Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grant me this day

Hi blog friends - this most recent blog vacay wasn't planned - it just sort of happened.  Not only have I not posted but I haven't been reading either...at all; so if there are any stunning revelations or huge happenings that have transpired in the blog kingdom - I missed 'em!  Feel free to fill me in on the dirt.

When last we chatted, I was reeling over the unexpected and sudden passing of our family's youngest and most canine member.  The loss shook me in a way I couldn't have imagined.  I still went to work and did the things I do, but definitely felt a pall hanging heavily and experienced waves of tears and sadness more often than I would have guessed.  It's been almost 2 weeks, and while I miss him like crazy, I'm getting used to the house without him.  I'm starting to feel less lopsided walking without him - he was great at pulling me up hills and suddenly dragging me off the path in order to traumatize a squirrel or crouching kitty.  It isn't as acute and constant as it was for the first couple of days.

I haven't gone back and read what I wrote last post, but I know I mentioned that this was the first experience of unfettered grieving I've experienced.  Painful, sad, inconvenient, messy, wet (very wet for the first few days with those feeling storms that blew threw), but I totally recognize the experience as a gift, and a revelation of how evolved I've become through recovery and just living long enough to continue to grow up and get better.  I'm so grateful to be able to experience my feelings without having to numb them, or myself, in order to move through.

Which brings up emotional eating.  Food has never accomplished the mind altering effects that alcohol did for me.  But I've used food my whole life in order to survive and cope with whatever I didn't think I could. So  I still have no idea just how raw and splayed open my psyche, my heart, my soul would feel if I didn't succumb to the food thoughts that just "pop up" on a daily basis.  I've gone a day, or 2, or even weeks without responding to food's seductive call, but always and eventually I cave in when I just can't hold out any longer.  And that is the point at which my greatest discoveries about myself and my feelings are blighted - again.

There's a guy in my morning AA meeting I love - he's a lawyer, very funny and very irreverent.  He's been coming around to AA for about 7 or 8 years, and so far he has about a year of sobriety as his longest time.  The reason...every time he and his wife go out of the country (they've been to Germany, Australia, Italy, England) he "decides" to drink.  So far he's been able to come back and not drink on US soil.  Next week he's going to Paris, and he's sounding very much like he plans to do it again.  He's cheating himself - because at some level he still doesn't believe he can really live fully and have an absolutely amazing wonderful time - or life? - without an occasional encounter with booze.  How could his life - his inner landscape - change and expand DEEPLY and for the better, by not drinking a day at a time for the rest of his days? ( I know mine has, in ways I couldn't have imagined.  Had I written my own script for sobriety I'd have cheated myself because I couldn't have imagined a life as rich and full as I have today.)

This guy  reminds me of myself with eating;  I claim I don't want to live a life where I can't have an occasional food orgy - not unlike my lawyer friend.  Problem is, I CAN'T, because once I invite the binge behavior back in, I never know when I can slam the door in its f-ing face again.  Sometimes after a day - sometimes it's weeks before I can rein in my cravings, which aren't cravings for any specific food - rather for EVERY food I think I have to have to ...what, survive?  That's how it feels at times.  And really - I need occasional food orgies to make my life BETTER?  Really?  What does that say about my life?  When I deconstruct my thinking, it's clear that my eating not only doesn't make my life more worth living, it diminishes it in a thousand ways.

This experience of losing Lou and the emotional journey I've already traveled has informed me that maybe my life would still be great, fun, rich, fantastic, sad, full of family, friends and love - without an occasional food orgy.  The thing is, I don't have to swear them off forever.  I only have to swear it off for today.  The only time a food thought overcomes me and sends me to my own food and fat ruin is in a single day, at a single moment.  I have the resources to get through a single day IF I choose to access and use them.

So that's where I am.  I'm not striving for peace with food today - I have it if I choose it.  I don't want a war in my mind of having to fight back food cravings - I surrender, hopefully to win.

And now I'm off to my cadillac gym from which my membership officially ends on April 30th.  Might as well use it while I can.  And I'm looking forward to catching up on all my blog buddies' lives.


  1. Glad to see you back. I think we all trick ourselves into "It's just one binge" mentality..but it never just is... I've been free of diet coke for nearly 40 days now and I knew that if I even had just one it would completely spoil the progress. Maybe someday, but not now, not when I'm trying to overcome the desperate need for it....

    I've missed your posts.

  2. Welcome back. I also understand that sometimes we need a break. The guy in your group also reminds me of myself. Breaks in my usual routine (i.e. trips, special occasions, etc.) have all knocked me off the wagon many times. We have a large trip coming up in October, and I'm already agonizing over how I shall eat. I wish it were not this way for any of us, but I think it's part of our condition. We just have to keep plugging along. I wish I had more words of wisdom.

  3. Funny. Okay, not so funny--but you know what I mean. When I read your piece about your lawyer friend--and before you got to the part about you feeling somewhat the same way--my thought was "Me, too!" in respnose to his reasonaing.

    How could he think tht he couldn't have an amazing time without an encounter with booze? Just substitute food and it's me.

    Leslie, I am at my wits end. I go for a week of solidly perfect days without any problem. No struggle. No arguments. No white knuckles. Just perfect (rreally!) eating days--one after another. Then...not. And not lasts several pound adding days.

    My plan to hit it hard for spring? Not so much. 6 days on--4 days off--7 more days on--5 days off.... At this rate, I will get to summer weighing over 190 pounds. again.

    Went to a buffet-sttyle retirement party for my former secretary on Saturday. (You know, the secretary from the job I had to leave because I went partly blind. Yeah. No emotions there. What WAS I thinking?)

    Picked food carefully--no gluten, plain meat, no potato salad. But there was this broccoli, rice, cheese dish. No gluten. vegies. Good, right? Apparently not. I didin't have the cake, I had a banana nut whipped cream event for dessert. A girl can get dessert without careening into the land of no return, right? Again, apparently not.

    I haven't stopped eating since. It's Tuesday. I've gained 6 pounds since Saturday.

    I'm with you're lawyer friend. Only worse. I don't need to leave the country--no passport involved with this trip. Hell has open doors.


  4. Just a fly-by. Hugs to you, Leslie. I've missed you.

  5. Just for today, or even for this minute works as long as you remember to keep stringing them together. Funny how that is easier with some things than others.

    Glad you're back and feeling up to sharing again.

  6. Glad you're back Leslie. You were missed!

  7. Welcome back. Great post due to great inner mind work. Kudos! :)

  8. Hello Leslie! My life has been crazy, but I think now my life will get back into a routine - hopefully!

    I have a new job, but I have to cancel my old membership because its now too far from my new office.

    But, I am visiting a gym super close to my office tomorrow - fingers crossed!

    Did you read Helen's post about INO - "it's not an option." I can't tell you how much that one sentence has saved me from not emotionally eating with all the stress going on - as of last Saturday I am down 11.2 pounds - I just had to say "is eating a big bowl of icecream going to change the situation?" Of course the answer is no, but it helps when I say "it's not an option to eat the ice cream today."

    Hugs to you - still so sorry for the loss of your beloved dog. :(

  9. I do like the "just for today" - similar to INO. Whatever works - we just need to find that and hold on for dear life.

    I feel sorry for your lawyer friend. The fact that he keeps coming back tells me that he really didn't enjoy the drinking he felt he "had" to do in the other countries. Just sad, really.

    Glad you're back. :)

  10. Hugs, Leslie. Your story and analogy about your AA guy really have me thinking now.

  11. I am so glad you are back Leslie. Your thoughts and writings always inspire me and I learn so much from you about addiction. Your stories from your experience with AA really work well with food addiction and I appreciate you sharing it with us.

    There was a lot of good content here today to think about.