How Did Thanksgiving Go?

I wonder how today went for those of us afflicted with the disease of More? Those of us who want more of anything on the outside – food, alcohol, drugs, sex, money, clothes…- to make us feel better on the inside, tend to have rougher days on the holidays which revere More.

Thanksgiving always felt like an addiction buffet – the food, the alcohol, the coffee, cigarette breaks to get away…And I’d consume WAY too much of all.

I still don’t quite understand why people love this holiday, but okay – I respect your right to be normal.

If anyone who struggles or struggled in the past would be willing to tell me how it went, I’d love to hear.

I can’t imagine I’m the only one who found this day…excruciating.

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On David Cassidy, Fat Shaming and Gratitude

Sad loss of David Cassidy. I can truly understand addiction AND the horrors it brings with it. Doesn’t seem like he had much serenity in this life. May he rest in peace.

I had such a crush on him in his Partridge Family days. And I sure wished I were a part of THAT family. It looked ideal.

Mostly, I wanted to BE Laurie Partridge. She looked perfect and pretty and popular AND, best of all so thin. Fat Me was sure that if I looked like Laurie Partridge, my life would be perfect.

Of course, years later we learned that the actress who played Laurie, Susan Dey, suffered severely from anorexia. And beautiful David Cassidy battled hard alcoholism for most of his life.

Appearances aren’t what they seem. It’s impossible to honestly compare my insides to someone else’s outsides.

Speaking of appearances, I have a sponsee who recently lost 90 pounds, and she feels fantastic. The other day, she wore form fitting jeans to a party. Now, she’s not skinny, but who cares? Apparently, some people. My sponsee overheard someone saying of her, “why would she wear such tight jeans? Doesn’t she know they make her look fat?”

I don’t even know what to say about this. I’ll try, but I am pretty clueless here. You guys are going to have to fill in all the blanks. But I will say, my sponsee’s husband thinks she looks hot. And so do I! Screw haters. Enough said.

Finally, I have been grumpy and cranky lately. And yes, I’m not in a loving relationship. And yes, my car is going to cost me my entire bonus that was earmarked for other stuff. And yes, I was in a fender bender with my mechanics BMW today…

BUT, it’s a very cold and windy night and I’m home with my beloved kitty. We’re both warm and safe. That’s a luxury for many. I have dear friends. My health. I have plenty.

I have a job and I GET a bonus, which will cover my car. No one was hurt in the fender bender, and my mechanic was nice about it.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I’m filled with gratitude for all the many blessings bestowed upon me.

Hormones

Once again, my period kicks my ass. What’s worse, with perimenopause, I never know when it’s coming.

Saturday and Sunday I was MISERABLE, but had no idea why. I sat around, sad and depressed and feeling incredibly lonely and sorry for myself.

As happens each month, I decided I needed therapy and started researching counselors who accept my health insurance.

Today, I actually got my period. No longer depressed, I am a raging lunatic who HATES the world. I don’t need a therapist; I need to be quarantined.

One tiny piece of good news – I will feel better on Thursday……

What do I do if not Eating Compulsively?

Here is a re-print of one my favorite stories from the great writer, Anne Lamott. I think about it A LOT.

When I was 38, my best friend Pammy died, and we went shopping about two weeks before she died, and she was in a wig and a wheelchair. I was buying a dress for this boyfriend I was trying to impress, and I bought a tighter, shorter dress than I was used to. And I said to her, ‘do you think this makes my hips look big?’ and she said to me, so calmly, ‘Anne, you don’t have that kind of time.’

Amen.

That got me thinking about time. Sure, life is short and we really don’t have time to waste obsessed with weight and food.

BUT what if thinking about food and my weight IS how I spend all my time? What then? If I put down the food, what on earth will I do with ALL that time? AND, how will I cope with ALL my problems.

The latter question first – for those of us with addictions, we don’t think that food and alcohol and drugs are our problems. To us, these are our solutions!!! Initially, they really work. They anesthetize all our pain and keep us from having to deal with life.

For normal people, too much food and alcohol are just problems. Many people who eat or drink too much, cut back and they’re fine. Take my mom, she loved to eat and picked up unwatned pounds over the years. My mom even ate emotionally – when she was angry or tired. She didn’t like the extra weight but didn’t do much about it for a long time.

Then, my mom got divorced. She met a man – a younger man. Off mom went to Weight Watchers and off came all that weight. Problem solved. Occasionally, maybe around the holidays, she’d gain a few back . Out would come that Weight Watchers scale and those pounds would fall right off. Once again – problem solved.

But not for me – the real compulsive eater. Not for me the bulimic and anorexic. When I put down the food, the problems come up. For the first four decades of my life, I used constant food to mask and soothe my problems and pain, but of course, THEY’RE ALL STILL THERE.

What i need to do; What i MUST do is face my problems. Get to them, get through them and be rid of them.

That’s what happens through the 12 Step process, and I find my way to freedom. I learn I don’t need food to ease my pain. I can deal!

Back to my first question – what am I going to do with all the time I spent binging and purging and starving and weighing myself an obsessing about food and weight?

That’s what I need to discover. I need to learn how to live life, NOT just pass time in my mental obsession. Frankly, I need to learn how to have a live. Bingeing is NOT a life.

And, I need to realize that I can deal with whatever comes up. I can be bored. I can be uncomfortable. Neither of those two is going to kill me!

No matter what, I can. And will. Be fine.

The Bitter Morass of Self-Pity

My car is in the shop and will cost a lot of money. Once again.

My relationship didn’t work out. I’m 53 and going it alone.

My career stands pretty much nowhere.

But I can’t and don’t feel sorry for myself. I’m so incredibly blessed and lucky. I have a place to live, enough money to live, dear friends, great family, options, my health (maybe not all my teeth, but there truly are consequences of bulimia and cocaine!)

This good attitude is not natural to me. This is not the way I lived the first four decades of my life – not in the least. I believed myself the complete victim. POOR and ME were about the only two words I uttered.

My self-pity lead me to a life of severe eating disorders, alcohol and drugs. That was my problem really; self-pity. If you’d had my life, you’d drink too!!! Right? Wrong.

Food, drugs and alcohol weren’t my problems. They were the solutions I tried to use to fix my problems. But they didn’t work BECAUSE I WAS MY PROBLEM.

The Twelve Steps helped fix the problem – ME.

Food and the Holidays – by Ms. Scrooge

Yesterday, a newer friend was telling me she loves the upcoming holidays – decorating, gifting, family, friends, traditions and of course, cooking and baking!!! She can’t wait – she’s even buying new pots and serving platters and trying exciting new recipes this year.

Then she asked me about my holidays and traditions and plans.

I took a deep breathe. I don’t want to horrify nice normal people but I don’t like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I used to dread them. Now, I just ignore them, as best I can.

Food, food, food, food, food. Cooking and baking and eating and leftovers. Never fun for me.

I don’t have any fond memories of the big food Holidays. My memories exclusively involve starving all day, bingeing all evening, and puking through the night. Lots and lots of self-hatred and misery.

I could not ever ever stay present with conversation or loved ones. My sole focus stayed on the food. I prayed for the day to be over.

These days, I don’t mind wherever I happen to find myself. If I’m with friends, I eat what works for me. I am present and able to enjoy the company. And of course, I truly appreciate that others love this time AND that they include me in their joy.

BUT I don’t in the least look forward to it and like I said, I certainly have no nice memories of Christmas past.

I do like birthdays tho, mine and other people’s – I’m not a complete curmudgeon!!!!

Hunger or Plan?

I’ve covered this before, but still find this question interesting. To eat when hungry or to follow a strict meal plan?

In a way, I kind of do both. I do my best to eat only when my body signals hunger, but when I do eat I stick to foods and amounts that are very comfortable for me.

But if I’m not hungry, I don’t eat and don’t want to eat. Sometimes, I have to eat when I’m not necessarily hungry – a client lunch, a holiday meal, an impromptu meal with the boyfriend’s parents… But otherwise, I just don’t.

I do work with many women who follow a clear food plan that tells them exactly when and how much to eat. And to eat no less and no more.

This works – all the worry about when and what and how much to eat is resolved. And, I have to remember, nearly everyone gets hungrier than I do. I’m a sloth – I probably burn fewer calories than a lawn ornament. -) So, most of the women i know ARE hungry when they eat their prepared meals.

I respect how my sponsees eat, and it works for them. Still, I often have a moment when a woman says that she was so busy and tired and not hungry that she forgot to eat her snack. And she perceives that as bad and a mess-up with her food plan.

My first thought is – but that’s a normal, healthy approach. Normal women who are busy and tired and not hungry would rather just skip the meal and/or go to bed.

However, I do know – we are NOT normal. And whatever works, works. I salute that, embrace and encourage each individual to find and do what’s best for her.