When I started this blog, my wonderful sister told me not to worry about writing about our family. I didn’t need to edit anything about my childhood – I could air our dirty laundry as much as I need. The thing is – I have nothing bad to say. Through the process of the 12 Steps, I have freed myself from the troubles of the past and have seen the truth.
While most of my life, I railed bitterly against my mother, I can truly not remember one negative thing. Through the process of healing, I realize my mother was a good woman who had her own troubles, and she did her best. If I compare the life I led and the deeds I did, my mother is a saint. Besides, how can I continue to blame her for stuff that happened when I was like eight – I’m almost 53, it’s time for me to take responsibility for my grown up life. I developed a whole new way of thinking about my past.
Now, that’s a shift in my thinking sufficient to recover from all the resentment and anger and fear that kept me blocked from freedom. If i can let go of my resentment of my mother. well, believe me, I can do just about anything – INCLUDING putting down the food, the eating disorder and the scale.
It’s my perception that’s off. In high school, I thought I went to the worst school ever. The teacher’s were terrible; the classes were weak. For years, I’ve railed about the crappy education I received.
Recently, our class valedictorian (who went to MIT) mentioned on Facebook that she had some of the best teachers and classes in high school. She learned more in high school than she did in college – MIT!!!! Another classmate roundly agreed with her that our high school bested college in education. I was stymied. I sat side-by-side with these two in most of our classes. If Denise K., who has at least 50 IQ points on me, thought she was getting a great education, what was I thinking? Perhaps I was thinking about my weight, what I was eating, what I wasn’t eating, why I kept gaining weight, where I could get diuretics……I didn’t crack a book or pay attention or go to school much. Hmmmm, what if I had paid attention? What if I had studied? There’s a new way of looking at it!
For most of my life, I firmly believed that FOOD WAS EVERYTHING – best friend, lover, therapist, parent – even, enemy. I also believed that food would solve my problems. I went to it when lonely, sad, scared, angry, hurt, desperate, and miserable. Turns out, once again I was wrong. Of course, no amount of ice cream could take away fear. And I’d only end up more terrified because I’d eaten so much and was gaining SO much weight, so quickly. I thought food was my problem, but it wasn’t. I had to go deeper and shift how I saw things – everything.
To get well, I need to change my thinking. Once my perception changes, I see that the world and it’s people aren’t out to get me. I, me, Melissa, am responsible for my own life.
Finally, I see the truth. Food isn’t my friend – it’s fuel. It won’t solve my problems – those I can face and get through. And so, there’s nothing to eat over. And so I don’t.