Day 362

12:53AM:

Take care of yourself; you’re worth it.

That is a should for me.

I find value, strength and purpose in others, in connections, in care and Tz’u, in love and Don – to be that, I need to take care of me.

Take care of myself, by using the candle a day.

Take care of myself, by limiting myself to two things a day.

Take care of myself, by having a cut-off time for work and emails.

Take care of myself, by listening to my support system (the ever-strengthened one) when they see I’m doing too much and lend a helping hand (or hug).

Take care of myself, by having food timing and systems that work for me and us.

Take care of myself, by having (and really enjoying, a forgone conclusion) sex dates.

Take care of myself, by using my anti-blackness toolbox, like happy lists, looking up and writing.

Take care of myself, by alleviating the wife-blackness-related stress, being knowledgeable of her tough hormone weeks and setting lines with her of support, for her and us.

Take care of myself, so I can be Don for others.

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Day 339

1PM:

I thought that the concept of the Uncarved Block

“According to Lao-tse [author of the oldest existing book of Tao-ism], the more man interfered with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance.  The more forcing, the more trouble. … Everything had its own nature already within it, which could not be violated without causing difficulties.  When abstract and arbitrary rules were imposed from the outside, struggle was inevitable.  Only then did life become sour” (Hoff, 4).

“The essence of the principle of the Uncarved Block is that things [and people] in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is changed … ‘things in their natural state’” (10-11).

“When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun” (20).

“When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us … then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort.  Since the natural world follows that principle, it does not make mistakes.  Mistakes are made – or imagined – by man, the creature with the overloaded Brain who separates himself from the supporting network of natural laws by interfering and trying too hard” (69-70).

…spoke to disruptions in sex, in emotion, in fatigue signals being the result of my disruptions in hunger.  By automating hunger, I disautomated the things of which the universe takes care.  I created difficulties and struggle and sourness and spoilage and overload and separation by messing with hunger.

It does not appear that that’s the case.  Based on our mistakes learnings, the disruptions in my hunger appear the same as the disruptions in sex, emotion, fatigue, gentleness.  The disruptions in all these appear to be because of difficulties and struggle and sourness and spoilage and overload and separation brought on by me messing with the “a lot / too much” principle.  They’ve been caused by me walking a very fine line between taking on a lot and taking on too much, probably on the latter side much more often than I’d like to admit.

My Uncarved Block is buried in black gook.  Our road of recovery, the path to reclaiming healthy, is about washing and scraping and chipping away that blackness surrounding my ME.

Day 335 & 336

Recapping the last few days, the more ME version of ME appears, the more we learn about ME.  The more we learn about ME – not through mistakes, since I have gained wisdom by experiencing and experimenting with intuitive eating – and what ME/WE want to be – not what we should be – the better we are able to reclaim healthy, take it back from the blackness.

Imagine that there is a battle – a battle that wages between the blackness that grabs hold when stress is over-stress, a battle that is fought with the tools of recovery.

So, standing at the precipice of the next battleground, the next stage in reclaiming healthy, here are our lines, our path towards vivid, the next steps in recovery:

  • No more drinking before eating two meals, since I am able to separate drinking to cope from drinking to enjoy, but I am not able to separate drinking for calories from these.  I have allowed myself to consume alcohol calories outside of mealtimes (in the same way as having allowed myself to consume a latte outside of mealtimes), and therefore if I am too hungry outside of mealtimes, before the “shoulds,” I will drink my calories (and sensibilities) away.
    • I was ready to go on hiatus, but my wife brought me back to sensibility; I do enjoy a good bottle of wine, I just need to make sure the reasons (interesting, because she was the one that first opened my eyes, palette and heart to social drinking and now, she’s helped do it again with my tummy!).
  • Back to portion counting; albeit a softer version, but still portion counting.  After learning – through non-mistakes – I am comfortable doing this.  I am comfortable saying that intuitive eating is less a part of me than portion counting.  I am comfortable saying that softer portion counting [no weighing EVER, only calorie counting when ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY (since the latter actually allows me to try unknown things, fit it into me)], is helpful to me.  I am comfortable saying that this allows me to be the person I want to be, but acting as a boundary, an insurance that I will not falter.  I am comfortable saying that I want/need portion counting to retain the me-ness of me throughout a busy day.  That’s why it was not a mistake to try intuitive eating – hell, it might be something we go back to someday.  It was not a mistake because now I don’t say “grow” or “be able” to eat intuitively; I say that if it fits, it will be a part of our future.
  • To address the symptoms (and some of the causes) of over-stress:
    • Unrecognized hunger
      • Portion counting and food timing
    • Decreased sex drive
      • Sex drive
      • Pushing through discomfort and communicating openly about sex
    • Increased spiral thinking
      • Food timing
      • Recognizing that spiral thinking are signs/signals, that (insert venomous tool of the blackness here) is more about being in a position of weakness, not about being weak
    • Unrecognized fatigue
      • Re-instituting candles
    • Decreased silliness/gentleness
      • Happy lists
      • talesofarecoveringrecoverer.wordpress.com

There are still gaps, especially in needing to develop more coping strategies and boundaries that prevent the blackness from taking hold of the symptoms of over-stress.  In fact, my wife brought up a point yesterday, that I completely understand.  I understand that this does not deal with the core issue as much as it could.  These lines fight the symptoms more than the disease.  Therefore, while this next stage in recovery means boundaries, stop-gaps and lines that help support the anti-stress movement, it still requires further thought about what to do about this whole stress thing (if I were to put money on it, I’d say there are more beautiful candle and happy list ideas in my future, once my wife digests our talk and taps into her beautiful, amazing and loving vivid genius).

Step by step, breath by breath, one day at a time.

Rivers know this, there is no hurry.  We shall get there some day.

Here we go.

Day 333

10AM:

In preparation for these often-mentioned, aforementioned next phase/lines, it’s time for reflection.

Before that though, since this reflection might lead to thoughts of MISTAKES, let’s go back…

If these are not mistakes for the sake of mistakes, stumbles and falters and collapses in themselves, we can gain strength and courage and respect and love from them.

Tao of Pooh on the true nature of wisdom: “In the final section of the Tao Te Ching, Lao-tse wrote, ‘The wise are not learned; the learned are not wise.’ … From the Taoist point of view, while the scholarly intellect may be useful for analyzing certain things, deeper and broader matters are beyond its limited reach” (24).  If we gain from our mistakes, in this way, they serve to make us wise.

Universal Post-It: “Remember, we all stumble; we have to fall before we fly.”

Keeping that in mind, it was not a mistake to try intuitive eating.  What I gained and learned from the experience:

  • I like drinking an enjoyable bottle of wine, even alone, but I’ve learned not to use it for nourishment and not to do it so often
  • I can trust what others cook for me
  • Soft counting isn’t bad and small differences don’t matter – my body takes care of it
  • Sitting down and reading does not really change appetite dramatically – body self-regulates through healing faster or slower, and therefore, rest allows the body to heal faster and burn more calories in the next workout
  • The fight the urge to eat systematically or by formula might be a created fight, but fighting the urge to “eat later” needs to happen (this is not a created fight, it is a necessary one)
    • Self-consciousness comes from the perception of portion counting, not through the act of it – and it is only after trying intuition that I have learned this
  • Suicidal and thoughts of self-harm increase when I’m stressed and hungry; portion counting becomes less of a source of fear and spinning and self-consciousness when I’m full and rested enough
  • We were thinking that numbing my hunger was responsible for numbing my sex drive, but the latter has not increased since trying intuitive eating – it doesn’t appear that I’m numbing everything else, and perhaps the true culprit is overstress

Now it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned, what I’ve gained, what will allow us to make the next steps in recovery, in reclaiming healthy.

Day 331

9AM:

After digesting Thursday’s Naturopath appointment (a part of the support system and a resource, but not a driver of recovery – that’s US!), my own thoughts over the last week, what Guidance friend said to me yesterday about heart and soul and last but fucking definitely not least, what my wife wrote to me on the fridge, here’s what I’m thinking the true culprit is…

The True Culprit

 

Imagine that there is a battle – a battle that wages between the blackness that grabs hold when stress is over-stress, a battle that is won with the whites, the tools of recovery.  There are still gaps, especially in the whites, these coping strategies and boundaries that prevent the blackness from taking hold of the greys.  But it’s another step.

This is not yet the next step.  This is seeing where to take the next step, the next puddle in which we will jump, with giant smiles on our faces, holding hands, hands that fit ever-so-snuggly.

 

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 266

6PM:

These might all seem like separate things, or even worse, redundancies. Two-hundred and sixty-five days of over and over, dropping one thing and going to the next, picking up one catch phrase when it better suits and putting down an old one, or again, even worse, being redundant and repetitive and (dare I say) edu-speak-ish.

Fuck off.  That is not the case.  These ideas do all fit, they fit around recovery.

Recovery is creating an environment – through lines (structures, respecting your true nature and not shoulds, working through blacklists and exposure therapy, safeguards, routines), support systems (literary and asking for help from the warm-blooded – familial and therapeutic) and tools (regular exercise, expressing gratitude and appreciation, writing a blog, happy lists) – that starves the blackness inside, taking away its power, taking back the things it stole as flaws (taking your thoughtfulness, contemplative nature and warping it into toxic hyper-vigilance and overt control, anxiety and over-thinking, an eating disorder or alcoholism to cope and depression, low sex drive and thoughts of self-harm as a result; taking your self-awareness and bastardizing it into self-doubt and fear, whereby you run and cheat and lose your you version of you) and reclaiming them as your own beautiful, amazing and loving imperfections, and in doing so, allowing yourself to find vivid in recovery one day at a time, reclaim healthy, manifest as the you version of you, your true nature, your Uncarved Block (healthy veganism, thoughtful gentleness, IANs, creative attentiveness and loving care).

Without the breaks and brackets (and questionably avoided run-on sentence):

Recovery is creating an environment that starves the blackness inside, taking away its power, taking back the things it stole as flaws and reclaiming them as your own beautiful, amazing and loving imperfections, and in doing so, allowing yourself to find vivid in recovery one day at a time, reclaim healthy, manifest as the you version of you, your true nature, your Uncarved Block.

See, it all fits – perfectly imperfectly.