Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rediscovering the Blessings of a Not Being Alone with the Challenge

Well, it was about a week ago, I think, that I posted my first post to this blog.  I admitted that I could not honestly go cold turkey until the Thanksgiving weekend was over, and I didn't.  That's one of the things that it's taken me a very long time to learn in dealing with my unhealthy eating as an addiction.  Feeling nuts/crazy/compulsive about food and eating is (at least for me) about 75% "interior" (mental, emotional and spiritual) and only about 25% about the physical act of doing it.  And being dishonest is like a dis-ease (state of unrest and upset) that starts way down in my gut or core-self or heart (my favorite metaphor for my inside-self).

So, it was really scary for me to be honest about not being able to start until after the holiday.  It was scary to say it in front of others.  I am so overly-dependent on what others think of me.  I have such a hang-up around acceptance from others.  The hang-up goes way back to my conception and birth (neither which were wanted by either of my parents).  So that explains it, but explaining it doesn't make it go away.

Opps!  It's just a couple of minutes until the Heart t' Heart phone meeting for eating addiction.  I've got to go.  It's great support.  I'll be back soon.


©2010 Colleen C. Harrison

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hung Over Enough to Remember Why I'm Ready to Get Honest

Well, Thanksgiving week is over, and after these last four days of eating anything I wanted, the way I pretend to myself “normal” people eat (Ha!), I am so swollen I can hardly move.  Well, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration.  Well, maybe more than a little bit.  Okay, okay.  I can move well enough, but even so, I can feel all the water my body is retaining.  My body (and I think I have read that it’s common) retains lots of extra water when I ingest unhealthy kinds of food (refined carbohydrates).  Inflamed.  I think that’s the word for it.  Inflammation.  Throughout my whole body.  Hmm.  You’d think that would tell me something.  You’d think I’d get a clue that what I’m doing to my body when I eat unhealthy kinds of food is setting off serious defensive responses in my body.  But do I care?  Not enough, I guess.  Not when I’m faced with saying no to  _________ (fill that blank in with whatever kind of food or way of eating that is enslaving your sanity and abusing your heart and mind and body). 
I think I may have pushed my body way over the edge this time.  I’m tempted to fear that my grand, one-last-fling may have back-fired on me.  I didn’t know at the time why I was being so irrational as to do nothing about eating or food over this last week (Thanksgiving week) but I knew that every time I prayed, I felt the counsel/impression/instruction to just let go and do whatever came “naturally.” In other words, to do whatever I honestly wanted.  In other words to stop trying to “behave myself,” or “discipline myself” in any way. 

This morning, as I sit down to write today’s entry for this blog, I see in “hindsight,” as they call it, just what good might be coming from having “gone off the deep end” over the last four days.   I can see that in this condition, I can write to you out of the midst of the hellish experience it is to be hung over from a major refined carbohydrate binge.  For me as a food addict, eating like I have the last few days is the equivalent of an alcoholic or drug addict going off the deep end and trying to drown themselves.  To use a scriptural phrase, it’s 100% exactly the equivalent of being “drunken [but] not with wine.”  Those words are taken from Isaiah 29:9 in the Old Testament.  I would invite you to turn to them and read not only verse 9, but 8 also.  It is chillingly familiar—at least to me—to note how in verse 8 Isaiah uses figurative (symbolic) language that a food addict can identify with immediately:  a hungry person who eats in a dream and then awakes and is still hungry.  

No matter how much such a person eats it is never enough.  This is exactly what I feel like.  It is what it feels like to have developed an addiction toward certain kinds of food or ways of eating (binging, eating in secret, etc.)  In fact, that kind of eating just triggers the insane need to eat more, and then more, and then more . . .  It is very much like having an itch that gets worse the more you scratch it until  by your efforts to satisfy the urge you have created an open wound.  

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you feel like you're starting out at the bottom of a mountain trail, or at the bottom of a deep abyss, I'm right there with you.  I'm going to be writing to you from inside a mutual climb out of the insanity and slavery or bondage of eating addiction.  Life has brought me back to the beginning, one last time.  At 62, I know this needs to be--in fact must be--my last time up the mountain.  I'm excited for the journey.  I've been along this path before--treating my unhealthy eating as an addiction--and I know beyond a doubt it leads into a brighter and brighter reality--not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  I hope you will find encouragement as I share with you not only each step (like I did in He Did Deliver Me from Bondage), but also each day along the way.  

 ©2010 Colleen C. Harrison

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hi. My Name is Colleen, I'm a Food Addict

Phil (my husband) and Julyn (my college-age, baby-daughter who is just home for Thanksgiving)  just left.  They’ve gone into Logan to run some errands.  I stayed home and gratefully.  It’s very cold outside–about EIGHT degrees!  That’s what the MSN weather service says, anyway.  Even if it’s twice that or THREE times that, it would still be WAY below freezing!  No thanks.  And then there’s my stenosis and sciatic pain that ebbs and flows around every move I make.  One second it’s a 3 (0-10 scale of pain), and the next second with the slightest straightening or twisting of my lower back or hips and it’s a 8-9 and I’m yelping out loud.  The physical therapy isn’t helping much.  Meds (celebrex once a day and acetaminophen once or twice a day) keep it within bearable range most of the time.  Anything I do to help it is going to have to be a major life-experience.  Either surgery or a LOT of weight loss.  I think I’ll opt for the weight loss. 

I’ve seriously thought about resorting to some kind of surgery to facilitate the weight loss, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that doing that isn’t what will work the best for me and do me the most good in the most ways.  What will do me the most good in the most ways is for me to go back to treating my self-defeating, self-destructive, life-denying urge to eat in the same way the founders of AA treated their “relationship” with alcohol–as an addiction.

So, here I am.  It is the day before Thanksgiving and there will be nothing but weight-gain amounts and kinds of food and eating going on all around me for the next couple of days.  I don’t have the strength to go “cold turkey” (no pun intended) today or tomorrow.  I can’t say about the day after that (Saturday).  After all, there are all those left-overs.  It usually takes a couple of days to clear them out.  So, what does that make it?  Next Sunday.  November 28, 2010.  How’s that for a day to surrender to this reality?  What reality?  The reality (just in case I missed it) that I have to go back to taking my unhealthy eating so seriously that I’m willing to treat it as a life-threatening, life-robbing, life-denying addiction. 

So this is my first entry.  I keep thinking I should be blogging this, not just hiding it away in my journal.  But, then I’ll have to keep it up.  I’ll have to carry through with it.  I’ll have to admit that I’ve done this before (been in a state of spiritual awakening, just like Step 12 puts it) and then let it slip away.  Why?  How could I do that?  It’s taken me years to become willing to take a long, hard look at that ( i.e. – to do the inventory it needs), but I think I’m finally ready.  I guess I’ll blog that, too.  That way, I won’t be alone with the deal and I won’t be so prone to turn and run back into my food addiction again.  Why?  Because I will know that you’re reading along and hoping to hear from me again.

I’ll be back on Sunday.