Saturday, October 17, 2009

Delving deep

Day 3
Binge free
4 me
Golly gee.

No weigh
4 third day
Me no pay
When me no weigh.

I may not have mentioned my recent Pulitzer for Poetry. Hardy har, huh? I didn't actually plan to expound so eloquently when I sat down to post this morning, but out it flowed. For anyone who needs deciphering of the heavy symbolism of my poetic style, I now have 3 days with no bingeing, and no weighing. And by not weighing, I don't pay the consequences of having to deal with whatever the number says.

While 3 days of no bingeing (and no weighing) doesn't sound like much, I know anyone reading this gets it. Especially if you've been reading my recent 2 months worth. I haven't had more than 2 consecutive clean days in that long. That's not to say I haven't continued to lose a few pounds, because the scale roulette of September enabled me to mete out my bingeing or lack thereof on any given day according to the all important number on the scale. It was a dysfunctional dance of disordered thinking and eating. And I'm finding that leaving the scale out of the equation is helping release me from that bondage.

I mentioned yesterday that resorting to prayer on Thursday evening had resulted in the lifting of a binge compulsion that was threatening my 2nd day of freedom. Furthermore, the need to jump on the scale Friday morning was also lifted in the form of what felt like a direct message from something greater than my own mind...I woke with the knowledge that jumping on the scale would lead to a binge later in the day - guaranteed, given my recent history. And so I shunned that digital hunk of plastic and metal and subsequently had no mental masturbation going on Friday (an AA term, sorry if it's offensive, but the term fits) about what to eat based on whatever the scale said. And so a 3rd clean day.

Something got pried loose this week in my dysfunctionator (yeah, another AA nugget) after the Tuesday Binge of 2009. (I love melodrama! =D) The comments I received from my post about the binge and about my craziness with food jolted me almost as much as my shame and remorse about the eating episode. So many of you said such amazing things - noticing how my bingeing isolates me from my husband; how I miserably beat myself up after but also during a binge; offering prayer and verses of scripture; and also genuine kindness and support. It has all impacted me hard. But softly, tenderly.

Addiction is a spiritual malady in addition to whatever other havoc it wreaks on the afflicted and their loved ones. At the core of addiction is a hole in the soul...emptiness, yearning and despair at our deepest interior, that really can only be filled by spiritual means. My ongoing recovery from alcoholism has illustrated this over and over. Yes, the substances or behaviors have to be stopped. But sometimes that can't happen without a spiritual dislocation within the addict that results from prayer, willingness, desperation, and a desire to stop hurting. Sometimes Divine Intervention. It's become increasingly apparent to me that I can't seem to get over this food addiction on my own. I've tried a million times. I mean it with all my heart every time I say, "No more". And then, eventually, sooner or later, something happens or nothing at all happens and self will becomes woefully inadequate. The "need" of the addict obliterates the determination and efforts of the most earnest desire to be free.

In AA they say that for every recovering alcoholic, there will come a time when the only thing between you and a drink is a higher power. Note it doesn't say God, or Allah, Buddha, Jesus, Mary, or Eckhardt Tolle. Just a Higher Power. God, or not God, of my understanding. Something greater than myself. How can it be so hard for someone who can feel so shitty about myself at times to acknowledge that there IS SOMETHING greater than myself??!! And I believe in God! YO Leslie! How about talking to God, or god, every now and then?

That's what I did Thursday night when the binge thoughts were accumulating. I felt myself giving way like ground over a sinkhole. I asked for help and I got it. I'm wondering if I hadn't asked, would I have gotten through that evening intact? I'm glad I didn't find out, because the experience taught me something I've learned a thousand times in, where else, AA. The answer to every soul sickness I have is more spiritual development. I know this, I've seen it work for countless others as well as for myself. But about this food thing I've been resistant, because I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want to lose weight and eat what I want. I don't want to give up things I like (like cake), and I don't want to become indifferent to them because they give me pleasure in a moment despite the emotional pain they cause later and longer. Ultimately, I've been deeply afraid to pursue spiritual development in the food realm because I'm afraid it will work, and then who will I be? How will I cope? What will I fall back on? OHHH, more spiritual development and my Higher Power.

I'm not sure I'm making sense here to anyone other than myself, but these are some of the realizations that have come from the prying loose of the thing in my dysfunctionator I mentioned earlier. What will life look like if food isn't my savior and social lubricant? I felt the same way when I began to consider stopping drinking. How will I have fun? Eat pizza? Be comfortable in my skin?...without my little drinkie poos to smoothe the rough edges. I felt that life would go from technicolor to black and white if I gave up booze. The exact opposite happened. Very slowly. My ability to live and be in relationship with humanity and with myself expanded beyond my wildest dreams. And so I have every reason to trust this process of spiritual development and awareness in the food realm. Now can I do it? I can today. Tomorrow will have to wait until it's today.


  1. Well done - you're doing brilliantly! :o)

  2. Its the old, "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't." What would it be like without the cake? You know what it is with it...

    I get what you are saying totally. It is much like when I fall into a deep depression. I am here and though it hurts like heck, it is safe. I don't know what "out there" is going to be like. And sometimes I just don't have the energy to look.

    Either are heading in the right direction...3 days is WONDERFUL. I know what it means and I applaud you!

  3. Congrats on your recent achievements. And yes, we all understand all too well. Sigh. Yes, body, mind and spirit must all be involved in our efforts.

    Have you ever heard of the native belief in the "soul of your bones?" I find it helpful sometimes. I'll tell you about it if you have interest.

  4. Hi Leslie. It's easy to see that food is the last bastion of your inner binger. It was easier to give up alcohol because there was still food. Also no-one can function fully as a drunk, whereas it's possible to hold down a responsible job and lead a normal life as a binge eater or overeater. In some ways it's scary to think what the inner binger will do next with that food habit gone. What will it cling to now? It is clearly a part of you that often needs comfort and solace. Maybe a stronger spiritual connection will calm that part of you?

    You can always seek it out - and even try spiritual healing, which I often draw on myself of course. It gives you a deep connection with universal energy - or god if you prefer to call it that.

    Hope you're having a great Saturday.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  5. Luke 11:9-10 (King James Version)

    9And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

    10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    Every time I came to God in real need, knowing I wasn't able, I have had an answer.
    Keep up the good work, physical and spiritual.

  6. I am glad things are smoothing out. And I am glad that you are listening to yourself. Knowing your issues and your boundries and keeping an eye square on reality are all really empowering steps.

    I wouldn't have brought it up, but I see someone did before me. when you have gotten past the rawness of where you are now. I would be interested to know your thoughts on addiction transfer. And to know what is said about it in meetings (as steps to recognize/avoid it). It is something that I watch for carefully in myself. It is so easy for all of US to fixate on things. And so hard to get balanced and EVEN.

    I think you are right - that once we GET balanced and EVEN (clean) then life becomes so much fuller and easier.

    There is a lot to be said for living simply.

  7. I totally get what you are saying too. My BF is in AA so I have heard some of the terms from him.

    I have been working on my spiritual development as well and my go to quote is With Faith all things are possible Matthew 17:20

  8. You are doing great girl. Keep it up. And keep Posting and Praying . Congrats on the 4 days clean.