Day 137

8:45AM:

I just need a little reminder about this today, because things are really fucked up right now with work (people abandoning projects, leaving me holding the shit), home (my wife is working on finding her strength, realizing that she needs to be strong for us right now) and family (I don’t have one right now, the focus is on my brother and I am a source of animosity right now)…

Typically, I restrict in these moments.  Typically, I worry about the centimeter of flab that has increased around my waist (whether due to bourbon or shifting of fitness priorities from muscle-building to strength-building or being fucking crazy).  Typically, I make it about food and sitting down.

I can’t do that right now, I have too much to do and too little in my tank and in my support system to do it with.

So here we go:

Food is not the enemy, neither is it my only friend.

Hunger is not evil, nor is it something to be chased.

The clock does not dictate my eating day, but it must be respected and recognized to keep me on track.

Not ever being (overly) hungry, eating by the clock (when needed) and eating food frequently, these things will not make me fat nor does it dictate my worth.  It is okay to be satisfied, it is okay to not be exhausted.  These things are in fact good.  They will let me love.

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Day 135

12PM:

Whenever I leave my wife, I tell her I love her and kiss her “just in case.”

So, “just in case,” I am going to leave this for her, to help her believe again:

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying “Lord I just don’t care”
But you’ve got the love I need To see me through

Sometimes it seems that the going is just too rough
And things go wrong no matter what I do
Now and then it seems that life is just too much
But you’ve got the love I need to see me through

When food is gone you are my daily meal
When friends are gone I know my Saviour’s love is real
You know it’s real

You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love
You got the love

Time after time I think “Oh Lord what’s the use?”
Time after time I think it’s just no good
‘Cause sooner or later in life, the things you love you lose
But you got the love I need to see me through

Day 133 + 134

Technically, I’m hijacking this post to clarify.  Not for the reader, but for me, to hopefully help me work through or help us work through the shit…

9AM:

The vulnerabilities of me are hidden.  Originally by choice, don’t get me wrong (when she needed me to be strong for her, when she had her new job, I was; when I needed her to be strong for me, when my job fought me and my family fucked up on me, she strayed emotionally and physically = so to survive and keep standing up straight, I went inside).  But then we made a choice to be the opposite.  To be better.  To build a home.

However, not all the best laid plans…

Since then, over the last while (pretty much since my brother’s relapse, another thing that caused me to stand up straight, ignore my own shit and put my faith in her to take care of me when I took care of the rest of the world), the internal (eating disorder voice, which has been brutalizing about my stomach and bloat and weight gain for three weeks) and external world (the feeling like my workplace needs to be survived, not enjoyed or thrived in) has driven me inside again.  I find myself insular, and this, mind you, is not by choice.  This is by necessity.  This is by survival. This is because my family is dealing with my brother, work is shitting on me and my disbeliever (more on that later) wife is making mistakes on me (instead of checking her frustrations and gut-reactions with love, understanding that my vulnerability is a symptom and not a cause, she gets hijacked and thrown into attack mode).  Being entirely honest with my feelings, I am vulnerable.  I am sick and tired and battered.  Bruised and battered.  The slightest cut feels overwhelming.  It takes all my energy to just exist.

What I’m finding now is that these vulnerabilities are sneaking out, as a consequence of being battered.  The anger and sadness and fatigue are creeping out of me slowly, sporadically, unexpectedly.  I don’t want them to.  I want to look up, but I’m too far down right now, too lost in the darkness.

I want my wife to be the direction for it (not the sole participant in the support system, but the one she promised me she would be = the strength for me when I couldn’t be strong for myself ).  She can be.  I believe she can be, even if she has lost the ability to see that when her darkness appears (when she gets hijacked by work stress or her own version of blackness).  She is beautiful, she is strong, she has the capacity for immense caring and love.  She needs to believe.  Until she does, I won’t find peace or love or a home.

Day 132

9AM:

Ok God or higher power or love or whatever you are in the universe bigger than us…

LISTEN THE FUCK UP

If you put me on this planet to be a good person, to be the one that people turn to in their times of need, to be the strength, to be an operation to support the positive side of the balance sheet, to be the dependable one, to help others find their strength and their safe places, to be the workhorse, to be the one that seeks to make others smile, to be the person who thinks about the well-being and wellness of others, to have me hold up the weak and struggling, to be strong for the world…

If you put me on this planet for this, to be worn out, to be mistaken upon, to be taken for granted, to not be missed, to be abused, to be a lesson learned, to be for the world and not of it…

If you put me on this planet to not be a part of it, then take away my wanting to cry, take away my fatigue, take away the voice that tells me I need to stand up and not sit down, take away the blackness that itches at my insecurities when I am bloated or have put on three pounds, take away my need for a safe place and belonging, take away my need to trust, take away my search for support, take away my desire to be loved…

Day 131

6AM:

I awoke to this song in my head – someone knew that I needed it…

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

Once I rose above the noise and confusion
Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion
I was soaring ever higher
But I flew too high

Though my eyes could see, I still was a blind man
Though my mind could think, I still was a mad man
I hear the voices when I’m dreaming
I can hear them say

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man, well
It surely means that I don’t know

On a stormy sea of moving emotion
Tossed about, I’m like a ship on the ocean
I set a course for winds of fortune
But I hear the voices say

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more
No!

Carry on, you will always remember
Carry on, nothing equals the splendor
Now your life’s no longer empty
surely heaven waits for you

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry (don’t you cry no more)

Day 130

1:25PM:

Sometime last week, I almost deleted the blog posts that I keep on my desktop.  I thought that I had internalized them enough, that I had the tools and strength to fight through when the blackness says:

You are getting fat

That bloated feeling you have right now, it is you putting on weight

Putting on weight is BAD

Do not sit down and do not rest, you must stay active, otherwise, you will get fat

No I am thinking, maybe not so much…

I feel bloated, possibly because I am sick and possibly because I stressed out my abs a lot working out.  Regardless of whether or not I am putting on weight, I would not feel weight-gain happening in me.  In fact, putting on some muscle would probably help the strength gains I am looking for with my grandfather’s workout.  This is the self-talk that usually allows me to quiet the blackness long enough to sit and rest.  The blackness is only this strong when I am beat down or worn down or just plain down.  Sitting and resting are the two things that will revive my goodness, that will enable me to get stronger.

However, the blackness has convinced me otherwise.  The blackness has convinced me to not sit down, because I will get fat.  The ability to sit in peace, that is gone right now.  I feel ashamed to sit down, I feel ashamed to rest.  And the source of that shaming, very likely is weight gain.

I am tired, I am sick, I am not strong right now.  It is part of that wisdom that allows me to have the self-awareness to say that, the respect of my limits.  So I will turn to those blog posts, those words of strength and comfort from those who have experienced this self-shaming that leads to self-harming that leads to self-destruction, and I will thank each and every one of them for giving me the strength right now:

I’d forgotten what it was like to not care. To not care about arms that are bigger or cheeks that are fuller – albeit brighter. I’d forgotten the beauty of just sitting and being and existing and for that being enough.
I’d forgotten that there was a much happier version of myself that existed before now and that I liked that person very much, even if she wasn’t perfect, and that is who I want to be again.
Lastly, I’d forgotten that I deserved better. Better than an eating disorder, better than the same food day in and day out, better that overexercise and exhaustion and sadness and isolation. I’d forgotten that I deserved to be nourished and well. I’d forgotten that I deserved recovery.

I have so much to remind you of, sweet one. Of how far you’ve come. Of how much has changed. Yes indeed, there have been hard days. There are times when you still think you might have eaten too much that day or a particular outfit makes you look larger or when you’ve gone for an extra stroll around the block because you ate more than usual. Perhaps you’ve still been rigid about some things – eating regularly, or having safe foods or attempting to eat less than others. But look at you – thinking clearly, feeding your body because your body deserves to be fed and looked after because it is PRECIOUS and VALUABLE. As are you, and you know that.
And please, please, PLEASE do not forget how infinitely valuable you are.

Thank you Rebekah (http://risforrecovery.wordpress.com/)

My lingering moments of weakness are directly at odds with both of those missions [recovery and veganism], and make me particularly frustrated for that reason. But I think anyone who’s endeavored to lead a healthy life after disordered eating might be able to relate to the uneasy discord between a full embrace of good health, and the struggle to let go of the things that used to give one’s life a sense of identity and meaning-no matter how falsely.
As always, I treat these moments of struggle as an organic and inevitable part of the recovery process. Recovery is not a black and white before and after; it’s a journey, and the journey involves missteps and stumbles and occasional moments of looking back at the terrain you’ve covered, thoughtfully and with a touch of nostalgia. I never used to think it was possible to feel nostalgia or longing for any period of one’s life except the happy ones, but I realize that this isn’t the case. Even so, I’ve often been surprised this year by how far I’ve come in my relationship with food, my body, and my commitment to health. I’m so much further along than I used to be, and have made progress even through some stressful times that might have ordinarily triggered me. I am profoundly grateful for this, and can only accept and acknowledge the moments of struggle as they go by.

Thank you Gena (http://www.choosingraw.com/recovery-musings-learning-to-fully-embrace-health/).

This disease is stubborn, burying itself so deeply inside of you that you forget how to think like a normal person…especially about food, but also about exercise and what you see in the mirror.

It’s much easier today. Today, I don’t worry about how much I weigh and think more about how I feel. Running is no longer done simply to burn calories, but to train for bigger and better races. I don’t revolve everything about what I’m going to eat that day, how I’ll be able to exercise, and what everyone will think when they see me. I can now concentrate on birds, ecology, school, friends, family… I have my life back. I finally have it back from my eating disorder.

Thank you Melissa (http://tryingtoheal.com/page/2/).