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.

Advertisements

Day 248

11AM:

Cue Mr. John Lennon…

I am in my hour of darkness, struggling through this new stage of recovery because it will be for the best.  And therefore, I have tried to find that metaphorical “Mother Mary.”  Two days ago, I found it in Habitating Family Friend, using a wireless printer that was wired in his room.  Three days ago, I found it in my grandparents and their new-found interest in veganism that stemmed from their not-so-new-found interest in me.  Four days ago, I sought it in digital companionship, digging into the silent online community who have gone through or are going through stages of recovery, of their reclaiming healthy.

Yesterday, I tried finding it in Intentional Acts of Niceness: smiling at anyone I could to get a smile back – the grocery cashier, cyclists going the other way, drivers who I let pass ahead in stop signs = NOTHING!  It was as if the world had taken a giant step backwards in the graciousness department.  [AN ASIDE: On a more dramatic note, there was a story in the New Yorker about suicide attempts made off the Golden Gate Bridge — the following story has relevance:

Dr. Jerome Motto, who has been part of two failed suicidebarrier coalitions, is now retired and living in San Mateo. When I visited him there, we spent three hours talking about the bridge. Motto had a patient who committed suicide from the Golden Gate in 1963, but the jump that affected him most occurred in the seventies. “I went to this guy’s apartment afterward with the assistant medical examiner,” he told me. “The guy was in his thirties, lived alone, pretty bare apartment. He’d written a note and left it on his bureau. It said, ‘I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.’ ”

How far do you think this gentleman walked?  How many opportunities for Intentional Acts of Niceness – simple smiles – were missed on his way?  Clearly, I am not that close nor do I ever think I will be, but it does resound given the mental thunderclouds of the last month].

So being unable to find that metaphorical “Mother Mary” in my bag of recovery tricks, I sit here in my hour (oh, what I wouldn’t give for that to be a metaphor) of darkness.  I sit in the dark, worrying about having sat down for too long (even though I biked for almost an hour uphill yesterday and will probably lift weights or run later today), about small flaps of skin around my waist (that very well could have always been there, fucking hypnotic, body dysmorphic voice of the blackness) and about a stomach that touches my T-shirt a little too closely (even though I did core work on Friday and that always causes a tighter stomach).

Don’t worry trusted readers… this is not feeling sorry, indulging in self-pity or even clocking in the five seconds of Lost fear – it’s just crossing the tools off that are not working at the moment.  Instead, I will seek wisdom in the Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, a wonderful discourse on peace of mind and quiet of soul.  I’ll let you know if…

When I find myself in times of trouble
Winnie the Pooh comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
He is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Day 242

10AM:

Lessons of relearnings:

No juice to start, I fucking hate juice.  Seems stupid to waste all that pulp – it can’t be very nutritious if you’re throwing it out!  And I like my morning routine of a big glass of water, pot of tea and ensuing “nature’s course.”  I like it.

[goes to show and it is safe to extrapolate that what’s “healthy” – juicing, portion counting, portion control – may not be healthy for me]

If I don’t eat breakfast early enough, I will have to fight off (or suffer through?  shouldn’t be fighting it off) hunger until lunch (or have an ill-timed snack in between)

Feelings of bloat will continue to lead to feelings of gloat (from the blackness, that is – oh fuck, it was fierce today; mustn’t like it getting an eviction notice).  I don’t know if losing weight scares me, or that the anxieties around not knowing if growing or slowing.  That uncertainty is tough to deal with (but also are thoughts of self-harm and suicide, aren’t they – and those have been present too much, too often recently).

Cheerios stem from Habitating Family Friend, so that can’t be bad, since it’s about love…

I use the term relearning, because that’s what it is.  Reclaiming healthy is relearning.  But it is learning.  On we go…

Day 224

6:30AM:

I want to know that there is a day without worry, without doubt.  I want to know that there is a day that I can spend following my feelings again, trusting them unequivocally and without hesitation.  I want to find someone that will explain how to do that, will shed some light on this uncertain path of recovery.  I want to know that I can get lost again, lost and not worrying about looking left or looking right, instead just looking up.  I want a day without connections or patterns, a day when ahead isn’t an issue, when my worrisome mind isn’t three steps ahead and as such, my heart is left behind.  A day where I forget about eating disorders or mental health issues or bitching about work or scaring myself into looking in the mirror.  A day where hope doesn’t exist, not because it is dark, but because hope isn’t hoped for, something better isn’t worried about – a day where hope isn’t needed or sought or required.

I want a day without worry again.  I want a day of peace.  The more and more I live calculating, calculating calories and wrinkles and exercise and worthiness through doing, the less and less I believe this day will be.  The more and more I live like this, the more and more I believe this day will come the day after my last.

Day 120

11:30AM:

There is truth in emotion, even the scary kinds of emotion.  You just have to find it.

When my wife and I fight, I think about hurting myself.  Definitely not suicide, but distracting myself from the emotional pain with physical pain.  Perhaps it is thinking it will be easier to deal with, but that just isn’t the case.  It is just avoiding the harder pain, letting it fester and become something toxic if ignored = this emotion needs to be dealt with…

So here’s why I think it happens: between work and family and a shit-ton of other factors, my wife and I – our relationship, our place – is my safe place.  The space she and I have together is what keeps me sane, what makes me feel like I have a place in this world.  When that space seems loveless and these emotions come to light (or pitch-black, blinding darkness), it takes away my last chance, the only place my armour comes down completely and where I can feel vulnerable.  At that time, where else is there to go but inside.  Inside me.  It is why I feel like all my muscles contract and I constrict deeper into myself.  The blackness engulfs me with its blue fire – that kind of cold fire that is bitterly warming.  But it will become toxic, gangrenous even…

I love her with all my heart.  There are still scars from the sins of the last year and a half that will take a great deal more time to fix and fade.  My head turning to self-harm in times of distress is one of these scars, a scary one and one that I could do without…

Day 65 Part 2

2PM:

This deserves its own entry, but in the same day.  I questioned whether to have this count as another day’s entry, but it really is a continuation of the earlier thought processes or (more likely) a consequence of there always being thought processes like the ones from a few hours ago – constantly searching, thinking, analyzing, struggling.

A lot of what I’ve read talks about finding strength to work on recovery – something that you internalize whether it be an image or mantra or thing that keeps you going, something in which you find strength, a strength that helps you see the light in the darkest of times, until you can find peace.

I feel like I am waiting to live and trying to just get through the days, and not only that, but struggling to live and unable to find the in-the-momentness, the calm, the light, the peace – constantly worrying about not living and unable to just breathe and have that life.  I’m not expecting still waters, but right now I’m unable to look up and see the expansiveness of the ocean.  Given that, the beauty of the ocean, its vastness and wonder, none of those things mean shit if I’m suffocated by trying, stuck trying, stuck working.

I need a fucking death sentence – something to kick me out of this and force me to stop trying and just be.  I feel like I can’t just be and that it seems oxymoronic to have to try.  Driving back from the gym today, where I escaped the world for a little while (definitely not the best version of gym-induced calm, but at least a small reduction in spinniness – usually it’s better, but I’ll take what I can get at this point), I actually thought about death, suicide, dying.  Not as a choice.  I have never truly considered it.  But finding the light is an end to struggling to live, so is finding the dark.  Something that ends this, something better than struggling through and searching for a light that doesn’t seem to get closer or that I know where to find.  I wish that I could say that I have found that light by grabbing hold of my marriage, children, my job, family – and you know what, maybe they are my salvation, my tether to the real world, my connection to the light and the blackness has clouded me from seeing that, but FUCK FUCK FUCK – this is so damn hard.

Is the new mantra going to be “don’t give in, you can’t give in, there is no other option”?  When did it get so fucking hard to live, to find light?

Maybe it no longer needs to be a “happy list” to shake off the cobwebs when I need it.  Maybe it needs to be a “joys that I would miss” list, to keep the spiders from devouring me.