Day 327

Not enough snoozing,
Too much boozing.
Numbering food again,
Intuition, not sure I can.
Losing time to read,
Missing the rest I need.

Where do I go from here?  What’s the next phase on the path of recovery?

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Day 300

4AM:

I haven’t thought about this much, but I’m sure the thought has crossed my mind once or twice.  I run a breakfast program at my school, serving 150-200 students a day, so my philosophy runs counter to what a lot of teachers practice about eating in class.  My current batch of grade tens haven’t gotten used to eating throughout the day so that they aren’t hungry after 225 minutes of class straight, very often with a gym class in there somewhere.

I had my first Master’s class last night.  I ate before and came home hungry.  More than hungry though, I was tired.  I ate what I thought would be enough and given the quantity, I thought it would be.

I woke up an hour and a half ago.  I have not made it back to sleep.  I think I am hungry.  I have promised myself that I want to rest now, so I will not be getting up to grab something (even a drink of some sort).  I am exhausted, but I cannot even sleep because I am hungry.  Not famished, but it proves that in not eating enough throughout the day yesterday – being too busy to listen to my nature and act as my Uncarved Block – I could not make it through the night without being woken up and kept up by HUNGER.

I will lay in bed, tire my eyes and hopefully get to sleep soon.  I will wake up tired.  I will wake up and (hopefully) be strong enough to eat more, having not eaten enough the day before, if that is what my nature dictates.  I will wake up and (hopefully) listen to that nature throughout the day.  I will wake up and not forget.  I will wake up and not forget that if sleeping is difficult when you are hungry, imagine how hard learning can be?

Day 296

5 Things to be Happy about right now:

1. Strong enough to have a snack – whether it’s 1:30 in the afternoon or 4:00 in the morning

2. Don enough to take care of our parents – a day for mine and a recovery for her’s

3. The comfort of a warm hug, even the thought of one to come

4. The ability to be honest with someone I work with

5. The knowledge/experience that wine, work #1, work #2, work-floor or work-wear (compression tights), have nothing to do with being awake; the workout does (that is, the lack thereof) — even if it is two hours earlier!

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.

Day 241

9:30AM:

This is not the first step, nor is it the first stage, nor is the first new step. It is a continuation, a continued set of steps in the right direction, in the direction of recovery and of reclaiming healthy.

For example, being overjoyed by my wife coming through, even with as much as she had on her plate yesterday, and bringing me home some love – that is a step in her recovery, in our recovery.

[AN ASIDE, OR NOT SO MUCH OF ONE, I GUESS: I truly believe that we can see the us version of us ahead – the her version of her and the me version of me, holding hands and smiling as always (maybe crying too, but tears exist in the bubble as well; it’s just that they are safe and protected and cared for/about. And yes, I truly believe in unicorns and flying penguins and ninja pandas and the power of love (and bears) to conquer all the darkness in the world (HALLELUJAH!!! AMEN!!! – I also believe and have faith in my religion of love, and it is Sunday after all!)].

On a practical side, recovery is tasting the carrot-apple-ginger grand elixir juice that we’d planned on starting the day with and realizing I really don’t fucking like juice. Recovery is changing that plan and recovery is not having to finish it, chugging down this healthy tonic (or poisonous partner of the blackness, as it would be in this case). Recovery is also re-purposing the juice as soup, adding olive oil and onions and apples and almond milk – or peanut butter… hmmm… – because those things would make it taste good, because certain proportions of it would make it taste good, not because these healthy ingredients are within the portions or boxes or countable (again, becoming poisonous partners of the blackness in this case). Recovery is also tasting the soup along the way – outside of meal times – and adjusting the seasoning along the way and not worrying about getting extra calories from it along the way. Recovery is spilling a bit of the soup while stirring and saying “fuck,” but not because of the lost calories, the pre-counted allotment. Recovery is saying “fuck” because I now have to clean the stovetop again! Recovery is saying “fuck” because the cats whining wakes you up in the morning (well, at least it’s not visions of calories and food portions dancing in my head!). Recovery is not about perfect; recovery is about real. Recovery is about finding the balance that life can provide, the beautiful vividness of the world and of me in it (ok, not so practical with that one, but fuck off, it’s my blog!).

Now that we’re into the metaphors, it’s time for some motivational quotes:

Not being afraid of doing it wrong – it just gets in the way of doing it right. – The Flying Penguin

Day 235

5:30PM:

What is reclaiming healthy in this stage of recovery?

Reclaiming healthy is respecting my appetite, respecting my desires…

my appetite for food;

my desires for rest, for sleep;

my appetite for movement;

my (true) desires to eat vegan, to eat healthy [AN ASIDE: vegan test yesterday — found out I ate non-vegan food accidentally and didn’t freak out about calories or fat, just thought about the dairy I had consumed — I cared more about the vegan than about the eating disorder — there is trueness there, evidence of true appetite];

my appetite for emotion and connection;

And later, my desires for sex, for sadness, for love.

We are still trying to figure out the how, the lines for this stage of recovery, but it’s about trusting the soul we have looked to find, coaxed out through the darkness and nurtured to grow.

Day 229

6:30PM:

This song came on the radio as I was driving home. I hadn’t heard it in years. The lyrics weren’t speaking to me though…

Instead, this version was:

Have you ever hated yourself so much
It makes you cry
Have you ever needed something so bad
You can’t sleep at night
Have you ever tried to find the words
But they don’t come out right
Have you ever, have you ever

Have you ever been insane
Been insane so bad
You’d do anything to fucking understand
Have you ever had someone steal your sense away
You’d give anything to go back and feel the same
Have you ever searched for how to get back to your heart
But you don’t know what to do
And you don’t know where to start

Have you ever hated yourself so much
It makes you cry
Have you ever needed something so bad
You can’t sleep at night
Have you ever tried to find the words
But they don’t come out right
Have you ever, have you ever

Have you ever found the thing
You’ve dreamed of all of your life
You’d have done about anything to be looked at by their eyes
Have you finally found the thing you’ve given your heart to
Only to find that thing stole your heart from you
Have you ever closed your eyes and
Dreamed that they weren’t there
And all you can do is wait for the day when you won’t care

Have you ever hated yourself so much
It makes you cry
Have you ever needed something so bad
You can’t sleep at night
Have you ever tried to find the words
But they don’t come out right
Have you ever, have you ever

What do I gotta do to get outta your arms
What do I gotta say to get back to my heart
To make me understand how I need you out of me
Gotta get you outta my world
‘Cuz blackness I can’t sleep