Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Running on fumes

Today my emotional, mental and spiritual resources feel stretched and thready at best. Full of holes. I'm sensing a "poor me" post brewing, and ask your forgiveness and patience at the outset. My wonderful blog friends always extend much grace, support and kindness to me under any and all circumstances; but I think it only fair to issue the warning as means of a disclaimer because when I'm in a funk, I feel bad about myself and that I don't deserve to take up air time with whiny bullsh*t.

First, I have a headache that started yesterday afternoon. It's not bad, and I know it's related to the sinus infection for which I'm still on an antibiotic and a taper of Prednisone. Ahh, just dawned that I'm at the lowest end of a gradual decreasing dose of Prednisone, which is likely smacking my psyche around a bit. Steroids'll do that, big time. Second, I'm still endlessly frustrated about yesterday's lost words. WTF? Why did this bother me so much? It's ancient history that will effect not one iota of anything ever. Believe me, I'm trying to let it go.

Third on my laundry list of the Poor Me's is that I found out this morning that a good friend in AA who's a couple years older than me has squamous cell cancer at the lowest end of the colon - similar to what Farrah Fawcett had. My friend is in a good place for now about it - waiting to get CAT Scan results to see if there is abdominal involvement. So far they think they have discovered it very early. Just writing about this makes me cry - partly because of what my friend is facing, and partly over judging myself for being funky about the minor little annoyances in my life. I know and would tell anyone else that on any given day, your stuff is your stuff and you feel how you feel. Judging oneself harshly for feeling how one feels is just not productive. But my friend would happily take my headache and lost post over what she's dealing with.

Fourth is that I saw the orthopedic doc yesterday and set up my L knee arthroscopy for December 4th. I'm not really worried or upset about it, but there are a million things I need to do before - like get pre-op clearance, an EKG because I'm ancient, and some simple bloodwork. The doctor's office gave me instructions in a way that clearly evidenced their total disbelief in my ability to follow through with the requests. I'm a freakin' nurse for pete's sake - I know the drill. Why do health care workers have to be so miserable and talk down to patients? With God as my witness, I never treat patients or friends like that. The woman doesn't know me from Adam but her pre-op spiel for me was literally dripping with contempt. Hey - it just dawned on me that maybe she just found out a good friend has cancer or something. Maybe I should extend a little grace her way?

Finally, though in my post yesterday detailing the one that got away (the brilliant-er post that is) I noted that at least I didn't feel myself slipping into my default setting of Binge When Life Not Fair...well, I ended up overeating a lot yesterday afternoon and evening. Maybe not a binge (oh yes hell it WAS), but over the top consumption of food and sweets - that accomplished nothing. What I needed could not possibly be supplied by cake, nuts and chips. But my inner binge-er's cage apparently got rattled from the minutiae of the day. Recall that I had a bad eating weekend about which I groused on Sunday. I had a clean Monday, but once that inner binge-er has asserted her influence even one time, she thinks she's calling the shots again. She's an opportunistic little wench that sits on my shoulder doing push-ups, strengthening herself for my weakening. And the weakening - the mundane challenges of day to day life, even the heady successes - do come and can contribute to my vulnerability. The weakening.

There's a saying in AA: "It's easier to stay sober than to get sober." This has endless relevance for all recovering alcoholics, but especially those in early days of new found sobriety and peace after the heaviness of an alcoholic existence. Things are going well, and then something happens: a wedding, a death, a loss, a work issue, or even just a sudden desire to drink that comes from out of the blue. Many folks do relapse a few times before this adage sinks in, and find that once a relapse happens, it gets just a little harder to do it the next time. Stopping drinking the first time is almost always easier than stopping subsequent times, because the mechanisms of obsession and compulsion get more firmly entrenched and resistant to change. And that's definitely the same with food addiction and bingeing.

I had those 12 or so days of sane and peaceful eating while on vacation. It felt great. Upon return to my real life, a few stressors (and a good potluck!) found me letting the tiger out of the cage "just a little", and once the first round of overeating went down, the next became more likely. NOT INEVITABLE. But more likely. Tuesday's petty annoyances primed me for further bad choices. And I hate the way bingeing makes me feel in every realm. Physical. Emotional. Mental. Spiritual.

Today I feel strong and am strong. I'm not going to overeat or undereat. I'm writing down what I eat, I'm striving to let go of baggage that isn't that heavy in the first place. And I'm telling on myself, yet again. I want to feel clear headed, light and peaceful. I want to be useful, loving and connected. I want to feel my feelings and come closer to my truest self. Bingeing obliterates all that.

I just read Tammy's (From Fat to Fab) post for today about her heading a binge off at the pass - before it began but definitely after the instinct to eat had hit. She was feeling grateful for the insight and determination and hard work that enabled her to see the compulsion through without acting on it. I've had that happen, though it didn't happen yesterday. But it's there for me and taking hold in ways that feel new and different. The newness of purpose and motivation I've felt of late were part of my lost post. But the attributes didn't go with the post. Things are changing within my interior for which I'm really grateful.

So writing this out has restored some of my equilibrium...a virtual recalibration, if you will. Thanks to all my blog friends for your support, wisdom, kindness and occasionally calling me on my crap! I need every bit of it.


  1. Recalibrating is a great thing to do periodically. And you are learning how to deal with all those stresses without bingeing! I love that for you.

    I hope your knee is okay. Take care,

  2. Hi Leslie. Something about not sweating the small stuff comes into my mind! But the thing is to identify what is the small stuff. Often it's that kind of everyday frustration that does the most damage. I've had binges myself triggered by computer difficulties and losses. I can see clearly that in those cases I am using food as a self soothing mechanism to calm down the anger.

    Hope you have a clean day today and that your resources are not stretched any further.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  3. We have relatively few sweets here. The Dietician that I see recommended that we buy nuts we have to crack. Nuts have healthy fat so she wanted us to eat them, but cracking them is work and if we are going for a quick fix, the nuts aren't quick!

  4. It sounds like you needed to get all of that out. My prayers are with your friend.

  5. I am praying for you and your friend. You are doing great . No bingeing is such a big deal. You should be so proud of yourself.

  6. You are doing great leslie, and the quickest way to take the steam out of something is to put it out there for everyone to takes the gloss off and gives you time to think. Whenever I think of ways to slow down the intake of food I remember this stupid dog trainer we got for out dog...(500 bucks out the window) His suggestion for keeping our lab busy....scatter feed.
    So Now I tell my husband that if he wants to slow me down, drop the lasagna in random corners so I have to find it first lol. oh, and I am sorry about your friend, I recieved some not so great news today about someone I love on the health front as well. I am trying to stay mentally positive, or in other words, I am not going to think about it.

  7. You are getting better, and that is what counts. As long as you can look back a couple months from now and see that you are better then than you are now, that will be good.

    And I hate how doctors/nurses talk down to people, too. I've never been in the medical field, but I have had quite a bit of anatomy training, so unless something is incredibly complex (which is never the case with stuff with my body) I know what they're talking about. Yet they talk to me like I'm some person that doesn't know their humerus from their femur.

  8. I'm not a binge eater, so I don't know what that is like, but it seems to me that you have to make the opportunities to as difficult to yourself as possible. I hope you don't have a lot of tempting food in your house. Maybe you should only have foods that take a while to prepare and then you won't be as likely to give into the impulse, or would that help? It must be harder if you also have to buy groceries keeping the other person who lives with you in mind. I live on my own and only buy things that are good for me to eat. There are no snack foods here. If I want something to eat, I have to fix it. Good luck to you and I hope you can keep your positive spirits up and do a fantastic job with your willpower. You have the right attitude anyway.

  9. added a link to my side bar - loved the "it is easier to stay sober than get sober"!!!

    your headache is probably from what you ATE too - let that be a motivation! (I realize that sinus and meds are factors also).

    I found it helpful to have a GO TO food - that if I had to just mow down on something - it was something safe that could be eaten in volume and didn't have any salt/sugar to confuse the issue. I may have said this before - for me - lightly steamed green beans or brussel sprouts. Or get in the tub and BAWL until the feeling passed and I was able to deal. There is a link on my side bar from Hanlie (near the top) about CRYING as a means of dealing.

    Losing a meaningful post - it is OKAY to be upset about that - it probably felt like a piece of you. But you have to learn to take that feeling and FEEL it and not do the impulse thing. Most all of us just plain did not learn how to DEAL when we should have (in my opinion) as kids. I don't know about your history, but in blog land there are a lot of us that were raised by disfunctional people. and it isn't that we are weak or 'bad' it is that we still have learning to do.


  10. Leslie, when I feel a meaningful post coming on, I type in in WORD, save it, and work on it, then cut and paste it as a blog entry when I am ready. Sometimes, an idea is brewing or something comes up that I know would make a good post, but I need time to develop it. So I often have 2-3 posts in the works, stored in word.

    I do this because, like you. I "lost" a post once and was super upset about it. Writing like that is like giving birth, it's a creation of the heart, a gift to yourself and the world, to have it disappear is like being in labor and then there's no baby. I feel your pain.

    Sending warm, fuzzy love energy your way!

  11. I have those days some times too. I think the last time was about 2 months ago and it lasted for days. I hated myself, I hated my hair, I felt BLAH BLAH BLAH. That was the only way I could describe it when my hubby finally asked me what was wrong. I really didn't know what was wrong, only that I felt like crap!
    Hang in there! We (I am sure I am speaking for all of us reading your blog) don't mind reading your ranting post~ we all have days (sometimes more) like this and it does feel good to type it out sometimes!