.


So I called my employer. And she said that she didn’t think she had that document, but she’d check her records.

And she did. She had the document. The whole time and didn’t realize.

In other words, it was all fine. And I spent my time panicking. And worrying myself sick. Because it’s taxes. And money. And that stuff is scary to me.

But I didn’t eat!

See, if I ate a chocolate cake, I wouldn’t have made it to the point that I understood that it was all fine. I would have passed out in a food coma. And not done my taxes. Then I would have had to justify and rationalize why I wasn’t going to do my taxes. I would have actually caused a situation that was “fine” to become “not fine”. I would have let it get to the point where it became a mess to clean up, rather than a situation to deal with.

There is a woman who tells me, “Food is the problem. Everything else is just a situation.”

This was a situation. It’s not anymore. It has been dealt with. I got through without eating over it. And really, I got through it because I didn’t eat over it.

I’m a big, emotional chicken. But when I don’t eat, I take brave actions. Even if I don’t feel so brave. Because when I’m awake and aware, when I’m alive in my life, being brave is the easy way out…

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