Day 343

3PM:

Yesterday was the observance of Diwali.

The Google article that caught my eye states:

Diwali or Divali also known as Deepavali and the “festival of lights”, is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.

We shall overcome mistakes.

We will kill off the thing in our head that contextualizes what we wear, or how we act, or who we are – we will just wear, and act, and be.

We shall overcome spiral thinking, blackness-induced rage, seemingly uncontrollable racing thoughts.

Light, love, knowledge, hope, good, care, Tz’u – these things will help us overcome.

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Day 301

10:30AM:

My treatise on the word FUCK:

It has the ability to give power to something otherwise powerless: ___ you, just does not have the same impact.

It shows passion, feeling, motivation (or in some cases, degrees of inebriation): want to ___?

It brings two loving people together, intertwines them; it shows them another dimension of their relationship, demonstrates to their universe and their’s alone, their vividness; it becomes a part of them and makes their passion manifest: (really, you need an explanation?)

It gives anger and frustration a voice, one that amplifies them and to the sayer, retains its shock-value – its emphasis – evermore, until the anger and frustration are no longer, until the precipice is no longer in view, until the never-forgotten memory fades just enough, until that voice is not a part of my life…

It represents belief, belief that’s more than faith and hope, because it is a call to arms, a care in action: fuck you evil mind (if you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up – seriously, what the fuck?!), because penguins can fucking fly and the blackness will never fucking win – yippie ki-yay motherfucker.

Day 252

10:45AM:

I know that I have fallen a little into bad habits over the last two days.  Between an exorbitant amount of marking and travelling, I have not been focused on recovery, on reclaiming healthy.  I have not been eating three meals a day plus a snack or two.  I have been doing the lunch and giant end-of-day meal, with drinking in between.  The drinking wasn’t as bad and the lines were a little softer with the portions, but they were coming a little close yesterday.

My initial reaction is to flog myself, obviously not physically (though the 5:45AM workout could be considered as such).  My initial reaction is to talk down to myself, feel guilty about putting everyone through more because I am not strong enough, be pissed off about recovery going slower and being harder.  Getting outside of myself, there are some stresses that are not manageable (as I’ve experienced before) – foreign land … two jobs at once … lack of support system and transferring my attention, my intention, my care to another … ok, so it makes sense.

Instead, looking ahead (AKA “moving forward”), I have three days that are relatively scheduled.  I will take those three days to realign the compass = focus on breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner (or breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack – four meals being the goal) with two components at each (the way that four of six vegan food groups seems to work out for me – the sweet and savoury, yin and yang, all in one meal).

I don’t know if there is anything from Tao of Pooh that screams relevant with this one, so instead, I will go to the digital post-its I keep on my computer desktop.  These words of wisdom, the proverbial “Mother Mary” for the day, I will find strength to do what is needed in them:

“You need to keep telling yourself that you shouldn’t feel guilty. It will be difficult for a long time, but you must push through it for your own welfare” (http://caloriecount.about.com/forums/health-support/anorexia-recovery-feeling-guilty-eating).

“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” (http://www.choosingraw.com/recovery-musings-learning-to-fully-embrace-health/).

“Remind yourself ‘I’m going to be ok” and “I’m not crazy.’  This is a normal part of the recovery process” (http://www.eatingdisordersupport.co.uk/self-help/grounding).

“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” (http://risforrecovery.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/dear-you-for-those-relapsing-or-struggling/).

Day 210

2PM:

Thank you universe for my hug yesterday…

Fucked over at work (signed on for something, agreed with the person, was disagreed with by her in public) = check

Thrown for an unexpected double-loop by the personalities I have to combat, personalities who appear to have a shiny veneer and a devious centre (but I’m starting to realize that it’s truly just a shallow shine, without anything substantial or significant beneath) = check

Working out using Grandfather’s system = didn’t shake the cobwebs

Been spinny about eating for a little while, figured it was time for a cheat meal (especially given that I forgot what a cheat would count as, so I needed to do it as anxiety medicine/blacklist) = Rawlicious appetizer, entree, dessert = didn’t shake the cobwebs (the Hot Chocolate was amazing, but the other two were flavourless or watery or unbalanced – BAH!)

Enter the universe, enter the hug.

Just as I was walking back to my car, who do I see but Habitating Family Friend (the proverbial unrelated “Uncle” who has never been called such, but has lived with us/my parents for the last five years, worked with my Mom for decades before that).  Some context might be needed: HFF is one of the most beautifully imperfect people on the planet.  HFF is kind and generous to a fault, beyond comprehension and beyond means.  HFF taught me how to sell, but more importantly showed my true love.  HFF is perfectly imperfect.

I saw him walking in the direction of a bakery for his late lunch, early snack and nearly cried.  I didn’t have the time and he probably wanted the peace/quiet, but he let me walk with him, he let me sit with him, he let my talk with him, and in doing so, he let me soak in the love.  He gave me the quiet affection that made me forget the world, even for just a little while.  Thank you HFF, thank you universe.  I love you.

Day 190

9AM:

Let’s be clear about something: there is a lot of recycling when it comes to education initiatives.  Someone puts their own stamp on the idea by changing the language or going “back to basics,” claiming that they are a revolutionary of the times!  The same happens with diet data (good quality food, not too much, lots of plants tends to be agreed upon most, and has been the case for centuries).  The same happened at University to a degree, where you had historians, literaries, social scientists, anthropologists, etc., putting their language into an idea – the EXACT SAME IDEA – but because it was in their language, it was their idea.

Reeling in the rant a little, recycling happens and very often it is frustrating for the educators who don’t accept this as a reality.  However, one that really sounds right is growth mindset.  It is the idea that if educators believe and if students believe and if parents believe that students are moldable, growable, developable (none of those are words, I know), there is genuine success.  Same information being delivered, same situations at home and school, same students, but different mentality – a mentality of positiveness, of development, of change, of hope.

Yesterday, I used the growth mindset that my wife and I have fought to build re: food to eat with soft-measurements on the road, to eat dinner and then dessert because I wanted to spend time with my Mom.  I say that the two of us have fought for this growth mindset because I have too many people around me, have always have had those people around me, who believe that I cannot change, that I do not change, that I am too fixed to change.  Well, fuck you.  You aren’t helping.  In fact, based on “current” education philosophies, you are hurting.

I said something to that effect to my Mom before going to dinner last night: I can change, I can grow, I can hope.  I was not always fucked up and I won’t always be fucked up, I can be the me version of me, I can reclaim my healthy.  But it takes positiveness, it takes a belief in development and change, it takes hope.

Day 189

9PM:

Hippocrates said “do no harm” – how the fuck is it acceptable – or when the fuck did it become acceptable – for not being less than zero being treated as the standard?

Chris Rock has a really good stand-up line where a father says “some shit like, ‘I take care of my kids.’ You’re supposed to, you dumb motherfucker! What kind of ignorant shit is that? ‘I ain’t never been to jail!’ What do you want, a cookie?! You’re not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having motherfucker!”

That’s what the world feels like – we aren’t so much concerned about doing good, but about not doing harm.  Privacy or “keeping boundaries” for the sake of not doing harm, instead of recognizing the potential for good that risk can do.

I teach students who are victims of “do no harm,” who have thought about killing themselves because of the loneliness created by “do no harm.”  I am a victim of “do no harm.”  Trust me, it does a fuck-load of harm…

Day 175

9:45AM:

On CMHA’s Mental Health Awareness week, we have a school planning session for mental health and well-being.

Ironic part is, it focuses only on students.  It talks about giving a voice and fragmenting them and engaging anxious students.

In the last 175 days, I have self-harmed with alcohol, exercise, orthorexia (to name a few), and I’ve thought about hurting myself and it feels like no one here cares…

How blunt can I be to these people?

I am not mentally well, I have reached out, I want to scream it out in this meeting to prove a point.  Politically it would be suicide.  Personally it would floor them, but would it matter?

Reclaim healthy – can’t do it this way…