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


  1. Not that I enjoy other people's misery, but it's comforting to know that people I admire (yes, that's you) are struggling as much as I am. It means I don't have to label myself as bad, but only as human. Thank you for being honest. It helps me.

  2. I am really interested in following along and doing my own "work". It would be awesome if you could help me through it. I have come a long way and I feel great, but I certainly do not want to lose it. I want to figure out what kept me where I was so I can stay where I am going. I like who I am becoming. I like me with out all the layers that hid who I am... Let's do this Mama!