Sunday, 26 October 2014

Blog 24th of October. We didn’t plan what to do when we returned. There was nothing waiting for us. I should have thought.

Blog 24th of October 2014 I’m typing this on the mega bus to London. It’s been an interesting week. A week on annual leave. I’ve always found holidays difficult especially when trying to stick to a food plan, there’s something inside me that thinks holidays! Yeah! Reward yeah! Do what you like, please yourself, eat your body weight in crispy cremes, go for meals, rules do not apply. Of course I can’t do that now, I signed the contract, not to follow that would make it a bit of a sham and a mockery and who would I be trying to spite? Just myself as per usual, self-sabotage. I’ve done it all this week, all the negative thinking, the bargaining, the, it’s only a rice cracker, I’m eating it standing up so it doesn’t count. Well I’m not eating my binge foods cake, biscuits, sweets and chocolate. I’ve noticed the justifications, the ohh my God this is it for ever projection. Why am I still running? People have complimented me this week, well-meaning good people, people I love, people I trust then why do I want to punch them for doing it? Is it because I think that they didn’t like me before? That I wasn’t good enough, too fat, too big, too heavy? These are all the things that my recovery needs me to look at, and look at it I have to do or I will end up with my hand in the cookie jar. This week I have been in active addiction, whether I like it or not, I broke the contract and made up my own rules. I always find it easier to be organized when I’m at work, I have a routine I have structure, therefore I have identified a trigger. Holidays and the feelings and emotions they carry for me. I’ve often become really ill on or following holidays, it’s like my brain and body keep going, keep running then bang, I crash. It happens time and time again. Most people wind down on holidays, for me they both excite and scare me. Another identification that hit me this week when having a one to one and exploring the first chapter of my life story was to examine the two feelings that leapt out at me in chapter one and they are loneliness and fear. A year ago if you had asked me if I was ever lonely, I would have laughed in your face or become quite angry. How could I be lonely? I always made sure that I was surrounded by others? I’ve got four children, I work with people. I’m never on my own. And why am I never on my own? Because I fear it, because I can’t cope with it. I used to think I loved it but now looking back it was an opportunity for me to act out, I did the bulk of binging on my own, I used cannabis on my own, I indulged in harmful behaviour on my own because I couldn’t sit with myself and my own feelings. I push them down, I eat them away. I distract myself from them by losing myself in something else, anything not to let them in. I used to say I threw all my memories in a box in my brain and locked it, that’s how I dealt with my Jekyll and Hyde behaviour’s almost justifying them because that person wasn’t really me. I developed an alter ego when I was drinking, I would even say “I’m going over to the dark side”. There was a point in the evening when my eyes would glaze and my friends would know they had lost me. Perhaps that’s when I entered blackout. I was asked to do an exercise and that was to sit on my own in a room with no distractions and just sit with my feelings. The thought of this did not particularly thrill me to be honest. I was to try this for 10 minutes every day. I tried it, I sat there and it was horrible, I was eight again on my own in the house, scared, waiting, back and forth to the cupboards to look for sweet things when the adverts came on, thinking of food watching TV, back and forth, back and forth. Lonely, bored, angry, upset. The feelings came flooding back. Memories and feelings that I had not allowed myself to feel for a long time. There were lot of distractions there too, my whimsies, my teddy, drawing, reading, coping mechanisms. I did what was suggested I tried to comfort the child within. I put my arm around her, told her it would be all right, put my hand in hers, suggested nice things to do, healthy things to do and I told her that I loved her and I would look after her now. After this I felt as I always do when I go back there, either by memory or talking disassociated. It’s a feeling that I’m looking at life from behind a screen or a TV set. One of the first times I noticed it happening was after I found my inner child in the Living Room; I was confronted by someone I love in the family group and I went straight in to the inner child. I wanted to run to scream to hit out and it scared the hell out of me. I disassociated after that episode and it took a week to finally feel that I fitted back together again. It’s my defence mechanism, my default setting, and when I look at it I’ve done it for years, another unhealthy coping mechanism. I’m not always aware that it’s happening either, I’m finding out and discovering it. The aim is not to do it, to be able to comfort that child myself so I don’t have to go to that place where you can’t or don’t feel. Following the sitting alone with my feelings session 10 minutes that felt like an hour. I decided to do something creative to get my feelings down on paper, so I made a collage. Trying to create something out of this process is important to me, as I will be able to look back and chart my growth. I also wrote two letters this week saying goodbye to drugs and alcohol. I enclose them in this blog as I want to share them with you. Saturday night. I want to record exactly what happened so I can get an angle on it. It happened so quickly so naturally I wasn’t even aware that it was happening. As reported above I had played with my eating plan this week, I was on holidays, all the excuses, it wasn’t always practical, difficult to plan, wanted a lie-in, eating out, not letting other people down, couldn’t be bothered, feeling angry (sitting on the pity pot) why couldn’t I just be normal around food. I think that I was setting the seeds. In London I did pretty well considering, I followed the eating plan until the afternoon, missing out my snack (time constraints) or so I justified, I then went for a meal before the show and faltered ordering a starter and main course in a Thai restaurant. It was delicious, and I did all the bargaining and justification going. I’m on holidays, I deserve a treat, and it’s only a small starter (I didn’t have my snack this afternoon) I enjoyed it, but again after it came, the vague sense of uneasiness - for the second time this week I wanted to self-induce vomiting, the urge was strong, to get this food out of me. The first time it happened was earlier in the week when I had played with my food plan again and gone to Miller and Carter for lunch (making this my evening meal) swapping the two, in active addiction, defying my food plan. I shared these feelings with my partner, I also shared how now I felt fat ugly rubbish and uncomfortable as I had eaten too much. I didn’t vomit; the urge lasted for a few minutes. I did feel guilty and shamed and pissed off. The concert was fab, the next day the food saga began again, breakfast at the hotel, again couldn’t control it, and diverted from eating plan again, not by much but it’s enough. I ate an extra piece of toast and some cheese and ham. Then no snack in the morning, before getting on the coach we stopped in a shopping centre, I went off to get some perfume for my daughter who was 21 that day and my partner had a coffee in Costa whilst he waited for me. I waited to save the table as he got his coffee and as he walked back I was mighty miffed to see a caramel shortbread on his plate, at least he had the grace to look a bit sheepish, “I’m sorry” he said, “That’ OK” I replied, although it can’t have been really, can it? I want it to be; it’s not my responsibility what other people do, who am I to say you can’t eat a caramel slice. I suppose it reminds me of what I can’t do and why. I was back on track in the afternoon, I bought a salad to eat on the coach and a nakd bar and managed that well. On the coach I had an idea, it came to me, order a Pizza on line when I get back and slob in front of the sofa watching crap TV. My daughter was having friends over as it was her 21’st; they would be using the kitchen, how lovely, what a treat, what a cwtchy evening. I was made up and excited. We got back, I sat down, read a little, turned on the TV and then ordered on-line. And I ordered enough for a family of 4. It was actually called feed 4 for 5 pound each. It comprised 2 large pizzas, wedges and garlic bread, I also ordered 6 dips. It came, I was delighted. My daughter picked it up from the door and piled it on the table, she asked if she could have some, I was mortified, pissed off and annoyed. This was mine, I ordered it (even though I could have fed the street). My look said it all, she said “For God’s sake!” and walked out. I opened the box, the first one was a large bacon and cheese, I was just about to stuff it in to my mouth when my partner intervened (for the first time in this entire ordering process) “Should you be eating that in here?” I was furious; I could feel the rage, the helplessness, the being caught out. It dawned on me, for the first time, I was in active addiction and though the entire process I had not acknowledged it once. I was in free-fall, automatic pilot, as Wyn says, I had by passed the” intellect” and the “conscience” and gone straight across to the “will” (action). It was frightening I was really not even aware that I had done it until those words fell from my partner’s mouth. And then I felt rage towards him, why hadn’t he stopped me? Why did he have to say that then? Why was he interfering? Why was he taking control at such a late stage? Why was he so cruel? I blamed him, I made it about him, I see myself and him joined together, he took my responsibility and made it his but he did it way, way too late in the process. Straight in to inner child, panic, hands to face, feelings and emotions out of control, what to do? I’ve bought it, I have to eat it, and there was nowhere to go. My partner insisted we turned the TV off, again I was angry and upset, spoilt my plans of having a “nice” evening. My head was spinning by this point, I felt totally overwhelmed. Point of no return, so I ate. I ate 4 pieces of pizza, some wedges and 1 slice of garlic bread. I dipped everything in a sour cream and chive dip. Then my poor partner wanting to make it better began his own method of justifications, “We couldn’t have gone in the kitchen, the girls are in there drinking alcohol” “We didn’t plan what to do when we came back, there was nothing waiting for us” “I should have thought” Again, after the event the shame, the guilt, the wanting to go to the toilet and throw it up. The sense of failure, I’m useless, I’m fat, I’m a pig, I’m vile. I wanted to pull at my fat to torment and beat myself up. I wanted to punch my fat. I hated my body. I hated the fact I was so useless. The thoughts come in, bad thoughts, “I’ve done it now, fuck it, this eating plan is stupid, it’s too hard, I can’t do this, and recovery is taking everything I love from me. It calmed down a little and after I finished my partner tool the plates and the leftovers, of which there were loads, into the kitchen for my daughter and her friends. When he came back he asked me why I ordered so much. I had never thought about this before, but it’s so true and it always happens. I order far too much, I could never eat it all. I over-order in restaurants, I over-buy in super markets as I’m scared that there will not be enough to meet my needs. I am frightened that I will not be satisfied, that someone will have more than me. Sharing a plate is torture, I am constantly aware and watching what the other person is eating. Panic rising, what if there’s not enough, what if I’m still not satisfied, then the anger if they take too much, there won’t be enough for me. I used to do it with alcohol too and woe betides anyone if I ever ran out of drugs. I could sometimes have 2 ounces in the house at one time as I had over- ordered due to the fear. If there are two people I will order double. I needed to get this down on paper whist it was fresh. I needed to look at it to explore it to understand it. I lapsed so quickly, so easily, it scared me. I woke this morning feeling wretched, angry, defiant, blaming and avoiding. I avoided going downstairs as I knew the kitchen would be full of remnants from last night’s party. Dregs and smells of alcohol and fags. I knew by avoiding I was in active addiction. I was angry at myself; I felt like a child, I felt I had let everyone down and most of all myself. I felt very sorry for my predicament. Then I began to blame my partner and felt hostile and angry towards him. I went downstairs and I shared my feelings with him, then I burst in to tears. I was angry because we had not planned; angry for the late intervention; angry for being angry with him. We went upstairs and lay on the bed, the cat came to lie beside me, “See I said, she loves me whatever size I am” My poor partner sighed and said “So do I” I don’t believe that, and that’s what I need to work on - loving all the bits of me - good and bad. The Not the food - that’s just a symptom. I needed to share this with you, and to be as honest as I could about it. I’m going to a meeting later. I have a plan for today. I intend to stick to it. Julie Goodbye to Alcohol October 23, 2014 Alcohol Dear Alcohol It’s taken me a long time to be able to write this letter, one year one month and one day of recovery to be precise. I was ready to stop back then, now I am finally ready to let you go. We had some good times, some fantastic, amazing times. It was at those times that I thought I could only truly be myself with you inside me. In the beginning our relationship was fractious and exciting and it remained that way throughout. You made me confident, I could speak my mind. I could be brutally honest. You took me higher than any mood, any drug, you made my ego spiral, I was on top of my own pedestal. With you by my side I could sing like Adele, dance like Madonna and look like Catherine Zeta Jones. I was the most extraordinary beauty, and you were lucky to be seen with me. With you I cared about nothing, I was generous to a fault, with no responsibilities. I could do what I wanted with who I wanted when I wanted. With you I knew no fear, together we would fight the world, take them on. Fuck ‘em and chuck ‘em. At the end of the night I was happy to be alone with you, you me the music and a mirror. I loved us both so much. When we were good we were amazing, you made me feel sexy, desirable and desired. We were a wild outrageous partnership, dramatic, theatrical, rock and roll, cool, unpredictable, playful and never ever boring. I loved you; I loved the euphoric highs you gave me, the craziness, the tales of debauchery, the madness and the badness. I never learnt through the mistakes we made together, I kept returning to you time and time again. I couldn’t imagine my life without you. I had tried being apart from you once but I just couldn’t, my life had been angry, cold boring and empty. In the cold light of day, after the binge, I was wrecked. My life was narrow, in my wake a trail of chaos and destruction. Hurt people wherever I looked. Memory loss, hangovers that lasted for days, black eyes, hospital beds, police cells, family and friends driven to distraction. We were playing Russian roulette but I was the lucky one - by calling it off I dodged that last bullet. You gave me secrets, lies, layers upon layers of lies; misery, humiliation, loss of dignity total loss of inhibitions. I ended up scrabbling in the dirt, knickers round my ankles. I was a bully; I was harsh, pathetic, needy, desperate, sly, silly, unreliable, hedonistic, irritating, horrible, nasty, and capable of anything, immoral, crude, lewd, vicious, boring and hopeless. And through all that I still clung to you, totally under your spell. Knocking you back, drinking you down without a second thought. Then there came that dark time when I was incapacitated by you, when you would have taken everything if I didn’t lie down and surrender to you. You had beaten me. I changed into a monster the minute I was with you, a menace to society, we created a monster together. So farewell: my husband, my lover, my friend, my once-loyal companion. No longer do I remembering through the rose tints. I remember it as it was, a bloody nightmare I was a bloody nightmare Julie x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

13th - 19th October - I've no control over those first thoughts.

Blog 13th to 19th of October I’m sitting here reflecting on last week and in my tired state I find it hard to remember a great deal. It seems to have gone quickly, I’ve followed my eating plan, the times of my meal plan went a little askew on Wednesday as I went to the theater, the show started at 7.00 so I was late 10pm having my evening meal and I missed my cheese and crackers. I used to find it difficult when something like that happened and I would not have eaten at all or stopped off and bought a takeaway on the way home then binged in the car. I didn’t have to do that. I went to OA on Monday (a bigger meeting this week) I get a lot of association in listening to the stories of experience strength and hope in their lifestyle sampler book (an OA version of the big book). Sharing openly also helps, I’m getting used to being honest about my problem instead of minimizing it or trying to hide it. Let’s face it you can hardly hide the fact that you’re an overeater (the world and its wife can clearly see that) I still have cravings, Friday and Saturday night are difficult as they used to be my binge nights, I would get loads of chocolate, ice cream and cake and scoff in front of the TV. I used to hope that everyone would be out so that I could indulge myself without fear of retribution or disgusted looks, or I would entice everyone else to take place in the binging, by bringing it in to the lounge and putting it on the table for us all to share. If I was binging so was everyone else, that made me feel less guilty that made it all right. I taught my daughter a lot of my behaviors in that way, I conditioned her in to seeing food as a comfort as a reward and as a treat for a busy weeks work. Consequently she developed a weight problem. I knew from my own background that I could not pass comment on this as I was so conscious of how I had hurt when my own mother constantly reminded me, so I ignored it, the proverbial elephant in the room. This week again has helped me to accept that I am powerless over people places and things, there are major changes in my work place that are going to happen no matter what I say or do. I could waste time and energy trying to fight them but for what gain? Or I can approach them proactively work with them and try and make the best possible outcome for all parties. That’s how living the program helps me. The week ended on a happy and positive note my eldest and youngest son returned home for weekend. It’s my eldest birthday on Sunday, he will be 24 and he’s bringing his girlfriend back to Cardiff to meet the family. On Saturday evening we are going to have a little party, I continue to feel a little nervous before these events as they used to be the scenes of a lot of my drinking. I’ve held about 4 gatherings since being in recovery and I’ve really enjoyed them, probably as I can remember them. It’s lovely to wake the following day with a clear head and no creeping feeling of dread as I wander who I may or may not have hurt upset or embarrassed. This time all I have to worry about is the buffet, I have a plan not to buy any sweet items only savory therefor avoiding my binge and trigger foods. I’m also going to try and relax and enjoy myself. I have the week off next week and I plan to use it productively by doing some more step work and seeing a few friends. Next Friday we are off to London to a concert and I’m also going to put a plan in place to cope with that. Forearmed is forewarned. Onwards and upwards as they say. Saturday night went well, oddly it wasn’t the food that was so much of a problem, I ate some buffet but did not binge just picked a little. I’ve had 2 nights that have involved a lot of people drinking in the house. On Friday night my eldest son returned home with his new girlfriend for a long weekend, he asked if he could have a gathering in the house which is fine. There must have been about 14 young adults who invaded the kitchen as we sat in the lounge watching TV. As the evening went on they got louder and louder and it made me feel a little nostalgic, so I took my self-off to bed to try some meditation. On the Saturday night I walked in to the kitchen to find my friend trying to pour a drink of vodka hiding the fact from me. It’s my problem not yours I said so there’s no need to come out here and pour one in secret. I felt like Father Jack. I wandered if I should lunge towards her shouting drink? I enjoyed the night but again I had a sense of nostalgia of missing out, would I be more fun if I was drinking? Now I and everyone on earth knows the answer to that and it’s a firm NO. That’s where this illness is so sneaky, it creeps up on you and places those thoughts in your head and when those thoughts come you have to kill them. Was I the life and soul of the party last night, no I wasn’t, but do I need to be, no I don’t. I didn’t feel on top form but that’s all right as well. I was myself as I didn’t need to hide behind anything. My partner got in and he had been drinking after watching the rugby again it was a reminder, he can, I can’t. I would never begrudge anyone else a drink but being in close vicinity to someone who has been drinking and smelling drink on breath and clothes can be tricky, that’s why I shared it with him. And that’s why I wanted to share these thoughts through my blog. I know if I share them it takes the power out of them, it was not surprising that I has a drinking dream in the night. I have them now and again that I relapse and decide to keep it a secret, it’s such a relief to wake and find out that I’ve been sleeping. I’ve also got nothing to hide behind anymore, no drink, no drugs, no food, just me trying to deal with life without using anything outside of myself. It’s as easy or as difficult as I want to make it. Julie

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Blog 5th October to the 12th October . Abstinence Rules!

Blog 5th October to the 12th October I recognized some triggers this week, some things that really make me tick and bring out my impulsive side. One of those triggers is rudeness. Now call me old fashioned but I do appreciate a bit of common courtesy and some people I encounter fall far short of it. People who send emails in particular, it is easy to sit typing furiously behind a big box everyday barking orders at all and sundry in an I’m so busy and important fashion, but not so easy to speak to people face to face. This week I received one of these emails, not a please not a thank you, not a kiss my big fat Welsh arse, just a series of demands followed by question marks and exclamation marks. I was not a happy lady. And everyone in a 10 mile vicinity knew this “Have you seen this……….. who does she think she is…………. Talking to me like that…………… she’s only about 12 ……………… cheeky rude ………….. needs to learn some manners” The staff in the office were all in agreement, choruses of “They are all rude at head office, and don’t stand for it Jul” spurred me on, so I fired one back. Mine was polite and proportionate I told her how I felt and asked her to be more mindful and professional in future correspondence. Then spent a few hours preoccupied and fearful I was going to be in trouble. Inside the mind of an addict ehhh strange place to be. Why had this bothered me so much? What was it about the tone of that email that had riled me? I don’t like criticism as I’m a sensitive soul, I’ll only take it from certain people (and they are people that I trust implicitly) and I can bristle with self-righteous indignation even then ( I had to look the meaning of that up in the dictionary not so long ago) And I really can’t abide rudeness, why do people think it’s their God given right to point out to you every mistake every personal observation about you and expect you to sit there and say “Thanks for that” I have to challenge rudeness, I do it impulsively and often become rude myself. What is it that angers me so much about it? I think it stems from the past when family members think it’s for your own good to point out every flaw, every freckle, every pound lost or gained and every aspect of you that they don’t like. Rudeness and public humiliation go hand and hand for me and I have to watch myself when they are about. My eating plan is plodding on, I’m happy with it but this week the thoughts have been creeping about restricting, I’m looking at the food on my plate and wandering is it too big a portion? It clearly isn’t as I have my own plate and I’m a 46 year old woman who is perfectly capable of regulating a portion size. I also found myself looking up diet pills on the internet but I shared it in OA and the Living Rooms. It’s my illness whispering in the background but I’m not going to listen to it, they are thoughts they can’t hurt me. I’ve also worked out that I am amazingly sensitive about being told that I’ve lost weight. I then think well I’m not good enough as I am as they keep mentioning the weight loss, they must want me to be smaller and it’s a self-perpetuation prophesy cycle of negative thinking. No scales or weighing either as I become obsessed and leap on and off with gay abandon 20 times a day becoming demoralized and angry if I haven’t lost 7 stone in a day. I know it’s not going to fall off over night, it took a long time to build up the surplus so it’s going to take as equally long a time to get it off. It will happen but slowly gradually and sustainably and it’s not a diet. If I keep repeating I can eat anything savory and I am the right weight for me today I will be fine. Wyn also said something that resonated with me last week, he said that our bodies were the work of God and by being so self-critical and damning of myself I was really being disrespectful to God as our bodies are amazing feats of creation. I liked that and it and I have thought about it a lot. My week has been good, a week of insights and dawns of realization. I have tried to help others and be of service. I have realized that there is no point sometimes in getting angry and fighting the world sometimes you just have to face facts that no matter what you say or advise events are going to occur anyway and you have to find a way through and at the same time cause the minimum amount of damage limitation for all concerned. When you accept you can stop fighting and get on with the task in hand. I attended OA and shared for the first time, it felt quite liberating to say the words bulimia out loud and the full magnitude of the daily battle that has been playing out in my mind and body for years exposed and laid bare for everyone to hear. I feel that way with all my addictions now no hiding, no denying who I am or what I am, no point in lying , I don’t care who knows, and that’s not out of bravado it’s a fact. The other miracle that occurred this week was that I had a reply to my amend letter and it was so gracious and loving that it made me quite emotional. I attended the Making Minds art exhibition on Friday in Llantrisant with two friends, what a lovely evening, it was great to meet some of the artists and chat with them about their work. There were some great exhibits done by people who have or work with people with mental health issues. I will be in to my third week on Monday 13th, the process started on the 24th so 14 days free of sweets, chocolate, cake and biscuits. I did put myself through the torture of the bake off this week but only as it was the final and I wanted to see who would win the completion. ( thats a lie I really wanted to swoon over Paul Hollywood and his buns) but I do not think I’m alone in those thoughts of Paul draped in puff pastry kneading a focaccia. And with that thought I will bid goodnight……………………………………. Julie

Monday, 6 October 2014

Blog 29th SEptember to 5th October - How my eating disorder is becoming ordered.

Blog 29th September to 5th October Autumn is now well and truly upon us and there is a definite nip in the air. This week I attended OA for the first time, without being dragged kicking and screaming in to the room. I’ve resisted it for a whole year but I know it’s the right place for me. I wasn’t at all nervous as I know the format (just substitute being powerless over alcohol or drugs to being powerless over food) They read a passage from the OA big book and then its sharing time. I must admit there was a lot of association, it made me feel hopeful that there is a way out. Some of the people in the room had been attending for years and it was evident from their shares that this program had really worked for them. I made a decision to attend weekly from now on, I feel I could do with the extra support network of a group and next week I will share. My friend attends and early on in her recovery I advised her (tongue in cheek) to avoid saying the words “My names …… and I’m an odor eater “instead of an overeater. I’ll try and make sure I don’t make that error next Monday. Work has been busy this week, lots of ups and downs. I’ve been quite fearful about not being organized. My food plan involves a lot of prethinking preparation and planning so I need to stay focused. The plan is easy to follow but I have to be in a structured routine. In the past I’ve been able to sustain one for a week or so and then it all degenerates and I find myself with nothing in the house and the Indian takeaway on speed dial. At the moment I feel in control of it but I have to be careful that needing to control doesn’t spill over to my work life. When I try to do that I become stressed and overwhelmed and that’s when I’m in danger of acting out. I was angry this week as Wednesday did not go to plan, I was supposed to go on assessment to Devon with a colleague and they forgot to ring me to tell me plans had changed. I found out at about 10 after cancelling all plans for the day. At first I was quite annoyed and frustrated. I found myself being short tempered and wanting to say derogatory things, thankfully I didn’t but instead I ploughed my energies in to tidying the office. I suppose positive came out of negative and I got a clean office. I’ve also been projecting, we are going to London on the 24th to see a band and I’m already focusing on what I can eat, and thinking about binging. When I’ve been away before its binge city as I feel I have to treat myself as I’m on holiday. I almost feel I deserve it and talk myself in to it. I have to put a plan in place to avoid this from happening, such as google a restaurant in Camden that would be suitable and avoid becoming too hungry angry or tired. The other ridiculous thing I did this week was tune in to the Great British Bake off. Mistake! Mary Berry is the devil in a floral bomber jacket, I nearly wept as it was the French patisserie challenge and the bakers had to produce afternoon tea cakes. They were to die for. I started to feel irritable and crave. I was still obsessing through Scott and Baily and well in to Wentworth Prison. Even the bright blue eyes of Silver Fox baker Paul Hollywood could not placate me. I have been texting my sponsor every morning and telling her that I followed my food plan yesterday and I am going to follow my food plan today, that makes me focus and feel more positive. I had a 1:1 this week too to talk about the food plan, we decided not to change it as it seems to be working well and I’m not hungry. I have also made time to go to Chapter and see the new Nick Cave film 20,0000 days on earth, I loved it. In early recovery I went to Brighton to see Nick Cave in concert, I was petrified as it was the first time I had been to a concert clean and sober. I had to attend an AA meeting in Brighton where I met a wonderful woman who was 45 years sober. She really was an inspiration and I got through it and was able to relax and enjoy. I have not attended a concert since as I’ve been a little scared, but I’ve bitten the bullet and booked myself two concerts on November, both in a little venue The Globe and both artists that I really love. I need to test myself out in that type of environment as I do miss listening to live music. Again I have a plan, arrive just in time for the band to start, ask my other half to go to the bar and get the drinks (lemonade for me) and then just enjoy the music. Recovery is also a bridge to normal living and there’s a whole word out there that I want to make the most of. I did an amend this week too, I wrote a letter to a woman that I telephoned many years ago to give her some news that was not mine to give her. I have always regretted what I did so I put pen to paper and as honestly as I could apologized. I also typed up a step 10 list of questions to ask myself at the end of everyday like a virus checker to promptly identify any old types of behavior and act on them straight away. I’m looking at step 11 now, and I guess I am searching. At the moment as Wyn says I am meeting God in his kitchen. I did try to go back to church in early recovery but at the time I did not feel as though I belonged there and my old thoughts and feelings towards the church returned. It just wasn’t my God and it made me feel uncomfortable. I think I’m ready now to explore and more open to ideas of what and who my God maybe and I’m praying that I will be guided to the path that’s right for me. I’m just going to enjoy the search. Julie