Slowly I Turn, Step by Step, Inch by Inch

There are twelve steps and twelve traditions in the OA handbook. I’ve been stymied by the first three.

  • Admit you have a compulsive eating problem

Okay, admit you have a problem. I wouldn’t allow myself to believe it even when I admited aloud that I have a problem, even though we are required to introduce ourselves at the meeting as “Hello, my name is Pamela and I am a compulsive overeater”. Even when they are listing the things that overeaters do and I’m nodding my head in a silent confession, even when more of me oozes off the folding chair than is on the seat, I’m not a compulsive overeater. I’m not, I’m not I’m NOT!

I am.

With the lightening of my psyche, coming out of the depression and controlling the anxiety I see myself more clearly. What used to be hiding in the shadows or under all the other fluff of my life is cluster of barnacles that won’t come off by wishing, hoping or praying. My standard operating procedure in things that I don’t want to do, say housework, is to either shut the door or turn off the lights. If you can’t see it, it’s clean. Tada! I could do just that, deny that I have a problem, let the barnacles continue to infest, grow legion until they ultimately sink me. Careening is the process of beaching a ship at high tide to expose one side of the ship to scrape off the parasites. The sole purpose is to allow the ship to reach its full potential on the water. Yes, I’m well aware of the easy fat jokes I’m not utilizing, but the days of being the jolly fat girl has come to an end. In my own best interest I’ve beached myself and scrape back the shell that hides the real reasons for my compulsive overeating. Believe me, I don’t think I eat this way because I’m physically hungry. I need to do the hard work but thankfully, not alone.
 

  •  Locate your Higher Power (Heavenly Father/God in my case)

I have always had a Higher Power. Even when I wasn’t actively engaged in His good cause. I’ve always known God lives, that He loves me. I’ve been blessed with this innate knowledge that seems to have eluded most of my family. However, knowing it and living that knowledge hasn’t always gone hand-in-hand for me.

 

  • Admit you can’t handle your life anymore, God can. I’ll give it to God to deal with.

I’ve seen His miracles, both large and small, I’ve seen the power in the Priesthood, and felt His healing touch when I was sick and afflicted with things I didn’t want or need any more. Knowing that the path I’m on will only lead to a double sized cemetery plot of I don’t do something about it, I still won’t can’t seem to reach out to Him for help in this. It’s my problem, my weakness, my life and I am trying to live it as close to His book as I can. It’s like I want to be perfect now and then give myself to him as a testament to my beliefs and how I’ve lived them in the world.
Unless perfection weighs in at 300+ lbs, I’m as far away from perfection as the Mariana Trench is for shell-seeking scuba divers. Perfection isn’t for this life, I’m not even sure it’s attainable in the next, but it is the conglomeration of knowledge and our ability to act on that knowledge that perfects us for exaltation. I know this. And yet perfection seems to be my goal in EVERYTHING. This is a trap because I know I’m not perfect yet and I need to be perfect, or at least perfect in all the things I can be perfect in, otherwise I’m sinning, and as a sinner I cannot ask nor expect help from a caring, loving Heavenly Father.

Yea, I caught that little oxymoronic paradox. If He is a loving and caring Father in Heaven, He wouldn’t care that I am perfect or not, only that I’m struggling and suffering. Even if the suffering is self-inflicted. He loves me, and He wants what’s best for me. I lack faith. I have been going through a dirge of hopelessness for what seems like ever, but it twinkles back every now and again, so I know it’s not dead, but those two small words are the key. We are to have faith, even if it’s the size of a mustard seed, and when planted in prepared soil (hope) it will grow to bring shade and provide homes for small helpless animals of the meadow. I lack these things, the hope and the inner-wherewithal to act on that faith. Faith, is a verb, I know it doesn’t sound like it is, but it is. Faith without works is dead. Maybe I’m afraid of the work, maybe I’m afraid of the success, all these things need to be examined but nothing, ever, will get done unless I jump.

I’m not ready to jump.

Last night I did it. I took the first small step, well actually all three. I am a compulsive overeater. God knows this and I have turned my life and sanity over to Him. Yes, I’m still prying fingers off one at a time to relinquish full control over to Him, but slowly I’ve turned and, step by step, inch by inch I will turn my life from compulsive overeater to humble personal achiever.

 

Footnote:

[1] When I hear the word “Careening” I think about careening out of control, which is what I am, but now careening seems to represent “caring” and that is the type of careening I need done.

The Winds Blow Against Me

The breath of negativity seems to be pushing against my resolve not to melt into a gibbering puddle of tears.  Today, I’ve been told that my sister is ashamed of me, that I’m a hoarder who needs help and that since I didn’t make any money this year so I’ve lost my mothers exemption because I apparently am no longer worthy of it.

Okay, so I’m sensitive today.  My teeth have been on edge all day, wanting to scream and run away.  I’ve had images of sawing through my wrists again.  My anxiety level is high, and I’m running low on my anti anxiety pills.  The next few days are going to be an unmitigated joy. (That’s sarcasm, btw, in case you don’t read sarcasm fluently).

It didn’t help watching Hoarding: Buried Alive on TV today because Mom lost the remote in the garbage so we couldn’t change the channel.  It taught me something though….Messy inside, messy outside – tidy inside tidy outside.  I need to put more effort into keeping my surroundings neat and tidy, I know it’s something I need to learn to grow up and do, at least according to the blowhards that are content to sit back and judge me.  Maybe I am being a big baby and I’m throwing a sort of rebellious tantrum, but F’em.  I’m ging to go through the Bradshaw stages, starting with infant and work my way through to healing my wounded inner child back to being a wonder child and champion myself the way I never have been in my life.  I am a loved daughter of God, and I am worth the effort and time this is going to take.  So, yea, F’em.  I’m not shameful, I’m not a hoarder and I don’t need the exemption.  I don’t need them F’ing up my growth or their attempts to blow me off course.

The Work Ahead

Okay, I’m reading Bradshaw and I’m getting into it and he starts talking about having to *have* to do the work in order to make it work.  I’m scared.  Not because I’m innately lazy, but because I’m afraid of what the work might dig up.  On paper, yea, I’m all for doing the work, making myself better, but on paper means I don’t have any real skin in the game.  On paper I’m an author, but in reality, I’m just a writer.  The reading of just the work to come makes me want to crawl into bed and hide from it all, but I don’t want to, I want to make my life better.

I’m going to talk to Connie about it tomorrow, to assure myself that the work ahead of me isn’t going to be as time-consuming, arduous and painful as I’m fearing it will be.  It probably will be, but I think I just need someone to lie to me so I can get started.

What I guess I’m really afraid of is crying.  I joke and say that crying is for sissies, but the ruth of the matter is I’m afraid if I start crying I won’t be able to stop.  Or I’ll have to explain to my mother why I’m not ‘happy’.  It advocates I shouldn’t be on medication so I’m not numb, but at the same time, I’m afraid of the anger, rage coming back before I get my grief work done.  Or worse, I do something to me before I get the work done.

I’ve come to realize, though I’ve fought it for so long, that I was  sexually molest as a child.  Not physically but emotionally, which, according to Bradshaw, is just as bad if not worse.  It explains the shame, it explains the fear of intamacy….and so on.  I think this is going to have to be a journal entry, I don’t necessarily trust this avenue.  Again, trust issues are a sign as well.  If I feel it’s safe to reveal the journal entry I’ll upload it…okay, type it up.

Just putting this down, expelling it from circling the drain in my brain has relaxed me and I’ve jettison the stress, and now I’m just a bit neurotic.

Off the Map

I’m still trying to bulldoze my way through the prologue of Homecoming by Bradshaw and it said something that pulled an interesting image up in my mind.

Erickson believed that every person has his own unique map of the world.

When I worked at the now defunct Sun Microsystems we had a trick-or-treat Halloween thing that was mandatory and my room were pirates.  I made a treasure map and put it on my cube wall.  I drew a free-form island and put in trees, huts, a volcano and so on and then a big X marking the spot.  I drew a compass in the middle of the ocean and off into the edge I drew dragons with the warning “Yonder there be dragons,”  I have a feeling that reclaiming and championing my inner child is going to be more like fighting dragons than I would like, but if fighting dragons means broadening my unique map of the world I think pushing my boundaries will be a good thing.  As long as it’s not the Norwegian horn tail.

A Palpable Silence

I’ve been in such a funk these past few days.  I started reading The Homecoming by Bradshaw, I had some spare time in the early afternoon because I was between doctors appointments so I thought I would crack the book and see what is in store for me.  I got a few pages into the introduction and I had to stop.  Not just because they called my name but because I don’t think I could handle any more of hearing the letters these people were writing to their parents without pulling up the dregs of my own wounded child.  In some regards I wasn’t as horribly treated as some, but some hit so close to home and stirred up other emotions and memories that I keep forgetting I’ve buried.

I’ve gone silent.  Which in a way is good, I got some wholesale editing done today on my pinks but I’m not very talkative to Mom and she’s irritating me.  She won’t shut up and let me just have the silence.  She actually realized that I was trying to pseudo-nap today, what I call floating, that she needed to stop talking and trying to engage me into some form of conversation.  I need to get back to the basics with my anger management and I think I’m going to put Bradshaw on a shelf and re-read When Anger Hurts and actually do the journal this time.  I think I can handle adding the extra work onto my list of things to do.

What is annoying me is that this has been hanging on for two days now.  Normally I shake it off and go on like nothing happened.  I’m worried that I’m pushing back reading the book because I don’t want to dredge up the skeletons in my past and see them again, rotted flesh and vacant eyes, staring at me, accusing me for not protecting them when I was a child.  I couldn’t, I was a child, but tell that to them.

My mind has been focusing on scenarios that are never going to happen again, and I can’t seem to derail them.  It’s just the spinning and spinning and the whole “What would you do if-” BS that I don’t even need to waste my time on.  It’s family stuff, it’s annoying and it’s really never going to happen….at least not to me.

In the mean time, Mom keeps asking me why I’m so quiet and I have nothing to tell her.  She hasn’t done anything lately, all she did was leave a trail of dead bodies behind in my psyche that I need to give a proper burial to.  I don’t think there is going to be an easy route through this part of my education….Damnit!

Step By Step, Inch By Inch

I’m putting my goals up for this week so I will be accountable.  They might seem like small steps to the rest of the world, but I need the baby steps for now.

Intellectual – Reading Homecoming by Bradshaw

Work – Edit 300 lines a day and print up pink copies as I complete a chapter

Social – Do my visiting teaching

Physical – Work out on treadmills and elliptical 4x this week

Emotional – Write 3x in BFTV and 1 in PS, 1-2 journal entries

Diet – Eat more fruit

I’ll check in from time to time to update how this is going.  Wish me success.