Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “trust”

Back to normal, which is still not all that normal

I gotta be honest. I have no idea what to write about this week. I am emotionally exhausted. And just as life was finally leaving “surreal” and returning to day-to-day, we were told that we have to leave Texas. Again…

When I got my eating under control 12 years ago, I made my life kind of small. I wrapped myself in my own comfort zone, like a cocoon. And that really worked for me. It kept me protected from food. At that point, food was my problem. I mean I had other problems, but they would all manage to get worked out as long as I took care of the food problem.

But about 6 years in, (yes, 6 whole years of having my eating under control) I wanted a bigger life. And I ended up falling in love with a man who travels for a living. And I agreed to spend my life living in different towns for somewhere between a few months and a few years.

So I don’t really want to leave Texas yet. But this is the life I agreed to. And, really, I love it in general. Though, not all the time. But who loves their life all the time?

Tomorrow I will cook meals for two days of travel. And we will head back to Texas to pack up our apartment. And soon enough, we will find out what’s next.

So I guess this is normal life. It’s the “normal” I chose 5 years ago. And I’m grateful for all of it.


A crazy trust exercise

More of the same this week. I’m so ready for the Holidays to be over.

I’m also now having a hard time. I’m pretty actively unhappy lately. And I’m at a loss for what to do or how to fix it.

If I were a friend, I know what I would say to me. That I have to trust. That I have to trust that life is working the way it’s supposed to. That not only will it get better than it is, but it will be better than it has been before. Better than I think it can be.

That is always the way it has been since I got my eating under control. What I learned (very slowly) when I stopped eating sugar was that I didn’t so much have an eating problem, or even so much a sugar problem, as I had a living problem. Yes, sugar is a physical addiction for me. And eating it sets up an insatiable craving for it. And yes I have eating disorders. But those things are the ways I used to deal with being bad at life. I have heard other addicts call it “trying to fill a God-sized hole.” I ate to fill a hole. I eventually learned that that hole could only be filled by a combination of integrity, trusting life and trusting my heart.

When I look at why I am unhappy, (an issue I am not ready to talk about yet) I can’t imagine how it could get better. At least not any time soon. It feels like I should expect at least a year of this frustration. And frankly, maybe longer.

And this is where I am supposed to trust.

The truth is that since I have gotten my eating under control, I have never had a permanent downgrade. I have had to let go of some ideas I had about what I thought I wanted. I have had to stop being a martyr. I have had to give up a certain amount of self-righteousness, and the right to complain without trying to make it right. And I have certainly had minor, temporary setbacks. But never once have I ended up worse than when I started. In any aspect of my life. So why would I expect it to happen now?

I might need to start having conversations. I might need to take some actions. I am going to have to listen to myself and trust my heart.

It’s hard to trust that things will get better when I can’t even imagine a timely, happy resolution. But isn’t that what trust is? Believing in what is unknown and uncertain?

I’m not going to pretend it’s quiche.

A while ago I thought it was time for my boyfriend and I to pack up our stuff, get in the truck, and move on. To a different location and a different chapter. But I jumped the gun.

But now it is really time to move along. And my boyfriend and I are both really happy about it.

But on the way out, we are being met with malice. Mostly from one person. But it’s a lot of malice. And it is forcing me to look at some things about myself.

When I got my eating under control I understood that I had to trust Life. I have written about it before. And I do. I trust that all is working out the way it should. I know that all will be well. But I am very bad at dealing with mean people.

I am not a mean person. Not to say that I have never been mean. When I was eating compulsively I could be quite malicious. I was always angry about being “dealt a bad hand” and I took it out on everyone I thought got a better life than I did. But it never felt good to be mean. I never enjoyed being a jerk. Though I always thought I would when I fantasized about it before hand.

But I don’t know how to be OK with cruelty. And what I am talking about is cruelty.

And I realized something the other day. What is going on is evil. I realized that evil is not some conceptual force in comic books and movies. It’s not metaphysical or otherworldly. It is the things we as humans do to hurt and torment and abuse with our eyes wide open. And my sensitive heart has a hard time with it.

But the agreement I made to trust Life is not just to trust that it will all work out in the end. It is that I will honor what happens every day. And that includes malice and cruelty. I need to learn to honor evil. And frankly, that’s hard for me.

I don’t know how to do that. But there are things that I do know. Eating within my food boundaries means that I cannot pretend or lie. Pretending and lying make me want to eat a chocolate cake. So when faced with malice, I need to acknowledge it. I need to make it clear that I see it. And that it’s not OK with me. Even if there is nothing to do about it. I can’t make nice. I’m not going to eat shit and pretend it’s quiche.

The truth is, evil exists. And it is going to continue to exist. And I need to figure out how to live with that with peace in my heart. Because my own peace is my own responsibility.

I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t have the answer. But I am happy that by this time next week, this particular evil will be behind me.

And besides, I know that as long as I keep my eating under control and work at growing personally, the solution will come. I already know to trust that all will work out in the end. And I’m quite sure that the issue will pop up again. In some form or another.

This is where I don’t blink

So many things I want to get out and get off my chest. But this is not my diary. And you, as a collective, are not my friends. (Though obviously some of you are.)

I have to remind myself that this is a blog about living with eating disorders. And that can mean so many things for me, because my eating disorders touch every part of my life. But this is not a place to complain.

And even in those places that are places to complain, I try to do minimal complaining. Or at least minimal “all I’m doing about it is complaining.”

I am in a lot of pain lately. About circumstances. And life. And it is time to do that thing where I look at what is my responsibility, and what I can change and what I can’t, and what I have to let go of. And then let go.

And that is always wrapped up in my eating disorders. Partly because feelings are all wrapped up in my eating disorders. When I ate compulsively, pain is what I ate.

The correlation between an event and a feeling doesn’t even have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be some huge incident. It doesn’t have to be traumatic for me to be traumatized. So much of it is about feeling helpless.

This is a good lesson for me right now. I just had a little epiphany writing that. I don’t know if I have ever been able to pinpoint this feeling. I know its physical sensations. The intense tightness in my throat, like I am strangling myself with my own throat muscles. And the feeling in my arms and legs, hands and feet, like they don’t exist. Sort of the opposite of phantom limb syndrome. But I don’t know if up until this point I have ever been able to clearly note that it comes down to wanting something to be different that I have no power to change.

I don’t know the last time I had this feeling. It comes, and I let it go by trusting. By trusting that life is going the way it should. That whatever situation will be resolved and I, personally, will be better off with whatever the outcome. That has always been true, even though at the time it didn’t always seem to work out in my favor.

But the last time I remember this feeling being so terrible that it was practically unbearable, was about four years ago. I was a babysitter at the time and I could not stop thinking about the possibilities of the children I took care of getting hurt or dying. Especially when they were under my watch. I could not get these thoughts out of my head. Not matter how many times I tried to stop thinking them, they kept creeping in.

Now that I think about it, that was simply that I was overwhelmed by my lack of control over life. I was a fantastic child-care provider. I was not flighty or careless. I just knew in that moment that things happen in life, and people get hurt and it’s nobody’s fault. And I couldn’t control that. And it terrified me. And traumatized me. And it created the most intense pain.

That was when I started meditating. That was when I made an agreement with God, and then took time every morning to renew it. I agreed that I would honor what ever happened in a day as exactly what was supposed to happen. I didn’t have to like it. I didn’t have to put some spin on it. I just had to honor it. In other words, I had to trust.

That agreement doesn’t mean I always trust. It doesn’t stop this feeling from showing up. And it’s intense. But I will say that wading through it is so much better than eating it.

I used to eat all of my feelings. But I can think of growing up, and the times I felt the most crazy and out of control, and it all came down to this feeling, magnified times a thousand. Because I ate it. And then I ate it again. And again. Until eating it wasn’t going to work again. Until it had to come out. And when it did, it was all tied up in my worthlessness and my brokenness and the shameful things I had done and the shame in what I had failed to do. It was muddled and cloudy and I couldn’t see it clearly. And I couldn’t hold it in. I could eat as much cake as I wanted, but it was going to come out. And by that time it was so big and heavy and intense that it scared the shit out of me. There were times that I actually thought I might be going crazy.

There is something about using a substance that is ultimately lacking. If it weren’t, it would work. If I could have numbed my pain with food, and it had kept working, I would have done it. Eternally. Before I had love in my life, I would have gladly traded love for numb. I did, in fact trade love for numb for so many years. If only I could have stayed numb, I would have happily gotten fatter and fatter. I would have happily died of some obesity related illness. If only it had worked.

Thank God it didn’t. Now I would never trade love for numb. Even when this pain is so intense. And anyway, it passes, eventually. But first I have to let myself fall into the helplessness. I have to look my lack of control in the eye and not blink.

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